In this post:
- Update on manufacturing process changes and planned delivery of kits
- Update on forthcoming video communications
- Heads-up on RV kit and Lycoming price increases
- Collection of QB deposits and our deposit policy
- Limitations on raw materials and crating materials sales
Manufacturing Process Changes and Initial Results
With the recent launch of Van’s Aircraft’s expanded manufacturing capacity and related processes, we are now seeing parts arriving in our warehouse from the first of an ongoing series of larger production runs. The order of these production runs is based on the age of the outstanding orders on hand, combining kits that use similar parts and in the short term overlapping the recent smaller runs before higher production rates were possible. The next groups of kits that will soon ship includes significant numbers of RV-10 and RV-14/14A wings and fuselages, as well as emp/tail kits for many RV models. Customers whose kits are included in these production runs are now starting to receive notifications and requests for final payment, and we will schedule their kits to be crated and shipped. We’re also working on the manufacturing and delivery plans for all of our other kits/models, and will have more info to share soon in that regard. While we’re working on moving these larger runs out the door, we are also fulfilling other kit orders as parts already on order become available.
We anticipate that within the next 6-7 months we will have produced all the kit types. The size of the upcoming scheduled runs for most parts is now large enough to fulfill all orders that are past-due. There still are components produced by third-party vendors, over which we have little control, as well as a limited number of in-house components with material shortages that we may need to be backorder and deliver at a later time. None of these will affect the core of the kits we ship, which means you’ll be able to make meaningful progress even if a small number of parts are not shipped immediately with your kit.
Forthcoming Video Updates
Rian and Greg will share another YouTube video update next week, in which they’ll cover more specific details about the new manufacturing and delivery planning process and how it all works. You can follow our YouTube channel to be notified when updates happen there.
We’re also planning to publish a YouTube video in the near future featuring one of our engineers, Bernardo, where he discusses the recent testing he completed as we evaluated laser cutting processes for the manufacture of some of our parts. That video will dive into the testing that was performed and will cover some of the differences in these parts from a builder’s perspective.
Price Increases Coming this Weekend and March 11th
While we cannot guarantee we will always announce price changes before they happen (in fact, we generally won’t be able to do so in the future), there are some unique circumstances this time around, so we are letting you know now about two categories of forthcoming increases:
- We’ve been made aware that Lycoming will be increasing engine prices effective March 14th at 11:59 p.m. Pacific time.UPDATE: We have published the list of new prices here.
If you order an engine between now and March 14th you will have to take delivery in 2022, or as soon as Lycoming has your engine built if they are unable to deliver before the end of 2022. You will not be able to request a delivery date after December 31, 2022 for engines ordered prior to the price increase.
- Van’s kit prices for new orders will be increasing this weekend on Sunday, February 20th at 11:59 p.m. This change affects our standard kit prices and reflects increases in the cost to produce kit parts. QuickBuild kit prices will increase by the same amount as their standard kit counterparts. The increase for each kit varies significantly since the new prices reflect the actual increased price of each part in a kit, but the average increase across the board is around 6.3%. Again, while we’re sharing this information ahead of time this go-round, we won’t be able to do so in the future.
Deposit Policy and QB Deposit Collection
We’ve begun collecting QuickBuild kit deposits from customers who were not originally required to make one, for kits ordered in 2021. If you are a QB customer with a kit on order who has not made your deposit, please do so before March 1st, or your order will be suspended and canceled. And note that we reverted to our original deposit policy in December, which requires deposits for all kits at the time of the order.
Limitations on Sales of Raw Materials for Aircraft Construction and Crates
Due to shortages in the supply chain and extremely high order volume, in order to ensure our manufacturing and business processes are focused on getting kit and parts orders to customers, Van’s Aircraft is restricting the sale of aircraft stock/raw materials and will only sell these items to owners/builders of Van’s RV aircraft. In addition, we are no longer selling crates/crating lumber to third parties. This change will remain in place until further notice, while we ramp up and accelerate our manufacturing and shipping capacities.
Please stay tuned for the video update next week, and thank you as always for your support!