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Old 05-18-2021, 09:56 AM
RV6junkie RV6junkie is offline
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: NJ
Posts: 90
Default What's my next RV

I don't post often, and for that I'm sorry - I just haven't had a lot to contribute in the last few decades. I'm thinking that I want to build another RV, but I'm not sure of the direction I want to take. A little background is in order...

I started building my RV-6 in 1989 when I was just 26 years old. Four years later I made the first flight. The airplane was a significant expense to this young lad, so I picked up a partner just before the airplane was finished. That turned out to be a mistake. The partner was clumsy and careless - I often found damage on the aircraft. The straw that broke this camels back was the day I showed up to fly my plane and the G-Meter was pegged at 6+ G's. In 2001 I couldn't afford to buy the partner out, so I sold him my half. It was gut-wrenching, like selling a child, but it was the right thing to do at the time. I had a young family and I seemed to have less and less time to fly, and when I did find time to fly I was disgusted at what I'd find. Luckily I had access to a B33 that my company owned at the time, but after flying an RV for 500 hours - I just couldn't connect with that pig and in 2003 I decided I'd just stop flying.

It's been eating away at me for 20 years, so yesterday I went for a BFR - and to my surprise I remembered how to fly. I have a fresh endorsement in my logbook and a desire to get involved again. But flying the Cherokee 140 reminded me how uninteresting Piper/Cessna/Beech aircraft are. In the last 20 years I've thought about building another aircraft dozens - hundreds - of times but now it is something I can seriously consider again. And just like 30+ years ago when I decided to build an RV-6, it comes down to "what's your mission profile". Back then it was x-country/transportation, sportsman aerobatics and light IFR. Now, it may not be any of those with the exception of some x-country flights. My wife doesn't like to fly, and that limits the amount of travel I'd do in the airplane. I'd be flying mostly for my own enjoyment, taking friends for local flights. Travel would probably be limited to 100-200 mile trips to see family. But I'm just addicted to the control feel of an RV-6 (I also have quite a bit of time in the -4).

For the mission profile I've provided the RV-12 certainly makes sense. I also like the fact that the wings can be easily removed if winter storage at home is possible. My concerns with the -12 are its "total performance" and control feel. Also, I really enjoy aircraft with conventional gear. It's a skill-set that I'm proud of and I believe it makes me perform as a better pilot (like a manual transmission in a car).

I think the RV-9 is also an aircraft that meets the needs of my use case. While the control feel is just slightly less responsive than what I enjoyed in my -6, for the way I intend to use the aircraft the control feel just may be perfect.

Lastly, the natural successor to the -6 - the RV-7 - would certainly make me happy. But it seems to me I'd be heading down the "make it better-powerful-faster" rabbit hole. That project may turn out to be too expensive.

Another piece of info that may make this choice interesting. The gentleman who purchased my RV-6 from me, would like to give (not sell) it back to me. For the same reasons I sold it 20 years ago, I would not fly that aircraft today (I have not seen it since the day I sold it, but I'm told by friends that it's in rough condition). But I could scavenge it for parts. The engine is due for an o/h (O-320) but that is a better option then buying new or buying a core for o/h. I don't think I'd use the prop, but items such as the exhaust, autopilot (Navaid Devices), elevator trim, lighting, circuit breakers, switches...could be reused. I don't think the instruments are of any value (I'd go glass) nor are the Narco Avionics. The other option is I could bring the old girl home and re-build her - but that may be more work then starting from scratch. I wouldn't know until it was in pieces. I like the idea of building another, but dread fiberglass work and building another canopy....

Enough background. Have any of you other RV old timers built a second RV and did so because your original RV no longer met your needs, or it was just time to build another? If any of you built a -12 or -9, how do they fly compared to a -6? Can you help talk me into, or out of this endeavor?
RV-6, First flown 1995
Another RV project under VERY serious consideration
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Old 05-18-2021, 02:33 PM
KatanaPilot KatanaPilot is offline
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 733
Default Please check your messages

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Krea Ellis

Locust Grove, GA
DA20-A1 "Princess Amelia" - gone home to Amelia Island
RV-7A Phase 2 (Honored to be Van's "Miss July" 2021)
RV-10 under construction at Synergy Air South
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Old 05-18-2021, 06:52 PM
Laird's Avatar
Laird Laird is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: SoCal
Posts: 118
Default Rebuild your old airplane!

