On February 14, 2007, Vans Aircraft, Inc. received a nice Valentines Day present when they learned that the FIVE THOUSANDTH RV aircraft had taken to the sky. RV-8 builder Steve Fromhals, of San Antonio, Texas, submitted the 5000th first flight report. Later the same day, another report was received, bringing the total to 5001.
Averaged across the company’s thirty-four year history, thats a new airplane in the air every 2.5 days since the company began shipping kits. Very few producers of light aircraft, either kitbuilt or certified, have reached that benchmark.
Vans began shipping kits for the single-seat RV-3 in 1973 (it is still in production today) and followed it with two-seaters RV-4, RV-6 (which, at over 2100 flying, is probably the most popular kit aircraft ever), RV-7, RV-8, and RV-9. In August 2003, the company introduced their first four-seat aircraft, the RV-10. More than 700 RV-10s have shipped and about 70 are flying.
The RV-12, Vans entry into the new and exciting Light Sport Aircraft market, should be available near the end of the year. (So what happened to RV-1, RV-2, RV-5, and RV-11? See www.vansaircraft.com for the answer…)
According to Richard VanGrunsven, founder of the company: All our designs are excellent airplanes that build on our many years of direct experience and communication with the folks who build them. New technology has allowed us to improve the kits dramatically, which has resulted in substantially reduced building times. Our current completion rate is about 500 per year, so we look forward to announcing the six thousandth completion, probably in 2009 – but 2008 wouldn’t surprise me!
Further information on all RV aircraft and a free 4-page flyer is available by calling Vans or visiting www.vansaircraft.com.