Despite a flaccid economy, the Van’s Aircraft RV line is holding steady. Word has come that the 3000th RV-8 kit has been delivered. Tom Carter, of Big Fork, Montana, is the lucky recipient. The RV-8 was everything I wanted, he says. You look out both sides of a big bubble canopy. It can fly like a fighter or I can put it on autopilot and relax on a fast cross-country flight, too. I toured Vans factory and watching their computerized tools in action. The quality of the pre-punched parts was one of the deciding factors for me.Reportedly costing just $60,000 to complete, the first customer RV-12 flew on September 19. Built by Brad Stiefvater of Salem, South Dakota, the 12 reportedly weighs 727 pounds empty. I think Van’s estimate of 800 hours is more than plenty to get it done. I have not totaled up my numbers yet, but I am sure I am under that by 100 or so.With the final kit components heading out to builders, we’d expect a lot more 12s to launch skyward in the near future.For more information, visit Van’s Aircraft’s.
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