Van's Aircraft RV-7


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.[4]

Role RV-7
Manufacturer Van's Aircraft
Designer Richard VanGrunsven
First flight 2001[1]
Introduction Early 2001[2]
Number built 1910 (December 2022)[3]
Developed from Van's Aircraft RV-6
An RV-7 on display at Sun n Fun 2004. This is the tail wheel equipped version
An RV-7A clearly showing the tricycle configuration with the front nose-wheel
RV-7 with amphibious floats

The RV-7 was the replacement of the RV-6, replacing the RV-6 in 2001.[5] It is externally similar to the earlier model, with longer wings, larger fuel tanks and a larger rudder to improve spin recovery characteristics.[6]


Van's aircraft designer Richard VanGrunsven designed the RV-7 to replace the RV-6, which was a two-seat side-by-side development of the RV-4. In turn, this was a two-seat version of the single seat RV-3.[7]

The RV-7 incorporated many changes resulting from the lessons learned in producing over 2,000 RV-6 kits. The RV-7 airframe will accept larger engines, including the Lycoming IO-390, up to 210 hp (157 kW).[8] 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 (159 litres) of fuel, up from 38 US gallons (144 litres) on the RV-6.[7]

The RV-7 shares many common parts with the RV-8 and RV-9, which reduces production costs. The RV-7 has a computer-assisted design with pre-punched rivet holes, helping to keep assembly time to about 1500 hours for the average builder.[9]

The RV-7A version features a hardened, solid steel nose-wheel strut that fits into a tube welded to the engine mount. As in all nose-wheel equipped RV aircraft, the nose-wheel is free castering and the aircraft is steered with differential braking, or rudder at higher taxi speeds. The brakes are conventional toe brakes.

As of November 2022, 1,909 RV-7s and RV-7As had been flown.[3]

Specifications (RV-7)Edit

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

General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Length: 20 ft 4 in (6.20 m)
  • Wingspan: 25 ft (7.6 m)
  • Height: 5 ft 10 in (1.79 m)
  • Wing area: 121 sq ft (11.2 m2)
  • Empty weight: 1,114 lb (505 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,800 lb (816 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 1,800 lb (816 kg)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-320, Lycoming O-360 or Lycoming IO-390 constant speed or fixed pitch, 160 to 210 hp (120 to 160 kW)


  • Maximum speed: 217 mph (349 km/h, 189 kn) at sea level
  • Cruise speed: 207 mph (333 km/h, 180 kn)
  • Stall speed: 51 mph (82 km/h, 44 kn)
  • Never exceed speed: 230 mph (370 km/h, 200 kn)
  • Range: 765 mi (1,231 km, 665 nmi) at cruise 75% power at 8,000 ft (2,500 m)
  • Service ceiling: 22,500 ft (6,900 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,900 ft/min (9.7 m/s)
  • Wing loading: 14.8 lb/sq ft (72 kg/m2)

See alsoEdit

Related development

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration, and era


  1. ^ Van's Aircraft (2008). "Introduction – About RV Kitplanes". Archived from the original on March 9, 2012. Retrieved September 21, 2008.
  2. ^ Van's Aircraft. "Making the Decision - Kit Prices / Lead Times". Archived from the original on March 30, 2001. Retrieved March 27, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Vans Aircraft (December 2022). "First Flights". Retrieved December 7, 2022.
  4. ^ Vandermeullen, Richard: 2011 Kit Aircraft Buyer's Guide, Kitplanes, Volume 28, Number 12, December 2011, page 74. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  5. ^ Vans Aircraft (April 2019). "Van's RV-6 / 6A". Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  6. ^ Vans Aircraft (June 2002). "Service Bulletin SB02-6-1" (PDF). Retrieved August 4, 2013.
  7. ^ a b Bayerl, Robby; Martin Berkemeier; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011–12, page 125. WDLA UK, Lancaster UK, 2011. ISSN 1368-485X
  8. ^ "Van's RV-7". Van's Aircraft. Retrieved September 27, 2020.
  9. ^ Kitplanes Staff: 2008 Kit Aircraft Directory, page 77, Kitplanes Magazine December 2007 Volume 24, Number 12, Belvior Publications, Aviation Publishing Group LLC.

External linksEdit

  • Van's Aircraft
  • Review in Kitplanes