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Van's Aircraft RV-10

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
An RV-10 at the Van's Aircraft display at Sun n Fun 2006 in Lakeland Florida
The RV-10 from the front, showing the gull-winged doors for cabin entry

The Van's RV-10 is a four-seat, single-engine, low-wing homebuilt airplane sold in kit form by Van’s Aircraft. It is the first four-seat airplane in the popular RV series. The RV-10 first flew in May 2003, and the first kit parts were delivered to a customer in September 2003. As of September 28, 2006, 51 RV-10s have been completed and flown.[1]


The architect of the line of Van’s aircraft, Richard VanGrunsven, designed the RV-10 to satisfy a market demand for a four-seat version of the popular RV series aircraft. The RV-10 was designed from the start as a touring aircraft and as such it forgoes the aerobatic capabilities and the lighter handling common to the aircraft in the RV line from the RV-3 to RV-8. Instead the RV-10 design focuses on greater stability and payload.

The design horsepower is 200-260 and the prototype was flown with a Lycoming IO-540 powerplant of 260 hp, which is the maximum that the airframe was designed to accept.

This is the first aircraft in the RV line that does not have a hinged or sliding canopy. VanGrunsven instead opted for two gull-winged doors to provide access to the four seats.

This design has benefited from many of the production changes that were pioneered with the RV-7, RV-8 and the RV-9. Like those aircraft, the RV-10 uses computer assisted design to produce a kit with pre-drilled rivet holes, thus greatly reducing assembly time for the builder. The RV-10 is available only as a tricycle landing gear version and no tailwheel or retractable landing gear versions are planned.

The aircraft is constructed of aluminum with the cabin structure and gull-winged doors made from composite materials. The landing gear is tubular steel with the nosewheel mounting tube welded to the engine mount. As in all nose-wheel equipped RV aircraft, the nosewheel is free castering and the aircraft is steered with differential braking. The brakes are mounted conventionally on the rudder pedal toes.


The total price of the kit as of April 30, 2006, is $36,180. A "quick-build" option with pre-built wings and fuselage is $46,230.[2] After adding an engine, propeller, avionics and other costs, Van's estimates that the kit can be completed for a total cost between $70,000 and $100,000. Many builders have chosen to install advanced glass cockpit avionics, which can increase the total cost to as much as $150,000.

Construction Time

The amount of time and effort required to build the airplane can vary greatly, but most builders require 1,000 to 2,000 man-hours to complete the project.

Aircraft Type Club

The RV-10 has a very active aircraft type club, Van's Air Force, that provides support for builders, owners and pilots of these aircraft.

Specifications (RV-10)

Specifications are given for 260HP, IO-540 configuration.

General characteristics

  • Crew: Pilot
  • Capacity: 4 occupants (Including Pilot)
  • Length: 24 ft 5 in (7.44 m)
  • Wingspan: 31 ft 9 in (9.68 m)
  • Height: 8 ft 8 in (2.64 m)
  • Wing area: 148 ft² (13.7 m²)
  • Empty weight: 1,520 lb (689 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 2,700 lb (1225 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 2600lb (kg)
  • Powerplant:Lycoming O-540/IO-540 , 210-260hp (157-194 kW)


Related content

Related development

Similar aircraft

Designation series

RV-3 - RV-4 - RV-6 - RV-7 - RV-8 - RV-9 - RV-10 - RV-11 - RV-12

External links