Van’s Aircraft ... Some Great News

Daleandee

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Dale Andee
Looking much better:

"With operations at the plant coming back under control, VanGrunsven said there has been some time to work on development of Van’s much-anticipated high-wing RV-15."

 
It’s a good sign the company is gonna emerge from Chapter 11 in good shape. I’ve got my fingers crossed for sure, for Vans that is. I’m only curious about the 15 and have no interest in building one, but a successful launch means they’ve turned the corner.
 
Good news,don’t like to loose a major player in the home built market.
 
Good news,don’t like to loose a major player in the home built market.
Yep. As much pull-through business as Van's drives (instruments, interiors, paint, ancillary items), losing them would be a huge loss for the GA industry. I bet Van's products represent >25% of Garmin's GA sales. Same for Lycoming and Hartzell.
 
I should just keep my mouth shut, but I’m just not seeing how jacking up prices and not shipping product is making them healthier. Have they started taking phone calls again? Can you get an answer on when your parts / kit will be delivered without just waiting until they feel like telling you something?
 
I should just keep my mouth shut, but I’m just not seeing how jacking up prices and not shipping product is making them healthier. Have they started taking phone calls again? Can you get an answer on when your parts / kit will be delivered without just waiting until they feel like telling you something?
It appears from the article that parts are being shipped:

"The company is ramping up production and increasing shipments of kits and parts. It’s also working its way through the backlog of parts with laser cut holes that it is replacing. About 9% of those parts have been replaced."

FWIW ...
 
I should just keep my mouth shut, but I’m just not seeing how jacking up prices and not shipping product is making them healthier. Have they started taking phone calls again? Can you get an answer on when your parts / kit will be delivered without just waiting until they feel like telling you something?
Van's doesn't have the resources to answer all the questions immediately. It's gonna take time to work through all of the customers and issues. Some can be handled in "batches", but many have to be handled individually. And for some, the factory doesn't have the answer yet. But orders are flowing, customers are getting replacement parts, etc. The backlog of work to get everything straightened out is being whittled down. That said, I'm sure it is tough to be the customers at the end of the list, 'cause they are still wondering what their "deal" is gonna be, when they will get parts, etc.
 
I should just keep my mouth shut, but I’m just not seeing how jacking up prices and not shipping product is making them healthier. Have they started taking phone calls again? Can you get an answer on when your parts / kit will be delivered without just waiting until they feel like telling you something?

That’s only part of the deal; the other part deals with B2B partners. It sounds like most major partners have agreed to take losses on pre-existing orders in return for future business that’s profitable.

That suggests the B2B partners have either done their own research to justify their deals or their working on hope. If it’s the former, I see that as good news. If not, they’ll end up where Van’s is right now, only more likely to shutter.
 
With their current unknown future, there are probably a few interested builders such as myself waiting to see what happens before committing to a Vans build. I would love to get started on a Vans build but will be waiting until this gets sorted out. Last I heard is that they are waiting on hearing back from their current kit builders accepting or not accepting the increased kit pricing
 
Last I heard is that they are waiting on hearing back from their current kit builders accepting or not accepting the increased kit pricing
The video at the beginning of this thread addresses that issue.
 
They're not waiting on anything of import. They know the re-org plan, they're just not compelled by the court to let the plebs know about it yet. They won't make it public until the very last second, March 4 filing deadline if I read it correctly. Everything before then is just rank boostering.

What strikes me as more interesting, is a clip of folks appear rah rah about the high take rate as if to believe the payments underwrite the preservation of status quo. That's facts not in evidence. Depending on how the reorganization goes, some of the double-payers are going to find out the hard way they were the sacrificial lamb. An outcome that could, for the second time in a single bankruptcy filing, end up subsidizing a mismanaged company move forward at their expense.

To be clear, the take rate ask is merely for them to avert liquidation. They're there already. But the company will reorganize. Nobody external to their circle of trust knows how that will look like, but I feel confident in suggesting it won't be status quo. Some legacy offerings could/would be shed, especially if you study Via's playbook.
 
FIFY. Without Van’s, there’s only toys.
CubCrafters, Velocity, Zenith, and Rans et al. don't do the volume that Van's does (or did), but I would hardly consider them all "toys."
There are options. Choose wisely.

Nauga,
off the menu
 
They're not waiting on anything of import. They know the re-org plan, they're just not compelled by the court to let the plebs know about it yet. They won't make it public until the very last second, March 4 filing deadline if I read it correctly. Everything before then is just rank boostering.

What strikes me as more interesting, is a clip of folks appear rah rah about the high take rate as if to believe the payments underwrite the preservation of status quo. That's facts not in evidence. Depending on how the reorganization goes, some of the double-payers are going to find out the hard way they were the sacrificial lamb. An outcome that could, for the second time in a single bankruptcy filing, end up subsidizing a mismanaged company move forward at their expense.

