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All First Flights

Jim McChesney’s RV-7A – with video! | TUCSON, AZ RV-7A #71572

Congratulation to Jim on his new RV-7A first flight!

Well it finally happened. First flight of my RV project.

Superior Air Parts XP O-360
Sensenich Fixed Pitch Metal prop
GRT EFIS, EIS and Autopilot
Very Basic VFR panel with ICOM ICA210 and King KT-76A
James Aircraft Cowl, Plenum and Induction system

Took delivery of the empennage kit in November 2003. First flight was 17 and 1/2 years later. This plane flew perfectly first time out! After I told the story a few times I realized it’s truly a very boring story and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

I couldn’t have done this without help from a LOT of people. To name just a few-

My wife Kathy was always there bucking rivets, figuring out how to pay for things and generally being amazing support. My best friend for 40 years- Paul Sodamann who made numerous road trips to to provide building help, big boosts in build progress and motivation. Bob Hasson – Champion RV-6A builder – who taught me (and a lot of other newbies) how to do sheet metal work and to rivet. Chris Droege CFII extraordinaire – who taught me more about flying airplanes in 5 hours than I’ve ever learned in any 5 hour block of instruction in my life – made me feel totally comfortable with my ability to safely make the first flight myself. And my dad Jack who has been the inspiration for all of this.

This project never actually sat dormant in its 17.5 year gestation. I may have only had an hour or two each week and sometimes that time was spent just looking at the pile of airplane parts in the garage trying to decide how to complete a task or sort out some problem before I called the support guys at Van’s who always had the answer I needed. But, I have a question- This was a 17.5 year “Quick Build” project. What is the record for the longest time to actually complete a QB RV kit?

Below is a link to a video showing some highlights of the big day. The “RV Grin” is a real thing!

Thanks Van’s!!