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Why the RV-7A

We have found a few models suitable for our goal of building our own plane. We have shortlisted the two and four places we thought the best adapted to our needs. Some criteria have been evaluated very objectively (performancesâ?¦.), some other aspects are more subjective (type of construction, builder support, Internet helpâ?¦.).

An Excel file is appended to this article to explain the choice. Itâ??s noticeable that Vanâ??s aircraft are ahead in both categories. The planes found at the bottom of the list are generally too costly (to buy or to use), sometimes they are just at the limit of our performance demands.

The four places aircraft have been eliminated, mainly due to costs, they are generally at least 40 to 60% more expensive than a two place aircraft. We have also noticed that on most of our flight there are only two people on board. Weâ??ll keep going to the airclub for the few flights weâ??ll need more seats.

Looking at the two place list, the Glasairâ??s are very expensive. The MCRâ??s are suitable but the fact you have to built some parts at DynAéroâ??s plant is a drawback for us. To the contrary, the Vanâ??s models seem to suit our wishes at the best, be it performance, price and other criteria. They have a worldwide support community mostly via the Internet. And most impressive is the fact that Vanâ??s has sold more than 10000 kits with more than 4000 planes already flying.

Two Vanâ??s models would be suitable : the RV-7A and the RV-9A, two tricycle planes with very similar performances when powered by a 160hp engine. We have chosen the RV-7A due to its shorter wing, we will have some problems with avalaible space during building. Also the RV-7A is aerobatics capable (the gentlemenâ??s type according to Vanâ??s), and this would make for an interesting secondary mission.

Building choices are not made at this time, but we already know that we will build a tricycle gear aircraft, with a tip-up canopy, with at least 160hp installed (Lycoming or like), a fixed-pitched propeller and a VFR panel to be defined.

The next step will be to deal with having a workshop, but this is another story.
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