Van’s Kits Produce 10,000 Airplanes
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.