The RV Ruddervators of the V tail Bonanza have been under discussion already quite a while. The RV can be quite sensitive to corrosion with the typical filiform issues under the paint etc.. Special procedures have to be taken when repainting and when applying anti corrosion measures, e.g. with magnedyne (DOW19). The Beech RV is made out of magnesium to reduce the weight of the flight control. From the S35 and onward V35 the RV is more easier to balance as they have the typical tips, which you can´t find on the earlier models. Until now there was no problem to obtain new magnesium skins from Textron (Beechcraft), in case your RV was not salvageable or didn’t pass the inspection. Hangar damage is another cause to do a reskin. The skins are used by a couple of companies who are specialized in reskinning RV flight control surfaces, all of them in the US. However it seems since SNF the rumor is out that the stocks are zero and will remain zero. For those who are not yet reading BT please have a look and in case your operating a V tail Bonanza, put your aircraft on the list. It is of the utmost importance to create enough awareness and hopefully with enough lobbying from the V tail operators world wide, to have an official answer from Textron, to continue to deliver and produce these skins for this iconic aircraft. Alternatives are looked at also, to have another production scenario in place (PMA etc..) or using another material. However, the alternative scenarios would end up in a very expensive STC and/or re-certification. I know this is a redirect to another Forum, but I believe it is in the interest for all of us operating a V tail bonanza and to keep on flying for many years. Please take care of your RV. Thank you.
Thanks Vref and we we who operate the machines have been well aware of the issue. I replaced mine two years ago so in theory I am alright Jack, but that is not the issue. One bit of hanger rash could ground an aircraft. In 2016 when I spoke to Wichita the issue was that Beech stocks were running low, and that the current supplier was withdrawing from the market due to low demand. Hence zero stock. At that time is was one purchase per person.
Now it looks like someone at Beech has stated that they are currently looking to make stock?? but as I posted on BT, if they can get the A380 to fly then how hard to get a ruddervator for a Bonanza? Let’s hope all will get resolved and keep our iconic machines flying for years to come. Added at an sensible cost!!
The RV is the Achilles of the BE35 to use a Greek mythology as metaphor, I seems the matter has reached a level now were some serious commitment is required from the manufacturer to continue the supply chain, if not an alternative has to be developed.
If demand becomes high enough someone like McFarlane will start making new parts and if Beech parts are like the Cessna parts they make it will be at half the price.
How big is the fleet size?
In 2014 it was estimated around 4000 V tails flying
Please do contact me for STC options. (We operate a 1947 BE35, also)
A fleet size of 4k should be ample for economical 3rd party manufacture.
Obviously, as with any “aftermarket aviation project” you need to be sure the market is really there. For example if it is easy for those affected to scrap the plane and buy an SR22 then the market is going to be very small, but I don’t think that is the case here.
Please do contact me for STC options
Are these confidential?
Only 4000 V-tails flying, worldwide? Wow, it wouldn’t have thouight so. They were built continously between 1947 and 1981, often many hundreds a year.
But yes, I guess there will be many sitting in hangars and sheds around the US, not entirely and obviously wrecked, but still unairworthy for one or another reason.
Mind, the ruddervator skins are not the only “difficult” items, especially on the early ones. E-series engines, props, some airframe parts, etc…
Are these confidential?
At this moment and from my side of communication, I am afraid, they are.
If your TB needs a new skin STC, feel free to contact me, too :-P