Van’s Kits Produce 10,000 Airplanes

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Ten thousand airplanes is an impressive benchmark for any manufacturer, but when those airplanes are built one at a time in hangars and garages around the world, by amateurs, it’s even more of an accomplishment. Van’s Aircraft, based in Aurora, Oregon, said on Friday the RV-7 built by David Porter, who recently reported his first flight, in Martinsburg, West Virginia, is the 10,000th Van’s RV aircraft to fly. Van’s added that while Porter’s airplane is “officially” the 10,000th, “There are certainly more than 10,000 flying, but we don't know about all of them.” Many builders have taken to the air, Van’s noted, but “doubtless, the thrilling experience caused them to overlook alerting anyone at Van’s.”

Van's Aircraft began to sell RV-3 plans back in 1973, so over the last 44 years, a new RV has taken to the air every 1.6 days, on average, the company said. By 1994, about 1,000 were flying. The company estimates that currently, one new RV makes its first flight every day, on average. “Van's can supply the raw material, but our customers provide the blood, sweat, and tears that transform those parts into flying aircraft,” the company said. “Thanks are due to all RV builders, whose work has changed the world of personal aviation.” Dick Van Grunsven, company founder and CEO, said he expects the next 10,000 airplanes will take only half as long. “Watch this space in 2040 or so,” he said.

Comments (2)

Congrats to Dick and his crew. It is refreshing to hear that general aviation is alive and well at the grass roots level, even while the "big four" manufacturers struggle to produce a plane a week or less. It would be interesting to hear how many kits Vans has sold. I personally know of three RV-10 owners; one flying and two nearing completion.

Posted by: John McNamee | December 6, 2017 11:03 AM    Report this comment

Severely bad headline. They haven't merely sold 10,000 kits, there have been 10,000 kits completed AND FLYING!

Time for a quick edit there.

Posted by: Ed Wischmeyer | December 8, 2017 8:57 AM    Report this comment

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