More thoughts from Huck's Bored Mind
My mind continues to wander as I wait for the tail feathers to arrive (December 2021 maybe?). I don't know who's more excited about this project, me or my son, Christopher. It's almost like's he anxiously awaiting parts to arrive too. Christopher is currently in flight school finishing up his Commercial Pilot license program. He already holds his Private Pilot License and Instrument Rating. Proud dad moment.
Even though I await the arrival of the 1st kit for the RV-8, I need to be thinking about the next kit--the wings kit. The lead time for the wings kit is 9 months currently and the cost is nearly $9K. I've been saving my pennies already for the wings kit (I keep looking at that empty credit card that I have...No! Resist!) but saving takes a bit of time. The 3rd kit is the fuselage that also has a 9 month lead time and costs nearly $10K. The 4th and final kit is the finishing kit which is also another 9 months lead time at a cost of $7200. The engine can be anywhere from $10K for a used one to $30K for a brand new one. Avionics is at least another $15K. What does it cost to paint an airplane? No idea, but it's probably several thousand at least.
That's a lot of money for a toy and it'll take you 2.5 years or more to build. But do you know who much it costs to buy something that is factory built that compares to the RV-8? Well, it's kinda hard to find a similar factory built airplane that meets the performance and specifications of the RV-8. Look at the Beech T-34 Mentor which was originally a USAF primary flight trainer that was built in the mid 1950s. Comparing the RV-8 to the T-34 isn't really that fair but they're similar. The T-34 cruises at 150+ knots while the RV-8 will cruise 170+ knots. The engine in the T-34 varies but usually it's a derivative of the 230hp Lycoming 0-470, that drinks AVGAS while the RV-8 typically uses a 180-200hp O-360 derivative that uses less fuel. Those are not the only differences between the 2 airplanes...the obvious is the T-34 is quite an old airframe. A quick search on the internets shows that a T-34 will cost you $170K to $500K to buy. Maintenance? You can't do much maintenance on any factory airplane because rules state a qualified Airframe and Powerplant Mechanic has to do the work. Since I am building the RV-8, it is deemed that I am qualified to do all repairs and maintenance. I could go on and on about the pros and cons of factory built airplanes versus an amateur built airplane. The bottom line is (for me), the acquisition costs of building the kit (I'm ignoring my labor hour "costs" of course) and the repair/maintenance costs are far lower than buying a factory built airplane. Plus, I get to BUILD a REAL airplane!