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Old 12-21-2019, 10:24 PM
Cholley6 Cholley6 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Posts: 15
Default RV 10 or 14

Ok, so here?s where I am. I am a recent private pilot, I bought a 172k about 6 months ago to finish up and figure out what I wanted to fly and how my mission would be. I am still in the process of figuring this out, but I think I?m wanting to start either the RV 10 or the RV 14 in the next year. As of now I think the majority of my flying time will be either just me or maybe with one other person. But, my wife?s family lives elsewhere and we currently have a 2 year old and another on the way shortly. The 172 will work well for us for a while but let?s face it, it?s a 50 year old airframe that I have to hire someone else to do everything to and it?s not nearly as fast. I think there is a good chance that my wife and I have more children so that bumps me out of the 10 anyway. I guess I?m trying to decide if I just build the 10 so that I can haul more, or go with the 14 and try to buy a share or rent a 206 or equivalent 6 seater for the few trips per year I need extra seats. Business does not take me far away very often. I know I?m not the only one that has had this dilemma so I?m wondering what has worked well for others. Also I would like to try and find a ride in both the 10 and 14 before I commit to a build. I live in NE Louisiana and I?m looking for excuses to make cross country?s. Thanks for the opinions I?m hoping will follow.
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Old 12-21-2019, 11:35 PM
AlpineYoda AlpineYoda is offline
Join Date: Nov 2019
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 129

If you have the means to buy a 172 and you have access to other planes for rent, I think you need to stop and think about what you really have time for and whether you are in the right place to spend the next 2-5 years in the garage / hangar working.

I trained seriously for a year for my final Ironman (20 hours a week for a year) while my wife was home with our then 3 and 4 year olds. It almost ruined my marriage. A pretty selfish act. We?ve both raced in many of these (20 for me) and we actually met on the racecourse at an Ironman, so it is in our blood. But doing it while we had young kids was rough. In retrospect, I probably shouldn?t have done it. Things are much better today, but it took a while to repair the relationship. And that was only a year of work, maybe 6 months of really hard work.

The kids are 11 and 12 today. They fly with me, they are helping me build an RV-10. It?s an entirely different world now.

If you have a young child and you say that more might be on the way, and you have access to rental or owned aircraft, are you really going to be able to build one? Or is this just going to be a source of constant frustration for you (only 4 hours of progress a week) and anger for her (HE?S ALWAYS WORKING ON THAT %$#& AIRPLANE WHILE I RAISE OUR KIDS!!!)
RV-10 build blog --
Tail finished March 2020
Wings finished July 2020
Fuselage joined to tailcone on July 19, 2020

N1814T reserved with FAA
Donated through 12/31/2020, EAA and AOPA member

When it absolutely, positively doesn't matter when or if it ever gets there, ship with Old Dominion.
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Old 12-22-2019, 05:04 AM
mulde35d's Avatar
mulde35d mulde35d is offline
Join Date: Dec 2017
Location: Lithia, FL
Posts: 217
Default Opinions

You?ll get lots of opinions on this topic. I am married with a 4yo and 3 mo old. I started the RV14 18 months ago when we just had the 3yo. It has definitely been a give and take for time to work on the plane, but two things made it work for us. First, anytime the wife asked to go do something I Stopped work and watched the kids. Second, anytime my daughter came out and asked me to play the answer was yes. The plane always takes a back seat to helping the wife and raising the kids. It can be frustrating when trying to accomplish a task, but your frustration with the plane is easier to fix that her frustration with you.

I recently sold the 14 kit just as I am finishing the fuselage to a gentlemen who wants to fly sooner and have his own personal touches on the aircraft. In turn, now that we have a family of 4 I plan to start the RV10 next summer (unless Van?s comes out with a new 4-seat aircraft between now and then). The 2nd child changed the dynamic of the 14 vs 10 equation for me and I realized after a flight at work that my body is not up to the aerobatics that I used to really enjoy.

I am sure lots of opinions will be shared on this post based upon everyone?s different life experiences. My advice would be to ask your wife the same questions you ask here as her opinion of your time and the household finances is more important than anything posted on this forum.

On a side note, I did the real math of building the RV14 & RV10 with full glass cockpits and brand new components. The 14 came out to about $160K if you do everything yourself (electrical/paint/slow build). When I sold the kit I was on track for that cost. I have calculated the RV10 will cost about $215K. Others may have better detailed costs (lots of variables here) but these are more accurate numbers for the kind of airplanes you are seeing actually built than what is posted on the Vans website.
RV-14A Sold
RV-10 Research In Progress
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Old 12-22-2019, 06:03 AM
Phil's Avatar
Phil Phil is offline
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Waco, Texas
Posts: 1,658

Jon has some good advice and estimates.

