Van's announces highwing RV-15

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Pops

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lol it’s ok
But in spite how notoriously weak their nose wheel attachment is I have seen a 182 and Cherokee six in very similar settings
One time I was in the right seat of a Cessna 182 and we touched down and rolled out about 150' when the nose gear retracted. The top 2 bolts on the top bracket to firewall had been broken so long the metal in the break was rusted. The rivets on the bracket just popped out and the nose gear folded. 11 hrs on the new engine and prop. Engine, engine mount, prop, lower cowl , firewall, carb, exhaust system, nose gear scissors came up through the floor. Got rebuilt and flying again.
 

Pops

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The flap and control run "tunnel" would have captured the scissor links, tire, etc.
Correct. Had to have a new bottom skin and a new tunnel. VB-- Check the top two bolts of the top nose gear bracket on your 172. They can be a little loose if its been flown off some rough runways in its life. Same for working rivets on the bottom skin at the main landing gear box.
Can also damage the firewall and top bracket by towing the airplane with a towbar and the main wheels in soft ground. I had two wooden blocks made to clip on the lower gear legs and then a cable to the toebar to steer the nose wheel and then attached to the front of the tow bar. No pressure was ever put on the nose gear to pull it forward-- the pull was on the lower main gear legs just about the wheels and below the step. My neighbor's Nanchang CJ-2 has small shackles at the lower main gear legs for the same purpose.
 

Riggerrob

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Rumor has it that the Vachon Ranger was designed by a guy who used to work for Van's. You can see the RV influence in the fin.
 

Kyle Boatright

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Rumor has it that the Vachon Ranger was designed by a guy who used to work for Van's. You can see the RV influence in the fin.
That isn't a rumor, it is public information. He left Vans as the chief engineer, IIRC, and was the founder or one of the founders of Vashon.
 

trimtab

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Correct. Had to have a new bottom skin and a new tunnel. VB-- Check the top two bolts of the top nose gear bracket on your 172. They can be a little loose if its been flown off some rough runways in its life. Same for working rivets on the bottom skin at the main landing gear box.
Can also damage the firewall and top bracket by towing the airplane with a towbar and the main wheels in soft ground. I had two wooden blocks made to clip on the lower gear legs and then a cable to the toebar to steer the nose wheel and then attached to the front of the tow bar. No pressure was ever put on the nose gear to pull it forward-- the pull was on the lower main gear legs just about the wheels and below the step. My neighbor's Nanchang CJ-2 has small shackles at the lower main gear legs for the same purpose.
I modified my 182 firewall/tunnel myself. The tunnel has doublers and a cap on the top, with flanges with the connection to the strut. It also has diagonals installed on the cockpit side of the firewall for lateral loads.

The entire mess took me about 4 hours to model and layout, 12 hours to shear, brake, and paint, about 3 months to realize the FSDO was intellectually unequipped to deal with a 337 or warm up to an STC process, and about 6 hours to install (requiring no firewall forward dismantling aside from gascolator and oil filter removal for strut access). I've gone through a strut (gophers) since then, zero damage to firrwall, and most of my landings are actually on the less improved Idaho and Utah strips.

As for backcountry flying, I've passed over four plane wrecks in the past 14 months. Plenty of people simply lose perspective in terrain. The STOL planes are way over-represented in the scrap piles, some of which had parts of the former occupants inside I'm sure, and they are being landed over by normal planes flown by safe pilots with normal sized gonads and better judgment. There are only a handful of places I won't go, mostly due to poor fishing, and I don't even have the Sportsman installed I bought years ago. It's not the equipment....it's the judgment and planning.

The Vans are well represented in the backcountry by some, but it does beat up on the prop clx and tail feathers. A high wing will find a strong following for the high wing for the clearance and damage issues.

As for tailwheel vs nosedragger, who cares. I'd rather fly the nosedragger into backcountry strips unless the stones and grass are issues (I paint the plane green at times in the backcountry). I flew a Pacer I bought for 4200 at 16 years old for years in the backcountry, and frankly would decline to land in places due to conditions
I feel fine at with a trike. It's just popular to believe the tailwheel is somehow better in ways that depart from clearance or even ruggedness. Few people claim to fly into places in a tailwheel that they would not fly into with a trike. To me, I couldn't care less outside of the obvious crosswinds and tailwind landing issues with a tailwheel. Tailwheels are more fun on the ground, though.

Best of luck to the new rv-15
 
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