It is now 25 years later and I am an engineer who has gotten the flying bug again. Over the last couple of years I started lessons and have 40+ hours logged. I have soloed but haven't yet completed my certification. You might wonder why I would start building an airplane when I haven't completed my training (my wife asked the same question at one point)? Well having a job that is sometimes fairly demanding and then trying to schedule flight time around weather, plane availability and everyone else can get challenging and challenging = stress. I have enough of that and flying is supposed to be fun, so I decided to combine it with one of my other joys in life, building things. I will finish my pilot's certification, but in the mean time I can walk out to the garage at any time I want, pick up the tools and be totally immersed in an aviation related activity.
Why a Van's RV? I had a friend and co-worker who I'd known for about 15 years. He was a pilot and we often talked about flying and the progress (or lack thereof) on an airplane he was building (this one wasn't an RV). When I started to get serious about taking lessons I met him for lunch and it was during this lunch that he first suggested I build an RV. At the time I didn't have any idea what that was, but the seed was planted. As I progressed my flight training I came to find out that a co-workers spouse had built an RV-4. A couple of shop and hanger visits, a little more research and the hook was set. And yes it does seem a little crazy to be building a plane, but roughly 23 years ago I felt the need to call a girl I had just seen at church once for a date, and that seems to have turned out pretty well for me! Sometimes getting out of your comfort zone brings the sweetest rewards.
Unfortunately my friend who made the original suggestion that I consider building a plane passed away and will not know (at least in this life) what he started. Vaughn, you are missed by me and others who knew you!
|This is a book I still have in my bookshelf that I picked up close to 35 years ago (C 1979). I just came across it again recently.|
|In the book Homebuilt Airplanes is a section on the RV-3, one of the early models from Vans. You can still order this kit, but there is no "quick build" kit and holes in the parts aren't pre-punched. But I bet it would be fun to fly.|