Van's announces highwing RV-15

Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

Help Support Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum:

pylon500

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 26, 2003
Messages
402
Location
Taree Airport Australia
Good point dear addicted2climbing,
AAK's Hornet has shoulder-mounted wings that meet two criteria.
A - it's wings are mounted high enough to keep them out of the weeds.
B - Pilots can see both above and below their wings.
With Van's experience balancing their RV-12, they can probably design a Hornet-ish airplane with zero forward sweep in the wings.
I think you may be thinking of one of Ole's earlier designs called the Wasp;
AAK_Wasp.jpg
Which was designed more for the training market, rather than a STOL plane.
It needed a little more development, but fell to the wayside (only five were built) under the number of orders for the Hornet STOL series;
Hornet_STOL.jpg
And the Hornet Cub, which is a tandem variant;
Hornet_Cub.png
 

cheapracer

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
6,397
Location
Australian
Here is something nobody mentioned...

I had been in talks with AAK (Australian Aircraft Kits) for a good long time prior to Covid trying to become a rep in the USA for the Hornet STOL. I contacted them too late however, as they have been in talks for a few months prior with a MAJOR kit manufacturer in the USA and were close to closing a deal. I still offered to be a west coast rep with whoever they go with but in my mind I always thought Vans was who he was talking to. I even mentioned it once and he sort of gave me a vague enough answer to make me think I hit the nail on the head. It might be easier for Vans to assume a working design already proven in the harsh backcountry over a new design on their own into a market they have no experience in... I would not be surprised if this is what happens..

Kind of hope it is as AAK was so mired in backorders that they would only consider a fully functioning shop to manufacturer everything here over shipping kits as they were already too busy. I wanted to import kits so it did not work out in the end for me.

The Hornet STOL is a bit less refined than the typical Vans aircraft so if it does end up being him, I am sure he will change it up a bit.

Fingers crossed..
Ole's a really nice guy, have dropped in numbers of times on my way past. Would have liked to do something with him, but our ambitions are at the opposite end of the price range.

Fantastically high quality and strength in his builds, uses Ohlins shocks for the long travel gear for example (see picture in post above), and a couple have crashed, that the pilots have just walked away from (pilot errors while mustering).

Last time I saw him at his shop, he's in that difficult place where, do you have small staff and back orders, working your azz off, or do you expand .....

The Hornet was designed to replace, successfully, the Super Storchs that were being wrecked mustering

1627571049396.png
 

cheapracer

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2013
Messages
6,397
Location
Australian
Dear Rataplan,
My biggest beef about the high wings - on Cessnas - is that I lose sight of the runway while turning onto final approach. Van had best install plenty of windows in the cabin ceiling if he wants perfect visibility for his new RV-15.
If only someone could invent something like a small camera that you could have a screen inside to represent that view, sigh.

Just imagine the money they could make using them as reverse cameras for cars, yup, science fiction I know, oh well, we can dream on ....
 

Pilot-34

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2020
Messages
1,335
Location
Most of me is in IL but my hearts in Alaska
if it doesnt have struts where do you tie the moose?

To the floats silly……….,And that’s the reason the lake buccaneer was never popular in Alaska!

Side note once in 69 while up on the side of a mountain I glanced down at what I think was a passing Lake with a canoe filled with moose lashed to the top of the wing midway out.
I had about a half second glance at this and I have spent years wondering what I really saw.
 

addicted2climbing

Well-Known Member
Log Member
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
1,213
Location
Glendale, CA
That Hornet series looks really really well-done.
It is.. its why I tried to import it. Would sell well to ranchers and STOL people. As Cheapracer said, he is far to busy with backorders for ready to fly aircraft to even consider building kits. If Vans is not the guy and the person he was working with fell short due to C19, I still poke Ole every few months with an email to remind him I'm still here interested.
 

saini flyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
487
Location
Dallas, TX
The LSA envelope change is not that far and a 2+2 or 4 seat backcountry plane that will fit in that design envelope and cruise at 150-170mph wont compete against in-house RV10/RV14 either.
 

Wanttaja

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2013
Messages
1,818
Location
Seattle, WA
It’s kind of clever marketing and some non-zero number of future RV-15 builders have just decided not to spend money on some other kit to wait instead.
When you consider that the Carbon Cub is Van's biggest competitor......

