With nearly 1200 experimental/amateur-built aircraft newly registered in 2019, the fleet has seen its largest growth in a decade. The 2019 figure is up from 888 the prior year, while last year 916 aircraft were removed or “de-registered,” for a net gain of 270 registrations. All told, the FAA shows 26,842 aircraft registered as experimental/amateur-built; this figure does not include aircraft registered as light sport or where the type data field is blank.
Leaders by manufacturer include Van’s Aircraft (249 newly registered in ’19), Zenith Aircraft (65), CarbonCub (62), RANS (45), Kitfox (40), Sonex (31), Glasair Aviation Sportsman/older GlaStar (26) and Lancair (23). According to Ron Wanttaja’s compilation, the most numerous single design is the Van’s RV-6/A, with 1742 on the books, followed by the RV-7 (1285), and RV-8 (1252).
Overall, though, the number of registered homebuilts is lower today than in 2010, when there were almost 33,000 on the list, largely because the FAA began a mandatory registration renewal process in 2010; prior to this, many non-flying aircraft were still shown as registered. In 2013, the first year this policy change would affect the data, some 5000 homebuilts were removed from the rolls.