Building an Evans VP-1 “Volksplane”


Fritz Wagoner flying his VP-1 over the desert.

Fritz Wagoner flying his VP-1 over the desert.

In June of 2004, after a few months of research and planning, I began construction of an Evans VP-1, also known as the “Volksplane”. This all-wood single-seat aircraft was designed to be easy to build and easy to fly. There is no kit, only a detailed set of plans, from Evans Aircraft.

I chose the Volksplane because it is built from materials I’m comfortable working with and the simplicity of the design appealed to me. Because there’s no kit, there’s no large up-front cash outlay; materials can be purchased when needed.

Slow and steady wins the race.

Slow and steady wins the race.

The Volksplane above is owned and being flown by Fritz Wagoner, who has graciously permitted me to use this photo (taken by his friend Morry Drexler from a Citabria). For more Volksplane photos, see my inspiration page, check out Fritz Wagoner’s Volksplane Page, or visit the Evans Aircraft web site.

I plan to take my time with this project, hoping to finish it over the course of several years. Working on it a bit at a time, it will eventually be finished. This is a bigger project than the model airplanes that I’m accustomed to, although it is in many ways very similar.


  1. Joseph Hammock
    January 30, 2012

    Just bought the VW 1600cc flat 4…gearing up to tackle this myself. What did you decide on for prop diameter and pitch? Somewhere around 52 X 28 Wood?

  2. Ron Dunn
    March 07, 2012


    This reply is not much help to your problem but I have just finished refurbishing a VP1 here in Australia and have replaced the old VW with an early Jabiru 1600cc engine running a wooden Jabiru prop of 54″x 38″
    This engine puts out 60 hp and is lighter than most VWs.
    Best of luck with your project.

  3. MiguelCortes
    April 26, 2012

    yes just got plans to build volks1 i would like to know if they still sell templates to make the wings and stabilizer i hat them before but they were stolen from me

  4. Michiel Onderstal
    July 09, 2012

    Hello Stefan,

    At first my compliments for youre site! I,ll also want to build a VP1, and i,m wondering if i can juse a BMW R1100RT engine (80 HP) instead of a vw engine. What do you think? Both engine,s are air cooled anyway, so… Thanks allready.

  5. Hernan matos
    August 01, 2012

    Hello,can I get the wood from other places than “Aircraft spruce specialty”?can I get same wood at home depot or Lowes? Thanks!

  6. Stefan Vorkoetter
    August 01, 2012

    Hernan, you can get _some_ wood at Home Depot or Lowes. For instance, many of the (non-structural) pine pieces are from there. However, you will not be able to find aircraft grade spruce, fir, and plywood at those place. For that, you’ll have to go to an aircraft materials supplier.

  7. bob phillips
    November 18, 2012

    Is it possible to use a 1200cc v/w engine for this project? many thanks

  8. Stefan Vorkoetter
    November 19, 2012

    Bob, I think the original VP-1 flew with a 1200cc engine, but I think most VP-1 builders consider 1600cc a minimum.

  9. Kim Brown
    March 11, 2013

    Have been involved in several builds, even started a vp-2 back in the sixties, but got married instead, now looking for an easy build, wood, removable wings, simple, want to buy Evan’s plans but need to make sure it has what I want, CG information. Could you tell me if the plans had CG info? Thanks.
    Kim Brown

  10. Jack Wyse
    April 14, 2013

    hi, I am a VW guy and restore the cars and trucks and buses, I love building
    the engines and have always wanted a volksplane! I would like to buy one that
    perhaps didn’t get finished or in good used condition. I’m not really interested
    in building the whole plane! I have too many projects now! Can you direct me
    to where I might find for sale, I don’t see a lot of them around!
    thanks for any help, regards, Jack

  11. G.Lords
    June 04, 2013

    Hi Stecan,

    Can i take a vieuw one time at youre plane? Wan,t to take some mesurements. Thanks Mate! Greetz Gerald.

  12. robert
    June 10, 2013

    I have the plans for the VP, but I am 6 feet 4 inches tall. I sat in one that was for sale…….. enough said. So I sat down with paper and pencil, and scaled up all the critical parts of the plans . Extended the fuselage by 4 inches between the spar centers, wider by 2 inches. I may actually build it someday.

