My Vans RV-7 Project 

In mid-December 2003, at the age of 45,  I decided it was time to do something I've always wanted to do: build an airplane.  I decided to build the RV-7, which is a kitplane produced by Van's Aircraft Company. Van's is the world's largest kitplane manufacturer with over 10,000 kits sold and over 7500 RVs flying (as of November 2011).  The RV-7 is their two-seater, side by side model.

Builder's Log

Building Statistics

Status History

Lessons Learned



Design Decisions

Building Resources


After five years and over 3000 hours, I finished the airplane in April 2009 and started flying it.  As of November 2011, I have over 480 hours flying the RV.  I have flown it to the West Coast and back via the Santa Fe Trail, the entire length of the Missouri River to Idaho, and to Oshkosh and Sun 'N Fun.

This web page logs the building of my Vans RV-7 kitplane as well as my flying adventures. I started my RV-7 slow-build kit in early 2004. Just a little over five years later I flew it for the first time. My RV-7 has side-by-side seating and a tip-up canopy. It's powered bya Mattituck TMX-360, straight carburator, with one magneto and one Lightspeed electronic ignition. It spins a constant speed Hartzell blended airfoil propeller. The RV is night-VFR capable. The panel is anchored by a Dynon FD-180 which has both flight and engine instruments. I also have an SL-60 GPS/Comm and Garmin GTX-327 transponder. I have a Garmin GPSMap 496 mounted in an Airgizmo panel dock. Finally, I have a TruTrak Pictorial Pilot Wing leveler autopilot. The plane is fast, nimble and aerobatic. An aerial sports car. It is really quite amazing that a regular person can build such a fantastic flying machine from a kit at his house.