If kids are involved, then the RV-10 seems like a no brainer. We fly ours everywhere as a family. The experience is awesome and the convenience is unmatched.

If kids weren?t involved, the RV-14 would be a no brainer. Even though I own a -10, I?d like to get started on a -14 fairly soon. My son is 9 and I?d like to build the -14 with him before he leaves home. I?d also like to give him the -14 to use. Ultimately he?ll have kids and he can take the -10 for his family and my wife and I will take the -14 for our trips.

That?s pretty much our plan but if kids are in the picture, then the -10 is the easy answer - IMO. Being able to take trips together anywhere you want, any time you want, and to bring anything you want makes traveling with the family so much better.
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Old 12-22-2019, 06:36 AM
Cholley6 Cholley6 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: Monroe, Louisiana
Posts: 15

I guess let me clarify slightly. Firstly I farm so my workload is seasonal and I don?t exactly work 9-5 anyway, my wife is a school administrator. This means most of my free time is when she cant take off work. Progress on building would tend to follow that seasonal flow as well. First child is a boy, second will be a boy. Anytime I work on anything in the house my son grabs his tool kit and comes to ?help.? It will probably be at least a year before I start working on a kit, but I?m trying to think out what my options are, what would fit for us so that as we use the 172 over the next year we can discuss the pros and cons. I also think it could be a fun experience to plan out what we want as a family, and travel to look at some flying RVs. I would be building in the garage and I think it would be a great distraction away from screens for both myself and kids as they get older and more capable. It also sounds like a good way to teach them about the mechanical world. I expect the plan would be to sell the 172 about the time firewall foreword was due. I don?t expect to set records with speed of build because either RV is not something that I need, but rather want to accomplish at some point.
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Old 12-22-2019, 07:35 AM
N941WR's Avatar
N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887

With your grown family (Congratulations!), build the -10.

Even though the times you fill all four seats will be few, the cost of the two planes aren't that far apart, if you scrounge for a good engine and prop for the -10. The "problem" with the -14 it is requires a unique engine (IO-390, and I know, an IO-360 angle valve will work, but why?) and CS prop. Talking to -14 builders, $150K isn't an unreasonable number.

While keeping the 172 and a two seater RV-14 would work, it also means you have twice the maintenance, you are insuring two planes, etc.
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC

Last edited by N941WR : 12-22-2019 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:16 AM
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aturner aturner is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Clarion, Pennsylvania
Posts: 549

Our RV-10 has been an excellent family hauler. I began construction just before the twins were born. I found that airplane construction actually dovetailed well with being a dad to young children. It kept me in the house, available to take care of the kids, and when they were napping or otherwise under control, the garage was steps away.
-Andy Turner
RV-10 N784JC
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:18 AM
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kbalch kbalch is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Clermont, FL
Posts: 558

Two practical considerations:
  • While everyone's final costs will be different, I'll have ~$175K in my -14A after paint. That's with a very comprehensive IFR panel and show-quality paint. I haven't conducted any detailed price projections for a -10, but it'll absolutely be more.
  • Everyone in the planning stage of a build should remember to consult their aviation insurance agent. As a low-time pilot (presumably still VFR, to boot) who's interested in a fast, 4-seat homebuilt, you might be astonished at the premium. If that's a factor, it's far better to find out now.
I'm sure that others will add to this list, but these two points came directly to mind when I read your post. Food for thought...

RV-8 N118KB (#81125) - Sold
RV-14A N114KB (#140494) - For Sale!

RV-14A N114KB 'For Sale' page
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Old 12-22-2019, 10:26 AM
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Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 2,568

Assume new engine and CS prop from Van?s, same dual EFIS IFR panel and such, the RV-10 will be ~$30k more than the RV-14(A) to build. My experience flying both is the RV-10 is a little faster in LOP economical cruise than the 14(A) for perhaps a little more than one GPH higher fuel burn.

The RV-10 insurance when last purchased was ~$1600/year.

The RV-10 is more work to build over the RV-14(A), but nothing beyond an average builders?s skill level.

The RV-10 is hands down the best value for the mission of cross country IFR. The hard advantage of the RV-14(A) is aerobatics - so if that is a must your decision is already made.

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Old 12-22-2019, 10:44 AM
RV10Pilot RV10Pilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Medford, NJ USA
Posts: 276

Put a bench seat in the back of the 10 with seat belts for 3 and you will have a 5 place plane. You should be able to keep it within weight and balance at least till your oldest becomes a teenager.
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