Yes, we are making “kits”, although perhaps “parts” is more accurate. Kindly browse this page before sending us questions. Reading the FAQ page, and browsing the rest of this website would be extremely useful too.
Please use email to contact us directly. Try firstname.lastname@example.org You can use the contact form on the front page of the website, but email works better, and is much more personal.
If you’re new, please say so in your email, after you’ve browsed the website, and maybe looked around at other Rocket websites… which are easily found with Google, or on our Links page. We’ll make sure that you get your questions answered and it helps us to know a bit about you before we do.
So, yes, we have “kits”, but we’re set up differently than other kit companies. We’re offering you the choice of customizing your build, and using parts from other sources. This means that YOU have to put some thought into what you want. We’ll do our best to answer questions, or find answers for you, but please do your part and think, read, and research what’s out there. Thanks!
Here are the common questions:
Q: How much are kits?
A: Which one?
Q: I just want the kit prices.
A: We just want to know what you want to build.
Q: Oh. I guess there are lots of options.
A: Yes, that is correct. We’re trying to make it easy, and affordable, for you to use a combination of our parts and other parts that are commonly found as unfinished, or untouched, kits. These kits typically come from Oregon… hint… hint…
Q: OK, I’m starting to understand. So, I can use that set of RV-4 wings and tail, or similar kits, that someone in my area started, but lost interest in?
A: Now you’re getting it.
Q: What do I need to look for?
A: GREAT QUESTION!! If you want to build a 6 cylinder F1 Rocket, find a set of untouched RV-4 wings, or buy a new set. We strongly suggest using our new Mk3 empennage kit.
Q: Well, I can only afford, or want, a 4 cylinder Lycoming, or clone, and I want to keep the plane light.
A: Perfect. That is what Brad Hood, Ray Ward, and Larry Vetterman wanted also. They are flying the first F4s, and loving them. To build one of these, you can use RV-4, or the partial wing kit that we make, and the appropriate tail. We strongly suggest that you fly them to RV-4 or RV-8, depending on the tail used, flight envelopes, including VNe, and loading specs. You are the test pilot and manufacturer, so consider carefully before exceeding the specs of the parts you choose.
Q: OK, so the F4 is a 4 cylinder version of the F1, right?
A: RIGHT!! The fuselage is the SAME on both. Wings and tail may vary as mentioned in the last answer above. All of this is detailed on the FAQs page.
Q: So, what about actually building an F1/F4?
A: Our parts aren’t pre-punched, although the empennage is partly PP, as are the firewall, and the #4 bulkhead, and a few other pieces, so you’ll have to do a bit more work to construct it. Some purists actually enjoy this. If you don’t, you can readily hire any of a number of shops to assist.
Q: Is this a good project for a first time builder?
A: It depends on the skills you already have, but many first time builders will struggle with the complexity. If this thought frightens you, perhaps a more refined RV kit would be better for you.
Q: What about plans?
A: Detailed plans for something with so many options and variables are difficult at best. You will definitely need to mesh together information from several sources.
Although anyone with reasonable skill and persistence can build one of these, the fact is that repeat offenders will have a leg up on these tasks. If you’ve built any of the Oregon aluminum aircraft, you probably already have the skills needed.
The new empennage construction uses a combination of the original F1 builder’s manual to guide you, along with new info that we’re composing right now.
For the rest of the plane, you will find that your Brand V plans that come with your kits are very, very useful. RV-4 plans, in particular, are a must for fuselage construction. Harmon Rocket II plans are also very useful. All of these are available from those companies. The RV-4 plans are available in an awesome preview set. (Hint: buy them.)
The remaining holes in the build process are stuff that we’re working on continually, by updating the existing F1 builder’s manuals, or composing new documents.
There is a growing number of builders putting these planes together, and two already flying. Networking with other builders is a good thing. The TR forum also has some good information. Your local EAA folks, especially those with RV building experience, are helpful
And finally, if you’re still confused, we’re only a phone call or email away.
Q: So, what about ordering your stuff?
A: OK, NOW we can begin to address that question. Please keep reading. Prices are subject to change.
Empennage kits are in stock, or on order. The first 36 kits sold out quickly. More info about the new tail kits is on the SHOP page.
Fuselage parts kits are available right now. However, these kits will require that you obtain various items from Aircraft Spruce (hardware) or other sources (a well known company in Oregon) until we get 100% caught up with production of everything. Our fuselage kits currently have ALL of the stamped aluminum parts, many of the other small, or difficult to fabricate, parts. You will need to add various aluminum angle pieces and make your own aluminum floorboards and other simple pieces that are made from flat sheet.
Note: Skins are technically available, but shipping them is more work than our very small staff can accommodate. The most accurate way to make the skins is to clamp a roughly trimmed piece of aluminum in position and mark it appropriately. We also can provide full size paper templates. We recommend simply getting your aluminum skins from Aircraft Spruce, Airparts, or other metal supplier, then use the templates as a guide, or fit and mark them in place on the fuselage.
Finishing kits these are fully available. We have ALL of the necessary fiberglass parts, wingtips, cowlings, and other fairings. We even have a new round inlet cowling available. Canopy kits for slider and flopper are available. Sliders are about $3800 and floppers about half that. Other fiberglass parts are roughly the same price as competitors so I won’t list them all here. Many are listed in the SHOP page.
Gear legs the biggest single cost difference between the F1/F4 airframes and other similar planes is in the titanium landing gear. A set of gear legs is about $3650/pair for the titanium only. However, when you compare with other types, you get what you pay for. Our gear legs and engine mounts are virtually bulletproof. If you break something here, you probably crashed, or very close to it. These parts are worth it.
Conclusion You’ll probably spend about 20% more for an F1/F4 airframe than you would for a similar RV-8 airframe. The other costs, engine, prop, paint, avionics, should be comparable. For this extra 20%, you’ll get a GREAT looking, strong airframe with great landing gear. It’s your money. What’s in your hangar?
And two final comments. Thanks for reading this far. It is greatly appreciated. If you’re seriously thinking about ordering any of the kits talked about above, send Vince an email at email@example.com or contact us by phone, or even by snail mail. We’ll need a shipping address, and I’m pretty sure that most guys will want to talk to us directly. We’ll send you plenty of phone numbers in our emails. We’re actually really easy to get in touch with.