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Bens RV-7A Slowbuild Fun Site

Builder:
Ben Shaw
Location:
Hobbs, NM - USA
Aircraft:
Vans - RV-7A
Manufacturer:   
http://www.vansaircraft.com/
Engine:
-
Prop:
-
Total Build Time:
61 Hours

In this area I explain what I did to make my decision to purchase the RV-7A kit. These are my personal thoughts written out and you are by no means required to read them. I am not going to bother with describing my logic choosing the airplane based on performance specifications, number of passengers, useful load, etc. I basically got the airplane because it has everything I desire, end of story.


I have already established the fact that I really like the RV-7A. What helped make the decision to build is reading everything about it that I could from the Vans Aircraft Website. There you will find the specs, costs, and general information about the RV-7A kit. Of course, you must keep perspective. Vans is going to say only good things about their own aircraft. It's that sales mentality thing of...."It can do everything, and more". Just remember this fact. Check out reviews of the RV-7A kit in aviation publications and determine whether you feel good about what you read.

The next thing I did was visit a lot of RV-7 builders websites and read through them thoroughly. Vans has a wwwlinks area that has some great builders websites. Likewise, just go to a search engine like Google and type in "RV-7A" in the search field. You will find that problem areas get talked about a lot. Realistically, you will always run in to problems when constructing anything with the complexity of an airplane. Bottom line, the fewer problems induced by the design of the kit, the less frustration and higher probability that you will complete the project. I will be the first to admit that I can be a knuckle head and do stupid things. Which reminds me, that I also looked at the type of people building the RV-7. Are they all Aerospace Engineers, Brain Surgeons, PhD's, Master Builders, or a mix of education, common folks, and knuckle heads like me? I prefer the mix because it means the kit fits a broad range of talents, abilities, and personal finances. The websites out there are very informative over all.

The next consideration is construction area. Either you have something (owned, rented, borrowed) that is acceptable in size and comfort, or you don't. Just look at the dimensions of the airplane, figure out how much can be accomplished in your work area. No acceptable work area? Don't spend the money right now on something you won't finish. Anyway, this was my thought and how I made my decision on workspace.

Finances, finances, and more financial considerations. Do I have the money available to purchase the kit in it's entirety including instruments, avionics, prop, and engine? Not no, but NO!! Will I be able to raise the funds over time as I build? Probably, but there is always the dark side of unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, this is where faith comes in. I had to make this decision before proceeding any further in my decision making process. If the money comes in, I finish the kit. If it doesn't, I sell off what I have and call it a great learning experience. Likewise, I refuse to finance anything that is not an absolute necessity in life. In my case, the RV-7A is not an absolute necessity in life but rather a really fun hobby. I think debt has the potential to steal the joy gained in building and owning the airplane.

Lastly, but most importantly I had to know my heart in this project. There is an event in the Bible where a man named Moses went up on a mountain and received the law (Ten Commandments) from God Himself. When he came down off of the mountain, he found that the people (God's chosen people) had constructed a golden calf and were worshipping it, thereby no longer worshipping God who not only made them but loved them. In other words, the people took their eyes off of God, their creator, and put it on a chunk of gold that they molded with their own hands. If I am not careful in searching out my own motives in building the RV-7A, I can easily lose perspective on my responsibilities in life and put my eyes on my airplane rather than on God, who made me along with the very aluminum I am using. If the RV-7A becomes a golden calf, rather than a piece of the bigger picture of life, I lose the very point of what I was put on this earth to do. That is, to glorify God in everything that I do. Therefore, my desire is to have fun with this project without making it the object of my worship.



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