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Quickbuild vs Standard build

The aircraft kits from VANs come in two versions of construction.

  • Standard (Full) build
    This is the conventional option (also known as the slow build) and is a basic nuts and bolts deal right from the start. Most component parts are cut and pre-punched which helps greatly with the alignment / drilling. It is however still a (large) flat pack kit and everything has to be built from scratch.

  • Quick Build
    This is the newer option and results in the major super structure parts of the wings and fuselage being built in either the Philippines or Czech Republic before being QA'd by VANs and then shipped on to customers. This of course comes at a price and takes some time to complete.
Standard build Quick build

The slow vs QuickBuild is a decision RV builders have to make. Dan C has what I think sums up a lot of the options (see http://www.rvproject.com/qb.html). My situation is a little different and hence my choice on this subject is different:

My overall thoughts:

  • Quick build
    • Pros:
      Saving between 400-800 hours of building
      Accelerating of the build process
      Skilled professionals building the fundamental parts of the aircraft, with VANs QA
    • Cons:
      Might be harder to customised exactly as you want
      Delivery time of ~6 months
  • Standard full build (aka Slow)
    • Pros:
      Intimate knowledge of the whole build process
      Fully customised as the builder desires
      Minimal lead times for parts
      Less cost
    • Cons:
      Extra time to build

My choice is to go with the Quick build option. This has come about from a number of reasons:

  • Firstly, my plan is to build a fairly 'stock' plane. It seems that whenever a variation / 'improvement' is added to the basic design it adds cost, time, weight and complications. I'm hoping that the basic structure will by without 'Morgan improvements'. Hopefully any customisation is therefore a bit more subtle and the job size more manageable.
  • Secondly, time is a big issue for me. I'm taking sabbaticals from my job in the UK to try and get a flying machine. Quick build is obviously a significant aid to reducing the impact of the time away.
  • Thirdly, the 6 month lead time problem is not an issue for me, I've been planning for 3 years and the order was placed 9 months before I am expecting to start construction.
  • Lastly, I've been able to visit and see a number of slow builds in progress. It is not that I don't think I could do it, but more whether I have time.

This is an area that I wasn't convinced was the right call - now I'm convinced it was. There have been one or two occasions where it has been a pain (rear bulkhead for example) but in general the workmanship is exemplar and would do it again without a doubt.

Carl Morgan