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VansAirForce.net
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theVanCave
A Monday thru Friday summary of Van's RV kitplane goings-on (and more).

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Van's RV kitplane discussion forum.  ~19K registered users and 50K unregistered 'lurkers'.

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The physical hangar of DR,LLC.  Sheltering and constructing Van's RVs (and more).  Social hangout.

 
Background:

Hello.  My name is Doug Reeves.  I grew up in Waco, TX and now live with my wife and kids just north of Dallas, TX.  In 1997 I started VansAirForce.net for the tens of thousands of people building, flying and dreaming about Van's Aircraft kitplanes.  I built and fly an RV-6.  Over the next decade the site morphed into my full time job (more history).

Contact:

Before emailing me you might want to take a minute and
read this first.  I may have already answered your question.  If that didn't help, you can send me an email, but I get a lot - more than humanly possible to respond to (more on this).  Your email stands a better chance of getting through the fog if it has a catchy subject line (extra credit if it makes me laugh).  My current email address is below.  It changes from time to time as spam reaches a certain level - the current email address used will always be listed on this page.


Yours (occasionally) above the surface,

Doug Reeves

 

The Fleet:

Van's RV-6 (completed 2002)
...for cooler Wx, trips down to Waco, Austin and Houston to see relatives, acro and formation.  One of the best overall airplanes on the planet, IMHO. 

1946 Piper J3C  (share)
...for warmer Wx and enjoying the local countryside at 45mph low enough to smell the cut hay.  Inexpensive flying....$11 in avgas for a half hour.  We are the 23rd owners of this 66yr old aircraft.  Flying and expenses are split between a handful of friends, making it about as expensive as owning an old motorcycle.

The Better Half:  ...and turning away from airplanes for a bit.

My lovely wife teaches yoga (
about her practice), co-founded a non-profit that provides free yoga for cancer patients and survivors (Yoga Bridge) and makes yoga-inspired jewelry (shop).


Susan Becker Reeves

fmi:
- SusanReeves.com
- YogaBridge.org
- Moondog Treasures


 

 

Why Advertise on VAF? 
 
Google 'Van's Aircraft'.  You will, of course, find the company site as the first return.  Look just below that though and you'll find this site.  Page (1) in the search results of the top three search engines: Google, Bing and Yahoo.  Just for grins, go search for 'Van's Aircraft' on all the search engines....you'll find VAF there right below the official site on pretty much all of them.
  People researching Van's Aircraft and the RV line of kitplanes usually find their way here.  No secret formula, just an online presence focused on Van's RVs since 1996.

 

Wanna Advertise on VansAirForce.net (VAF)?

Would love to have you onboard.  I just ask two things:
  1. The product or service be RV-related and....
  2. That you pay up front before the ad goes live, and by the due date when invoiced down the road.  Why up front?  I've been burned in the past - and the back and forth via email is a lot of trouble for a 1-person company. 
Here's my logic on this - if you hem and haw and make excuses that have me emailing you multiple times to get the check you agreed to send, how do I know you won't do that with the RV community and your product?  If you can't pay on time, please don't bother contacting me.  I'm a one man shop and only have ten fingers.

Still interested?  Great!!!  OK, work up an ad graphic using the graphic here as a reference.  Feel free to save the image to your computer so you'll have the correct dimensions to start with.  Email me for an advertising rate card.  If it still sounds good, simply email me your graphic, tell me which URL to have clicking on the ad take readers to and include the mailing address where the invoice needs to be mailed.  Easy parcheezy.  If you want to update the ad from time to time, that would be just fine.


Some Press:

April 2013 Flying Magazine

(click to enlarge)

December 2012 Flying Magazine Blurb about VansAirForce.net
   Brought to my attention by Larry Pardue.  The word I'm most proud made it into the article was 'politely'.

(Speaking of community, Van's....)


October 2011 Flying Magazine Blurb about VansAirForce.net
   In an article by Stephen Pope on Van's Aircraft, VansAirForce.net was mentioned favorably.  One minor correction...in the article it reads incorrectly that I was the founder of 'Van's Air Force'.  What I actually did was create a WEBSITE called VansAirForce.net in 1997.  The term 'Van's Air Force' has been around for decades.
   It was very satisfying to see this site referred to as "
the largest online community for devotees of all things Van's."  Many thanks to Mr. Pope and Flying.

a   b   c


a) The October 2011 Issue of Flying Magazine
b) The article about Van's Aircraft
c) The paragraph mentioning this site...

VansAirforce.net/.com Pageview Stats

 

Most daily visitors land on the front page of ¯¯VAF¯¯ first, scanning the summarized items of interest, then jumping off into the forums for several minutes.  There they view an average of six posts daily.  An advertisement in the forums (which includes a free ad on the front page) will be seen on average 70,000+ times daily (M-F).  Below is a recent stat snapshot:

Pageview History

Forums:
Front page of VAF:

Pageviews...

