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  #1  
Old 03-27-2018, 11:23 AM
UtahClem UtahClem is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Payson, UT
Posts: 3
Default From Sonex to RV-8

Hello,

Years ago when I first decided building an airplane was something I wanted to do, I was quickly drawn to the RV-8. As I started researching what it would take to build one, I started realizing that cost to build and the complexity was probably more than I could chew. I found myself migrating over to the Sonex, and after a Sonex builder took me for a quick hop around the patch, I was sold. It had great performance for the price and I was able to see past the somewhat odd look and overall lack of fit and finish.

Fast forward a few years and I am part way through a Sonex tail kit but have started to have a lot of apprehension about finishing. This is mostly due to my lack (and others in the Sonex community) of confidence in the AeroVee VW conversion. With the Sonex B models, the factory will now support several other more proven engine installations (Rotax, UL power, etc.) but that takes an airplane I was looking to spend 30-35k to get airborne to more like 50-60k. While I still feel the Sonex is a great little airframe, I can't see paying that kind of price for it.

So, I've come full circle back to the RV-8, which has always been the plane I wanted to build in the first place. I am going to order a set of preview plans and the practice projects and figure out what extra tools I'll need now that I can't just pull a bunch of pop rivets. Any other building advice/suggestions for a soon to be former Sonex builder would be appreciated.

Looking forward to the journey!
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Dreaming of an RV-8a build
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  #2  
Old 03-27-2018, 11:33 AM
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rv7boy rv7boy is offline
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Location: Austinville, Alabama
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Welcome Aboard, Josh! (You'll also get this greeting from a guy in Nevada named Mike!)

I've been to the Sonex HQ for a weekend workshop. I won't say anything bad about that design. They run a class act, IMO.

I don't know about builders/flyers in Payson, but I do know there are some in the Woods Cross/Bountiful and even in the Ogden and perhaps Brigham City areas. Check out the Skypark Airport. I used to travel to Ogden on Shuttle business.

Best of luck in your RV experience!

Don

P.S. Josh, check out the "White Pages," a listing of thousands of RV enthusiasts worldwide provided on the front page of Doug's VAF News. Go to "Country," then find "USA," and then find "Utah."
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“Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights;
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"It should be added that the sublime beauty of the facture brings within the realm of discourse the substructure of critical thinking. " -using Doug's Art Critique jargon link and my birthday, I get this!

Last edited by rv7boy : 03-27-2018 at 11:40 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03-27-2018, 11:33 AM
flybill7 flybill7 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Severna Park, Maryland
Posts: 412
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Hi UtahClem, I've built an RV-7, and the wings and finishing a fuse of a Xenos motorglider -- basically a Sonex with glider wings. I thought building both planes was very similar; you use the same skills. The only major difference is pneumatic riveting the RV instead of pop-rivets in the Sonex. But that's not a big deal; after the first 100 rivets, you're an expert.
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  #4  
Old 03-27-2018, 11:38 AM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,668
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Firstly, welcome to the VAF world, Josh.

I can see your "value for money" mindset. Perhaps what's missing in your original post is whether or not you feel your pockets are deep enough to build an RV8. Keep in mind that your engine/prop combo could end up costing as much or more than your originally-planned Sonex.

While you might not like the cost of a new Rotax or similar powerplant, you won't like the cost of a new Lycoming any better. I say this only to help you ensure you are prepared for the level of commitment.

On another note, either airplane can be built with something other than a new engine, so that Sonex might be buildable for well under the $50K point.

The RV8 is a wonderful aircraft. But it's not cheap. One needs to be prepared for a finished project that's going to cost perhaps three or more times your initial Sonex budget.
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  #5  
Old 03-27-2018, 11:53 AM
UtahClem UtahClem is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Payson, UT
Posts: 3
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Thanks for the quick replies and welcome.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadian_JOY View Post
Perhaps what's missing in your original post is whether or not you feel your pockets are deep enough to build an RV8.
Yes, financially I am on much better footing than I was when I first started down the road of building. It's not that I don't like the cost of a Rotax or similar, It just feels outside the original vision and mission for the Sonex, which is getting in the air relatively cheaply. And, while I don't plan on selling my finished airplane, I imagine resale value on a finished Sonex with one of these more expensive engines is going to be far lower than cost to build.

In the end I just feel I will be much happier over all with an RV-8, knowing full well it will cost quite a bit more to get flying. I appreciate you posing the questions though, and making me think long and hard about a decision like this.
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  #6  
Old 03-27-2018, 01:07 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
 
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Location: Ontario, Canada
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Josh - it's good to see you doing the thinking before you make the fatal mistake of getting a flight in an RV8. If you were to fly in an -8 you would no longer be able to make rational decisions! :-)

I don't have an RV of any description but my hangar co-owner has an 8A that flies like a dream. I chose to go a different route, building a Glasair Sportsman without ever having flown one. Zero disappointment there, but I chose based on mission, not purely on "fun factor". If I were making the decision based on "fun factor" the -8 would be very, very hard to ignore.
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  #7  
Old 03-27-2018, 01:47 PM
tjo tjo is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: La Center,wa
Posts: 187
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It's been a while, but I went through a similar process. Interestingly, in the end, the costs are about the same. The airframes are basically the same, ~$23K. Instrumentation can be the same, it's up to the builder. Interior can be the same, it's up to the builder. So in the end, the difference in cost is powerplant choice, prop choice, and panel choice(s).

You could build an 8 with a wood prop, a used mid-time engine, minimalist panel, and be very close to the same cost as a Sonex.

Tim
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  #8  
Old 03-27-2018, 02:51 PM
Capt Capt is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2017
Location: Australia
Posts: 196
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I procrastinated for quite some time on what to buy, building anything was not in my game plan at my age (in my 60's) I'd rather fly than build and after much research a Vans was the only machine for me. I like old school, metal and steam gauges. I had a ride/fly in the 6,7, F1 & sat in a 4, the latter way to limited for my planned missions.
I only wanted a conventional u/c as to me Vans look perfect in that configuration. I settled on an 8, IO360 & CS, just right, after near 40 yrs of driving planes the 8 is the best machine I've ever flown for what it is designed for,aging my skin via so many smile wrinkles!

Once you've flown an 8 life seems to take on a whole different meaning
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  #9  
Old 03-27-2018, 03:01 PM
UtahClem UtahClem is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Payson, UT
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Tim,

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.
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Dreaming of an RV-8a build

Last edited by UtahClem : 03-27-2018 at 03:04 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-27-2018, 03:21 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
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Default Welcome to VAF

Josh--------welcome aboard

Just jump in------------you can do it. Lots of help available here on VAF.
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