Product Options – Standard Kits
RV kits include all the parts needed to build a complete airframe. The builder must provide the engine, propeller, instruments, avionics and upholstery. All RV kits have been reviewed by the FAA and have been found eligible for licensing in the Experimental Amateur Built category. This means that the fabrication work we do on the kit parts is less than 50% of the total required to complete the aircraft, and that at least 51% of the work remains for the kit builder.
Two kinds of kits are available: the Standard and the QuickBuild
All RVs, whether built from a Standard or a QuickBuild Kit, are built from the same parts. The difference is the degree to which these parts have been pre-assembled when the builder receives them. The Standard Kit is perfect for the builder who enjoys the process and is working on a limited budget. Using some combination of the several time saving options available, he or she can balance the time/money equation to suit their circumstance. If the builder has a little more to spend, and wants to fly even sooner, then the QuickBuild Kit is an excellent value.
The Standard kit is far more than just a "materials package." When the kit is shipped, any work requiring mechanical equipment not readily available to the homebuilder is already done. If a part needs to be sheared, bent, rolled, pressed, hydro-formed, heat treated or welded to be ready to use, it has been done at the factory. The builder’s job is to assemble the parts, not make them. Click on the photo to view a larger version.
We do not do the small trimming and adjusting jobs which the average homebuilder in the average shop can do as well as we can. This helps keep our labor to a minimum and the cost of the kits at a reasonable level. Because of the volume of material we buy and the efficient way we run our shop, the price of the kits is not substantially higher than an individual would pay for the raw material. The builder is spared not only the necessity of buying expensive tools and making form blocks that would be used only once, but also the tedious and often frustrating job of shopping piecemeal for materials and parts and the waste of having to purchase larger quantities than actually required.
Although RV kits are very complete and very successful, this does not mean that we are not continually improving them. For example, over the years pre-drilled spars for the RV-4 and RV-6 have become standard (and completely assembled spars an option), bellcranks, empennage hinges and many other small parts that the builder originally fabricated are now supplied ready to install. Wing and floor ribs come with all the lightening holes complete. Many of the steel components are now powder-coated at the factory, sparing the builder the tedious task of preparing, priming and painting them.
But the biggest improvement – some might call it revolutionary – in Standard Kits is the introduction of "matched-hole" components. Made possible by advances in tools and techniques, components are now supplied with all the fastener holes punched …and punched so accurately that the need for assembly jigs is eliminated. When the holes line up, the component must be straight!
RV-7/7A, RV-8/8A and RV-9A Standard Kits are completely matched-hole. Since it is not possible to "back-in" the matched hole concept to kits that were designed before the tools were acquired and the techniques learned, the RV-3 and RV-4 must be content with pre-punched wing skins, which are used as templates to drill the underlying ribs and spars.
RV aircraft are marketed in four sub-kits: Empennage, Wing, Fuselage, and Finishing. There is no price penalty for buying incrementally; and sub-kits may be ordered in any combination. Almost all the kits sold in the USA and Canada are ordered incrementally (foreign buyers may find it advantageous to order the whole kit at once to save on shipping and importing costs). The advantages of spending money in smaller chunks and not having to find storage space usually outweigh the disadvantages of having to plan ahead.
The sub-kits are intended to be built in the order listed. The sequence may be varied slightly, but, because of the way the parts interface, the wings must be built before the fuselage. All individual parts of each kit are also available separately. On the following page is a brief description of what each standard kit contains.
All skins pre-cut, bent and rolled.RV-7/7A, RV-8/8A and RV-9A skins are pre-punched for all rivet holes.
Complete, gold anodized main spars are standard on the RV-3, RV-7/7A, RV-8/8A and RV-9A. A gold anodized fuselage center section bulkhead, precision matched to the main spars, is standard on those kits as well. RV-4 and RV-6 spars are a pre-drilled kit and require assembly, but complete anodized spars are available as an option.
All skins accurately sheared and formed. All the RV-7/7A, RV-8/8A and RV-9A fuselage skins are pre-punched.
Plexi-glass canopy, light gray tint is standard; clear available on special order.
View Weight and Dimensions of Crated Items