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kbalch 02-13-2020 12:08 PM

After spending 29 months on an early, slow-build, RV-8 kit many years ago, I planned my slow-build RV-14A kit as an 18-month project. I missed by a little, but should fly it late next week after ~21 months.

I haven't yet added up my build log, but I don't think that a guess of 1,500 hours would be off by much and probably a little high.

Experience definitely plays a part, as does effectively unlimited shop time. I've also built other big projects over the years (kit cars, motorcycle restorations, Model 12 Pitts wings, etc.), so that helped, too.

Ultimately, it's going to take each individual as long as it takes. Do it right, not fast; you'll be done before you know it!

Arablenz 02-13-2020 10:53 PM

I was about 1860 hrs of building for first build RV 14 but in saying that, I reckon I did the same number of hours researching to make sure I was not going to make a mistake.
All I can say is enjoy the time of completing each section and then you will have a lovely aeroplane at the end of it.

plehrke 02-14-2020 05:49 AM


Originally Posted by asw20c (Post 1407593)
I'm building an RV14A slow-build, and currently have over 1100 hours expended, and I'm only just now getting close to finishing the wings. Van's website says the modern matched-hole RV14 kit might take someone 1000-1300 hours to complete.
Looking ahead to what is left (fuselage, engine, avionics), and basing it on my progress to date, I'm guessing I will have at least 2000 hours or more before it leaves the ground.

I hated people giving me how much time it took them to build. I stopped keeping hours after a few years of my build; just logged activity, not time. All I say now was it took 9 years of calendar time. I considered what hours others took to complete their airplane to be irrelevant as it only put pressure on me to go faster than I wanted to. Estimates vary wildly based on how people count time, as you put it "off-plans" adds, and how much time per week they can spend working. There is in-efficiencies if you are only spending 10 hours a week building vs 20 hours a week. That is OK if you can only spend 10 hours per week.
Don't beat yourself up for wanting to do a good job. Experimental Amateur built is about learning and people learn at different rates completely separate from build skill level, which becomes another big difference in time required.

If having fun building, build on.
If wanting to fly and can afford getting something to fly while building, buy something. I bought a Cessna 140 to fly while building.
If wanting to fly and not enjoying the building, sell the kit and buy a flying RV. Always seems to be a good selection of them out there for sale.

Remember this is not a contest, no wagering please, on actual time to complete.

mturnerb 02-15-2020 06:06 AM

I agree with those who've pointed out the variables and encouraged enjoying the journey. I probably put in 2000 hours (slow build fuse, QB wings) but that's not counting time spent away from the shop doing research on VAF and studying plans. I traveled some during my build, but found that staying focused when not traveling and doing something every possible work day made a difference. 2 yrs, 7 mos end to end. I am pretty obsessive and rebuilt a few parts, replaced dinged/damaged parts, and did priming and interior painting as I went along, adding to the time spent.

One thing I found is that deviations from "standard" - like Beringer wheels/brakes, various other add-ons - took more time relatively speaking because of the time investment required to make things work. Another example: I chose Airflow FM-150 fuel injection over Van's standard system - it came installed on the airplane but required changes to throttle/mixture cable routing, modifications to snorkel, and other accommodations that sucked up quite a bit of time.

It really helps when you can get experienced builders' help - I had help a several points along the way which really accelerated progress at those points.

N941WR 02-15-2020 07:53 AM

First, I hope you are enjoying the trip!

Everyone works at a different place, especially when leaning new skills.

I know one guy who built a -9 slow build in around 1200 hours, half the time it took me to build the same plane.

Just keep at it and remember, rivets don't pound themselves!

Discus2b 02-15-2020 04:04 PM

Find ?Alex RV-14a? log site for comparison....he is moving along at a quick pace up to 1100 hrs with wings, emp, and well into the fuselage. It will give you a trend comparison on finish window.


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