Rans S-19
My Vans RV-9A

Rans S-19 Kit
I currently fly a Vans RV-9A Which I purchased in 2005. The Rans S-19 is a LSA and I am a first time builder.

The S-19 is a low wing monoplane of traditional aluminum construction, featuring a constant chord wing. This provides significant advantages in airframe construction and a good stall characteristic. The horizontal tail is a stabilator.

The S-19 is powered by a ROTAX 912 ULS engine producing 100 HP. The engine has proven itself reliable in years of operation. Other engine options will be explored, from Jabiru to Lycoming. The aircraft seats two in side by side in a 43.5 wide cockpit. Headroom is ample for even 64 pilots, and even larger with slight modifications.


The design of the S-19 features some unique features not typical seen in light kit aircraft. These enhance safety, durability and ease of assembly.

One of them is the design of the wing spars. The spars are machined from a one piece custom extrusion (specially designed for this aircraft). The extrusion is tapered, shaped and all holes are final sized in the machining process.Only a few additional parts are attached with solid aircraft rivets to reinforce the root area and a short channel type tip spar. That means the spar is a one piece design over most of the span assuring a good fatigue life and simplicity in assembly.
This type of construction is typically used in much larger airplanes only. The spar is also designed to carry the entire bending loads of the wing without benefiting from skins or stringers. Weight penalty is little for the additional safety margin provided.The wing spars are factory assembled for each kit.

Another interesting feature is the plastic rotary molded tanks and their location. Fuel is stored in two wing tanks of 12 gallon capacity each. The tanks are mounted in a fuel bay just behind the very sturdy wing spar. This allows the entire leading edge of the wing to be deformed in a crash before the tank is affected.There is also a gap between the rear spar channel and the tank allowing the rear structure to also deform somewhat before the tank is affected. Safety is further enhanced by the relative outboard location of the tank. The tank starts 26" outboard from the cabin wall. This is not enough to create significant balance or inertia problems but puts some additional space between the fuel and the occupants. All this combined with the good rupture resistance of the molded plastic tank should provide a more than average level of safety. The tank design is also beneficial for the kit construction process, since the tanks are easy to install in comparison to the sealed riveting process used on most aluminum airplanes. The tanks are removable through the bottom surface of the wings.

Another, not always typical feature is the welded steel roll bar in front of the occupants. The roll bar is supported with a brace to the forward cabin structure. The roll bar combined with the heavily supported cabin floor, forward fuselage and center section structure, as well as the slow landing speed should make a unavoidable crash landing at least survivable.

The S-19 features dual controls (two center sticks). Ailerons and stabilator are operated with push pull tubes via bell cranks. The rudder is controlled by stainless steel cables.
Cables are fabricated and ready for installation.
The large Flaps are mechanically operated and feature 3 positions.
All control system components are fabricated for the builder on CNC machines, assuring a high level of precision. No measuring or locating is required during control system assembly.
The rigging process is assisted with rigging pins temporarily inserted in all bell cranks fixing them at their neutral position. This makes adjusting the push pull tubes a snap (Matter fact the airframe is so precise, that we adjusted all push pull tube rod ends to the length the drawing calls out, fixed the bell cranks with their rigging pins and installed the push pull tubes without the need for readjustment during construction of our prototype).
All components are supported with ball bearings.


The design was developed with the average homebuilder experience level in mind.
Airframe assembly requires very little tooling and no special equipment which would be expensive to obtain. The only real requirement is a large flat table. Even that is arguable, but we think it is easier that way.
The level of prefabrication is more than typical for a kit plane. No welding or fabrication of parts is required.
All parts are factory made and formed if required. Some minor trimming might be required but nothing really time consuming or complicated.
Only a few components require simple fixtures for building (vertical fin, stabilator and rudder). These fixtures are included in every kit and are of a very simple kind not requiring extensive setup or large space.
Many components of the airframe can be constructed in relative small subassemblies. This assures quick


The design of the S-19 aircraft also keeps service and maintenance in mind. An unusual high number of removable inspection covers is featured throughout the airframe to allow access to all critical components.

Dismantling the aircraft if necessary is possible with relative ease. The wings are two separate surfaces and are removable after disconnection of fuel lines and controls.
The same applies to the tail surfaces.
The fuselage will still remain on its landing gear after all surfaces are removed.
It is not quick enough to do it every time you fly, but easy enough to do it for the occasional major maintenance, or season storage.

Overall the S-19 should be a fun and enjoyable project for a homebuilder assuring quick success during building and provide long years of trouble free service.
We hope you will enjoy building it as much as we do.

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