It can be said with certainty that no kit-built aircraft manufacturer can rival the success of Oregon-based Van’s Aircraft. Founded by Richard VanGrunsven in 1973, Van’s has been producing kits nonstop for nearly fifty years, ranging from single-seat high-performance aerobatic aircraft to four-seat cruisers rivaling the best certified designs in production and Van’s estimates nearly 11,000 of their aircraft have flown to date.
The early RV-4 was arranged with tandem seating – a single passenger located behind the pilot – but the later RV-6 and later 7 both featured side by side seating as well as numerous other design improvements and construction simplifications. By the mid-1990s, Van’s was looking to a follow-on model for the RV-4 implementing the enhancements of the RV-6 and 7, while providing builders with the “fighter jet” type looks and feel of tandem seating. In line with their numbering scheme, the 8th model would be dubbed the RV-8 and serve as a follow-on in the tandem line.
Numerous structural and design simplifications came over from the side-by-side RVs including the earliest versions of “matched hole” technology where sections of sheet metal skin as well as various components including ribs and stringers came with small pilot holes already drilled, greatly simplifying the construction process and turning many components into more of an assembly process. The fuselage was an all-new design with little in common with the RV-4 except looks from a distance. The cabin was larger, taller, and provided much more space for both front and rear seat occupants as well as allowing the installation of controls and even a small panel for the back seat passenger if desired.
The increased fuselage size also allowed the easier installation of larger and heavier engines, with Van’s recommending 150 to 210 horsepower engines and thus the incredibly popular Lycoming 320 and 360 series engines being a natural fit and popular with builders. Both tailwheel and tricycle gear versions were offered (as the RV-8 and RV-8A, respectively) and the strengthened wing design allowed aerobatics up to +6 and -3 G’s all the way to maximum gross weight. When fitted with the engines on the higher end of the recommended power scale, cruise speeds in excess of 180 knots are easily achievable and depending on the installed equipment the RV-8 can carry two passengers and nearly 100 pounds of baggage with full fuel onboard. Construction time is estimated at 1500-1600 hours for an experienced builder.
By 2021, Van’s estimates nearly 1,700 RV-8 and RV-8As have been completed and flown, with over a thousand more in various stages of construction. Offering a great combination of performance and looks, they remain a staple at general aviation airports around the world.
Vans RV-8 Insurance Cost:
Aviation insurance in general, is a very specialized industry and premiums vary depending on make and model of the aircraft, hull value, use of the aircraft, pilot history and qualifications and aircraft insurance rates even take into account the loss history of each specific make and model and the loss history of the aviation industry as a whole.
Vans RV-8 insurance, like all aviation insurance, is broken down into 2 specific coverages. The first is Liability Coverage, which is standard on every aircraft insurance policy and the second is optional hull coverage, which covers damage to the aircraft itself.
Vans RV-8 aviation liability insurance covers damage caused by the aircraft, outside of the aircraft, specifically property damage, bodily injury, and provides for legal defense in the event that the aircraft owner or policyholder is sued.
Aircraft liability insurance is typically offered for Vans RV-8’s at $1,000,000 per occurrence (per incident) and includes coverage for passengers, but typically limits that amount to between $100,000 and $1,000,000 per passenger. Passenger liability coverage is included within the total liability coverage amount.
A real-world example of how this aviation liability coverage would protect you: If, as a result of operating your Vans RV-8 you damaged property or caused bodily injury outside of the aircraft, you would have the full amount of total liability coverage to pay for damages that occurred, less the liability amount paid for passengers inside the aircraft. If the aircraft crashed and you had passengers inside the aircraft that were injured, your insurance policy would pay up to the policy passenger limit for each passenger.
This liability coverage also applies as a bubble that follows the aircraft around. If the aircraft is hangered, liability coverage extends throughout your hangar and it is this coverage that airports will typically require you to have. It’s not a separate insurance policy, it is actually coverage built into your standards airplane insurance policy.
Other liability options: Higher liability coverage on the Vans RV-8 may be available to qualified pilots with experience in the make and model and a minimum Private License/IFR rating.
The second coverage on a Vans RV-8 insurance policy is hull coverage and is an optional coverage. Aircraft hull insurance covers damage to the aircraft itself and is an agreed value, not subject to depreciation. Agreed value is decided during the initial insurance quoting process, the aircraft owner requests an insurance quote for his or her Vans RV-8 and requests a quote including hull coverage in the amount of say $90,000. Once an aviation insurance company provides a quote, they are agreeing with you that your aircraft is worth $90,000.
*Insurance companies may place additional stipulations on quotes to prove the value of your aircraft prior to binding, if your agreed value is higher than bluebook.
Most aviation insurance companies do not offer deductibles higher than $0 deductibles, which means in the event of a total loss, if your aircraft was insured for $90,000, you would get a straight check for $90,000.
Vans RV-8 Insurance Cost Breakdown:
As of January 2021, there are 7 carriers quoting Vans RV-8 insurance in the U.S. We consider qualified pilots to have at least a Private License with 500 total hours, 100 tailwheel hours and 25 hours in the make/model.
For an annual policy with $1,000,000 in liability only coverage.
Premium range for qualified pilots: $550-$650 per year.
Premium range for less than qualified pilots (low-time/etc): $675-950 per year.
For an annual policy with $1,000,000 in liability coverage and $90,000 in hull coverage
Premium range for qualified pilots: $1,200-$1,800 per year.
Premium range for less than qualified pilots (low-time/etc): $2,100-$2,400 per year.
BWI is a family-owned, nationwide insurance brokerage specializing in aviation insurance since 1977. Our dedicated Aviation Insurance Professionals are highly trained, hand-picked and experienced in helping Vans RV-8 owners and operators obtain the very best insurance coverage.
BWI offers comprehensive Vans RV-8 insurance policies for personal, business, charter, industrial aid, and commercial aviation uses.
For more information or to get an actual Vans RV-8 insurance quote, please fill out a quote request online here or call us at 800.666.4359
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*Always consult your insurance policy for exact coverage specifications, exclusions and details.