Originally Posted by RV6junkie View Post
The gentleman who purchased my RV-6 from me, would like to give (not sell) it back to me.
I don't know about you, but it sure seems like getting the airplane that YOU built back for free and bringing it back to life sure seems like the path I would take.

Since you're not doing anything but local, fun flying, and you love the way the RV-6 handles it seems like a no brainer to bring the airplane back to life as economically as possible (no glass panels!), and then enjoy the heck out of it.

But that's just me.

Enjoy the ride either way.

RV-6 1900 hrs
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Old 05-18-2021, 07:30 PM
gyoung's Avatar
gyoung gyoung is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Spring, TX
Posts: 301

Since your mission hasn't expanded and your point of comparison is the -6, I can't imagine any course other than rebuilding your original -6 to whatever standard you desire. Unless your psyche dictates an all new plane, rebuilding (to any level) will be far less effort than a new build. There is nothing that cannot be accessed to inspect and repair/replace. Good luck with whatever direction you choose.

1950 Navion - flying
RV-6 - first flight 5/6/2021
1940 Rearwin Cloudster project in progress
4 L-2 projects on deck
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Old 05-18-2021, 08:06 PM
sf3543 sf3543 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: San Antonio, TX
Posts: 1,090

As with everything else, there are pluses and minuses.
I have rebuilt planes and built them from the kits and both are really satisfying, so that's not the issue.
Let's say you get your old plane back:
Free is hard to pass up.
It already has an airworthiness certificate.
You are the original builder.
VAN's still supports it.
You are already familiar with the original build and know how to do it.
Parts from VAN's are cheap, compared to a new kit.
You can make any changes you would have liked to do from the beginning.
Buy a new kit and you start over, but you will be able to get the latest and greatest from VAN's
My first RV was a 6 and I regretted selling it many times over the years. Built right and light, they are a joy to fly. The only RV with better flying qualities, in my opinion, is the RV-3.
Rebuilding can be a pain, but it has it's rewards. Bringing something back to life is really rewarding.
Unless you need something bigger and better, I'd seriously consider rebuilding the 6. You can put the RV7 tail on it, maybe increase the engine HP, etc.
Whatever you decide to do, you can't go wrong as long as you enjoy the journey.
Good luck.
Steve Formhals
A&P, Tech Counselor & Flight Advisor
Legend Cub
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Old 05-18-2021, 08:18 PM
VA Maule VA Maule is offline
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: Bucking ham, Virginia
Posts: 250
Default The Price is Right

Free and familiar are 2 mighty convincing attributes.
Maule MXT-7(daily flyer)
Lancer 235(partner)
Raidial RV-8R Ephanage Done, Wings Done, Fuselage on it's tall Grove gear & engine hung
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Old 05-18-2021, 08:24 PM
catmandu's Avatar
catmandu catmandu is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Sierra Nevada
Posts: 988

Don't be a daft frick, take your plane back, she needs your love!
Mike C.
Sierra Nevada
RV-6A bought flying
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Old 05-18-2021, 09:32 PM
GLHRV7A GLHRV7A is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Texas
Posts: 21
Default Get it back...

Did you get the FAA Repairman certificate for building the 6? That would be worth a lot.
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Old 05-18-2021, 10:00 PM
fl-mike's Avatar
fl-mike fl-mike is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,586

Iíll be the dissenter here. I rebuilt a 6A and I canít tell you how many times I said it would be easier to just start new. Undoing mistakes and replacing parts on a non-prepunched kit is not easy. I mean, who puts the fuel filler flanges on the OUTSIDE of the skins on a completely flush riveted wing? And I didnít have to deal with any corrosion. By your description of the owner, Iíll bet there are a lot of surprises waiting. Donít go back.
If you have the money and can wait(!), Iíd go with a QB 7 built per the plans (or a 14) and never look back. New, clean, right, and yours.
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
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Old 05-18-2021, 11:47 PM
Dan 57's Avatar
Dan 57 Dan 57 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: LSZF
Posts: 752

Guess the primary question is: Do you wanna build (well, itís called like this nowadays, iso assemble), or fly?
Plenty of good advice in the posts above... first have a go and pay the old girl a visit. You might get sentimental. Same happens when I look at the -4 I built in the 90s...

Also the -4 and -6 are the best handling 2 seater RVs
Life's short... Enjoy!

RV-6.9 #25685, slider, O-360-A3A (carb/dual Lightspeed II), MTV-12-B, HB-YLL owner & lover
RV-4 #2062 HB-YVZ airframe builder
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