While I wait for some time to get back to the workshop I realise that I better start thinking about ordering the fuselage soon. I checked the Van’s Aircraft website and they quote 8 weeks from date of order for the fuselage. Add on to that the usual 6 weeks delivery time from Oregon, USA to Aylesbury, Engaland I realised that I better order soon.
I downloaded the order form and spotted a very important tick box.
The RV-7 has the third wheel at the back (AKA tail wheel) while the RV-7A has the wheel at the front. So the choice is that simple, it comes down to a tiny little tick box!
So I thought I’d muse on this blog about the pro’s and con’s of each. So here goes.
- No additional training required
- Larger market of nose wheel pilots available for possible future sale
- My kids can learn to fly in it more easily if they choose
- Better visibility while taxying, take off & landing
- Known to dig in to pot holes and cause the plane to flip over on its back (fixes are available)
- More expensive to build
- Less room in the cockpit as the landing gear protrudes slightly into the pilot & passenger leg area.
- Approx. 3 knots faster
- Needs less runway to take off/land
- Looks better on the ground
- Easier to load luggage
- Liable to ground looping (like a car dough-nutting)
- Requires training and currency
- Less forgiving of lazy legs
- Some airfields ban tail wheels from landing there
After much deliberation I finally decided to go with a tailwheel. I know I have never flown a tailwheel before. I know that it is difficult to find trainining centres locally but here is my logic:
- Converting the RV from a tailwheel to nosewheel is fairly easy. Mostly a change of engine mount. Probably 2-3 weeks work total.
- There is nowhere locally that I can hire a tailwheel to keep current.
- I will do my tailwheel conversion on my own RV.
- Because of no 2. above I don’t need to worry about keeping current on type as I can fly my own whenever I want.
So I will build a tailwheel and convert it to nose wheel if I really can’t get on with tail flying.