To be clear, the take rate ask is merely for them to avert liquidation. They're there already. But the company will reorganize. Nobody external to their circle of trust knows how that will look like, but I feel confident in suggesting it won't be status quo. Some legacy offerings could/would be shed, especially if you study Via's playbook.
I'm confused about what you're trying to say. You linked to an earlier article that says Vans needed 70% of customers with outstanding orders to accept higher pricing, while the later article at the top of the thread says that 78% have now accepted the higher pricing.

Are you asserting that this actually isn't enough?
 
CubCrafters, Velocity, Zenith, and Rans et al. don't do the volume that Van's does (or did), but I would hardly consider them all "toys."
There are options. Choose wisely.

Nauga,
off the menu
I did overstate a bit. And I hadn’t thought of Velocity. With that exception, I can’t think of any 150-knot cruisers in the homebuilt market. And working with fiberglass is icky.
 
I did overstate a bit. And I hadn’t thought of Velocity. With that exception, I can’t think of any 150-knot cruisers in the homebuilt market. And working with fiberglass is icky.
The list in the kutplanes article below is a few years old but it shows cruise speeds and there are dozens of experimental plans and kits that cruise over 150. Acroduster 2, One Design, Whitman Tailwind, BD-5, Pits S-1S, Bearhawk and Bearhawk patrol, etc. people are just so used to defaulting to the RVs because there are so many of them that they forget there are many other designs just as good but maybe not as popular.

 
The list in the kutplanes article below is a few years old but it shows cruise speeds and there are dozens of experimental plans and kits that cruise over 150. Acroduster 2, One Design, Whitman Tailwind, BD-5, Pits S-1S, Bearhawk and Bearhawk patrol, etc. people are just so used to defaulting to the RVs because there are so many of them that they forget there are many other designs just as good but maybe not as popular.

That table is in MPH. There really aren’t many 150+ knot cruisers out there.
 
That table is in MPH. There really aren’t many 150+ knot cruisers out there.
Clearly you didn't even bother looking at the list. Even when converting to knots there are still close to 100 designs that cruise at or above 150 knots.
 
Clearly you didn't even bother looking at the list. Even when converting to knots there are still close to 100 designs that cruise at or above 150 knots.
Many of the fast designs on that list are off the market or were one-offs or vaporware

Looking for 150 knot cruisers, that list has a dozen canards you could still build, 5 RV’s, the Tailwind, Thorpes, Casutts, Lancairs, and a few others including Aerocomp’s offerings. Go buy plans or a kit for a BD-12 or 22, or one of the 6 fast cruisers from American Ghiles or the 4 listed for Auriga. Maybe a Team Rocket or Radial Rocket. You can’t. At a practical level, there are probably 50 proven 150 knot airplane designs out there where you could order plans or a kit today and count on support.
 
At a practical level, there are probably 50 proven 150 knot airplane designs out there where you could order plans or a kit today and count on support.
I would say that even 50 is still quite a few options.
 
I’m open to correction, but looking at that list and considering all of those claiming cruise speeds >172mph (150kts), I see 1)Van’s and 2)Everything else. Breaking down everything else, they fall into subcategories:
2a) Nonexistent (e.g., Aero Concepts Discovery, BD-anything, Express, Littner)
2b) Impossible to build (Falco, any turbine, GP-4)
2c) Impossible to fly (Cassutt IIIM, any other Formula 1 or replica fighter thing)
2d) Overstating cruise speed (Bearhawk)
2e) Lancair
2f) Thorpe and Mustang II (arguably belong in 3b)
2g) Velocity

That’s just the cruise speed. When you combine that with insurability, support, repeatability of results, and idiot-proof-ness of kits, you’re back to Van’s and nothing else. If you ignore speed, you’re at Van’s and toys.
 
I’m open to correction, but looking at that list and considering all of those claiming cruise speeds >172mph (150kts), I see 1)Van’s and 2)Everything else. Breaking down everything else, they fall into subcategories:
2a) Nonexistent (e.g., Aero Concepts Discovery, BD-anything, Express, Littner)
2b) Impossible to build (Falco, any turbine, GP-4)
2c) Impossible to fly (Cassutt IIIM, any other Formula 1 or replica fighter thing)
2d) Overstating cruise speed (Bearhawk)
2e) Lancair
2f) Thorpe and Mustang II (arguably belong in 3b)
2g) Velocity

That’s just the cruise speed. When you combine that with insurability, support, repeatability of results, and idiot-proof-ness of kits, you’re back to Van’s and nothing else. If you ignore speed, you’re at Van’s and toys.
Glasair, Lanceair and velocity is about it.
 
