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An Update on Factory Changes and the Road Ahead at Van’s

We’ve been quite busy recently at Van’s Aircraft. Orders are strong with lots of kits being built and many exciting reports of flying RV’s. We are grateful to all our customers, both new and existing!

You’ll notice that we recently adjusted kit lead times – the estimated period of time between order date and ship date – by an additional two weeks. We would like to share the reasons behind this timeline modification with you.

Quite a bit of change has been happening at Van’s Aircraft as we grow our capability to build existing and future kits more efficiently, enabling us to produce parts and kits in ways never possible before. All changes take time, and sometimes the process of making important, positive changes results in temporary but necessary short-term impact.

We acquired a major new piece of equipment last fall – a new, state of the art CNC punch press which is now being used to produce parts for your kits. The new machine has been up and running full-speed for several weeks now. During the process of replacing it we first had to remove one of our older CNC machines, make substantial changes to the production area, then install, calibrate and test the new machine. This process encompassed almost three months’ time during which we had to produce parts primarily on our other two production machines. Operating with one fewer machine for a period resulted in an impact on the volume of parts we were able to create. Our CNC punch operators have been working double shifts and overtime – now using all three machines – to produce the parts needed to ship Van’s Aircraft kits. They’ve even volunteered to work Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve to make sure we’re delivering orders to you as soon as possible. It’s folks like these, and many others, that make Van’s Aircraft the customer-focused company it is.

For our quick-build kits, any delay in parts production can cascade to an extension of completed QB delivery times. The parts are first produced in Oregon, then sent to our quick-build team in the Philippines, then returned to Van’s once assembled. At that point, we subject those quick-build assemblies to a rigorous quality review and make required adjustments before they’re shipped to you. Following wide-spread significant weather-related damage in the Philippines over the past couple of years (specifically, typhoon damage) our team recently moved to a new location and facilities. This move resulted in some schedule impact and staff changes. One of our senior management representatives recently visited the facility to help ensure delivery is on-track and meeting quality expectations. At this point in time, our quick-build team is up and running full-steam.

We value each of you personally and we greatly appreciate your patronage. We are working hard to make sure you receive the high-quality Van’s kits you deserve as quickly as possible.

We have a number of positive changes planned, the results of which you’ll see in the coming months and further out – changes we’re confident you’ll be excited about. Feel free to reach out to us at any time and thank you for being part of the Van’s Aircraft family!