Over the past few weeks I’ve been pondering whether or not to order a wing kit. After just being though Christmas and also having taken possession of my new house on 19 December, now is really not a good time to be making such a large purchase. However, in this case, time is of the essence.
I’m not sure when Van’s Aircraft posted the following notification, however it is an opportunity that I don’t want to pass up, and for good reason. If I wait, its going to cost me more. Before I get too far ahead of myself, the following is the recent Van’s notification:
To all RV-3, RV-4 and RV-6 builders:
Van’s Aircraft has always prided itself on customer support. One aspect of this support is our commitment to continue the ready supply of parts for older models that have been superseded in design and ease of assembly. The RV-3, RV-4 and RV-6 were the basis of our product line for quite some time. In recent years we have seen their respective kit sales decline significantly. Although kits and spare parts for these models remain in our inventory, the cost to produce and warehouse parts that rarely sell is ever more burdensome. Therefore, to mitigate the costs and logistical difficulties that arise from low sales, we must adjust our production, pricing and delivery schedules.
This is to inform builders of these models that prices for these kits will significantly increase after January 1, 2018. Production runs for these kits will not cease, but the period between them will increase dramatically. We estimate production gaps of one year or more that can easily translate to delivery dates of one to two years from the date of order.
We at Van’s want you to continue your project to completion and therefore suggest that you place an order for an empennage, wing fuselage or finish kit now at current prices. If we receive orders for these kits beyond current inventory by years end, we will institute a production run to cover them all. This will yield reasonable delivery times. Spare parts will also remain available as supplies last. However, once depleted, parts may still remain available, but will be produced on a one-off basis. Production of any one part is expensive so an elevated price compared to a similar part in another model RV is to be expected.
Kits available for order are:
RV-3 Empennage, Wing, Fuselage and Finish
RV-4 Empennage, Wing, Fuselage and Finish
RV-6(A) Fuselage and Finish
Current prices will remain in effect for all kits ordered prior to December 31, 2017. Subsequent orders will be subject to the increased prices.
On the F1 Aircraft website News and Updates, this production announcement was also discussed. In summary, basically any builders who are needing to build the F1 Rocket Sport Wings should be getting onboard and placing their orders. This was “strongly advised”.
It was also helpful that Vince at F1 Aircraft posted a listing of parts to include or omit from the RV-4 kits. The listing below is what was provided, however I have changed a few items to have the part number and description accurately described as per my Van’s Sales Order.
Fuselage Parts to Omit:
- Firewall assembly
- All bulkheads
- All formed ribs
- All fiberglass, canopy, engine mount, etc. that is obviously different
Fuselage Parts that can be used:
- F-406C – Rear spar carrythru bars
- F-406D – Rear spar carrythru bars
- F-411-PC – Upright bars
- F-424-L – Rear side skin – Left
- F-424-R – Rear side skin – Right
- F-426 – Fuse bottom skin
- F-427 – Tail bottom
- F-432A – Seat back – Front
- F-433A – Seat back – Rear
- F-433B – Rear seat back sides (L & R)
- F-433C – Fiberglass seat back
- F-439 – Int. push tube
- F-440 – Elevator push tube
- F-441 – Elevator push tube
- WD-404-L – Rudder pedal – Left
- WD-404-R – Rudder pedal – Right
- WD-406 – Flap tube weldment
- WD-407 – Control column
- WD-409 – Tail spring mount
- WD-411 – Front stick
- WD-412A – Control stick rear top
- WD-412B-PC – Rear stick base
Wing kit parts that can be used:
For an F4 Raider, virtually everything, including the prepunched skins if a full length wing is desired. The RV-6 tanks can be adopted to increase fuel to 38 gallons.
For an F1 Rocket, order unpunched skins!!
(F1 Hangar comments: When I ordered my wing kit Van’s advised me that “they can delete the prepunched skins from the order but they don’t have the unpunched skins. Van’s would sell the metal to make them but it will work out very expensive as their sheet metal prices are very high. Most people doing this opt to just delete the prepunched skins and get the metal elsewhere”. – which is the direction I chose to go with.)
Consider whether you want a larger fuel tank. The HRII fuel tanks can be adopted to increase fuel to 42 gallons.
Wing parts to omit:
There aren’t enough parts to omit to worry about.
(F1 Hangar comments: As I plan to use the HRII 55 gallon fuel tank option. Therefore I removed the following items from my RV-4 wing kit order)
- T-401PP-L – Prepunched tank skin – Left
- T-401PP – R – Prepunched tank skin – Right
- T-402 – Tank baffle (x2)
- W-401PP-L – PP Leading edge skin – Left
- W-401PP-R – PP Leading edge skin – Right
- W-402PP – PP Inboard top skin (x2)
- W-403PP – PP Top outboard skin (x2)
- W-404PP – PP Bottom inboard skin (x2)
- W-405PP – L – PP Bottom outboard skin – Left
- W-405PP – R – PP Bottom outboard skin – Right
- W- 415-L – Wing Tip Left
- W-415-R – Wing Tip Right
So now the order for a non-Standard RV-4 wing kit and various fuselage kit items has been placed. The parts should be arriving sometime in March 2018.
As always, please comment! I love to hear from my readers. Thanks again for coming along for this ride, you make my work worthwhile.
Tom Wike says
My name is Tom. I`m based just outside Oslo, Norway. I really appreciate your sharing of experience. I`m in progress with the Mk-3 empenage for F-1 Rocket and have ordered a RV-4 wing kit from Vans. I realise that several parts should be omitted from my order. I plan to get the main and rear spar from Phlogiston, as well as the center section. If I go for a 55 gal fuel tank as well, could I modify my RV-4 wing kit order according to the «wing parts to omit» list above ?
Hi Tom, great question! I’ll send you an email to help you out with a detailed listing and some thoughts on what to add/delete, I need to update my listing as there are a few additions I need to make.