John Nys has built more than 30 Van’s RVs of various models, but owns only one.
Nys and his stepson, Broc Emig, have a company called Nys Aircraft, Inc., based at Owasso, Oklahoma. They offer what Nys calls “super-fast build” builder assistance services to buyers of Van’s kits who don’t have – or want to spend – years of assembly time before getting off the ground.
Van’s airplanes are “fast and affordable,” Nys said, commenting that a lot of people who want to fly fast don’t want to build slowly.
“About a third of Van’s kits are fast-builds,” he said, many of them done in the Philippines. “But there are a lot of people here willing to do that,” he said, including Nys Aircraft, Inc.
“Van’s provides the fuselage and wings,” Nys told us at Sun ‘n Fun, earlier this year. “We build the tail, finish the wings, fit the tips, then attach and rig the wings,” which are removed for shipping to customers.
“They get a flyable hull,” he said. “The airframe is complete, fundamentally.”
However, “we’ve gotten away from doing panels and wiring,” he said. “There are plenty of people willing to do that, and it’s different for every customer.”
Nys has built major parts of eight RV-10s, “seven of which are licensed and flying.” Emig has worked with him on all eight, as well as “four-and-a-half RV-8s,” Nys said. Nys and Emig have averaged “a little better than three months apiece” building time for the 12 (and a half) RVs they’ve worked on together. Actually, they took a couple of months off to build a 32 x 60 workshop, “10 feet tall, with central heat and air conditioning,” just before starting on the 12 (and a half) RV projects.
KEEPING IT LEGAL
Nys Aircraft works strictly to the FAA’s 51% rule, under which a kit airplane builder must do 51% of the work as defined by the FAA.
“Form 8000-38 defines which parts must be built by the owner, in order to qualify under the 51% rule,” Nys said, but “it really isn’t 51%, except technically. In reality, you don’t have to do much of anything,” as long as what you do meets the agency’s definitions. In fact, “Technically, I suppose you could contract out almost everything” and still meet the 51% requirements, he commented.
Builder assistance programs, now familiar and offered by many kit plane manufacturers, are totally legal. Those doing the assistance strive to meet both the letter and the intent of the law, Nys said, for their own protection and for the protection of their customers.
However, the 51% rule was written in 1947, Nys pointed out. “What else in our lives is done exactly as envisioned in 1947?” he asked. “How many vintage 1947 vehicles do you see on the roads? How much 1947 technology is used by the airlines?”
He believes, a touch sardonically, that the FAA will get around to making slightly realistic changes in the rule “around 2047, but I doubt that I’ll be around to see that.”
Nys is a great fan of homebuilt airplanes in general and of Van’s RVs in particular.
“The safety record of homebuilts is at least as good as production airplanes,” he insisted when we talked with him in April. “RVs are wonderful airplanes. The RV-10 is, for my money, the finest four-place ever designed.
“We have a host of pilots out there who want, and deserve, a great airplane,” he continued. “I’m glad I’ve helped several of them to that end.”
For more information: 918-272-1749 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
While thousands of the company’s audio panels have been installed in homebuilt and experimental aircraft over the years, the folks at PS Engineering are now taking direct aim at those markets with this summer’s debut of the PMA9000EX.
The PMA9000EX was specifically developed for and will be exclusively manufactured and marketed to the homebuilt experimental and the Light Sport Aircraft industry.
Because strict adherence to TSO limitations is not required, the audio experts at PS Engineering took a new approach in the product development stage. Management let the engineers loose and they came up with some exciting new capabilities, according to Mark Scheuer, founder and CEO of the Lenoir City, Tenn.-based company.
The addition of a backlit Liquid Crystal Graphics Display provides a great human interface for this flexible audio control system, he said. Data such as selected radio audio sources, titles of MP3 songs, stuck mic warnings, as well as a host of audio panel configurations, are displayed on a high-contrast, sunlight viewable display.
The company’s trademarked front panel utility jack acts as either an iPod input, cellular telephone input, or as the USB port for the onboard MP3 player. The USB port allows the pilot or passengers to download their favorite music from a memory stick directly into the onboard 512 megabyte memory, providing hours of continuous music.
The Bluetooth interface eliminates the wire clutter that used to be necessary to interconnect telephones. This wireless interface will get the pilot as close to “hands free” flying as possible, according to Scheuer.
A number of pilot selectable audio panel/intercom/music configurations are available using the Data Knob and the Graphics Display. Pilots can select from a number of configurations to have the intercom work just the way they want, he added.
The PMA9000EX will be available for sale at this year’s Oshkosh AirVenture with a list price of $2,395.
For more information: 865-988-9800