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Old 03-27-2018, 05:19 PM
Ironflight's Avatar
Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 11,735

Originally Posted by UtahClem View Post

Yep, that's kind of what I've figured. At this point it isn't so much the cost difference that scares me, but rather the (real or perceived) more complex build process. Not just bucking rivets but, sealing tanks, priming (most don't prime the 6061-T6 Sonex), etc.
We've built RV’s (drill from scratch, pre drilled, and match—drilled) and are now building a Xenos from Sonex. Don’t worry about the complexity of an RV - you’ll find that its a trade off between the simplicity of the Sonex product design and the more complete parts of the RV. Solid riveting? Just another skill, and not hard to learn. The R-8 will definitely be more expensive in the long run than a Sonex, but it is a more capable aircraft in the end. Both are good airplanes.

It comes down to what airplane you want, and what you can afford.
Paul F. Dye
Editor in Chief - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 03-27-2018, 11:14 PM
bifft bifft is offline
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 76

My RV-8A is at the Provo airport if you want to try the seating out some time. Still in test period (3.9 out of 40 hours), so can't offer you the $XXk "free ride".

I did build mine for under $50k, but that is older mid-time engine, fixed speed propellor, no lights, no gyros. Basic day VFR panel. That also includes 20 year old kit prices as I am a very slow builder.

It will burn more gas than a Sonex, and will cost lots more once engine overhaul rolls around.

PM me for contact info.
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Old 03-28-2018, 06:53 AM
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YellerDaisy YellerDaisy is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Mountain Southwest
Posts: 144

I would encourage you to look real hard at your mission (how you plan to use the airplane). No doubt the RV-8 is a great airplane but it might be far more than needed. An RV-4 might be sufficient at a lower cost (possibly). If it were up to my heart, I would be flying an F4U Corsair (or maybe a Radial Rocket) cause that's what I love. However; reality dictates otherwise.

I spent decades building/working on/flying behind alternative engines (VW & Subaru). Since I started flying behind a Lycoming (RV-3B and RV-4), 6-8 years ago, I have spent many orders of magnitude MORE time flying. All of that time has been quite "comfortable" (not worried about the engine) and over some very inhospitable terrain (over which I would never fly the VW/Subaru). I think the VW & Subaru (and a good many other alternative engines) are great engines. The problem is packaging them for aircraft use and the time required to make that package bullet-proof. The biggest problem, IMO, with the VW is that it was never designed to produce the level of power than many aircraft applications demand. About like taking a 160hp O-320 and demanding 320 hp from it. How well will it hold up, how well will it cool, how long will it last?

Sorry... I've probably turned this into an engine debate. That was not my intention. I was only attempting to note that the higher initial investment of a Lycoming will pay great dividends in more flight time, less stressful flight time, and less maintenance time - based on my decades of experience.
RV-4 - O-320
RV-3B - O-320 - "Daisy" (sold)
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:03 AM
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aarvig aarvig is offline
Join Date: May 2008
Location: KANE, Hugo, Minnesota
Posts: 765

Keep in mind too, the cost of ownership and operation of an RV 8 is going to be significantly more than an aerovee powered Sonex. So its not just the acquisition and building costs to consider. However, having said this...if money is an issue just pay for it as you go. If you do it that way and never borrow money to build it well then you aren't financing anything as you pay to operate it and your "felt cost of ownership" goes down. It just may take longer to finish.
Its all doable. You just have to ask if you're willing for it. The aerovee powered Sonex and the Lycoming powered RV8 are two entirely different aircraft. I say dive in, take your time, pay as you go and get what you want. Good Luck!
Aaron Arvig
Empennage Done
Wings-In Progress
N568AK Reserved
SOLD…but I'll be back
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Old 03-28-2018, 08:11 AM
Robert Anglin Robert Anglin is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: houston, texas
Posts: 900
Default Agreed.

You will get a lot of pride out of learning the new to you skills that it will take.
I liked doing it the old fashioned way with jigs and one rivet at a time. With buying the parts and tools as we went, it was very stress free and a good lesson of how to think your way throw each task needed.
You already have the biggest step behind you; there will be someone here to help.
You will be just fine, I can tell, as many of us have been there too.
Yours, R.E.A. III # 80888
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