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PHD. MBA. MHS. Type rated on A350, A330, B777, B747-400, B747-200, B757, B767, B737, B727. International Airline Pilot / Author / Speaker. Dedicated to giving the gift of wings to anyone following their dreams. Supporting Aviation Safety through training, writing, and inspiration. Fighting for Aviation Safety and Airline Employee Advocacy. Safety Culture and SMS change agent.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

What Kind of Plane is Bob Building?

Van's Aircraft RV-7

The RV-7 is a two seat aerobatic tailwheel aircraft.  Bob tells me he's about 90% done and he's "working his way through a list of final construction items in preparation for the final assembly."  

When will he be flying her? 
By the end of this year! 

Why the Van? 

Bob became interested in Van's airplanes by talking to several NWA Pilots who had RVs. He tells me there is a large group who fly out of Arlington Airport. 

"After seeing one, I was hooked. Van's is the most successful kit built airplane in history with several thousand planes built and flying. So I was convinced that a novice like me could build one in my garage. I took some construction classes offered by the Experimental Aircraft Association and I started. It has been an incredible experience researching and building an airplane from a box of parts, but when the day comes to fly the airplane that I built, all the work will be well worth it."

Van Aircraft  is located in Aurora, Oregon, just south of Portland, and there is a large community of RV builders throughout the world, and some have chronicled their building on blogs.

Check this out: RV-7A N704HJ

 "From the A330 to the RV-7. I'll miss the break room!"  Bob

Bob already knows he has an invitation to fly during our Women of Aviation Fly It Forward event next March.  And Van Aircraft will be at Oshkosh this year... check them out.  I think I'll invite Van to our flying event too.

Enjoy the Journey!

~ Karlene


  1. What a great airplane choice! I've flown several RVs, the 7 being my favorite. It's a very docile tailwheel airplane, very fast for the amount of power it has, and just a fun airplane to fly in general. Best of luck with the final part of the project Bob!

  2. What a great-looking little plane. Yes, invite them to your flying event for sure!!!

  3. Aurora Oregon, that's close to my old stomping grounds! That would be great if they made your flying event.

  4. if you're flying a cessna-172 or other small, light airplane, do you have to trim the aircraft before takeoff like you have to do in a big jet?

  5. Daniel Thanks for the great info! Someone yesterday told me that the Rv-8 was great too. Ever fly that one? I'm thinking if I build a little plane that a docile tailwheel is for me since I've never flown one before.

  6. Linda and Heather you both will be able to go for a flight if he does. He said he would if he finishes it. I'm thinking a done deal. We'll all work on him.

  7. Hi Cockpit, yes... you trim small planes similar to a big jet. I recently flew a Cessna and there was a trimming wheel that I dialed to put the stabilizer into takeoff position.

  8. Karlene, yes, I actually have flown an RV-8 with a retired NWA pilot. Really great airplane too! I personally prefer the side-by-side configuration of the RV-7 vs. the tandem seating in the 8. For giving people rides, especially kids, it's a little bit nicer. They are both fairly docile, but still have their quirks and I would recommend at least getting an endorsement in something like a Citabria first.

  9. Thanks Daniel! I too would prefer the side by side. Oh... most definitely I'll get ample training before I go down that runway. Thanks for the info. And yeah NWA pilots!


Thank you for your comment! If your comment doesn't appear immediately, it will after I land. Enjoy the journey!