When San Antonio pilot Steve Fromhals took his RV-8 for its first flight Feb. 14, he had no idea it was a milestone flight. When he submitted his first flight report, he learned that his was the 5,000th RV to take to the air. Later that day, another report was received, bringing the total to 5,001.
Averaged across the company’s 34 year history, that’s a new airplane in the air every 2.5 days since Van’s began shipping kits, according to Van’s officials.
Van’s began shipping kits for the single-seat RV-3 in 1973, which is still in production. That was followed by two-seaters RV-4, RV-6 (which, at more than 2,100 flying, is one of the most popular kit aircraft ever), RV-7, RV-8 and RV-9. In August 2003, the company introduced its first four-seat aircraft, the RV-10. More than 700 RV-10s have shipped. About 70 are flying.
The RV-12, Van’s entry into the Light Sport Aircraft market, should be available near the end of the year.