Van's RV Assembly
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Thinking About Building an RV And Confused About Where To Start? Well, you're not alone! Most aircraft builders started out just like you - not knowing the difference between a squeezer and cleco, or how to adjust a rivet gun - much less actually use one!

Here's the opportunity you need to learn how, in an intensive two day workshop session that will guide you thru the process - step by step - and give you the confidence to successfully start - and more importantly finish your Van's RV Aircraft

It’s a small investment that will pay off in many ways! We'll teach you the ins and outs of sheet metal construction - specific to the RV Aircraft - You'll get extensive hands on practice with the guidance of an experienced instructor who will mentor you thru the process. You will save time and money by getting it right the first time - with the knowledge gained from this workshop experience!

During the two day session we’ll cover setting up your workshop, tools required building steps, material basics, fasteners, riveting and assembly, aircraft hardware, rigging, prep for painting, weight and balance, basic electrical systems and more. In addition, we’ll cover the rules and regulations on certification and flight testing.

You'll Save Big With Special Discounts too! Aircraft Spruce and Van's Aircraft offer discounts to workshop participants. You could easily recoup your workshop fee by participating in these programs.

Join us at the Next RV workshop and get started on the right path to complete your Van's RV aircraft!

The minimum age to participate in a SportAir Workshop is 18. The SportAir workshops are structured as an adult educational activity. Youth are encouraged to participate in our AeroEducate programs at

I would like to bring my spouse or building partner. Is that possible?
Yes, we encourage family and friends participation. Minimum age to participate is 18. Each person attending the course with you must be a registered and paid participant. There are limited seats in each course and each participant must be enrolled at the current course fee. There have been questions in the past about bringing along a spouse, family member, or friend to observe or audit the course with you. We’ve found over the many years we have presented these courses that unpaid observers quickly become hands on participants, which is unfair to other paid participants of the course, which is why we require all to be enrolled. If you have a specific question about this policy, please feel free to email us at

Do I need to be an EAA member to attend?
No, the workshops are open to anyone interested in learning the skills necessary to build their own aircraft.

Can I take more than one workshop at a location on one weekend?
You are only able to take one workshop each weekend. Each workshop is a full two days in length.

When I complete a course will I be able to do all the related work on my project unassisted?
Since each workshop is only two days in length, it is impossible to teach you everything you need to know. We do tell you where to get further assistance and we certainly provide you with the confidence necessary to begin your project. The fundamentals are taught and you will need to go home and practice.

How much time is actually spent doing "hands-on" activities?
The majority of the workshop time is spent doing "hands-on" activities. Be sure to wear your work clothes. In most courses, about 25% of the total time will be spent in lecture and discussion.

What are the hours of the workshops?
Registration for the workshop begins promptly at 7:30 a.m. on day one with the workshops beginning promptly at 8 a.m. Day One activities conclude about 5 p.m. Day two is 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m, but we’ve been known to continue until 5pm as needed on Day two.

Do I need to bring any tools with me?
No, all tools and materials are provided.

Can I purchase materials at the workshops?
No, however you will receive a discount sheet from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty that will allow you to order materials at a discount with complimentary shipping.

Will I have time for lunch?
Yes, 1 hour is scheduled for lunch each day.

How many people will be in each class?
We try to limit class size to an instructor/student ratio of no more than 16 students per instructor. The welding classes are limited to 12 students due to tooling requirements.

How can I find out what hotels are available in the area?
The best source is Google Maps, Expedia or other travel site. They have the most up to date information and special pricing

Can I pay for the workshop the day I arrive?
No. We must receive payment prior to the workshop. In the past we have experienced a number of "no-shows" from people who have not prepaid. If you need to cancel, a full refund will be provided as long as you notify us at least seven calendar days prior to the workshop.

What if I have to cancel my enrollment?
A full refund will be provided as long as you notify us seven calendar days or more prior to the workshop. These workshops are specialized courses with limited attendance to enhance your learning experience. If you cancel within seven calendar days of the workshop a $100 cancellation fee will be assessed. A “no show” will not be entitled to a refund.

How will I know where the workshop is located?
Workshop addresses and map locations can be found in our information packets. In addition, we will have signs directing you to the workshop.

Do I take anything home with me?
All courses provide you with a detailed workbook and a certificate of completion. In several courses you will build a small project to take with you.

Do I receive a workbook?
Yes, a workbook is provided for each workshop.

Are the instructors volunteers or professionals?
All of our instructors have high qualifications. They are professionals in their field and have years of experience.

What if I am undecided about building an airplane?
We recommend that you take the Fundamentals of Aircraft Building workshop. This workshop will give you "hands-on" experience in all types of aircraft construction.

