Building an Evans VP-1 “Volksplane”

Introduction

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.

34 Comments

  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

    Hi,

    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

    Hi
    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

    Hi

    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 cllong75@q.com .

  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
    Fred

  21. Helmuth Vorkoetter
    November 21, 2013

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

    Dad

  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

    Regards
    Johan de Wet
    Swakopmund
    Namibia

  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: http://groups.yahoo.com/groups/volksplane

Leave a Comment

Want to see your picture next to your comments on this site and others? Visit gravatar.com to register your own globally recognized avatar.

Disclaimer: Although every effort has been made to ensure accuracy and reliability, the information on this web page is presented without warranty of any kind, and Stefan Vorkoetter assumes no liability for direct or consequential damages caused by its use. It is up to you, the reader, to determine the suitability of, and assume responsibility for, the use of this information. Links to Amazon.com merchandise are provided in association with Amazon.com. Links to eBay searches are provided in association with the eBay partner network.

Copyright: All materials on this web site, including the text, images, and mark-up, are Copyright © 2014 by Stefan Vorkoetter unless otherwise noted. All rights reserved. Unauthorized duplication prohibited. You may link to this site or pages within it, but you may not link directly to images on this site, and you may not copy any material from this site to another web site or other publication without express written permission. You may make copies for your own personal use.