Sam Buchanan's RV6 Project

sam-3.jpg (12849 bytes)

Welcome to Sam Buchanan's RV6 web site! I hope you will find this site to be informative and entertaining as you continue to gather information about the RV series of kit-planes. I solicit your comments and suggestions on this site as long as they are fairly nice and you use good grammar.


Sam flies with Van's factory instructor Mike Seager
(and the RV6 survives!)


399SB-6.jpg (17321 bytes)


Ground-bound no longer!




Update 10/1/99; N399SB has now accumulated 25.0 hours and is free to go when and where she wishes due to the completion of the test phase. I suppose this is a logical place to end the twenty-two month saga of how several crates of aluminum parts became a fully commissioned aircraft. In actuality I realize that the saga has just begun since no homebuilt aircraft is really ever finished as long as it is in flying condition.

Profuse thanks go to the hundreds of readers who faithfully followed the construction process of my RV6. I hope your projects, either present or future, bring you great enjoyment and fulfillment.

See ya at a fly-in......

signature.jpg (3288 bytes)

P.S. Check the Front Page for updates as the hours accumulate on N399SB.


finsh227.jpg (18245 bytes)



The empty nest.......






Disclaimer! This site describes the construction of N399SB only! It is in no way a depiction of construction practices and sequences that are officially approved by Van's Aircraft or anybody else that knows what they are doing. If you follow the construction steps shown in this site specifically for the construction of your aircraft, you are a gullible individual indeed! Every custom built aircraft should be frequently inspected by folks who are competent in the construction of fast little airplanes, and the construction logs herein depicted are for your entertainment only.


The intention of this site is to give you an overview of what the RV6  kit is all about from the viewpoint of a builder (empennage kit begun 10/28/97). You will be privy to my many triumphs and displays of ingenuity and also the occasional "UH-OH!!" Since I am more interested in building an airplane than managing a web site, the construction notes will be brief but hopefully helpful. 

This site will maintain a standard of decency that will be suitable for viewing by all members of your family so the rather, uh, well, innovative phrases and characterizations that can follow a major booboo in the shop will be deleted from the record prior to publishing. 

Why an RV6?  

Of all the kits on the market, why build an RV6? To answer that question you must examine the traits you desire in your Perfect Plane. Do you want to go fast? Do you want to travel? Do you want to be able to takeoff and land on short grass strips? Do you want an airframe that is built with established methods and will last a long time? Do you want an aircraft that can loop, roll, and not come apart in the air? Do you want a plane that offers a good value for the money spent and a fair chance for good resale? 

You don't want much, do you! However, the RV series of kits enable you to achieve all of the above goals and give you the incentive to live in your shop for a quite a while in the process. Actually, most RV builders consider the construction phase of their plane to be well worth the effort and besides, you emerge from the shop with flesh and beady little eyes that have been protected from the ravages of the sun for the past couple of years and hands that possess the skills needed to BUILD ANOTHER PLANE!! 

And so you ask, why the -6 and not the 6A? Because all real planes have big round engines and the little bitty wheel on the tail! I haven't figured out yet how to get the big round engine on the RV6, however. 

Who is Sam Buchanan?

Back to "The RV Journal" Front Page


Please submit all questions and comments to

Table of Contents

RV6 Home 

Who is Sam? 
The Hangar 

Getting Ready to Build 
     Odd 'n Ends 

Building the Tail 
     Horz. Stab Log 
     Vert. Stab Log 
     Rudder Log 
     Elevator Log 

Building the Wings
     Wing Spars
     Wing Assembly
  Fuel Tanks

Building the Fuselage

The Finish Kit

Aviation Articles
  Flight of  Rediscovery 

  The Beat Goes On 

The RV Journal
Front Page 

Talk to Sam


Van's Aircraft

Total Construction Time as of 7/31/99 (aircraft at airport):

995.25 shop hours
(doesn't include all the hours spent thinking
about the project!)


Tail kit complete
93.75 hrs

Wings complete
179.25 hrs

Fuse complete
243.75 hrs.

Finish kit complete

Painting complete
124.0 hrs.

Firewall Forward complete
92.5 hrs.

Panel complete
56.5 hrs.