I'm confused about what you're trying to say. You linked to an earlier article that says Vans needed 70% of customers with outstanding orders to accept higher pricing, while the later article at the top of the thread says that 78% have now accepted the higher pricing.

Are you asserting that this actually isn't enough?
Sorry, I meant to quote the post I was responding to. I was just saying to that poster that waiting to see if they hit some number of re-takes before he can feel comfortable ordering a kit, is moot. The implication being that somehow them getting enough re-orders at the new price means status quo can proceed. The point of my post was that it doesn't imply status quo; the number merely meant that liquidation was off the table. That's the relevant part of the article I quoted, and why I quoted it. The reorganization plan itself will proceed at this point sans liquidation, details TBD. But it can mean big drawdowns in offerings/support, to include kit choices by some of those who doubled down on the price increases in the first place. Oof.
You can’t buy a Glasair kit anymore.
The irony. And come March 4, a good clip of RVs might join them on that list.

RVs are "toys" too. What a cultish distinction to attempt to make in this space (EAB).
 
The irony. And come March 4, a good clip of RVs might join them on that list.
They offer minimal support today for anything that predates the RV-7. That is unlikely to change (although I would like to build a -3), but I doubt the other offerings change other than to add the RV-15 at some point.

A little thread drift…Where Vans stands to increase their profitability long term is offering plug and play panels, which would simplify things for many of todays builders who are more into “snap it together and fly” rather than figure it out yourself, then DIY.
 
…A little thread drift…Where Vans stands to increase their profitability long term is offering plug and play panels….

And that takes investment. I would not be surprised to see the offerings slim down to the -12, -10 and -14 for new orders.
 
I've been daydreaming about a kit project for retirement. I don't have a set timeline yet for retirement but I'm thinking in not too many more years.
I haven't gotten super serious but I have been daydreaming quite a bit trying to pin down my 'mission'.
cross county. fast but not too fast, stable and comfortable, utility, outdoor storage friendly since there are no hangars to be had, etc....
anyway
I spent quite a lot of time with the RV-14 at sun n fun. There are things about that design I'm not a fan of... and the cost can get rather high once you consider engines and fitting out the avionics, but still it seems like overall a good design. Then I started considering the rv-15...seem to fit my wants a bit more....not so much the back country thing, but style and utility....but I was already concerned about it being priced higher than I'd want to go...
and then the bankruptcy and price hike shenanigans happened...

So I'm back to trying to give serious thought to alternatives.
Rans S-21 maybe?
Otherwise, it seems like everything so far fits into @OneCharlieTango 's 2a or 2b category. Or is otherwise too much of a hotrod for me... or wood...or composite which isn't for me....
Mostly poorly documented concept stuff by the look of what I can find online.
Dreamaircraft Tundra for example. I just picked that out of the previously linked kitplanes magazine list. Certainly not a speed demon but otherwise may be interesting, but I'm not left with the idea that many have been built or that there's any support backing it up.... and I wonder how good would the kit even be.... good tolerances? complete? efficient/quick build? etc...

Yeah, this Van's situation has deflated my dream just a smidge....
 
And that takes investment. I would not be surprised to see the offerings slim down to the -12, -10 and -14 for new orders.
I think there is enough differentiation AND commonality that the -7,8,and 9 survive.
 
I've been daydreaming about a kit project for retirement. I don't have a set timeline yet for retirement but I'm thinking in not too many more years.
I haven't gotten super serious but I have been daydreaming quite a bit trying to pin down my 'mission'.
cross county. fast but not too fast, stable and comfortable, utility, outdoor storage friendly since there are no hangars to be had, etc....
anyway
I spent quite a lot of time with the RV-14 at sun n fun. There are things about that design I'm not a fan of... and the cost can get rather high once you consider engines and fitting out the avionics, but still it seems like overall a good design. Then I started considering the rv-15...seem to fit my wants a bit more....not so much the back country thing, but style and utility....but I was already concerned about it being priced higher than I'd want to go...
and then the bankruptcy and price hike shenanigans happened...

So I'm back to trying to give serious thought to alternatives.
Rans S-21 maybe?
Otherwise, it seems like everything so far fits into @OneCharlieTango 's 2a or 2b category. Or is otherwise too much of a hotrod for me... or wood...or composite which isn't for me....
Mostly poorly documented concept stuff by the look of what I can find online.
Dreamaircraft Tundra for example. I just picked that out of the previously linked kitplanes magazine list. Certainly not a speed demon but otherwise may be interesting, but I'm not left with the idea that many have been built or that there's any support backing it up.... and I wonder how good would the kit even be.... good tolerances? complete? efficient/quick build? etc...