 

VansAirForce.net Forums Global Coverage
   Don Hall imported the city/state fields of the 11,000+ (in 2007) users currently registered in the VAF Forums (there are another 25,000+ 'lurkers' that aren't in the data).  Anyway, he sucked the data into Google Earth and provided a graphic showing where people are logging in from.  What you see below represents 25% of the viewers visiting from North America.  For every registered user there are three 'lurkers'.
   Ads in the forums are currently being viewed hundreds of thousands of  times each week from all over the globe. 


Before emailing/voice mailing/private messaging/texting me, please read...

Question:
   I sent you an email/voice mail/private message/text.  Why didn't you get back to me?

Answer (short):  
   If your email doesn't reference one of the items below you will probably not get a reply.

  • Advertiser
  • Forum login issue
  • Some long lost friend from my past

   Let me explain in greater detail...

Answer (long):
   If your phone rang every five minutes around the clock, and everyone left a message, how long could you hold out before turning it off?

  The last thing I want is to have someone upset at me because I haven't responded to a call/email/IM/PM/vMail/letter/note/smoke signal.  Having said that, the stark reality is I get more requests than I can respond to.  It's an uncomfortable feeling that I never get used to, knowing that if I typed and talked day and night I couldn't keep up.

   Some examples I get on an hourly basis:
    'Why did you delete my post about selling my washing machine on eBay?'
    'What engine/avionics/prop/tools should I buy?'
    'What buttons do I push to engage the VNAV portion of the coupled approach on
     the RNAV GPS 17 plate at KDTO on my G3X EFIS/GXPilot'?

    'Can you send me a larger version of a plane image you posted 2yrs ago?  It was red.'
    'Can you tell me what my plane is worth?'
    'I'm thinking of buying XXXX's RV.  Can you tell me if you think the price is fair?'
    'I'm writing a paper on XXXXX, can I ask you some questions?'
    'I have the same radio as you and it's giving me an error.  Help!'
   
'I'm starting a small business.  Can I pick your brain for a bit?'
    'I'm trying to get in touch with XXXXXX.  Got his/her number?'

    'Can you tell me how to do a web site / what software do you use / what cameras?'
    'Why are you such a jerk?'  Why won't you answer my damn emails?


   None of the questions above are at all unreasonable, and I answered them for years for tens of thousands of people.  Then, over the course of a decade or so the site got a good head of online steam, and the emails really started coming in.  It is not unusual for me to get 200-300 emails/vmails/PMs/texts/calls a day, and no matter how much typing/talking I do, it keeps growing (doing the math).  Of course, that's the way it works - you reply to a question and usually that person will ask one or two more in a follow up (completely understandable).  But in the mean time more folks are asking things, so the pile always grows, never shrinks.  OK to deal with for a little bit...not so much 365/24/7 for the rest of your life.

Hopefully, you can understand now why I'm not on FaceBag or Tweeter, or any other social media site.


(photo credit)

Supporting Articles:

   In 2009 my wrists started to hurt.  Time for an executive decision - cut down email by 99%.  The wrist pain stopped.
   The good news is I'm making enough money with the website to pay some bills and keep a little gas in the plane.  The bad news is I don't make enough to hire an assistant to answer all the emails (even a virtual assistant).  So it's just me and my 10 fingers for the foreseeable future.  There might be a time some time in the future where the economics will support a virtual assistant, but right now the numbers are just not there.
   And, I have obligations outside the business that I want to fulfill (family, friends, health, etc).  Too much computer time will burn a fella out, make 'em throw the dang thing away and convince them to move to the mountains.  Brains aren't wired for constant computer.  It'll make you dumb.  Read 'The Shallows' if you want to explore some of the science behind it.
  So, due to both the laws of physics and limitations of the human hand, it is a virtual certainty that if your email isn't advertiser/forum login related you will not get a reply.
   For RV-related questions, the nearly 18,500+ human brains in the VAF forums 'brain trust' is where I always suggest people go.  Rocket scientists, aeronautical engineers and brain surgeons hang out in there....literally.  People mucho moss intelligente than moi.
   It is my sincere hope you won't feel slighted by a non-response.  I have become, by circumstance, design and choice, a 1-person company with a very, VERY tightly defined scope.  This while staying as far away from the corporate mindset as is physically and mentally possible.  A quarter century of that lifestyle killed off a large part of my soul, and I'm trying to nurse it back to good health as a pirate.  Flying helps.  Truth be told I don't want a staff.  Staff = meetings and status reports and all those scenes from the movie Office Space that make you cringe.

 

   If you don't hear back from me, again, please accept my apologies in advance.

Yarr!,
Doug

PS:  Same goes for the cell phone.  If I don't recognize the caller ID as being from a family member or close friend (or a couple of folks up at the Van's factory), I don't usually pick up.  If your caller ID says 'Blocked'...well...you know <g>.