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Buildg. my own A/C--Will the wife leave?

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Well-known member
Nov 25, 2001
OK, so here's the problem.


A Vans RV-8, to be exact. It'll cost less than a comparable aircraft (e.g. will do about 180 mph at cruise, fully aerobatic, can be fitted for IFR) and has that, oh, certain ambiance of a mini-fighter. Ya' know, stick in the right hand, throttle in the left, tandem seating, taildragger (ok, the Eagle isn't a taildragger, but no plane is perfect). Cost? About 65 K I think.

So here's the issue. How do I convince the wife that this is something that is right for the family? She likes flying, but gets a bit clastrophobic. The kids? They like it fine, but think Dad is too "eat up" with the whole plane thing. This is a lot of money we're talking about, so I have to make this argument stick.

Advice for a forlorn and frustrated homebuilder?

I built my own plane about 3 years ago. Was the BEST thing I ever did...my wife spent alot of time in the garage helping me, we had a ton of fun and she even learned how to stitch fabric!

I put about 100 hours a year on it...one of my greatest stress relievers. I say go for it...get the family involved!

Just rember that it will take longer and cost more than you plan. I am restoring a Jeep and found that out the hard way. But I found that getting the whole family involved in a project like this was a wonderful thing. They all help and look forward to the day its completed. Good luck.
Given your background and experience, I don't understand why there should be a problem. Of course, as the others said, homebuilts don't go up overnight. It's not like building a Revell, you know. :)

Have a great time! Just think of the fun you'll have flying to Oshkosh in it.
hi eagleflip -

You're right about the RV-8 being a lot of fun to fly. RV's are about the most responsive planes I've ever flown. They all look good too (well, the taildraggers, anyway).

The -8 has much more cockpit space than the -4. Many people are turned off the tandem RV's after sitting in a -4. I don't know what part of the country you're in, but try and find an RV fly-in and chances are you'll see an -8 there. I'm sure you could talk the owner into letting you and your wife try it on for size, and might even get a ride. You anywhere near Houston, and I'll take you up. How about we trade rides?!

You can build an RV for a lot less than $65K. It is easy to spend that much, but you can do it for significantly less.

As for being a family thing, you'll have to get creative on that one if you have any kids. Building will be a family thing, if you build at home. Flying, well, you'll have to share time obviously. Weekends out with your wife would be fun. Some folks modify their planes to allow skis, fishing poles & golf clubs to be stored in the baggage compartment. I wish I had done something like this.

The neat thing about the RV's is you can buy one sub kit at a time. There are four sub kits total, allowing you to spread the money out shile you're building. I built mine in three years & three months. I took several month long breaks in that time.

As for the engineering quality, fabrication quality and overall value. You will not find anything better - I mean nothing! Richard VanGrunsven is an amazing person. He could charge two or three times what he does and still sell RV's all day long.

If you want to sell your wife and family, I think showing them one in person would go a long way. Go to the factory (when you know the weather's going to be good!) and take a tour and ask for a demo ride. There'll be no turning back after you get a ride.

Let me know if you have some specific questions I can answer.
How to convince the wife?

Honey--I"ll be so busy, I won't have the time or energy to try to *&^ all the flight attendents when I'm out on trip"...


It'll keep me at home after work and out of the bars...


I'll only work on it while you are shopping....


You're right....it'll waste too much of my time....I'd rather just lay around and make love to you all day as long as the kids are off playing soccer or on a trip or ......


All the other airline husbands are doing it.....


It will be educational for the kids.....


In the long run, its cheaper than golf...


Did you know Fabio is an RV pilot and sometimes hits the fly-ins?


Good luck Flipper! If any of these work let me know ASAP so I can try them!

:p Albie

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