Yeah, this Van's situation has deflated my dream just a smidge....
The S-21 is kinda small. The Tundra was never fully developed - Paul Dye, editor of Kitplanes built one and has written about how it has tried to kill him a couple of times AND about trying to decide its ultimate fate - keep, part out, scrap…

You might want to look at one of the Bearhawks or wait for the RV -15.
 
I think there is enough differentiation AND commonality that the -7,8,and 9 survive.
I hope the 9 does survive along with my winng lottery ticket being found ... ;)
 
I'm not sure how the line between toy and airplane got drawn at 150 KxAS but that means there are a lot of toys with type certificates on ramps around the world and a lot of pilots are traveling in them.

Nauga,
and the ubiquity of it all
 
I’m open to correction, but looking at that list and considering all of those claiming cruise speeds >172mph (150kts), I see 1)Van’s and 2)Everything else. Breaking down everything else, they fall into subcategories:
2a) Nonexistent (e.g., Aero Concepts Discovery, BD-anything, Express, Littner)
2b) Impossible to build (Falco, any turbine, GP-4)
2c) Impossible to fly (Cassutt IIIM, any other Formula 1 or replica fighter thing)
2d) Overstating cruise speed (Bearhawk)
2e) Lancair
2f) Thorpe and Mustang II (arguably belong in 3b)
2g) Velocity

That’s just the cruise speed. When you combine that with insurability, support, repeatability of results, and idiot-proof-ness of kits, you’re back to Van’s and nothing else. If you ignore speed, you’re at Van’s and toys.

That's about how I sorted that list also. I was amazed how many of those sites are now dead or nonsense -- and that list was only 5 years old. Fragile industry!
 
That's about how I sorted that list also. I was amazed how many of those sites are now dead or nonsense -- and that list was only 5 years old. Fragile industry!
Lots of dreams. Few have the skill, patience, and capital to turn it into a profitable business. Look at the Cobalt Valkyrie or that awful YouTube Canard. Even the engineers at Darkaero have been at this for years with very little to show. It is a tough gig - you’ve got to pick the right market segment, then execute 5 different ways. It’s tough.
 
The point of my post was that it doesn't imply status quo; the number merely meant that liquidation was off the table. That's the relevant part of the article I quoted, and why I quoted it. The reorganization plan itself will proceed at this point sans liquidation, details TBD. But it can mean big drawdowns in offerings/support, to include kit choices by some of those who doubled down on the price increases in the first place. Oof.
The most likely thing that it means is that Vans will continue to sell kids at the higher prices. The logical presumption is that Vans cost those higher prices because they allow it to operate profitably. There'd be no point in continuing to sell kits at below profitability, and the bankruptcy wouldn't allow it. Do you have some contrary information?
 
The most likely thing that it means is that Vans will continue to sell kids at the higher prices. The logical presumption is that Vans cost those higher prices because they allow it to operate profitably. There'd be no point in continuing to sell kits at below profitability, and the bankruptcy wouldn't allow it. Do you have some contrary information?

Again, my only point is that the repricing was merely necessary in order to stave off liquidation. That was vans own admission. It appears they crossed that hurdle.

My conjecture is that prospective builders giving vans more money in hopes they retain the status quo offering with someone like Via at the helm, is a low percentage play for everyone except 14 and 10 customers. Which is to say some people could be subsidizing the orphaning of their own kit. I take it you disagree. Cool, in the end we're both spitballing here, the reorganization plan is not due for release to the court until march. We'll find out soon enough. As a potential buyer of future potentially spunoff/orphaned series, i am interested in what effects ( if any)such reorganization has on the resale market of impacted models going forward.
 
What is the downside of the company dropping support for some older models in an experimental? What does “support” even mean for an experimental where many of the owners are builders and can manufacture stuff?

Or are we talking about Vans May no longer be making parts for some kits that are in progress by builders? Then these might become plans-built?

Do I still have factory support for my 1976 Cessna? I don’t know, genuinely asking, not trying to be a jerk.
 
Which is disappointing. The -8 was my long game.

It is. I’m a fam of the -8. To be sure, my pessimistic take is based on kits that are easiest to assemble. The -10 and -14 are final size drilled, and the -12 is pop rivets and there’s the factory S-LSA option. The -14 is aerobatic, so the narrowed offering presents the core of the company’s product range.
 
It is. I’m a fam of the -8. To be sure, my pessimistic take is based on kits that are easiest to assemble. The -10 and -14 are final size drilled, and the -12 is pop rivets and there’s the factory S-LSA option. The -14 is aerobatic, so the narrowed offering presents the core of the company’s product range.
Well. It probably won’t matter. The -8 has always been my dream build but the reality of making that happen has always been small. Doesn’t change the disappointment that if the kit is discontinued I will never happen.
 
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