Home > VansAirForceForums

-Advertise in here!
- Today's Posts | Insert Pics

Keep VAF Going
Donate methods

Point your
camera app here
to donate fast.

Old 08-29-2021, 12:48 AM
gotyoke gotyoke is offline
Join Date: Jul 2020
Location: Placerville, CA
Posts: 84
Default Build plan gantt chart...because boredom

Want to know how bored I am waiting for my empennage kit to arrive? I made a gantt chart. A GANTT CHART! See below.

EDIT: Many commentors have indicated the timeline doesn't account for the numerous delays that I'm sure to encounter along the way, which will extend the timeframes. I appreciate your thoughts on that. The main point wasn't to map out exactly how long it would take, but to map out the order in which things needed to done. The timeframe selected was simply a mechanism to frame the process and to set ambitious goals, which has served me well in other aspects of life. If it takes longer, and surely it will, that is no concern of mine.

I looked at several RV-14A build logs, and tallied the time it took to complete each kit. I then guessed how long it would take me by averaging them out and adding a 20% buffer. Because I'm building 15 seconds from my doorstep, I work from home, and my daughter is rather low maintenance these days, I figure I can get in 15 solid hours of work (some with my wife's help) per week, minimum. So that is how I figured the length of each blue bar.

The flags at the top represent when I would need to order various things given the current lead times from Vans, Lycoming, and (insert Avionics shop here). Of course, this assumes money isn't a factor, and there sure is a lot of money to spend in 2023.

One thing I would like to know from you, dear reader, is whether I have the order of operations correct, or if I got something totally wrong. This is my first kitplane build, so I'm just going off what I've researched so far.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	70443F0D-DC22-4E65-912D-255842630897.jpeg
Views:	419
Size:	648.7 KB
ID:	15165  
RV-14A Emp and wings kits ordered

Last edited by gotyoke : 09-01-2021 at 01:27 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2021, 04:46 AM
rmartingt's Avatar
rmartingt rmartingt is online now
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Savannah, GA
Posts: 1,133

Originally Posted by gotyoke View Post
and my daughter is rather low maintenance these days, I figure I can get in 15 solid hours of work (some with my wife's help) per week, minimum.
How old is your daughter? My son is five, and over the past couple years it has been very difficult to make any progress at all when he's home. I make much more progress when he's at school (I typically have one weekday off), which he's finally doing again.

You may be making some pretty aggressive assumptions about how much work you'll be able to do in a given time frame. Children and spouses want attention, cars and houses need maintenance, you'll run into bouts of motivation trouble, etc. Good on you if you can build that fast but I've found that working and having kids (and dealing with medical issues) can slow you down a lot more than you thought.
RV-7ER - canopy and wiring
There are two kinds of fool in the world. The first says "this is old, and therefore good"; the second says "this is new, and therefore better".
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2021, 07:17 AM
ShortSnorter ShortSnorter is offline
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: NOLA
Posts: 351

I would say your "build hours" are reasonable. The one factor that was alluded to was life getting in the way and lull in motivation. Of course everyone is different, but I started out extremely motivated and then had a long up hill battle with motivation with the wing kit. To me, the monotony of the work, coupled with extremely short work sessions (10 - 20 rivets) to accommodate the patience of my better half, led to some low periods which had me questioning the idea of the whole project.

After the wings were complete, the fuselage, finish kit, etc went together really fast and provided tons of motivation (especially when you sit in the fuse and make airplane noises).
RV-14 In-Progress
Build Site
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2021, 07:54 AM
thinkn9a thinkn9a is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Mississippi
Posts: 309
Default Good first cut

And then reality hits,…..

- rabbits to chase, and extra work, if you just can’t resist going off plans
- family, work, natural disasters, health …..
- messed a piece up, need to order replacement part,… resequenced work,..etc
- order / decision points need thought and research,…. What is the new avionics box, do I want that or do I need that ( I.e. you want some setbacks, so you can be ready,…and that takes you off working aluminum)
- price changes,…. If they are predictable you may want to change an order point ( used to be early in the year)

So you may want to put some float / management reserve on the chart,… or just call it performance factor. I think some is baked in by the hours you have….

So,… enjoy the build,… don’t sweat the details, but be ready to find the new critical path forward, and work hard on it……

and tell everyone it will be done on Thursday
Wallace & Marietta Goodloe
9A -QB
Phase 2 has started!
Thanksgiving time, is dues time for us
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2021, 10:45 AM
KeithB's Avatar
KeithB KeithB is offline
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Granbury, TX
Posts: 314

Another data point, and some considerations:

Everybody logs their time differently - some record time with a tool in their hand and others when they walk into and out of the shop door. Using the average of blogs +20% might be the best way, but consider how you plan to log time.

In my case, I’m starting my 2nd RV14 and using my first project’s “real” numbers as a basis. I’m estimating more hours than your numbers for every kit except FWF. I’m also not including any “partner” hours and she invested 25% of the first project total hours. The biggest difference in hours (my projection over yours) is finishing, and I went off plans here with a Sikaflex canopy (great mod, by the way). My avionics is also higher but I did all the wiring myself for a full IFR panel.

