Mark & Dave's RV-7 N834ST

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This web page is all about the building and (ultimately) the flying of our Van's RV-7. We ordered our quickbuild kit quite a while ago now, and have made significant progress (see the hour tally at the bottom). I've never really bothered with the creation of a website for our adventure, but I figure it might be worthwhile, especially now that Dave is living in Australia!

We started building the plane together in February 2002, when we received the empennage kit. I'd already had the hangar for a year empty waiting to figure out what we were going to do for an aeroplane. There was a 4 year waiting list around the Metro Detroit area at that time, so I wasn't about to turn down a brand new hangar at YIP! Dave left for Australia in December 2002.

I'd like to thank Van's Aircraft for putting out such a great kit. Everything is going pretty well, and we've generally been pleased with everything we've received.

I'm going to start adding a general status shot of the plane here. It might not necessarily be at the end of a day's work, but it'll give some indication of where we are with the project.

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Latest News 5/5/2009

5/5/2009 is back up! Unfortunately, we had a server issue which doesn't look like it's going to be fixable anytime soon so I had to switch hosting service. Unfortunately, that means I have to pay a bit more, but the site is back up. Sorry for any inconvenience caused to those who visit regularly and use this site as a reference.... Which includes me!

So, on to the good stuff....

Starting Out   Updated 4/30 How we ended up this deep in aeroplane parts!
Empennage I   Updated 10/10/03

Empennage II   Updated 7/17

The first part of the kit. If this is your first time building, this is the steepest part of the learning curve!
Fuselage I

Fuselage II Updated 10/24/04

Fuselage III Updated 4/5

Fuselage IV Updated 5/8

Fuselage V Updated 5/31

Fuselage VI Updated 7/16

Fuselage VII Updated 10/16/05

Fuselage VIII Updated 2/19/2006

Fuselage IX Updated 5/30/2006

We ordered a quickbuild kit (although we're going rather slowly), and decided to do the Fuselage before the wings.

So, I keep adding more and more Fuselage pages! I wonder how many we'll get up to.

Fuselage IX is wrap up work now. Starting with filling the brakes!




Wings 1  Updated 1/11/2006

Wings 2  Updated 1/22/2006

Wings 3  Updated 2/10/2006

Wings 4  Updated 3/12/2006

Wings 5  Updated 5/21/2006

Wings 6  Updated 8/5/2006

Wings 7  Updated 8/27/2006

We have our wings, but they're still sitting on Mike's rack gathering dust. Thanks for the rack Mike!

We've almost finished the wings, but not quite!

The wings are on! They have to come off one time, but not for long!

That's it for the wings pretty much. A bit of wrap up work, but they're on for good. Things left to do are the landing and taxi lights, and the AOA. Then there's the wingtip stuff, antennae and such.

Wing tips are almost finished now too. Only one thing left... Marker beacon antenna, then that's it, they're done!

Finish Kit I

Finish Kit II Updated 8/6

Finish Kit III Updated 8/22

Finish Kit IV Updated 9/11

Finish Kit V Updated 10/9

Finish Kit VI Updated 11/11/2005

Finish Kit VII Updated 3/26/2006

Woo hoo! It's here! Started working on the canopy.... Blasted canopy frame! Doh! Well, the canopy is finished now at least! Need a propeller to do the cowling! Where is that propeller? Should be here soon!
Panel I

Panel II Updated 5/8

Panel III Updated 7/10

Panel IV Updated 3/31/2007

So, this is where all the money went?! The instrument panel is now completed. I'm very happy with the results. Especially with the Pulsar transfers that I used for my panel labelling.
EFIS 1 Page 1  Updated 9/4/04

EFIS 1 Page 2  Updated 8/13/2006

Our Blue Mountain EFIS 1. Money? Now we're talkin'!
Electrical I

Electrical II   Updated 10/30

Electrical III   Updated 5/18/2006

Electrical IV   Updated 5/26/2006

This stuff adds up fast doesn't it?! The wiring is almost finished now, so just a few more loose ends.

Trouble shooting some electrical gremlins.

