So, let's start with the first question. There are hundreds of choices to choose from, but I am a metal and rivets fan. And Vans Aircraft has been around for a long time and they have lots of spare parts to choose from and their customer service is really the best out there. Not to mention I have over a thousand hours of flying in Van's planes, and I have alot of experience building them too. So, I think I will stick with what I know. Besides, I already have the tools.
Secondly: How am I going to afford such an endeavor? With the economy in the decline, coming by money is rather difficult. I think that if most people out there would look at their budgets they would find that they waste a tremendous amount of money on junk that they really don't need, nor do they really want. So is the case in my budget as well. So, I am going to stop spending on those things, take the money, and put it into an account, and when it reaches the amount that I need to purchase the tail section, I will buy it and be on my way. The other thing I can do is, there are always people selling sections of RVs on the internet. I will keep a look out for one that is either not started yet or has been built well, and for a good price. Knowing what Vans charges will help me decide if I am getting a good price.
One of the things I have told many other builder-wanna-be's when they tell me they really want to build a plane is that you are not going to finish your plane, until you start building. Making that commitment to start is always the biggest step. So, I have made my commitment to start, I have set up my separate bank account, and I am looking for the good deals.
The next thing I can do is order the plans and start getting my tools and jigs in place. That doesn't take long and with a builder that is crafty with wood construction, the jigs can be built in an afternoon and be ready to go. Make sure that your jigs are really good tho, because that is really important to building a straight airplane.
So, I have done all these things. All I need to do is choose which one I am going to build: RV4, RV6, RV8, or the Harmon Rocket.....hmmm they are all so very good choices. I think that the RV4 is a bit tight for my shoulders, I would prefer something with a bit more room, so that one is out. My dad has an RV6, and loves it! His is really decked out with EFIS screens, really nice GPS, and autopilot. I have flown his plane and believe me, it is really sweet. But I am drawn to the tandem configuration over the side by side. So, now I am trying to decide between the RV8 and the Harmon Rocket. Both are really nice planes, both handle well in the air, both are fast (Rocket is a bit faster tho), both climb well (Rocket climbs better tho). The RV8 would get better fuel mileage, a huge consideration in this days economy. But I think the Rocket looks better than the -8 IMHO, of course. I really like the performance too. So, my choice is going to be the Harmon Rocket.
So, there it is, that was easy. I know alot of other builders put waaaaay more thought into which plane, tending to think themselves to death with indecision. As a professional pilot, indecision has never been one of my weaknesses. I figure out what I want to do, and go for it. So, I will be building the Harmon Rocket. And, may I just tell you? That plane is really sexy!! I'll be posting the build as I go here on my blog, so please come by and see the progress. If you have any questions, please post them in the comments section for this post, I will be happy to respond to them. Here we go...... can't finish till I start!!