My RV-7 project started on January 5th, 2014. As with most airplane kits, it started with the empennage kit. From the moment I opened the first crate, I knew this would be a plane that I would complete and fly. One week shy of two years came the first flight.
On Wednesday December 30, 2015 at about 11:30 Mountain Time, Segundo Viento (Spanish for Second Wind) took off from Albuquerque's Double Eagle II's (KAEG) runway 17. The plan I had coordinated with the tower was to orbit the airport above pattern altitude (6800’) and 8500’. At that altitude I contacted ABQ Approach who gave me a squawk code and cautioned me to keep below 8500’. This happened just as I saw my altimeter blasting right through 8500'. The flight lasted about 25 minutes, but the RV grin lasted a couple of days.
After 8 months of flying I decided to wrap my plane in vinyl rather than paint. Very happy with the results at 1/10 the cost.
There is no question as to why the series of Van's Aircraft are so popular and plentiful. They are a fantastic kit with unparalleled support from both the factory and the builders community.
While it may be possible for the truly ingenious person to build an RV-7 all by themself, this builder did need the help and support from family and friends. I have been very fortunate during the past couple of years to have the support and help of several people to make this project happen. Primary thanks go to my wonderful and patient wife Margie. She helped me pick which model of RV to build, picked the interior colors and registration number and even did a bit of drilling, clecoing, and riveting, too. Most importantly, she encouraged me, gave me space when needed, put up with the strangeness of the flying community that would consume much of my time, focused me, sometimes refocused me. I am proud that she was there when the project became an airplane.
I wish to thank all of the members of Illinois EAA Chapter 461 but primarily:
Rich Tichy (RV-6) for looking over my shoulder (even when I thought I didn't need it). Rich’s knowledge, experience, skills and sometimes tools were put to the test on all phases of the project. And, all it cost me was beer.
Other important people include: Tony Sabos, Mike Weimer, Arnie Zimmerman, Josh Jones, John Steichen, Ron Bradley, Wayne Brazinski and Colin Koebel.
From The Albuquerque group: Norm Schippers (Rv-6), Jon Farley (RV-8), John Nystrom (Rv-7A, Rv-3), Chris Olsen (RV-3) Ron Harmon (Harmon Rocket).
Otero Segundo Viento RV-7 Specs:
- Empty weight: 1031 lb
- Lycoming IO-360-A1A 200 hp
- WhirWind GA200L prop
- Dynon Skyview Touch 10”
- Aero Classics seats
- Vertical Power VP-X Sport Electronic Circuit Breaker
- Avery SW900 Supreme Matte Anthracite metallic vinyl wrapping film
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Double Eagle II Airport (KAEG)