Van's  RV-8  Project

Introduction

This site is created to document the building of a Van's Aircraft RV-8 kit plane.

It is also intended to provide information to visitors, friends and family interested in following this project.

Welcome also to fellow builders who might gather some building tips, tricks and information.

This site will evolve with time, so please feel free to come back often while the project progresses.

Please click on the left menus to browse through this site and on the underlined, bold words in the text for links to related topics.

Disclaimer:
This site and any links provided thereto are not instructional or advisory in nature.
They merely seek to share my experiences in building a Van's RV-8 airplane.


Enjoy !!!!

Presentation


Although far from being an aircraft mechanic but being flying since the late '70s, I had the on and off idea of building my own airplane.  I think it came from an aviation magazine that advertised the selling of a kit plane called the Quickie 2.



I didn't follow that dream at the time but it kind of stayed in the background of my mind until recently when a work colleague showed me his completed and flying RV-7A kit plane and I then decided it was time to pursue my dream.

Why Van's Aircraft and why an RV-8?

Although the Quickie 2 caught my imagination as a desirable plane and is surely most enjoyable to fly, I chose Van's Aircraft mainly because they are in this business since 1972 and still are.

They have time proven all aluminium airplane designs, their kits are relatively simple and accessible as a first time builder, their airplanes have a high degree of flying performance, they have a great customer and builder support, there's now more than 8000 completed and flying kits as of February 2013, and let's be realistic , an attractive pricing policy!

Next decision was what model of Van's Aircraft? Even if most of the time I believe I'll be flying solo, I want the option of offering a ride to a willing passenger, so a 2 seater is needed. Tandem seating since I'll be alone most of the time, and I want to fly sitting in the centerline.

So I chose the RV-8 with a classic landing gear, as seen just below.




Flying configuration

My wish is to install a traditional 4 cylinder Lycoming based experimental fuel injected engine. Namely a IO-360 180hp unit coupled to a constant speed 3 blade composite propeller from MT Propellers.

The instrument panel will be state of the art EFIS (Electronic Flight Information System) coupled to an auto-pilot, electric elevator and aileron trims, and electronic engine monitors.

IFR/VFR, day/night enabled.

Paint scheme is still to be determined.

Building considerations

A fair warning to future builders. Building an airplane isn't a traditional hobby and should be considered as a major commitment, time and financial wise.

As a fellow builder said:
"Build an airplane because you want to build an airplane, NOT because you want an airplane"

One doesn't need to be an aircraft engineer or a rocket scientist to succesfully complete one of these kits as they are
very well conceived, have comprehensive building instructions and plans and there's 2 significant source of information for builders. The first is the builders assistance from Van's Aircraft and another is the VAF forums where I confess spending lots of time reading the different posts on RV building. It has around 16000 contributors building and flying RVs, helping builders like me learn the necessary tricks when I block somewhere so I fully appreciate their help!

In my view, the essential qualities needed to get to the end of a project like this are dedication and thoroughness.

Dedication is a must to finish in a reasonable amount of time. It's reported to take on average somewhere between 1500 to 2500 hours of work to complete an RV-8, depending on individual options. I manage to put in about 30 to 40 hours a month and believe I will be done after 5 to 6 years of building. I'm not putting any time constraints on myself as I don't want to be self-pressured with a deadline but try to work at every reasonable chance I have.

Thoroughness is obvious in that, I am personally and solely responsible for the quality results of the build. In the end, it will be my skin in my flying machine and I intend to enjoy it as long as I'm fit to fly!!!


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