This blog documents the construction of a Vans RV-7 experimental amateur-built airplane in our garage in suburban Boston. I used the term “custom-built” on the front page tagline, since it sounds a little less dangerous than “experimental” and “amateur-built.” But now that you’re interested enough to have clicked on the “About Us” link, you’re gonna get the full story.
First, the basics…an RV-7 is a full-size, two-seat, all-metal airplane that’s built from a kit produced by Van’s Aircraft of Aurora, Oregon. The kit looks something like this –
…and after several thousand rivets, a moderate amount of swearing and sweat, and a few drops of blood and tears, we will have an airplane that looks like this –
The other “we” in this page and blog is my wife Ellen. She’s a whiz with a rivet gun.
To answer some of your questions…
- Are we really going to fly in this thing? Yes, we wouldn’t be spending more than
tenfourteen years building it just to have it sit on the ramp.
- Is it safe? Yes, the airplane is as safe as any other when it’s flown by a trained, competent pilot.
- How fast is it? With the 180-horsepower engine we intend to install, the airplane will cruise at approximately 200 mph, or about 170 knots for all you aviators and/or sailors.
- How far will it fly? The airplane’s fuel tanks hold approximately 40 gallons of fuel. With calm winds, than means a range of 700 nautical miles.
- When will you be finished? Tuesday.