Can I get credit for IA renewal by attending your workshop?
Several FAA district offices have given credit for the workshop. It depends upon the local FSDO.

Will I learn to weld aluminum in the gas welding class?
Because of the complexities we do not demonstrate aluminum welding.

Can I bring my own welding torch?
Yes, we encourage you to do this.

What type of covering system is used in the fabric covering class?
The Poly-Fiber system is used. However, nitrate and butyrate dope is also discussed.

How much time will be spent vacuum bagging in the composite class?
A very limited time is spent on vacuum bagging. The technique is demonstrated and is enough to familiarize you with the procedure.

Do you teach us how to finish a composite airplane?
Yes, we discuss all aspects of composite finishing.

What spraying system is used in the fabric workshop?
Depending on the facility, we may spray some of the fabric coatings. If this is not possible, spraying technique will be covered. We use primarily the HLVP systems.

May I bring my own project to the class to work on?
We do not encourage people to bring their own project. We have a set curriculum that includes a project that we have designed. If we had separate items to work with it would only create confusion for the rest of the class.

Does the electrical course teach me how to install avionics and antennas?
Yes, in addition to basic wiring of the electrical systems.

I’m designing my own aircraft, do any of the workshops cover basic design issues?
No, structural design will not be covered in any of the workshops.

Why do you not have the workshops in more locations?
The EAA SportAir Workshops are presented as a self sustaining program of the EAA. It is very difficult to find suitable locations. We ship everything we need for the classes in large wooden crates. It is very expensive for us to travel. We try to schedule classes only where we can be assured of a large attendance.

I would like to host a SportAir Workshop. What are the requirements?
Finding new facilities are the biggest challenge for this program. EAA is a non-profit organization and the SportAir Workshops are presented as a self sustaining program. It is very expensive for us to take this program on the road. We try to schedule classes only where we can be assured of an attendance cover operational costs.

Minimum facility requirements are as follows:

  • Location must be in or close to a sizable metro area
  • Forklift rated at 1,000 pounds for loading/unloading large crates
  • Enough space to hold at least 4 workshops with 16 students simultaneously
  • Adequate lighting
  • Bathroom facilities
  • Willingness to help grow grassroots aviation

If this sounds like something you could host, we would love to hear from you at or 1-800-967-5746.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Overall, great workshop, instructors are great!”
— Kevin S.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Instructors are very encouraging and knowledgeable."
— Michael M.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Very good class, this gives me the confidence to move forward with my RV-9 project."
— Keith K.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Instructor very knowledgeable and helpful.”
— David H.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Outstanding class. Good instruction and patient understanding. Highly recommend."
— Calvin A.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Instructor and assistant very experienced and had interesting stories. Classroom and work are excellent. Presentation high quality. Good program."
— W.W.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"Excellent Class, Teacher very experienced. A lot of info in 2 days."
— Randy E.

★ ★ ★ ★ ★
"The instructors were very informative and knowledgeable. It was a fun course and definitely gave me more skills and confidence to begin working on our plane. I really appreciated how helpful the instructors were."
— Anna F.

Day One
  • Registration and Introduction
  • Overview of Building an RV Aircraft
  • Tools and Workspace
  • Riveting Basics
  • Begin construction of first Practice Project


  • Continue Practice Project
  • Evaluation and debrief of Practice Project and Lessons Learned
  • Overview and begin second project – RV Wing Section
Day Two
  • Practical RV Building Tips and Techniques
  • Continue with RV Wing Practice Project
  • One on One work with instructor


  • Complete Wing Project
  • Discussion on systems, painting rigging, weight and balance and more…
  • Final Debrief and evaluations
  • Graduation with Completion Certificates

Ed McGowin Like many homebuilt aircraft enthusiasts, Ed McGowin began building and flying model airplanes at an early age. He became a pilot in 1979 and began building his RV-6A in 1993, which he has flown to numerous locations around the country. Ed joined the SportAir team in 2000 and was initially involved in our weeklong RV empennage build program, in which he helped over 300 homebuilders get their RV project started. He has assisted in over 11 RV aircraft builds, and has been teaching the SportAir Sheet Metal and RV Assembly courses for the past 17 years. He recently retired from Coca Cola as a Plant Engineer, and lives in the Atlanta area.

Jim Scott Jim Scott is an A&PIA with over 40 years of aircraft building and maintenance experience. He is the owner of Aircore Aviation in Arlington WA, a maintenance shop that specializes in Light Sport and Experimental aircraft inspection, maintenance, repair and building. He is also an Authorized Rotax Repair Center for the NW. Jim is a pilot and aircraft owner and has been an EAA member for 36 years.