Van's Aircraft Total Performance RV Kit Planes

Airframe Kit Options

One of the benefits of building your own aircraft is the ability to equip it exactly as you wish. Van's Aircraft offers a number of options that allow you do this. While many components can be added throughout an aircraft's life, some are best installed during the construction process. Several of these options are listed on the kit order form.

Most of the kit options below may be viewed and ordered from the Accessories Catalog.

Prefabricated Spar

Models: RV-4, 6/6A; Standard on RV-7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A,10
The standard spar comes with all the necessary holes drilled, the spar cap strips tapered and the lightening holes removed. The builder must deburr and finish the components, prime, and rivet the spar together; an estimated 40-50 hours of work. The optional Prefabricated spar is completely assembled, gold anodized for corrosion protection and ready to install. Order from Phlogiston Products.

Electric Elevator Trim Kit

Models: RV-4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A; Standard on RV-10
Uses the same trim tab as the standard manual trim. A servo motor installed in the elevator replaces the push-pull cable. Kit includes formed metal parts, hardware and instructions. Weight comparable to manual installation. Best ordered and installed during construction of Empennage Kit.

Electric Flaps

Models: RV-4, 6/6A; Standard on QuickBuild;
Standard on RV-7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A, 10
This option eliminates the manual flap handle between the seats (RV-6/6A) or alongside the passenger’s left leg (RV-4). More convenient and adds to useable room. Driven by a small industrial motor/gear unit, the flaps extend/retract in about 8 seconds. All factory prototypes have been converted to electric flaps. Order with the Fuselage Kit.

Manual Aileron Trim

Models: RV-3, 4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A
Aileron trim is not standard on the RVs, but it is recommended. The manual option provides a simple, light and effective way of trimming out minor lateral imbalances due to uneven fuel burn, etc. A small lever is fitted to the base of the control stick (RV-4), between the seats (RV-6/6A), or on the left side panel (RV-7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A) and displaces the ailerons very slightly through springs connected to the control system. Unnoticeable through the stick. Order with Fuselage Kit. Easily fitted to finished aircraft.

Electric Aileron Trim

Models: RV-4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A, 10
This option controls trim with a small trim tab mounted on the trailing edge of the aileron and powered by a servo motor mounted inside the aileron (RV-4, RV-6/6A). Best installed during construction. Kit includes formed metal parts, hardware and instructions. Cockpit control may be mounted on stick (a "high hat" switch controlling both elevator and aileron trim is popular) or anywhere the builder desires. RV-7/7A, 8/8A, 9A, 10 kits similar to manual trim, with no external tab, but uses servo to drive bias springs. Order with Wing Kit (RV-4, 6/6A) or Fuselage Kit
(RV-7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A, 10).

Firewall Recess Kit

(Applicable to RV-4 and RV-6/6A standard kits only)
If you're building an RV-4 or an RV-6/6A (standard kit) and installing an engine with an aft mounted oil filter and/or a prop governor, it may require a recess built into the firewall. The recess for the RV-6/6A consists of a ready-to-install spot-welded stainless box, or a laser cut sheet of stainless that you fold and rivet. The recess for the RV-4 consists of a sheet of stainless that you cut, fold and rivet.

Static Air Kit

Models: RV-4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A, 10
Includes static ports and lines to the instrument panel. Order with Fuselage Kit.

Filtered Air Box

Models: RV-3, 4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A w/0-320 or O-360
Features a replaceable filter, molded fiberglass induction air box and mounting plates. A very efficient filtering system with provision for alternate air. With the proper heat muff and adapter, alternate air may be heated to provide carb heat. Order with Finish Kit. Specify type of induction device and type of engine.

Constant Speed Spinner Kit

Models: RV-3, 4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A
The constant speed prop requires a different front plate and a reinforced back plate, supplied in this kit. Order with Finish Kit.

External Cabin Step

Models: RV-6A, 7A, 9A ; Standard on RV-8A (Left-Side Only), 10 (Both Sides)
Eases the big step up to the wing. Sturdy welded step has minimal effect on performance. Left, right, or both for RV-6A, 7A, 9A.Order with Fuselage Kit.

Pre-Punched VFR Instrument Panel

Models: RV-6/6A, 7/7A, 9/9A
All holes are punched for typical VFR flight instruments, engine instruments, simple radio stack, switches/breakers, and you have room for the map box option.

Map Box

Models: RV-6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A, 10
The map box can be installed in either a completed aircraft or in an aircraft under construction. 7 3/8" x 4 3/4" of open panel space is required.
Box dimensions 6 1/4" x 3 7/16" x 12". The 6 1/4" is also the width of most avionics, which can be handy. Installed weight is 0.80 lbs. The kit comes with all the necessary hardware, and an accurate template for cutting the hole in the panel.

Fresh Air Vent System

Included in all kits except RV-3, RV-4 and RV-6/6A.
The bubble canopies on RVs require lots of fresh air, lest the occupants arrive poached! Kit includes NACA air inlets, hose, ventilators, and instructions.

Dual Brake System

Models: RV-6/6A, 7/7A, 9/9A
Includes master cylinders, pedals and hardware necessary to install brakes on the passenger side.


Sliding Canopy

Models: RV-6/6A, 7/7A, 9/9A
Not "better" than the standard tip-up, just different. Provides better ventilation on the ground, and allows the pilot to taxi in with an arm over the rail, thereby making him (or her) "cooler" in two ways. Not designed to be opened in flight. Access to instruments and visibility slightly inferior to standard tip-up. Order with Fuselage Kit and Finishing Kit.

Leading Edge Landing Light

Models: RV-4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A
Halogen light and Plexiglas lens mount neatly in the leading edge. May be easily fitted to finished airplane. Many builders use one in each wing. Complete with instructions and mounting hardware. Order with Wing Kit.

Engine Mount Choice

Models: ALL
An engine mount is included in the price of the kit. Lycoming engines come in three mounting styles, determined by the engine: conical, dynafocal 1 and dynafocal 2. All new engines from Van’s use dynafocal 1. Specify with Finish Kit.

Rudder Bottom Choice

The standard fairing on the RV-3 and RV-4 does not have a provision for a tail light. All other models include a rudder bottom fairing with a provision for a light. Many builders have chosen to mount all the lights, including the white aft-facing lights, in the wing tips. Either fairing is available at no extra cost (if ordered with an Empennage Kit).
Tall Pilot Option Models: RV-8/8A
Provides more leg room in front seat, but less in the rear seat. Recommended for really tall people; no less than 6’6" or 6’7".

Ground Adjustable Rudder Pedals

Models: RV-8/8A
For aircraft flown mostly by one person, cockpit adjustable rudder pedals are unnecessary. The ground adjustable unit is lighter and less expensive, and may be moved and reinstalled in different positions with a little extra work.
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