Finally, we are retired and I’m only planning 20 hours per week- not much more than you (similar circumstances to my first project). And we did spend lots of “full time” days. I also built into the plan “vacation delays” of about 2 months per kit. I might also think of these as “life getting in the way”.

Bottom line is a 3 year project for us.

This is NOT meant to discourage you. This will be FUN. However, as long as you are planning, this is one other person’s perspective.
Keith Brown

RV-14A Builder - kit #136 (complete) and #770 (in process)
N314KC - First flight Mar 8, 2017, 24th in the air, >750 hrs
XP-400 Aero Sport Power, replaced with Lyc Thunderbolt 390
RV-6A sold
Sport Pilot (weight-shift control) - Airborne XT912
Dues paid 9/2021
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2021, 11:10 AM
wcalvert's Avatar
wcalvert wcalvert is offline
Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: Anacortes Wa
Posts: 338

Personally, I found logging my hours or even thinking about it a major downer. Made it feel more like work than a hobby. Did it for about a month and ditched the whole idea, worked on the project every day I had open (always did something, no matter what) and finished in 2 and 1/2 years (including significant supply delays due to having this pandemic thing on and all).

I realize this doesn't answer your question regarding order of events, estimated time required, parts flow, order timing, hours available ... Your plan is fine, now lean in and start building. Dirty hands make progress.

Enjoy the ride!
RV-7 Tipper
Bill (Wild) VA-165 '90-'93
Anacortes, Wa

First Flight 7/17/2021!!
- Been there, Donated 2022
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2021, 11:16 AM
Kyle Boatright Kyle Boatright is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 4,679

Originally Posted by wcalvert View Post
Personally, I found logging my hours or even thinking about it a major downer. Made it feel more like work than a hobby. Did it for about a month and ditched the whole idea...
I did the same thing 25 years ago. I have a neat log with maybe a dozen entries. After that, I have a few dozen photos documenting the RV-6 build.

People who log things, people who actively create and maintain build sites...I commend them. But I just couldn't do it.
Kyle Boatright
Marietta, GA
2001 RV-6 N46KB
2019(?) RV-10
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2021, 11:28 AM
Walt's Avatar
Walt Walt is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Dallas/Ft Worth, TX
Posts: 6,356

Originally Posted by wcalvert View Post
Made it feel more like work than a hobby.
Enjoy the ride!
As soon as I saw that chart it reminded me why I hated management jobs!
Ditch the charts and spend that time building instead.
Walt Aronow, DFW, TX (52F)

EXP Aircraft Services LLC
Specializing in RV Condition Inspections, Maintenance, Avionics Upgrades
Dynamic Prop Balancing, Pitot-Static Altmeter/Transponder Certification
FAA Certified Repair Station, AP/IA/FCC GROL, EAA Technical Counselor
Authorized Garmin G3X Dealer/Installer
RV7A built 2004, 2000+ hrs, New Titan IO-370, Bendix Mags
Website:, Email:, Cell: 972-746-5154
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2021, 11:37 AM
fl-mike's Avatar
fl-mike fl-mike is online now
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,609

Originally Posted by Walt View Post
As soon as I saw that chart it reminded me why I hated management jobs!
Ditch the charts and spend that time building instead.
Right! Looks too much like work. This is supposed to be fun.
(but, you do need to be aware of lead times and plan accordingly.)
Mike W
Venice, FL
RV-6A. Mattituck TMX O-360, FP, GRT Sport EFIS, L3 Lynx NGT-9000
N184WM reserved (RV-8)....finishing kit in progress. Titan IOX-370
N184P reserved (RV-8QB)
Reply With Quote
Old 08-29-2021, 12:16 PM
SantosDumont SantosDumont is offline
Join Date: Sep 2019
Location: Henderson, NV
Posts: 142

If I could do it over again I would have ordered all of the kits at once so I wouldn't spend any time waiting on parts to show up, and I could have avoided that whole stock market fiasco. But who knew I was going to be locked inside for a year with nothing to do?

I also wouldn't put hard dates on anything because your chart is assuming that things need to be done serially... and they really don't. You could build all the kits in parallel and the only things that need to be done serially is bolting on the engine and attaching the wings.

As far as logging, you need a solution that is quick and easy or you won't do it. I have a GoPro that I use that is pretty point and shoot to capture build video, and use a free app called to make a quick log entry that takes 30 seconds at the end of the build session.

I would say that 15 hours per week is an aggressive goal. I plan for one hour per day. Some days that turns into 4 hours, and some days it is 0 hours. But there's always 1hr of internet or TV that I can cut out and build the plane instead.
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:41 PM.

The VAFForums come to you courtesy Delta Romeo, LLC. By viewing and participating in them you agree to build your plane using standardized methods and practices and to fly it safely and in accordance with the laws governing the country you are located in.