  13. Stefan Vorkoetter
    June 10, 2013

    Robert, expanding the fuselage between the spar centres means you need to expand the wing too. That’s a pretty major redesign IMHO.

  14. robert
    June 16, 2013

    I spent a lot of time working on building the fuselage 4 inches in longer between spar centers, and I came up with a formula, it is a multiplier. .08, if I apply .08 to every dimension of the airfoil, I can scale up the airfoil so nothing changes , except fuselage length. A 50 inch airfoil becomes a 54 inch airfoil but it’s shape changes not a whit.

    If you have a set of plans, go look at the airfoil page, and simply apply the formula. The shape of the airfoil will not change.

  15. Carl Long
    July 06, 2013


    My name is Carl Long and I live in Gunnison Colorado. I am 77yrs old and have most the parts for a Evans VP-1 at my age I will not complete this project but would like to donate it to a youth group that would be interested. Or would sell at a reasonable cost. Example all of the wing ribs are quality plywood and routed ready to put on the sitka spruce spars plus many other parts. If anyone is interested e-mail me at .

  16. Carl Long
    August 01, 2013

    The fuselage is mostly complete and the rudder and stablator are ready to cover. I would
    just like someone finish the project. Thanks.

  17. Stefan Vorkoetter
    August 01, 2013

    Carl, it sounds like your VP is at about the same stage as mine (except I still intend to keep working on it). I hope you find a buyer!

    Robert, multiplying all the dimensions of the airfoil by 1.08 will indeed not change the shape, but it will change the stresses, and it will also not move the spars 4″ further apart, since they are not at the leading and trailing edge. Given that the spars are about 26″ apart, your multiplier will make them just over 28″ apart.

  18. G.Lords
    August 23, 2013

    Hi Stefan,

    What,s youre number? So i can call you.
    Great weekend.

    Greetz Gerald

  19. John Callihan
    October 11, 2013

    Is there a vendor that sells the rudder spar tube bushings?

  20. Fred Lawshe
    October 26, 2013

    Steve, I have a flying vp1 that I will sell pretty cheap

  21. Helmuth Vorkoetter
    November 21, 2013

    Stefan, just reading your comment section on my Samsung Tab 3. How is your plane coming?


  22. Stefan Vorkoetter
    November 22, 2013

    Haven’t worked on it in a while I’m afraid. I’ll probably get back to it in the new year. Too many other projects that keep attracting my attention.

  23. Allyson Colledge
    November 28, 2013

    My uncle is trying to build a vp-1 and was wondering if you have a trace pattern for the modified wing rib? The instructions he has seems to be lacking in what he needs for measurements. Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you Allyson

  24. Stefan Vorkoetter
    November 28, 2013

    Sorry Allyson, I don’t have a pattern, but apparently one has been posted to the files section of the Volksplane group on Yahoo.

  25. Steve Jacobs
    December 28, 2013

    Hi guys – I see MAUW for the VP1 ranges from 685 to 750lbs, depending where you read the specs. Question is about being suitable for me at 260lbs? I guess the final empty weight will also be an important factor. Have a great 2014

  26. ray phillips
    February 18, 2014

    fred.tell me about your v p 1 want to buy. thanks, ray

  27. Patrick Gavin
    March 03, 2014

    Hey Stevie,

    How,s youre VP-1 comming together? Already flying i bett? Hope you otherwise will take some more time for it. The fan,s wont have some up-date,s. 😉

    Greetz from Europe!

