Van’s Releases New Factory Update Video

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Van’s Aircraft has released the second of its new video updates, in which company president Rian Johnson and COO Greg Hughes discuss the results of new production capabilities and other matters for Van’s customers. A key takeaway is that Van’s is improving its ability to build and anticipate production slots.

Among the highlights:

• Van’s is currently taking orders for Lycoming engines in advance of expected price increases to take place mid March. Van’s says it’ll honor the current prices through midnight March 14th, 2022. (This would be the second time in less than a year that Lycoming has increased prices.)

• A third laser cutter has been implemented and the production process resulted in 50% faster turnaround times for certain parts.

Airshow coverage sponsor:

• Johnson explained how Van’s has implemented a “train” system for production scheduling that describes the batches it will focus on. The process is expected to loop back and start at the beginning about every five months. This process is expected to give Van’s better visibility into production scheduling and, therefore, a more accurate estimate to builders of when their parts will be shipped.

• Shipping issues have delayed quickbuild-kit arrivals from both Brazil and the Philippines. And when a collection of parts destined for outside contractors to become quickbuilds was clearly not going to get shipped from Oregon in a reasonable about of time, Van’s reallocated those components to conventional kits.

• Van’s composite vendor is also working below the needed capacity for the increase in recent kit orders, and the company has a plan to help them increase capacity without necessarily having to find a secondary supplier.

• Van’s is improving the throughput of the welded-steel items in each kit with new fixtures.

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KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.

5 COMMENTS

    • Van has been semi-retired for some time. We say “semi” because he makes himself available to the staff as necessary. But it’s largely Rian and Greg’s show these days. (And Van is happy because he gets to fly more!)

  1. IMO farming out become a slippery slope. Just look at Boeings problems with farmed out parts not fitting and delays etc.

    • Van’s has been farming out for some time. This is a new expansion of that effort, it’s true, but this is the best approach for them to gain production capacity quickly.

  2. Farming out has been a part of the manufacturing process for years in other areas. The major automotive manufactures have hundreds of 3rd party suppliers. The oversight of those vendors is the key to a successful partnership. Quick Build RV-10 here I come!

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