Van's New Secret Project

I recently got a call from Van's Aircraft saying they had something I really needed to see--so I saddled up my favorite cross-country machine and had a wonderful flight from my Nevada base up to northwestern Oregon this morning. Gorgeous day to fly over the pine forests and among the still-snowy volcanoes along the Pacific rim!

Sure enough, the trip was worth it! Here are the first, exclusive pictures of the latest project in Van's prototype shop. It's still a bit rough, but they hope to have it painted by the time Oshkosh rolls around (Oh, I didn't ask them WHICH Oshkosh...). Performance numbers are still a mystery, but the airspeed indicator shows a certain level of optimism in that department.

The cockpit is, to say the least, spartan --and form fitting. It has the legroom of the RV-3, but the width of the RV-1. Without upholstery, the view over the nose appears to be adequate. Rian Johnson, Van's Chief Engineer, is hoping to have an engine installed "very soon", and promised that when it flies, Kitplanes will get a crack at evaluating the airplane. We think that we look forward to the opportunity.

Paul Dye

Paul Dye, Kitplanes® Editor in Chief, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the space shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor, and Flight Advisor, as well as a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

14 Replies to “Van's New Secret Project”

  1. Is it a low power allusive RV-5? Like a late 70's idea like the Quickie or DA-,, Lawn mower powered? It would be a cool place for an Aero vee or UL or rotax 912.

  2. Ahhh....the old RV-5 swing-wing. I was there when it was flown back in the 1970s. As I recall Terry Smith was one of its first pilots due to his light weight, small stature, and willingness to fly anything. The entire one-piece wing pivoted horizontally behind the pilot making for a long, albeit narrow, storage profile. Those were the days....

  3. I think this was an EAA Chapter 105 members project. The engine was 1/2 VW developed by Dave Carr.

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