Prolific kitplane maker Van’s Aircraft is marking its 50th year in business and introducing a new model, the RV-15, at this year’s EAA AirVenture. Founded by Richard VanGrunsven, Van’s introduced its first model, the RV-3, in 1972. Today, the Aurora, Oregon-based company can count more than 11,000 of its all-metal kits completed and it still does a brisk business, selling more than 400 kits annually.
EAA is marking the Van’s anniversary with a special Van’s RV parking area in the homebuilt section, a variety of forums, workshops, and special programs during the week, and the flight of RV aircraft during the daily air shows.
Also at this year’s AirVenture, Van’s is introducing an all-new model, the RV-15. The high-wing taildragger is designed for backcountry flying. An engineering prototype is already flying; however, the company is not taking orders just yet. The company said data from test flights will be used to formulate the final design and create parts.
However, certain things are already known about the aircraft, which was teased in a video released before AirVenture: it will be all-metal construction and feature a Lycoming engine and stick controls. The taildragger version will be available with larger tundra tires, and there will be an option for tricycle landing gear.