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Van's Aircraft RV-7

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
An RV-7 on display at Sun n Fun 2004. This is the tail wheel equipped version
An RV-7A – the nose wheel equipped version of the RV-7 at Sun n Fun 2006

The Van's RV-7 and RV-7A are two-seat, single-engine, low-wing homebuilt airplanes sold in kit form by Van's Aircraft. The RV-7 is the tail-wheel equipped version while the RV-7A features a nose-wheel. The RV-7 is a development of the RV-6 and is externally similar to the earlier model.


The designer of the Van’s aircraft line, Richard VanGrunsven, designed the RV-7 series as a replacement for the RV-6. The RV-6 itself was a two seat side-by-side development of the RV-4, which was, in turn, a two seat version of the single seat RV-3.

The RV-7 incorporated many changes as a result of lessons learned over the years in producing over 2,000 RV-6 kits. The RV-7 airframe will accept larger engines, including the Lycoming IO-360, up to 200 hp. The RV-7 also has increased wingspan and wing area over the RV-6, as well as more headroom, legroom and an increased useful load. The RV-7 carries a total of 42 US gallons of fuel, up from 38 US gallons on the RV-6.

The RV-7 shares many common parts with the RV-8 and RV-9 which reduces production costs. The RV-7 also uses computer assisted design to produce a kit with pre-drilled rivet holes, thus greatly reducing assembly time for the builder. Construction time is estimated at about 1400 hours for an average builder.

The RV-7A version features tubular steel landing gear 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.

Aircraft Type Club

The RV-7 and RV-7A have a very active aircraft type club Van's Air Force that provides support for owners and pilots of these types.

Specifications (RV-7)

Specifications are given for 200HP, IO-360 configuration with a Hartzell constant speed propeller

General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Length: 20 ft 4 in (6.26 m)
  • Wingspan: 25 ft (7.70 m)
  • Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.79 m)
  • Wing area: 121 ft² (11.2 m²)
  • Empty weight: 1,114 lb (504 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 1,800 lb (815 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 1,800l b (815 kg)
  • Powerplant:Lycoming IO-360 4 cylinder flat opposed piston engine, 200 hp (149 kW)


Related content

Related development

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Designation series

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

External links