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David_FFC

Dear Jerry and Larry

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In case you haven't already read Thursday's AvWeb news, the next "question of the week" is :This week, we would like to know your thoughts on factory built versus kit aircraft. Thanks to Robert McCoy for suggesting this week's topic. Please go to http://www.avweb.com/qotw to respond. It used to be you could add comments, and view other people's comments. When they redid their website several months ago, that stopped. I wrote them about it and they said they were in the process of bringing that capability back up. But, that's been a few months ago as well. Guess I'll ask them again.Dave H.Fayetteville, GA

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Dave,That question is what motivates home builders of experimental aircraft. A factory-built certified aircraft comes with "legal baggage" and a lot of "overhead" in the pricing. They can be used for commercial operations, while an experimental, amateur-built aircraft cannot.Cost is the big factor for the amateur builder. The airframe of my RV-9A will cost around $17K for the kits required to build it. The engine will cost around $20K for a new Lycoming 0-320, 160 HP rating. By the time I add a constant speed (variable pitch) propeller and prop governor, another $7K or so will be forward of the firewall. Of course, I could buy a used, mid-time engine for less, but that also comes with some risk that may not be cost effective in the long run.Filling in the instrument panel could easily add $10-15K depending on how exotic things get. I just want a basic IFR panel with the only fancy stuff being a good GPS with moving map. I have a Garmin GPS 196 portable unit that fills that need today whenever I fly a rented Cessna.So, by the time I get the RV ready to fly, I should have spent around $45-50K in an investment that will only increase in value. It will fly 50 to 60 MPH faster than the Cessna 172 that uses the same engine. So, you see, for $100K less, I can go faster and have lower annual operating costs. As the licensed repairman for MY RV-9A, I can do the annual inspections myself. I asked an RV-6 builder what he spent on his annual inspection once at the Lakeland Sun-N-Fun event and he showed me his aircraft log book: Less than $10 for a few needed minor parts and lubricant.Jerry K. ThorneEast Ridge, TN

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Sounds like a great deal, Jerry. Plus, your RV-9 looks a lot better than a Cessna.Best regards.Luis

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If someone wants to give me a "new" Mooney, Commander 114, Piper Seneca, plus a few more brands/models .............. I'll happily give up my RV6A project!! :)But to compare to a Cessna 172 or Piper Archer for three times as much ($$$), I'll take the RV. It can climb about three times as fast, and I'll worry little about density altitude. Much faster in cruise also.I live under an airport pattern, and the Cessna/Piper single's look extremely "slooooooooooooow" as they make their way skyward. The RV can be at pattern altitude before the end of the runway! It's also a lot more fun to fly with sort of a fighter feel.I'd still very much like a Aviat Huskey tail-dragger for backcountry flying. I would buy a factory model before ever thinking of putting together a "tube & fabric" airplane. Would just rather fly than build, which is kind of how I feel now!L.Adamson

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Hello Larry,Have you kept track of how many hours you have spent on your project? Or are you just counting the years? Just curious.Best regards.Luis

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Just years.....Lot's of pics for proof, but I found I didn't like making a chore out of logging hours. Much of the time was "deep thought" anyway! L.Adamson

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