Hidden Costs, Distractions Eliminated... So Builders Can "Get
In a Friday afternoon AirVenture press conference, Glasair
President Mikael Via provided details about the newly formed Two
Weeks to Taxi, LLC, of which he is also President.
As Aero-news reported,
Glasair announced the addition of the popular Van's RV-10 and RV-7
to their unique line of builder assist programs. Two Weeks to Taxi
will purchase the kits directly from Van's, and the buyer will meet
their future airplane for the first time at the Two Weeks to Taxi
facility in Arlington, WA.
"Two Weeks to Taxi was created because a high percentage of the
over 1000 kits sold each year are not completed by the original
buyer. We wanted to know what the industry could do to change
that," Via said. "We determined that buyers often have a false
sense of the time and expense involved with building an airplane.
They know the cost of the kit, engine, and avionics. What they
don't realize is the cost of induction and exhaust systems,
spinner, brakes, windows, interior, light, and all of the other
little things that drive the cost up.
"They also misjudge the cost of equipping a workshop and/or
hangar," added Via (above). "They also don't consider the amount of
time to set up a shop, building jigs, cleaning up and setting up
for the next piece to assemble."
Initially developed for Glasair's Sportsman 2+2 model, Two Weeks
to Taxi is designed to present an organized work area where all
parts and tools are at the builder's fingertips, and expert
assistance is available to help the builder. By eliminating delays
associated with missing parts or hardware and removing the
uncertainty of "Am I doing this right?", TWTT believes they can
save from 70 to 90 percent of the time lost to these delays.
Approximately 70 Sportsman have been built under the program.
Glasair decided there was a market need to expand and offer more
products. They spun Two Weeks to Taxi off into a separate company,
and will add additional models as market demand dictates, and TWTT
is able to handle the workload.
Another consideration is keeping in compliance with the 51%
Rule, because that limits how much contribution TWTT will be able
to make. In some cases, they may actually have to un-do work on
some parts of a kit, if they determine a need to incorporate a
difficult procedure for a different piece into the program. The
builder would then reassemble the disassembled component, as to
keep with the spirit of the 51% rule.
Other possibilities are to pre-fit some parts, so they fit
together better than when the kit left the factory.
Via emphasized that the program isn't for everyone. By the
nature of the process, some flexibility is sacrificed concerning
options available to the builder. He also emphasized that the
airframe is not complete at the end of the program, but is well on
its way to completion.
Pricing for the Two Weeks to Taxi program varies, depending on
airframe, engine, avionic and other options.