Vans RV-7 G-OVII (Go-7)

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Build Diary 2004

Build Diary 2005

Build Diary 2006

Vans RV7 Specification
The Van’s RV7 – Evolved from the highly popular RV6, with increased legroom, headroom & load capacity. Increased wingspan & fuel capacity (38-42 US gallons) has also increased the range. The RV7 is also approved up to a 200hp engine, but the biggest difference/improvement is in the kit itself. The RV7 has been designed on computer and now comes “matched hole” eliminating the need to measure and drill thousands of holes.
For more info on the RV7 and the other aircraft in the RV range check-out the Vans Aircraft site.

My configuration is - Lycoming(Superior) I0-360 180hp should give (solo weight):

Cruise Speed: 200mph,
Top Speed: 210mph
Stall Speed: 51mph
Range: 775-950sm (depends upon cruise power setting)
Rate of Climb: 2,200fpm
Ceiling: 23’000ft
Takeoff Distance: 275ft
Landing Distance 350ft

The kit is available in two forms the Standard and the QuickBuild (QB). The standard RV7 kit is pre-punched and comes ‘flatpacked….’. The quickbuild kit has 75% of the metal airframe complete (this is still less than 50% of the overall build). The kit comes in 3 parts/stages, Empennage, Wing, Fuselage and Finishing. The Empennage is the same on both Standard and QB, Vans recommendation is to purchase this stage of the kit first and complete it, but by the time you have finished the Empennage you will know if you want to go Standard, QB or not build your own airplane!

My RV7 Project History
A week after Robert had got G-ORVG flying he offered me a ride. I was hooked..... What a great airplane and it wasn’t long before I was on the Van’s website to find out what I had to do to get one – there are 58 in the UK flying (55 being built). It is rare to see a completed one for sale because once built the owners don’t want to be parted!!
I discovered quite what was involved in building an aircraft, this was early 2002 and I decided I was not in a position to undertake such a project. So I plodded away - being passed on the way to and from events by the two RV6’s – in my Cessna 150. Don’t get me wrong, I love my little Cessna 150 (Evy) and I have gained so much experience in her.
I have been on some great trips. One being Popham (EGSP) to Valencia Spain. It was this trip that made me realise it was touring that I really enjoyed, and an RV would do the job well and be fun! It was now July 2004 and I had thought for a long time about building an RV, I had moved house (consideration about building an RV was made when we looked at suitable houses - with a big garage!) and I was now 15 min’s away from work, I had previously over 100 miles away. Jo and I had discussed building an RV for the past year and she was right behind me, I had done all the research and it was the Spain trip that made me realise it was the ‘best fit’ for what I wanted from an airplane. Throughout August 2004 I researched the project again and decided I was going to do it. It was going to be a RV7 (the RV7 had replaced the RV6) and it would have to be a quickbuild kit. The plan was to start constructing/set-up the workshop and assembling the tools required in October. My plans changed when I found a complete RV7 QB (Quick Build) kit already in the UK for sale and by the end of October I had a Vans RV7 QB it in my garage!!
Bob & I taxi for runway 25 at Thruxton
Bob & I strap in for the second flight
Second take off, quick & rapid climb
About me!!

So what is my previous aircraft building experience - none! However years ago I use to restore classic cars as a hobby (I rebuilt a number of Triumph Spitfires).Rusty old cars had passed me by and I have not played with old cars since I started to learn to fly. I started learning to fly in July 1997 at Peterborough, Sibson in the club Cessna 152 (G-BSFP). I obtained my licence ###1998 andI purchased a 50% share of a Cessna 150 (G-BAEV) in #### and a year later, I owned it outright. At the time I was living in Cambridgeshire at the weekends and working in Brussels, then London during the week. I spent my entire weekends hanging out at Sibson airfield and soon became friends with Jerry, Sibson's aircraft engineer who was building a Vans RV6. At first I didn't see why somebody would spend all this time building a kit aircraft when a complete certified aircraft could be bought for less than half the cost. I also met another pilot friend, Robert, who, following the completion of Jerry's RV6, on being taken for a flight was immediately bitten by the bug and decided to build his own RV6, which he did in 18 months (a Quickbuild kit which compared to a 7 year build for Jerry's standard kit). The very same thing happened to me, about a week after Robert had completed his RV6, he took me for a ride and there my interest was I going to be able to build one of these wonderful machines? I now realise that the hankering began there and then and I began, in the back of my mind to hatch the plan. I started working in Hampshire (over 100 miles from where I lived) so I finally sold up and moved house, keeping my Cessna (Evy) at Popham. For the first year, I was fairly consumed with doing stuff to the house and my flying was strictly kept for the weekends, however, I was soon in the position of having decorated every room and the double garage was beckoning, for the first time in 15 years I was just 15 mins away from work and it was at this time that I revisted my desire to built an RV. I realised that I would be able to utilise my evenings for building my longed for RV7. The final thing that really made my mind up for me was the trip that I made from Popham to Valencia over two days in my Cessna. It was a trip that made me take my aviation to a whole new level and it seemed to make Europe smaller. I knew that ultimately, this is where I wanted to be going with my flying and that I wanted to do more, go further and explore places that I hadn't been to but I wanted to do it faster and in more confort. As soon as I got back, buoyed by the euphoria of what I had managed to achieve the week before, I became a very regular visitor to the Vans web I was taking it very seriously and there, I began to put together my project plan.....within weeks, my kit was in the garage. The will find iin the pages before you, every rivet, every drill, every high, every's all here, I hope you find it informative and enjoyable. This has been an extraordinary adventure and this is just the beginning......



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