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Old 11-23-2016, 06:07 AM
rgmwa rgmwa is offline
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Perth, Western Australia
Posts: 1,642

The key thing is that Vans have to sell enough kits to return a profit, and it's hard to see any significant gaps in the current lineup that would attract enough buyers to be worthwhile. Of course, I would have said that before the 14 came along too, so maybe I'm completely wrong, but I think the fully integrated kits like the 12 and 14 is where Vans is currently headed, rather than developing new sircraft that may not suit average pilots or offer `total performance'.

I have read that Van's biggest competition comes from the market in used RV's, so the best way to sell more kits may be to upgrade some of the older kits with higher levels of pre-fabrication, better documentation, integrated avionics, completed wiring harnesses, and packaged engine/prop combinations to make life easier for the builder.

Experimental aircraft like RV's have now been around long enough to almost be regarded as mainstream, so greater standardisation makes sense and should also improve fleet safety in the long run, which has long been a major focus for Vans. While that runs counter to the traditional `build-it-your-way' approach, the fact is that the experimental market is maturing at a time when affordable GA aircraft production is generally in decline.

Which models to upgrade? The 14 is bigger, heavier, more complex and more expensive that the other 2-seat models, so it's not for everyone. However demand for the simpler and lighter 7/8/9 series still seems to be strong, so developing better versions of those kits may appeal to many potential builders, while at the same time not preventing anyone from following the traditional home-builder path.

I have no idea what tooling, planning and documentation costs would be, but I wouldn't be surprised if future developments from Vans come in the form of incremental upgrades to existing kits rather than completely new designs. Not as exciting maybe, but perhaps a better business model?
RV-12LR 912ULS
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:37 AM
plehrke's Avatar
plehrke plehrke is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Defiance, MO
Posts: 1,606
Default A morphing plane

This may sound a bit out of the box. Kit Starts as a -3. When you get married it can be expanded to an -8. When you have kids it is expandable to a -10. After a while and kids have grown, you change back to a -3.

May sound impossible but with the commonality between kits it may be doable🤔🤔
RV-6A - 13 years over 900 hours
Based at 1H0 (Creve Coeur)
Paid dues yearly since 2007
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Old 11-23-2016, 06:52 AM
control control is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Stockholm, Sweden
Posts: 780

While not a new model... what about an amphibious float kit, adoptable to all or most models?

Preferably with a Bluetooth activated retraction system and rudder so we do not have to have cables between the airframe and floats, I would be a customer as soon as my finances have recovered from the RV14 building.
RV-14 kit #140138
Flight testing
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:12 AM
Sheldon's Avatar
Sheldon Sheldon is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Concho, Arizona
Posts: 177

Now that the wife can't get into my 6A, I would like to have a RV performing High wing.
Sheldon Barrett
RV6A 0-360 FP 750 hrs
Champ RV6 at LOE #3
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:19 AM
maniago's Avatar
maniago maniago is offline
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Bowie MD
Posts: 884

An RV that has foldable/removable wings and is capable of 200kts routinely. Maybe one that can be a low wing, a high wing, a biplane, or a motor glider (speed not withstanding) - or all four! And a V-tail so you can go jet motor pod, or front prop. Still needs to be a tail dragger tho.
Busby MustangII (FoldingWing) Pending DAR.
Don't be a hater; I'm a cousin with thin wings!
N251Y (res)
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:39 AM
Carl Froehlich's Avatar
Carl Froehlich Carl Froehlich is offline
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Dogwood Airpark (VA42)
Posts: 2,409
Default RV-14 wings and flaps on the RV-7 and RV-8?

I just did my first hop in an RV-14. I've flown an RV-10 for four years. The RV-14 wings and flaps are a copy of the RV-10 wings, just shorter (the ribs and such are the parts used in the RV-10).

The RV-14 flies like all two seat RVs, very responsive in roll but perhaps a touch more stable. The slotted flaps provide more lift at full extension than the other two seat RVs. Considering my experience in the RV-10 I have to assume these wings will be more efficient in cruise than the RV-7/8 wings.

Perhaps Van's can do a consolidation of parts and standardize on the RV-10/14 wings.

RV-8A (sold)
RV-10 (regrettably sold)
RV-8 (waiting on the slow build kits to arrive)
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:42 AM
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Snowflake Snowflake is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Victoria, BC, Canada
Posts: 3,734

Tapered wing?

I think the largest potential for the Van's fleet and market right now is in upgrades. Retrofittable, appealing upgrades for the 10000 aircraft already flying.

A tapered wing kit (3, 4, 6, 7, 8) or a raised turtledeck kit (3, 4, 8) could sell well to the long-time builders, and/or the long time owners looking for a project that won't cost as much as a full kit, but would give them something new in the end.
Rob Prior
1996 RV-6 "Tweety" C-FRBP (formerly N196RV)
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:47 AM
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DaleB DaleB is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Omaha, NE (KMLE)
Posts: 2,207

I there were a high performance, 2-place touring motor glider, with wings that would fold to fit a regular T hangar, that would get my attention.

Omaha, NE
RV-12 # 222 N980KM "Screamin' Canary" (bought flying)
Fisher Celebrity (under construction)
Previous RV-7 project (sold)
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:51 AM
Jimbot Jimbot is offline
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: FL & NC
Posts: 151

I agree with rgmwa - I think they now have a pretty complete lineup that likely covers the most viable (profitable) areas of the market. As a result, I could see them updating the 7, 8 and 9 models to make the instructions and "ease of build" more like that of the 14 with more plug and play componentry.

IMO, the only other model that makes sense to me to add to their lineup would be a 6 seat model, based on maybe a slightly "stretched" 10, that has some sort of large size side cargo door, with easily removed mid and rear row seating. I may be way off (likely), but a plane like this - sort of a low-wing Cessna 206. This could be a very good choice for growing families or those requiring additional space/carrying of "stuff." I imagine a tail wheel version would make a great bush plane - although A high wing configuration would make more sense for this purpose. I imagine the price for one of these within paint, nice glass panel, and all of the other goodies could be built for less than the cost of some of those pricey new Cub clones that seem to be selling okay in today's market.

As usual, I'm probably way off...but it's always fun to speculate
Jim Hall
2019 VAF Annual Dues Paid

Former President, EAA Chapter 309 - EAA 309

Founder, SUPERBIRD Aircraft Cleaning Products, featuring the SUPERBIRD Aircraft Paint Restoration System
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Old 11-23-2016, 07:56 AM
F1R F1R is offline
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: ____
Posts: 804
Default RV10 D

Make a new model of the 10 that has a high straight through top longeron, then use a sliding canopy similar to the NAVION (North American Aviation 4 seat post WWII family plane) that had similar canopy lines to its older sister the P51D.

Last edited by F1R : 11-23-2016 at 08:00 AM.
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