    Patrick Gavin

  28. Johan de Wet
    March 18, 2014

    Hi Steve

    I bought a 80% completed VP1 in 1990.
    Finished the project and flew it a little.
    Was flying twins and owned a Maule so hangar space was a problem and sold it.
    The friend that bought the VP from me was an ex South African airforce engineer who removed all covering , redone and painted all woodwork and recovered everything in new.Professionally done.
    After he passed away i baught the plane back – But the original woodwork was done stronger than the plans specified and the all up weight came in more than the 750 pounds.
    The other problem i had was the C of G was right at the limit at the back.
    As you fly off fuel ( in front of the cockpit) the tail gets heavier.
    So i threw out the 1850 cc Volkswagen engine of approx 50 hp at sea level and now i am replacing it with a Rotax 582 engine of 65 hp. Now i can move the engine forward and get the C of G right and the engine is much lighter.
    Am corresponding with a guy in New Zealand that did this conversion and it flies hands off with more than enough power.
    Take a look on youtube ZK-EDA with VW power and then with the Rotax engine.
    There is no problem with the MAUW being a little high as the handling stays the same but the critical element is the C of G that must be spot on especially for heavier built aircraft or big heavy pilots

    Johan de Wet

  29. Branky
    April 29, 2014

    Hey Stephan,

    How is it going? Already flying? 😉 Keep up the good work!

    Gr Branky

  30. Chris Clarke
    June 04, 2014

    Hi, great to see so many people with vp1’s! I am putting a vp1 back together and currently getting it LAA permitted (England) to fly once again after being stored for the best part of 10 years. Does anyone know if there are specific cable tensions to adhere to (ailerons, rudder and elevator) as I’ve bought the plans and can see no reference to these? Also has anyone carried out the modifications to the wing strut bushes to increase the MAUW to 800 pounds? Any ideas about where I could get hold of a wheel and a new set of exhaust manifolds? Kind regards Chris.

  31. Branky
    July 31, 2014

    Hey Stephan,

    How is it going? Already flying? Keep up the good work!

    Gr Branky

  32. House remodel
    October 01, 2014

    I’m not sure why but this webkog is loading incredibly slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a issue oon my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

  33. Chris Frank
    October 31, 2014

    I am medically retired on a very tight fixed income and I am huge 6’5″ 325 (Not fat but a big guy and I have lost lots of weight) I used to fly trikes back in the early 90’s, Yet have always wanted a quote unquote a real airplane. I have spent the last year going over what is available in my price range with an exceptable useful load. It always boils down to either a Vp-2 set up as a single seater or a Double Eagle. I am leaning to the Vp-2 because of my wood working experience- My question is can it be super-sized? I was planning to use a rotax 582 for weight savings. Anyone able to offer good ideas? My local EAA is full of snobs who don’t seem to know what a fixed income is while putting 3 kids through college.

  34. Stefan Vorkoetter
    October 31, 2014

    Chris, I haven’t spent a whole lot of time looking at the VP-2, but it might be suitable for you as-is. I suggest you join the on-line Volksplane group as there will be a lot more people there that can advise you:

  35. Dave Rigotti
    December 11, 2014

    Enjoyed the VP-1 build log so far. Very nice work. Have you finished it yet? Seems your posts on the build stopped several years ago?

  36. Stefan Vorkoetter
    December 11, 2014

    No, I haven’t finished it yet. I keep taking on other projects (see the rest of my web site). I really, really, really plan to get back to work on it in the new year. I have a new impetus, in that the local flying club sold the planes that I normally rent, and I really don’t want to get back into flying boring old Cessnas.

  37. Dave Rigotti
    December 12, 2014

    Looking forward to the rest of the project!

  38. David Tulenko
    December 21, 2014

    Love your Web site, looking forwerd to following your progress.
    i just purchase a 2 VP-1 projects. One flying and the other about 50% done.
    Looking forward to working on both of them and getting them up and flying again.
    I seen several flying and enjoy the sight and construction of it.
    I am glad there is a good following of the airplane. I will looking forware to learning from yours and everyones progress on their projects.

  39. Doug Sparks
    December 24, 2014

    Hi, Where do you get the metal flanges for the rudder spar? Thanks for any info

  40. Stefan Vorkoetter
    December 25, 2014

    You have to make them yourself out of the appropriate thickness of aluminum.

  41. Doug Sparks
    December 30, 2014

    Hi, Is it possible to use Douglas fir 3/4 plywood instead of DF wood in the two fuselage bulkheads?

