Aircraft History, Specification and Information
Van's Aircraft RV-7 / RV-7A
Van's Aircraft RV-7A - C-GMCN
2007 Van's Aircraft RV-7A - C-GMCN (sn 72002)
Photo taken Sep. 04, 2010
Oliver Airport, BC - Canada (AU3 / CAU3)
Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler

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-punched rivet holes, thus greatly reducing assembly time for the builder. Construction time is estimated at about 1500 hours for an average builder.

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 nosewheel is free castering and the aircraft is steered with differential braking, or rudder at higher taxi speeds. The brakes are conventional toe brakes.

By February 2010 876 RV-7s and RV-7As had been completed and were flying.


As of October 2011, the price of the "standard build" RV-7 kit was US$20,620 and the "quick-build" kit US$31,240.

In 2008 Van's claimed that most builders can complete their RV-7 projects for between US$41,000 - $97,000.

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: 1,800 lb (815 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-320 or Lycoming O-360 Constant Speed or Fixed Pitch, 160 to 200 hp (119 to 149 kW)

Never exceed speed: 230 mph (368 km/h, 199 kt)
Maximum speed: 217 mph at sea level (351 km/h, 190 kt)
Range: 765 statute miles at cruise 75% power at 8,000 ft (1,239 km at cruise 75% power at 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/ft² (75 kg/m²)

Last updated November 24, 2011
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Van's Aircraft RV-7".
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