Why I Chose an RV-8
The RV-8 from Van's
Aircraft fit my
specific needs. You need to analyze your own needs first
choosing the kit that's right for you. If you
build a plane because
your friend did, and it does what he wants but not what you want, you
won’t be happy.
wanted a two place plane that would be a respectable cross-country
200KTS). It also
needed to be fully
acrobatic. I wanted
to build metal, wood
or tube and fabric, but if after I compared everything, a fiberglass
out, I would have gone that way. (I
don’t like working with fiberglass.
can do it, I just don’t like to.)
started my search for the right plane by talking to others, reading the
and "Sport Aviation"
issues that list all kits and plans.
also looked at "Trade-A-Plane"
to compare prices
of completed aircraft. Because
speed and acrobatics requirements, I quickly narrowed the field down to
The Completeability Factor.
looked at my short list of
planes and companies. Not
many kits each company has sold, or how many kits are flying, but what
kits sold are flying. I
called this the
"completeability factor". I
interested in a company that had only sold 500 kits if 400 of them are
and the last 100 just haven’t had time to be finished than I was with a
who had sold 2000 kits, but only 500 were flying.
I still think this is the biggest factor to
for the first time
builder. It is such
a big project, you might
as well get a kit with a good reputation.
We’ve all heard countless stories of
Flying It Sold Me.
point I was down to two, an RV, or a Glassair.
Then I flew an RV-8, and that was all she
wrote. I’ve flown
the Air Force for
twenty years. This
airplane is the closest
thing to a fighter I’ve ever flown that didn’t have a jet engine. It was pure pleasure, and
yes, I did have the
“RV Grin” when I landed.
Which RV To Pick?
that was left was the choice of which RV to build.
My wife isn’t into the weekend flying.
She is perfectly happy to go cross-country,
but doesn’t want to “slip the surly bonds” on a sunny Saturday
afternoon. So I
knew most of my flying would be
solo. With that in
mind, I chose the
tandem seating so I wouldn’t have the empty cockpit to my right
with my view of the world. I
chose the 8
over the 4 only because it is faster, climbs better, and has longer
legs. And I chose
the RV-8 verses the 8A because
tail wheels are cool and the 8 is faster.
line: Decide which features are a must, and find a kit with a high
completability factor that is in your price range.
For more information on other kit plane manufacturers, check out the
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