FADEC Updated 9/2

FADEC 2 Updated 10/9

FADEC 3 Updated 8/13/2006

Were using Aerosance FADEC for our engine control. We figure it will pay for itself eventually!
Firewall Forward I  Updated 8/19

Firewall Forward II  Updated 10/23

Firewall Forward III  Updated 11/6

Firewall Forward IV  Updated 12/11

Firewall Forward V  Updated 1/10/2006

Firewall Forward VI  Updated 3/19/2006

Firewall Forward VII  Updated 4/2/2006

Firewall Forward VIII  Updated 4/25/2006

Firewall Forward IX  Updated 5/3/2006

Firewall Forward X  Updated 5/6/2006

Firewall Forward XI  Updated 5/13/2006

Firewall Forward XII  Updated 5/26/2006

Firewall Forward XIII  Updated 5/30/2006

The Engine is probably the largest single investment in this project after the complete airframe. Then there's a propeller too!

The engine and prop are now on the plane, and we're working out the baffles and the exhaust system.

The exhaust is now complete. It turned out really, really nice.

Currently working on getting these darn baffles finished. Talk about a pain in the bum!

STILL working on the baffles! Aaaaaargh!

Baffles are done! Well, apart form putting on the seal Arf Arf! Clapping flippers and balancing a ball on my nose.

Baffles are in for paint. Most everything else is wrapped up now. Getting closer to being ready to start this puppy up.

First Engine Start  Updated 6/4/2006 What we had to do to get her running for the first time. And of course, the actual run! With Video!
Wrap Up Work 1  Updated 9/5/2006

Wrap Up Work 2  Updated 10/04/2006

Wrap Up Work 3  Updated 10/29/2006

Wrap Up Work 4  Updated 10/26/2006

Wrap Up Work 5  Updated 11/5/2006

Wrap Up Work 6  Updated 11/15/2006

Wrap Up Work 7  Updated 11/24/2006

Wrap Up Work 8  Updated 4/2/2007

All the little things that need to be done to get this puppy finished. Some call it the last 90%.

The front fuselage skin is finally on. Now on to upholstering the glareshield and fitting the windshield.

The wings are now 'flight ready'. So is the interior, apart from the glareshield trim.

I added some more pics and narrative to Wrap Up 3 from the front skin going on.

The interior is flight ready. The windshield is on, and the fibreglassing is done too!

Firewall forward is almost flight ready. I just need to make the front baffle seals and it's done!

First Flight!  Updated 11/24/2006 The day we've all been working towards has finally arrived. I can't find any more excuses not to fly this thing!
Phase 1 Flight Testing  Updated 3/28/2007 The first 40 hours of flying is for flight testing. It's called Phase 1.
Paint  Updated 2/11/2008 Back from the paint shop!
100 Hours  Updated 2/11/2008 100 hours! That's a lot of flying in a year!
Other Stuff  Updated 1/15/2007 Ah ha! I finally found something to put in here!
Oshkosh 2004   Updated 8/2/2004

Oshkosh 2005   Updated 7/31/2005

Oshkosh 2006   Updated 8/5/2006

Oshkosh 2008   Updated 1/9/2009

Low down on our trips to Oshkosh.

Oshkosh 2008, Bronze Lindy!

Sun N Fun 2005 Updated 4/17/2005 The trip to Sun N Fun where the engine was ordered and new friendships were made.
Sun N Fun 2008 Updated 4/16/2008 An award winning aeroplane! Grand Champion - Kit Built!
Links Updated 4/4/2007 Useful links to vendors and other RV related websites.
Study Updated 11/28/04 This has been taking time (and money) away from the plane... Finished!
Scooby Updated 10/7/2006 One of my other projects... A Subaru WRX with quite a lot of power.... Well, until I blew it up anyways....
Snowboarding Updated 3/28/2007 Another one of my hobbies, and a great way of keeping fit... If it wasn't for the Apr�s Ski anyways!
Sooty Updated 8/19/2007 We got ourselves a new puppy... Sooty, a black lab. Here are some pics!
Cam's First Flight Updated 4/9 3/5/2005 was Cameron's big day! All went fairly well, apart from the controller asking, "N916K what are you doing?"!!!!
Mike's Plane Updated 5/29/2006 Mike was in our hangar row helping us out with his vast experience... Until he moved out! Now we have to fly to him for help!
Training Updated 8/12/2006 I started my tailwheel training in a Piper Cub. Sweet!

I've started adding dates on the pages as I add stuff I've done. I think I'll still keep my Excel sheet going for time & expenses, since it does a good job of adding it all up, and by golly is it adding up!

Hour Tally... 2594 and flying.  Still some odd things to do, beautification stuff really.  Cash Tally... More than I'd care to publish!

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Questions/comments can be sent to:  mark at 4sierratango dot com

The usual legal disclaimer applies, that this website is for information only regarding our project. If you like some of the ideas we have implemented, you try it and they ultimately don't work for you, don't come knocking on my door!