Skip to content

Airframe Kit Options

One of the benefits of building your own aircraft is the ability to equip it exactly as you wish. Van’s Aircraft offers a number of options that allow you do just this. While many components can be added at any point throughout an aircraft’s life, some are best installed during the construction process. Several of these options are listed on the kit order forms.

Most of the kit options below may be viewed and ordered from our online store or as part of your kit order.

Prefabricated Spar

Models: RV-4, 6/6A

The optional Prefabricated spar for the RV-4 and RV-6/6A is completely assembled, gold anodized for corrosion protection and ready to install. Prefabricated spars are included standard for all other RV models.

Electric Elevator Trim

Models: RV-4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A; Standard on RV-10, 12, 12iS, 14/14A

Uses the same trim tab as the standard manual trim. A servo motor installed in the elevator replaces the push-pull cable. Kit includes formed metal parts, hardware and instructions. Weight comparable to manual installation. Best ordered and installed during construction of Empennage Kit.

Electric Flaps

Models: RV-4, 6/6A; Standard on QuickBuild;
Standard on RV-7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A, 10, 12iS, 14/14A

This option eliminates the manual flap handle between the seats (RV-6/6A) or alongside the passenger’s left leg (RV-4). More convenient and adds to useable room. The flaps extend/retract in about 8 seconds. All factory prototypes have been converted to electric flaps. Order with the Fuselage Kit.

Manual Aileron Trim

Models: RV-3, 4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A

Aileron trim is not standard on the RVs, but it is recommended. The manual option provides a simple, light and effective way of trimming out minor lateral imbalances due to uneven fuel load, etc. A small lever is fitted to the base of the control stick (RV-4), between the seats (RV-6/6A, RV-7/7A, 9/9A), or on the left side panel (8/8A) and displaces the ailerons very slightly through springs connected to the control system. Unnoticeable through the stick. Order with Fuselage Kit. Easily fitted to finished aircraft.

Electric Aileron Trim

Models: RV-4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A, 10, 14/14A

This option controls trim with a small trim tab mounted on the trailing edge of the aileron and powered by a servo motor mounted inside the aileron (RV-4, RV-6/6A). Best installed during construction. RV-7/7A, 8/8A, 9A, 10, 14/14A kits similar to manual trim, with no external tab, but uses a servo to drive bias springs. Kit includes formed metal parts, hardware and instructions. Cockpit control may be mounted on stick (a “high hat” switch controlling both elevator and aileron trim is popular) or anywhere the builder desires. Order with Wing Kit (RV-4, 6/6A) or Fuselage Kit.

Firewall Recess Kit

(Applicable to RV-4 and RV-6/6A standard kits only)

If you’re building an RV-4 or an RV-6/6A (standard kit) and installing an engine with an aft mounted oil filter and/or a prop governor, it may require a recess built into the firewall. The recess for the RV-6/6A consists of a ready-to-install spot-welded stainless box, or a laser cut sheet of stainless that you fold and rivet. The recess for the RV-4 consists of a sheet of stainless that you cut, fold and rivet.

Static Air Kit

Models: RV-4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A, 10;
Standard on RV-12 and 12iS, RV-14/14A

Includes static ports and lines to the instrument panel. Order with Fuselage Kit.

Filtered Air Box

Models: RV-3, 4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A w/carbureted engine; RV-10 w/vertical induction engine

Features a replaceable filter, molded fiberglass induction air box and mounting plates. A very efficient filtering system with provision for alternate air. With the proper heat muff and adapter, alternate air may be heated to provide carb heat. Part of firewall forward kit, or order with the finish kit. Specify type of induction device and type of engine.

Constant Speed Spinner Kit

Models: RV-3, 4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A; Standard on RV-10 and RV-14/14A

The constant speed prop requires a different front plate and a reinforced back plate, supplied in this kit. Order with Finish Kit.

External Cabin Step

Models: RV-6A, 7A, 9A, 14 ; Standard on RV-8A (Left-Side Only), RV-10, RV-12/12iS, RV-14A

Eases the big step up to the wing. Sturdy welded step has minimal effect on performance. Left, right, or both for RV-6A, 7A, 9A. Order with Fuselage Kit.

Pre-Punched VFR Instrument Panel

Models: RV-6/6A, 7/7A, 9/9A, 14/14A

All holes are punched for typical VFR flight instruments, engine instruments, simple radio stack, switches/breakers, and you have room for the map box option.

Map Box

Models: RV-6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A, 10, 12, 12iS with ULS engine only, 14/14A

The map box can be installed in either a completed aircraft or in an aircraft under construction. 7 3/8″ x 4 3/4″ of open panel space is required.

Box dimensions 6 1/4″ x 3 7/16″ x 12″. The 6 1/4″ is also the width of most avionics, which can be handy. Installed weight is 0.80 lbs. The kit comes with all the necessary hardware, and an accurate template for cutting the hole in the panel.

Fresh Air Vent System

Included in all kits except RV-3, RV-4 and RV-6/6A.

The bubble canopies on RVs require lots of fresh air, lest the occupants arrive poached! Kit includes NACA air inlets, hose, ventilators, and instructions.

Dual Brakes System

Models: RV-6/6A, 7/7A, 9/9A; Not available for RV-3, RV-4, RV-8A; Standard on other models

Includes master cylinders, pedals and hardware necessary to install brakes on the passenger side.

Sliding Canopy

Models: RV-6/6A, 7/7A, 9/9A

Not “better” than the standard tip-up, just different. Provides better ventilation on the ground, and allows the pilot to taxi in with an arm over the rail, thereby making him (or her) “cooler” in two ways. Not designed to be opened in flight. Access to instruments and visibility slightly inferior to standard tip-up. Order with Fuselage Kit and Finishing Kit.

Leading Edge Landing Light

Models: RV-4, 6/6A, 7/7A, 8/8A, 9/9A, 10, 12, 12iS; RV-14/14A kits available

Halogen or LED light (RV-12 and 12iS) and Plexiglas lens mount neatly in the leading edge. May be easily fitted to finished airplane. Many builders use one in each wing. Complete with instructions and mounting hardware. Order with Wing Kit, also available by ordering the lighting kits available for certain models.

Engine Mount Choice

Models: All except RV-12/12iS, 14/14A

An engine mount is included in the price of the kit. Lycoming engines come in three mounting styles, determined by the engine: conical, Dynafocal 1, Dynafocal 2 and H2AD. For the RV-10, options are available for Lycoming and Continental engines. All new Lycoming 320/360/390 engines from Van’s use Dynafocal 1.  Specify your engine type when ordering the Finish Kit.

Tall Pilot Option

Models: RV-8/8A

Provides more leg room in front seat, but less in the rear seat. Recommended for really tall people; no shorter than 6’6″ or 6’7″.

Ground Adjustable Rudder Pedals

Models: RV-8/8A

For aircraft flown mostly by one person, cockpit adjustable rudder pedals are unnecessary. The ground adjustable unit is lighter and less expensive, and may be adjusted to different positions before flight.