Ordering Kits

Yes, we are making “kits”.  Kindly read this section before sending us any questions. Reading the FAQ page, and browsing the rest of this website would be extremely useful too.

We prefer you to use email to contact us directly. My address is vince@f1aircraft.com   You can use the contact form on the front page of the website, but that may indicate to us that you didn’t read this page first.  Seriously, we’re trying to make this easy on everyone, so help us by first researching what we’re presenting on the website, then ask your questions.

There’s only one of the Team Rocket team answering daily questions – ME! So, don’t overload me please. Those of you who’ve been through the building process will understand this request. If you’re new, please say so in your email, after you’ve read the website, and maybe looked around at other Rocket websites… which are easily found with Google, or on our Links page.

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. Don’t worry. We’ll 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: I 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 several guys 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 RV-4 wings, or buy a new set. We suggest using our new empennage kit, but an RV-4 or 8 tail can be beefed up to work.

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 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 RV-8 wings and corresponding tails. We suggest that you fly them to RV-4 or RV-8 VNe and loading specs.

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 mostly PP, so you’ll have to do a bit more work to construct it. Some sadists actually enjoy this. If you don’t, you can readily hire any of a number of shops to assist.

Q: So, what about plans?
A: Plans for something with so many options and variables are tough. 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’ll be fine. You already have the skills needed.

The new empennage will have a combination of 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 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.

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 on the way and should be in house around mid-late October as was mentioned in several places on this website. Intro price is $2500, less S&H for the first 12 kits. Currently (Oct. 4, 2017) 9 are sold. Contact me quickly if you want one. More info about the new tail kits is on the SHOP page.

Fuselage 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 other small parts, and skins are being worked on now. You will need to add various aluminum angle pieces and make your own aluminum floorboards and other simple pieces that are flat sheet.

Currently, the price for the stamped parts, including the firewall, is around $6500.

Finishing kits these are readily available. We have ALL of the necessary fiberglass spinners, 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 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 $3150/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 in these items, you probably crashed, or very close to it. These parts are worth it.

Conclusion You’ll probably spend 10-20% 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 10-20%, 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 vince@f1aircraft.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.