In a video released on January 16th, Van’s Aircraft President Rian Johnson and VP Greg Hughes discussed several aspects of the company’s business plan going into 2022.
Key elements of the nearly half-hour discussion.
• Van’s took orders for around 4000 kits, which is more than double its previous high. (Kits are individual kit elements, not whole aircraft kits.)
• The company has brought a second vendor to assemble quickbuild components on line. In addition to its long-running relationship with a Philippine company, Van’s has contracted with a Brazilian firm to assemble kit components. The original vendor’s volume will remain the same, with the Brazilian company effectively doubling the Van’s capacity. (But, as Johnson points out, it also means Van’s has to produce twice the amount of raw materials for these assemblers.) That effort is expected to launch in the fall of 2022.
• Kit delays are the result of multiple factors and continue to be highly variable with other changes in the global supply chain. Shipping delays themselves can add a significant amount of delay to delivery of a quickbuild kit. Fortunately, the overall shipping situation is more stable even if costs have continued to rise. Even so, Van’s has decided to drop its sea-freight surcharge for quickbuild kits, which is a boon for customers.
• The company is updating its schedule methodology so that the customer gets a more accurate estimate for lead times and work in progress, i.e., crating.
• Van’s has added 14,000 square feet of floor space by moving its demo fleet to another hangar, “but we’re already full.”
• The company has expanded its production capacities by investigating laser-cutting some parts, adding a faster, higher-capacity punch press and adding a new hydro press to the main production facility.
The video offers an interesting insight to the business side of Van’s and is worth a viewing.