  42. Stefan Vorkoetter
    December 31, 2014

    No, the plywood won’t have enough strength in compression where the struts attach at the top, and in tension where the wings attach at the bottom.

  43. Daz Barnfield
    January 05, 2015

    Hey Stefan,

    Daz with the Corvair powered VP 2 in Australia. What stage are you up to with the VP.

    I hope all is well

    All the best for 2015


  44. Stefan Vorkoetter
    January 05, 2015

    Fuselage is almost done. Haven’t worked on it since November 2011, but plan to resume early this year.

  45. frank
    January 29, 2015

    Hi everyone ive got a volksplane with no engine,i will sell ime in midlands uk 02476260415

  46. Tom Anderson
    February 02, 2015

    If you want some inspiration, and are anywhere near PACIFICA, CA, a friend and I are working to get a 1990 VP-2 flying again. You are welcome to take a look at it.

    We have the airframe that originally flew in 1990 apart and are working on the engine installation. The airframe is complete firewall aft. My friend got a Revmaster out of a KR-2 that we have mounted, fuel system hooked up, engine controls installed, and are working on the details of the electrical system. Once we get the engine running we will move it to Salinas for final assy and ground/flight testing.

    Tom Anderson
    Santa Clara, CA

  47. Stefan Vorkoetter
    February 03, 2015

    I’d love to come see it, but unfortunately am nowhere near California.

  48. Perry Westberry
    February 15, 2015

    My brother is kitting this airplane from aluminum sheet using Evans’ plans. He can provide individual parts or subassemblies as he engineers them. Drop me anemail and I can put you in touch with him. If permissible, I’ll post his contact info here.

    Perry Westberry
    McDonough, GA

  49. Stefan Vorkoetter
    February 15, 2015

    It’s a wooden airplane, so I don’t see how he could be kitting it from aluminum sheet. It would have to be completely re-engineered to make it out of aluminum.

  50. Hans
    May 21, 2015


    Enjoyed the VP-1 build log so far. Very nice work. Have you finished it yet? Seems your posts on the build stopped several years ago? Keep up the good work, mate!

  51. Stefan Vorkoetter
    May 22, 2015

    No, sadly it’s not any further along yet, but I’m finally completing some other long outstanding projects, and hope to get back to the VP in the next few months.

  52. Chris Martyr
    June 07, 2015

    I’ve only just found this website . But was very interested to read Stefan’s story.
    My VP-1, G-EVPI [google it] took 7 years to build and its now been flying 11 years.
    Both the build-up and the flying have been fantastic, rewarding experiences.
    You do occasionally hear the odd disparaging comments regarding VP’s. Take no notice of ’em. I have flown Tiger Moths ,Stearmans, J3’s SuperCubs, Aeronca’s, plus the normal bread and butter types. And guess which one is the most fun to fly ?
    The best tip I can give to a VP’er is, make sure you get effective aileron seals.
    Anyway, it’s Sunday June 7th 0800hrs and a lovely day and I’m off to Deanland Airfield, Sussex, England to fly my brilliant Evans VP-1 !

  53. Charlie
    June 18, 2015

    Stefan, do you have pictures of the wing built.Charlie

  54. Charlie
    June 18, 2015

    To the membership: How wide is the VP-1 fuselage at its widest and how wide is the firewall.Thanks.

  55. Stefan Vorkoetter
    June 18, 2015

    There is no membership Charlie. This is just my own build log. You might want to join the Volksplane mailing list on Yahoo,, but I’ll try to remember to check the plans this evening.

  56. Stefan Vorkoetter
    June 18, 2015

    No. I haven’t started building the wings yet.

  57. Charlie
    June 18, 2015

    Thanks Stefan

  58. Mark
    July 26, 2015

    Tom Anderson in Calif:

    Do you have any photos for the VP-2 restoration? I am interested in seeing any, thanks ahead of time.


