Van's Confirms 9000 First Flights

Great news from Van's Aircraft and a record to be proud of:

"We've been holding our breath for several days, and today's the day... the official 9000th first flight of an RV happened yesterday - in of all places, Denmark. Wild celebrations ensued throughout Van's facility.

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Mr. Thomas Damm, a retired SAS pilot living in Billund, Denmark flew his customized RV-8 for the first time, thereby earning fame, adulation and hearty handshake from Van if Tom attends the Aero Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, later this month.

Tom bought the barely-started kit from a close friend who’d imported it to Denmark and completed it over a span of 9 years.  Using his life-long experienced as a pilot for SAS, he made the first flight of “Mistress II” on April 8. 

His aircraft has a Superior XP IO-360 with a Whirlwind 200RV C/S prop.  The panel is a mix of round gauges and a small Dynon D1 unit.  Navigation chores are handled by a Garmin 296 and a SkyDemon MD GPS. Custom touches include a set of Grove airfoil shaped gear legs and the Showplanes FastBack/Canopy kit.

Thomas Damm
Thomas Damm

“On the first flight I saw 170 KTAS at 5000’ at only 24' / 2400 RPM. You guys produce great airplane kits!”  Tom wrote. “I saw the website counter yesterday evening at 8,998 and said to my son: ‘Maybe, just maybe, Mistress II will be #9000?’  Soon I will drive to the airport and prepare for flight #2! It will be a nice calm evening flight!”

To help visualize what 9000 RVs might look like, computer artist Adam Burch produced a couple of graphics and “thought pictures”:

  • Assuming an average wingspan of 27’ with no gaps, 9,000 RV’s parked wingtip to wingtip would form a line of aircraft 46 miles long…
  • A rectangular grid of airplanes would be roughly 850 m X 720 m (with a couple inches of space between wingtips) (2788’ X 2362’) and would cover about 151 acres.
  • Assuming an average of 180 HP, the total fleet of 9,000 would generate 1,620,000 HP

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After the party died down, the engineering and prototype staff went back to work on the RV-14 Finishing Kit and the rest of us back to our workstations.  When we glanced at opening page of our website, the Hobbs Meter already read 9002 – we’re on the way to 10,000!"

 

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