What Our Members Are Building/Restoring — Texas Van’s Aircraft RV-10

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By Steve Lutte, EAA Lifetime 712183.

This piece originally ran in the December 2023 issue of EAA Sport Aviation magazine.

The first kit airplane I built was an RV-7. It took a long seven years. This RV-10 took 30 months. I attribute the short build time to a few things. First, I ordered the whole kit, which was a quick-build kit, all at once. The only thing I left out was the engine, prop, interior, and avionics. Second, I didn’t have to learn the basic skills of building a Van’s aircraft. The RV-7, which was a standard slow-build kit, taught me a lot about how to organize things and commit a certain amount of time each week to the build. And lastly, I was in a little personal competition with my great friend and mentor Joe Waltz, EAA 583321, who built his RV-10 in 24 months. Joe, our EAA Chapter 302 president, started his build about a year before and was a tremendous help because he would run into various decision points that gave great insight as to the direction I should go, including advice such as where to mount the oxygen tank or the best way to install the overhead console.

Some incredible things have happened to me because of building an airplane. I don’t mean in a material sense. I mean building an airplane taught me to focus, take my time, and follow directions. At times it felt overwhelming, but slow and steady work prevailed. I have heard people say they don’t have the patience to build an airplane. To which I reply, “Neither did I before I started.” I have also met some incredible people and made some lifelong friends along the way….

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