  59. Pete Hammond
    October 13, 2015

    Will the vp-1 Volkswagen be able to handle a 6’2″ 290-300# person

  60. Stefan Vorkoetter
    October 13, 2015

    Well, the expected empty weight is 450lb, and the maximum gross is 650lb, so that leaves 200lb for pilot and fuel, so I’d say no. However, I’ve heard of people flying VP-1s at up to 750lb, but that still isn’t going to leave you any allowance for fuel, and most VP-1s end up over 450lb empty anyway. You might want to consider the VP-2, which is a 1.5-seater, but a lot of people build them as just a larger and roomier single-seater.

  61. Pete Hammond
    October 13, 2015

    Thank you.

  62. jim cosco
    November 22, 2015

    just purchased 2 volksplane, one is complete, doing a complete service from one to the other, build custom trikes so i’m very much up with v w engine, that’s all I use is vw , one is maby 80 % & for sale needs motor painted little stuff

  63. william nicholson
    January 11, 2016

    hi, Jim,
    Bill here i,ve been reading Stefan,s blog and read your,s do you, or did you get of the ground with your VP,and where are you[interest to hear].
    did you have any engine to power,lift prob,s — B/T/U BILL 12/01/16

  64. Tod Files
    May 25, 2016

    I wanted to experience wood frame aircraft construction and fabric covering. I build VP-1 bulkheads and sold them. Then I built a rudder and covered it, shrunk it and doped it. Same with one aileron. They were built to spec and came out perfectly. It was easier than I thought. I then cut out wing ribs. I have at least a set for one wing, I can’t remember if I did both, but I routered them as per instructions on this site.

    I’m a fixed wing pilot. Time has passed. I’m 73, and want to sell the house. I need to find a home for these parts. They are pristine. I will give them away. The shipping could be a problem. My son, the airline pilot, says in the big boy airplane world the covered parts would need to be crated, padded and shipped via motor freight.

    The parts are 40 miles west of Pendleton, OR on I-84. I am Tod Files. We are in a canyon home in Idaho for the summer, but go back to Oregon often. In Idaho we have a landline of 208-259-3545. e-mail is:

    If shipping is too much, I would cover part of it to just adopt out these parts. Any takers?

  65. Charlie
    December 23, 2016

    Greetings, need deflection limits for vertical, horizontal and aileron on VP-1 and VP-2 Regards.

  66. Cedric Strydom
    January 19, 2017

    Howzit Stefan

    I just bought the VP1 that Johan de Wet from Namibia talked about a few posts back and am in the process of getting it back in the air.

    I enjoyed following your VP build and was wondering If you had made any further progress yet.

    Cedric Strydom
    South Africa

  67. David Tulenko
    February 05, 2017

    Hello, do you have a electric start.
    If so what battery would recommend.
    I bought a VP-1 that has a electric start on but no battery.
    Owner pass away, so info from wife.
    Does any have ideas

  68. Wally
    February 22, 2017

    Hi Stefan,

    Great website and detail. Any updates on the progress of your Volksplane project? Are you continuing with it or have you moved on to other projects?

    North York, Ontario

  69. Stefan Vorkoetter
    February 22, 2017

    Sadly, I haven’t worked on it in years. I keep finding myself drawn to other projects. However, it is still on my workbench, and I keep telling myself that I will get back to it. I do still fly regularly though; I haven’t given that up.

  70. Jim Wright
    October 01, 2017

    Hi Folks, I was reading over the various submissions and found them quite enjoyable. I have built two VP 1s and have a VP 2 ready to fly with a Jabiru 2200 engine. This is my ninth project and am looking forward to flying open cockpit again. I put 200 hours on the first VP 1 and over 100 hours on the second one. I have built six taildraggers and have to say the VPs are a very forgiving and easy plane to fly. Best of luck to you all.

  71. Jurgen Reissing
    October 30, 2017

    I guess as we approach the end of mortality, priorities shift. I know this all too well. I have dreams that I know will never be fulfilled, but it gives me solace just to think of those dreams. I hope you get the VP-1 in the air, as it would be a shame for the effort that you have put in up to this point to be wasted. We have to get together sometime, as time is not stopping for anyone. Unless you know some math that can bend time.

  72. Stefan Vorkoetter
    November 02, 2017

    Indeed, on all counts.

