Airplane for the Common Denominator

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JRC

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Try driving to the Bahamas or across Lake Michigan...
P.S. Its coming > NASA RAM started in 1995 with FASTA-USA ICASS > then NASA SATS then ADS-B now NASA RAM ...
Florida is the best site to R&D/TEST the first RAM SYStem for many good reasons
 

Toobuilder

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The RV-8 ticks a LOT of the boxes... right up until it reaches the pocketbook.

Well, as has been discussed, the RV-X "kits" are arguably the best value going. Its the owners that make the resulting airplanes "expensive" with the latest and greatest gadgetry, engines, paint and interior.

But in the thought exercise I recently promoted, aquisition cost is largely irrelevant. In other words, if you had someone show you a selection of dream airplanes but the single one you pick is all you get for the rest of your life, whats the answer? For me, the RV-8 ticks all of the boxes I care about "good enough", that I'd have a hard time finding another that was as well rounded. There are a lot of airplanes that do things better than the -8, but to the detrement of several other important traits.
 
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Tom DM

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[
Certainly never going to satisfy all pilots, but if you were to change the focus of this thread and come up with the single homebuilt that appeals to the broadest possible bell curve of pilots, I'm thinking RV-8.

You might be right about the RV-line-up but then you are an American :)

We miss the broader acceptance of homebuilt aircraft if it were only because of more densely populated areas.

In Europe there would a split in aircraft choice: the low powered (that everything of lower power than a O-235) and the higher powered (up to about 210 HP). It is not that we don't like high powered goodies but I spotted 1 l of AvGas at 2.7 - 4.2 Eur per liter (not per Gallon), MoGas is around 2 eur per liter.
So any aircraft which sees an fuel-flow of 60l/hr has somewhat less of an appeal.

Then there is the mission of the aircraft: taking off at Brussels flying in any direction, one is in another country within half an hour. That means papers, language; luckily we have the European Dollar but the Brits felt obliged to shoot in their own foot. So that rock of the coast off Ostend drifted quite a bit further into the Atlantic.

Flew in a RV6 and RV9: I won't praise them, I would just ask the Piper, Cessna, other Robin's and about any GA-plane builder: "Why can Van's do what you can not?"

Ultimately it comes down to Freedom and open space I guess.
 
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TFF

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Common denominator means it has to do quite a few things that others don’t necessarily need. Travel, aerobatics, sightseeing, speed, slow, relative easy handling. You will have to try a lot harder to beat an RV3-8 for that, and honorable mentions to the 9,10,14. Technically they don’t even cost a lot. Most builders make them cost, by putting best in everything into the build. Poor mouth or just flat out don’t want to be in that crowd is a personal problem, not one with the airplane. The airplane does well on its own.

Technically every airplane is those things. How one puts their spin on it makes different airplanes. It doesn’t make better airplanes. If one is trying to have a real Me262 on a Cessna 150 budget, one is being a crybaby. Pretty much if you can get into an airplane, whatever the level, that’s the personal denominator. Trying to buck something you can’t have is a waste of ones time. You can admire, but you can’t covet. You get what you put into it. If you need to be a millionaire and are not trying to be one, then you go that path. One eating bon bons gets one no praise. If all you get is a Pietenpol, get in and have fun. The fun clock is ticking. It will run out.
 

Tom DM

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Just to know: how many pilots do acro?

As of the 200 out of EBGB: less than 5. 1 hardcore, 3 to see what it was like , 1 to become a better pilot but was sick after every new stunt, went through the whole program though :)

The last one flies on every patrol some wingovers, some lazy 8 and practice stalls , slow flights, emergency landings often. That's about what is allowed. Has been semi-reprimanded because of " emergency landing as an exercice" as there was no instructor present. I get around that doing it without annoncing: from overhead to landing in 1 minute, they know :)

Flying over the north of France in an experimental painted in German military colors.
"Qu'est-ce que c'est comme avion?" (Frenchies do not talk English over the radio : What plane is that?)

Sure enough : a replica FW190 climbed on my 5 o'clock, flew a bit along side , we waved , then he sped in front , banked hard left , fell away inverted .
Couldn't resist, banked too and chased after him. Sure to keep one eye on the airspeed.

Just then I realised that it that was 70 years earlier I would have been dead.
 
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Dana

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True, RVs are probably the best all around airplanes ever designed, and the 8 is probably the pinnacle (though most spouses would probably prefer the 6). They're not the best at anything, but they're "good enough" at more things than anything else.

That's if that's the kind of flying you want to do... my brother in law loves flying all over the country in his RV-8, while I'm content to tool around low and slow in my biplane.
 

Tom DM

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That could be true. Is possibly why we (the Oz folks, and the Yanks) enjoy our aviating pursuits a bit more...
Maybe.

It's odd that every country/ civilization believes itself the middlepoint of the Earth: the Egyptians , the Greek, the Chinese (China in Chinese translates as the "Middle Country"), the Muslims countries, Belgium, etc.

While I do not overly like the British Imperium - UK has recently severly fallen from grace- I would gladly give somebody else's head in order to fly from London to Australia in a modernized VFR Gipsy Moth. And if such would be possible for not just my little (big) ego but for every common man foolish enough, I bet you a billion dollars (which I sadly don't have yet fully deserve) that this good Earth would be a far better place.
 

Toobuilder

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....That's if that's the kind of flying you want to do... my brother in law loves flying all over the country in his RV-8, while I'm content to tool around low and slow in my biplane...

Of course the appeal of the RV is that it would be perfectly happy flying off the wing of your Hatz on a dawn patrol mission, and probably using less fuel. But there is no chance at all to cruise at 175 KTAS in the Hatz, no matter how much fuel you throw at it. This is the same discussion that the RV and Rocket guys have. That said, there is something to be said for just putting around with nowhere to go. If I'm alone in the Rocket and just want to be off the earth for a while, I generally have the power dialed WAY back. No need to go 230 if you just need some peace.
 

rv7charlie

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One of the reasons I haven't flown the Kolb I restored is that I can tootle around in my 180 HP RV6 at the same fuel burn as the 503 on the Kolb.
The other reason is I just can't make myself fly a 2 stroke. Hey, nobody's perfect. ;-)
 

Bigshu

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Maybe starting this thread was a terrible idea, I just wanted to frame the whole thing with some optimism. Maybe the naysayers are doomed to a self-imposed mediocrity and denying that these things are possible is the only way to cope. Who knows? I have my own constraints in life but then again I also find ways to fit in my airplane(s).
I think there have been some good suggestions. I'd throw the Hummel designs in there as well. From part 103 to a decent sized single seater in the H5. Very practical to build in a garage, very affordable, and from what I hear, fun to fly. I'm not going to acquire the skills for a welded tube and fabric design, and I probably don't have the patience for an all wood design. But all metal, even as big as the two seat designs that are everywhere, are the actual EAB aircraft getting built the most. Why re-invent the wheel?
 

Dana

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Of course the appeal of the RV is that it would be perfectly happy flying off the wing of your Hatz on a dawn patrol mission, and probably using less fuel. But there is no chance at all to cruise at 175 KTAS in the Hatz, no matter how much fuel you throw at it.
True. But you don't have the joy of an open cockpit on a warm summer evening! :)
 
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