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Van’s Announces New Optional RV-14 Engine Configuration

Note: This announcement covers the RV-14/14A. For information regarding use of the IO-390-EXP119 on the RV-7 and RV-8, please visit this link.

Van’s Aircraft has announced a new powerplant option for the RV-14/14A, providing more choices for builders of the airplane in terms of power and weight. In this new configuration, which is based around a Lycoming IO-390-EXP119 engine rated at 215 HP, performance is significantly increased while shedding weight off the nose of the airplane. Orders for the new engine may be placed now, and the associated Van’s finish and firewall-forward kits will be available to order beginning September 1st. Final pricing on these kits will be announced on September 1st, but will be comparable in price to the current RV-14 finish and firewall-forward kits.

In Van’s testing conducted when the RV-14 was originally released, the aircraft equipped with the original standard engine – the IO-390A – was capable of a top speed of 203 mph at max gross weight. With the new 390-EXP119 engine, top speed in testing was measured at just over 216 mph. In the climb-rate department, aircraft with the 390A engine at solo weight climbed at 1800fpm. With the 390-EXP119 engine, the same aircraft performed at 2050fpm. Gross weight numbers were similarly improved, as shown in the table below. Take-off and landing tests with the new engine yielded significantly improved ground-roll measurements as well.

IO-390-A3B6 IO-390-EXP119 (new configuration option)
Gross Weight
(2050 lbs)
Gross Weight
(2050 lbs)
Top Speed
(Sea Level)
203 mph
(176.4 KTAS)
216.8 mph
(188.4 KTAS)
(75% @ 8000′)
193 mph
(167.7 KTAS)
203.8 mph
(177.1 KTAS)
(55% @ 8000′)
169 mph
(146.9 KTAS)
179.2 mph
(155.7 KTAS)
Takeoff Distance 630 ft
375 ft
Rate of Climb 1500 fpm
1680 fpm

The IO-390-EXP119 engine is a lean and mean, Van’s-specific variant of the Lycoming IO-390C.

It incorporates a newly designed cold air induction: the intake plenum is completely separate of the oil sump and the aluminum intake pipes are perfectly tuned for maximum horsepower. To take advantage of the increased flow capabilities, the engine is delivered standard with a high-performance Airflow Performance FM-200C fuel injection system. This fuel servo is tuned specifically for the Van’s RV-14 and is the highest-flowing servo available for a 4-cylinder Lycoming engine. All of this results in more power driving your prop for maximum performance.

The 390-EXP doesn’t just pack on the muscle, it also sheds weight. The new sump has a 7-quart oil capacity, reducing the wet weight of the engine. Aluminum intake pipes further reduce the weight of the new induction design. The accessory housing was optimized for modern glass avionics by removing the unneeded drives for a vacuum pump and tach drive. Even the oil pump shed some weight using a new billet aluminum housing. These new parts make the 390-EXP119 weigh even less than the 200hp 360s the RV-14 was originally designed with. And, the 390-EXP119 weighs about 10 pounds less than its 390A cousin.

The new cowl design is essentially the same in terms of weight. The new combined exhaust and exhaust ramp cooling flap system actually weighs slightly less than the original RV-14 exhaust.

More horsepower, less weight – The end result is significant increases in speed and rate of climb.

What’s Changed

New parts from Van’s include a new lower cowl and closeout plate (for the A model), new throttle and mixture cable brackets, a pilot-controlled exhaust ramp cooling flap and associated cable/bracket, a new snorkel and exhaust specific to the EXP119 engine, one new baffle wall section and oil cooler duct, a new 5” scat tube to connect the oil cooler, and associated hardware. Those parts associated with the engine baffle and its connection to the oil cooler are also being incorporated as standard kit parts in all RV-14 kits going forward.

What if I already ordered my engine from Lycoming and I am interested in the new EXP119 option?

If you want to change your existing IO-390A order to an IO-390-EXP119, you’ll need to complete the following steps, in order:

First, contact Lycoming to discuss your order change and any related production schedule implications:  Reach out to Jeff Schans [jschans@Lycoming.com] for Thunderbolt engine orders, or Chris Gayman [cgayman@lycoming.com] for standard engine orders.

Next, if you decide to change to the new IO-390 EXP119 engine, you will need to fill out a new Van’s Lycoming order form (for Thunderbolt engine orders, click here; and for Standard engine orders, click here) and in the notes section enter the words “CHANGE ORDER” to indicate you’re asking is to modify an existing IO-390A order. Note that we will not be able to accept these changes by phone, or by email messages – a new form is required so we can ensure we handle your request accurately and in a timely manner.

New Kits – Availability, and when you need to decide

You won’t need to know which engine you plan to install until it’s time to order your Finish and Firewall-Forward kits. Those kits include the necessary items used specifically for your engine choice.

Van’s kit prices for this new, optional configuration are expected to be comparable to the current finish and FWF kit prices. The actual kit prices will be determined and published, and these kits may be ordered, beginning September 1st, 2020. IO-390-EXP119 engines may be ordered through our Kits team starting today.

Retrofit Options

We made the retrofit option as simple as possible: Other than the new engine install, one only needs to drill out a handful of rivets; install some nutplates; replace the lower cowl, snorkel and exhaust; replace part of the engine baffle system and oil cooler duct; and install the new exhaust ramp cooling flap, cable and attach bracket.

Note that the new parts, with the exception of the baffle/oil cooler duct components, are for use only with the specific engine for which they are designed.

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