  73. Dave Schneider
    November 25, 2017

    Question for Jim Wright, I have a VP2 here in South Australia that I have recently purchased a Jabiru 2200 for and was wondering if you used a commercially built engine mount or designed your own? Cheers, Dave

  74. Russell Wilkins
    January 18, 2018

    Hello I have purchased the VP1 plans and now thinking I should buy VP2 plans I’m 255LBS and i’m a thinking better get the bigger plans. I’m also thinking I will need a bigger engine like the VW 2200 or the Jabiru 2200. Anyone near Atlanta Ga. have a VP1or2 ? i sure would like to see one in person.

    Thanks all

  75. Russell Wilkins
    January 20, 2018

    Any one still reading these comments please email me at
    or call me at 770 408-8313

  76. Robert hutchings
    November 11, 2018

    I Am 250 lb and I am looking for some suggestions I want to build vp2 having trouble finding the plans could somebody please give me some information on where I can find them and what are the differences between the VP one and the BP to it would be greatly appreciated thank you very much

  77. Thomas
    December 21, 2018

    The drawings do not show how to attach the aluminium leading edge to the wing. Do you know?

  78. Marc Gagnon
    January 03, 2019

    I live up in NB canada and have a volks plane II for sale you can contact me at plane needs motor and some minor finishing to be done contact me for pictures.

  79. Michael Pinson
    February 05, 2019

    It’s a question! On page #25 of the original, “VP-1 Volksplane Plans and Pilots Handbook.” There is a picture of a VP-1 with the caption “COLORADO”, the associated picture is of a tri-gear, open cockpit, VP-1. If anyone has any information regarding this aircraft or its owner; please give me a shout out, thanks.

  80. Doug Leaon
    April 11, 2019

    There is a VP-1 listed for sale in Ontario, Canada, for $3600. The ad says it’s almost ready to fly. It looks like a good deal.

  81. Dave S
    November 20, 2019

    Would be interested to know how you cut the square holes in your ribs for the spar.

  82. Stefan Vorkoetter
    November 20, 2019

    I drilled holes inside the corners, and then used a (power) scroll saw with a fine toothed blade.

  83. Peter Johnson
    February 26, 2020

    Am airline Captain retiring soon. Started career low level survey in cubs etc and saw Volkesplane in hanger late 70s. Never forgot that. Looked to be a fun aircraft and wished at the time to one day acquire one. Kids and career have predominated since then!
    Seeking good condition airworthy or almost finished VP-2 preferably (wife is a lightweight!) but would consider VP-1.
    Location can be US, Canada, Europe, Australia or NZ.

    Sorry should have added my contact….

  84. Bob
    March 08, 2020

    Good to see people still visiting and posting. Very interesting. The VP certainly triggers something in a lot of us; builders or not. Good luck all.

  85. Daren whipple
    April 01, 2020

    i have a vp1 also have not flew it yet . need to do some work on it . thankyou Daren

  86. Peter Johnson
    April 05, 2020

    Hi Daren, Would you kindly forward details of your VP-1 and location. My email is Thank you.

  87. Danny McCormick
    November 20, 2020

    i have built 3 vps rebuilt 2 would like any info on a newsletter

  88. Henri Phung
    July 04, 2022

    I’m about to buy a VP-1 restauration project to be finished.
    The engine is a VW 1600.
    Will i have to consider to upgrade the engine (1800cc 60hp) or does the VP-1 just flies fine with 40 hp ?
    thanks in advance for answer (

  89. Jurgen
    June 07, 2023

    We were friends and you have moved on. I miss you as you were always a part of me. We had similar interests and enjoyed them. I am not sure how it all works, but I think we’ll ‘see’ each other again. Fare the well my friend. Many love you and and now there is a void.

  90. Ron Gibbs
    February 02, 2024

    When I was young I built a VP-1 with the first flight in 1977 at Houston Gulf airport (now closed). I believe it is still flying today in California. Tail number N77VP. Fun airplane to build and fly.
    When building the plane I used a glue suggested by Bud Evans that was a powder mixed with water to make a paste. Does anyone know that glue and where to get it. I originally got the glue from Aircraft Spruce.

    Houston TX

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