Vision Aircraft Philosophy
The Vision is a simple aircraft that works well. These are some of the things I feel so that you, the potential Vision builder, can better understand the relationship you enter into when you become part of our family.
You are not the most important person
If you are considering becoming a Vision builder then this should honestly please you. With many companies the most important person is the potential customer. Most kit companies will spend time and money to court the possible new customer while ignoring the most important person to their operation, the person who has already made the commitment to the product. The most important person to this company is the Vision builder. It is a higher priority to make sure the people building are well supported than to put on big shows for those who might join in. That's why you won't see high prices, big displays, or lots of advertising but a builder will know that they can call me anytime or be instantly connected to all the other builders on our email list. Satisfied builders make companies grow and, although it's not as flashy and exciting as a "dog and pony show”, that is why our builders are the most important people. If you choose to build another product or kick tires for a few more years I wish you well but the top person on my list is that builder out there creating his or her dream.
You are an intelligent person
The last decade or so the kit aircraft industry has made great inroads within the world of Sport Aviation to the point of near strangulation. While packaging and ease of acquisition are important there has come with it a loss of individual experimentation. Some of it is perpetrated by the manufacturers themselves when they limit modifications. Apparently they forget that the aircraft they put out is, like all aircraft, an evolutionary improvement of previous designs. The worst result of this is a growing degree of helplessness among builders. I am constantly amazed that people would even say, “I'd build it if it had a nose wheel" when 15 years ago that same person would have simply put a nose wheel on the plane. You are not helpless and a plans built design is a perfect forum for creating the design of your dreams. The name is not an accident and we truly want it to be your Vision. This is why several of our builders are planning 4 seat versions, there is one coming with retractable gear, and there is one tandem under construction as well. Is it the plane for everyone? Absolutely NOT. I send a lot of people away when they say "I want to do mostly bush country flying", "I weigh 280 lbs and my spouse is 210", "I want to do competition aerobatics", etc.. If you are looking for a totally different type of plane then you should define that mission and find that dream but if the Vision is close then you can get out those books, roll up your sleeves, and make it yours. I believe in the builder.
Plans aircraft companies are the foundation of the sport
Nowhere will you find better value than in plans built aircraft. Not just this one but many others as well. Even if your goal is one of spending as little time on it yourself as possible then you can generally hire very adequate help in the form of local A&P's who can come work with you and provide an extra set of eyes as well as moral support in your building process. With this plans built plane taking around 800 hours more than a similar kit but costing around $20,000.00 less to complete you could easily make up that 800 hours with $10.00/hour help and even hire 1500 hours so that you would have less personal time in the project, better safety because of the other set of eyes, and less money in it than a similar kit. Kits come and go and the money exchanged is phenomenal. The plans aircraft creator is not getting rich but they are providing an option that, for many people, can't be had any other way. Support plans aircraft sellers. I have never regretted the dozens of plans purchases I have made over the years. There has always been more value in the information gained than the cost of the plans. Buy a set this year. If not the Vision, then a Cozy, Skybolt, RV, or any of the many other fine planes out there. You will never regret it even if you build something else. Even if you are in the expensive kit market you would do well to support the roots of an organization that is rapidly becoming top heavy.
Safety is the most important performance figure
Speed, speed, speed has driven the composite market in the last decades. The performance numbers are impressive. Keep one thing in mind. Airplanes do not always keep flying. I wish it wasn't true but I also wish I'd win the lottery. Sometimes they become victims of gravity. With proper harness systems the chances of your survival in a 50 mph sudden stop are nearly 100% while the chances of survival with a 70 mph sudden stop are almost nil. A sobering thought that your chances rest in a 20 mph range. Given the standard lift coefficients of most flapped wings you can't expect to get touchdowns in the lower part of this range with wing loadings above 18 - 20 lbs/ sq ft yet many planes fly at loadings above that while only pointing out their top end speeds. Is there something wrong with that? No, but don't ignore the attention to safety when choosing a plane. There are no guarantees in life but gentle stalls, slower touchdown speeds, solid protection sure increase your chances and the philosophy here is that this is more important.
Affordable should mean affordable
Recently I have seen kits typically selling for prices so high that I would happily make the parts from scratch after building the molds, assemble the parts, and give you the tooling for the same price that some are asking for the kits. There is little need to ask who pays for those big Oshkosh and Sun n Fun displays along with the big advertisements. You do if you buy the product. There is an "affordable" kit out there right now (and to be fair it is one of the less expensive ones) that sells it's tail kit for the same price I sell the optional "fast start" kit for the Vision which includes the tail skins, fuselage shell, seat, turtle deck and some assembly. Of the current batch of plans out on the market these days we are among the lowest priced in the last few years. Making a lot of money at this? No way but there is no substitutes for seeing people rediscover the joy of creating dreams with their own hands.
Some things just shouldn't be done
I have always been supportive of each person's desire to change their plane into the vehicle of their dreams. It is also important to realize just what you are starting out with and keep changes in a vein that will give you a result that satisfies. The Vision is a sport plane. Most homebuilt planes are. It is light, responsive, fun and these things can quickly be lost in this or any of the sport aircraft. When you plan those floats, autopilots, color radars, big engines, retractable gears... just give this a thought. If you want to be happy with your modified project, think about what it is and where you are trying to take it. Then make it your own.