If there’s one question Vince Frasier at F1 Rocket is tired of answering is, “When is the tapered wing coming out?” So, of course, it was the first thing we asked him.
The tapered wing is the long-awaited upgrade to his six-cylinder F1 and four-cylinder F4 Rocket offerings. Those planes normally fly on the typical Hershey bar shaped Van’s/Rocket “sport” wing, but fans have kept up a steady drumbeat for a tapered wing and Vince has been working hard getting the new wing designed, tested and, in production “soon.”
Vince noted the current sport wing will remain standard and is the preferred wing for low altitude, aerobatic and general performance use. The tapered wing is aimed at high altitude cross-country cruising and features both a tapered planform and some washout along with Fowler flaps, “so it should stall like a wing is supposed to.” He estimates it should stall approximately five knots slower than the sport wing.
While Vince had prototype spar pieces on hand, and says the tooling at home is as big as his Chevy Suburban, the tapered wing is still very much in development. He’s definitely not quoting an on-sale date yet, but it looks like it might debut by the end of the year. When it does, expect a wing kit that’s something faster than a slow-build but not quite an all-but-complete quick-build piece.
Other items Vince has added are more cowlings. He now has a variety of carbon cowlings for the 4-cylinder and IO-540 Lycomings, along with the IO-550 Continental and all in variations of cooling openings (arcs, round openings, extra large openings for the desert or deep south regions).
Like absolutely everyone we talked to today Vince cited material shortages as a real issue. In his case bar and angle aluminum is especially difficult to come by, often only after a six month wait, but he’s doing his best to keep what he can in stock.