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Old 02-07-2020, 02:04 PM
Capflyer's Avatar
Capflyer Capflyer is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Gaithersburg, MD
Posts: 1,103
Default James Aircraft Update

James Aircraft, home of the Sam James Holy Cowl has had a tremendous year of change. Mark and I, Mike, purchased the company from Sam and Will James in February of last year. I thought it would be good to update everyone on what’s been happening with the company since we acquired it.

Mark and I both have nothing but gratitude to both Sam and Will James whom we purchased the company from. They are awesome people and have been there for us any time we have called for help or just to chat. Sam is now officially retired and refurbishing his boat at his home in Florida. Will moved to Vermont and is enjoying a life of nature, cold weather, and snow.

After purchasing the company, we moved everything from Sam's place in Florida up to Maryland and set up a new shop. By the time this was accomplished we were well into May and sitting on a huge backlog of orders that had accumulated since well before we took over. This presented some extreme challenges for us. Sam and Will spent a week training us in Florida but we still had a lot of learning to do on the product manufacturing techniques and on accelerating production throughput. All this had to be accomplished while more orders continued coming in.

In our first six months we manufactured and shipped a large number of cowls, plenums, induction systems, and wheel pants to customers all over the US, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. Our customers included builders of RV's, Mustang II, Glasstar, Glassair, Bearhawk, a variety of canards, Reno air racers, an air show performer and another kit manufacturer. With the help of our distributor’s tech rep, we re-evaluated the resins and processes that we were using. One of the big changes that we made was to move from a very difficult to work with high temperature epoxy resin used on the plenums to a hard to find and obtain high temperature vinyl ester resin that retains the strength and heat characteristics while at the same time reducing weight and working viscosity. This helped significantly in wetting out the fabric and in improving product quality. It also lays the foundation for moving to vacuum infusion.

We have a number of changes and projects on our plate right now:
• We very quickly outgrew the relatively small space that we have been leasing in a large community hangar shared with a maintenance shop and aircraft owners. On March 1st we will be moving into our own substantially larger and fully insulated hangar which will house the business and our two RV's. While we may have to temporarily reduce our production volume during this move, the new facility will benefit us tremendously as we scale up our production volume.
• We are also collaborating with a couple builders in the design and development of a cowl for the RV14 and RV10. Computer aided design and simulation will be used during the development of these new products.
• We are sourcing new materials and resins to improve product quality and gain efficiencies in production.
• Several molds that we have been using need design improvements or are at the end of their useful life so we are making new molds that can be used for vacuum infusion of fiberglass and carbon fiber parts.
• We have plans to purchase a larger curing oven so that we properly ramp cure some of the resins we are moving to and also the ability to produce parts from carbon fiber prepreg.

At times we get an abundance of calls and emails which we try to get answered as quickly as possible. Please give us a ring back if you have not received a response from us in a reasonable time. It is difficult for us to break away while manufacturing parts so please leave us a message if you get our voicemail.

Thank you to all our customers and if you plan on becoming one please order them early in your build. There is currently about a six-month backlog in our production queue. We do not take any payment up front so it does not hurt to get your name on the production list as early as possible. We look forward to the future and to the opportunity to provide products that perform well and look great.

For more information please visit our website
RV4/HRII Racing Hybrid - Building
RV8 Hot Rod "Drone Killer" - Flying
RV8 Blue Nose "Look'n Good" - Flying
RV4 - FAST & FUN! Rebuilt, Flown, Sold
RV-7A Built, Flown, Sold

Last edited by Capflyer : 02-07-2020 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 02-07-2020, 03:59 PM
agent4573 agent4573 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Mountain view
Posts: 407

Guess I'll go add my name to the list....
N69ER - reserved
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Old 02-07-2020, 04:57 PM
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Planecrazy232 Planecrazy232 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Cape Coral, FL
Posts: 445

The James?s are great people. Good luck to you guys!


RV6-A "Aluminum Mistress"
Too many hobbies- not enough time.
2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 donor and happy to do it.
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Old 02-07-2020, 05:05 PM
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HAL Pilot HAL Pilot is offline
Join Date: Nov 2015
Location: Las Vegas NV
Posts: 312

Before investing in an oven consider this option. Not sure of the readiness level yet.

RV14A Tail kit 95%
Wing kit 95%
Fuselage QB stuck in China virus corrosion purgatory

RV 14 WIKI in Drop Box

please purchase the thumb drive or any other bling Vans offers. Vans Aircraft is aware of the wiki and is OK with me posting it. However I DO NOT want to take away from sales flow.

---For Edit Access drop me a PM with your Email address.

EAA 1300
Donation Paid 18,19,20,21 Military exempt
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Old 02-07-2020, 07:45 PM
sjhurlbut sjhurlbut is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 899
Default meeting

Nice meeting you at Oshkosh last year and hand delivering some wheel pants. You are definitely dedicated to customers.

Great product and I use James cowlings on all my RVs
Visit and subscribe to Stu's Aircraft Factory on

Snowbird #9
Moose Jaw, SK
7A #70015 - C-FZQX - built - sold
7A #71629 - C-FSIS - built - sold across Atlantic
7 #70215 - C-GOJU - flying - sold
7 #70703 - C-GMIY - flying - sold
6 #60119 - C-FHBZ - built - Airventure 2016 Bronze Lindy - sold
8 #82842 - C-FSBG - built - sold
4 #2723 - C-GVBX - built - flying!!!!
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Old 02-10-2020, 02:19 PM
slngsht slngsht is offline
Join Date: May 2016
Location: Purcellville, VA
Posts: 286

I'm local to you and will hit you up soon about an RV7 cowl.
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Old 02-10-2020, 04:17 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887

Best of luck getting up to speed on your production!

Will and Sam are great people and I really enjoyed working with them.

Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:04 PM
FireMedic_2009 FireMedic_2009 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 238
Default To the new owners

Hi Mike
Best wishes to ramping up production and improvements!
Daren from FL and customer of the new owners. Can?t wait to get my 7 up and flying
RV-6A IO-320 FP sold
RV3B O-320 160hp
Donated 2018 and continue annually
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Old 02-10-2020, 09:10 PM
FireMedic_2009 FireMedic_2009 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Tampa, FL
Posts: 238
Default MIT?s new way of producing composites

Pete, what a great article you posted from MIT. That should reduce costs and production time.
RV-6A IO-320 FP sold
RV3B O-320 160hp
Donated 2018 and continue annually
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Old 02-11-2020, 07:21 AM
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majuro15 majuro15 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 685

I’m interested in the plenum for the RV-10 and suggest designing it to fit the ShowPlanes cowl. I was told years ago the 10 James cowl molds were destroyed.
Tim Huneycutt, Capt, NCANG
CRJ/PC-12 Pilot
N1017H RV-10 Flying 2019
EAA #: 1106970
2022 VAF Dues Paid!
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