Ron Wanttaja
 

BoKu

Pundit
HBA Supporter
Joined
Aug 15, 2013
Messages
2,959
Location
Western US
Best new product web page ever!
I visited the Mothership twice, and each time got a peek into their prototype shop. The first time, when I was helping a friend pick up their engine and finishing kit, we got a look at the RV-12, which was just then being finalized. Along the way they had changed just about every part of the airplane from what they had built for the prototype, and they had a sizeable pile of scrap parts from successive levels of development. The basic configuration was there, and the shape was about the same, but the wing had gotten larger in both chord and span, and the fuselage had been pretty much completely revised to match the wing. In the end, they had something that had sweet flying characteristics, was (relatively) easy to build from a very complete kit, and the finished airplane met both the spirit and letter of the E-LSA rules. So I have complete confidence that Vans is going to work diligently to get this just right.

They won't needlessly keep us in the dark, but they will also be careful not to paint themselves into a corner with premature claims and conjecture.

BTW, the second time we visited was to borrow a ton of lead weight and do a static test in their hangar. What we saw in the proto shop then never came to fruition. I can't tell you about it, but I can say they are not afraid to try out interesting offshoot developments, and not afraid to abandon them if they don't look to pan out.
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
9,669
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
Maybe also look at this from the design engineer's perspective for a second, and think what airplane doesn't exist in the marketplace (or is not easily available), but would serve a useful purpose.

Something that can get in and out of the back country at reasonably short strips (500-700 ft), but also has enough speed and range to go further/faster without having to stop for fuel as often. And something that is more fun to fly than the majority of existing STOL airplanes. But something built out of sheet metal because not everyone loves fabric or wants to be terrified of every thorny bush.

The best airplane that meets the first three requirements is the Bearhawk. It's cleaner and faster than many others, it can operate out of a fairly short strip, and it can go a fair distance. It also handles significantly better than some other bush type aircraft. So if you made a sheet metal equivalent of a Bearhawk, you'd have something fairly desirable to a good number of people.
 

Victor Bravo

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Joined
Jul 30, 2014
Messages
9,669
Location
KWHP, Los Angeles CA, USA
They won't needlessly keep us in the dark, but they will also be careful not to paint themselves into a corner with premature claims and conjecture.
We (the entire aviation community) need to be giving Van's a huge award for NOT putting some ridiculous burst of renderware, "clown puke", and "artist's conception" out there, complete with a bunch of horses**t claims like everyone else seems to love doing. The fact that they are very loudly not doing that, and managing to have a little fun in the process, speaks volumes to their credibility and sincerity.
 

Pops

Well-Known Member
HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
Jan 1, 2013
Messages
9,718
Location
USA.
Maybe also look at this from the design engineer's perspective for a second, and think what airplane doesn't exist in the marketplace (or is not easily available), but would serve a useful purpose.

Something that can get in and out of the back country at reasonably short strips (500-700 ft), but also has enough speed and range to go further/faster without having to stop for fuel as often. And something that is more fun to fly than the majority of existing STOL airplanes. But something built out of sheet metal because not everyone loves fabric or wants to be terrified of every thorny bush.

The best airplane that meets the first three requirements is the Bearhawk. It's cleaner and faster than many others, it can operate out of a fairly short strip, and it can go a fair distance. It also handles significantly better than some other bush type aircraft. So if you made a sheet metal equivalent of a Bearhawk, you'd have something fairly desirable to a good number of people.
I think you hit the nail on the head with it being a sheet metal equivalent of a Bearhawk. They will be doing something to get it handling better than a Bearhawk. When I flew the prototype Bearhawk, I told Bob I wouldn't change a thing. Then he said, let me show you something. Nose sticking up at the sky with the airspeed on zero and doing tight 360's to the right and left. I started my flight instruction in a 150 HP SuperCub and decided the SC is a has been.

Dan
 

saini flyer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Mar 12, 2010
Messages
487
Location
Dallas, TX
VB, you basically defined the problem statement:
Where is an all metal 4 place bushplane that can stall at 40/45mph, cruise at 160/175mph, has control harmony of RVs, and a kit akin to RV12/14 with Vans & VAF support? Also something that will fit in the new LSA/LPA rule!

None of the Sportsman, Bearhawk, S21, 172/182, Maule fill that gap.... NONE!
 

REVAN

Well-Known Member
Joined
Dec 6, 2016
Messages
328
Location
Tucson, Arizona USA
My guess is that it will resemble a 2 seat Merlin PSA: high, cantilevered wing, all aluminum construction. Will it be side-by-side seating or tandem? I don't have a strong wager on one or the other, but at this point I'll guess that it will be a two seat tandem airplane, simply because an all aluminum cub-like plane with a good cruising speed seems to presently be more rare than side-by-side 2-seaters (so, less competition), and Rotax engines are narrow enough to make tandem seating more synergistic than it was with legacy engines.

Oh, I'm also guessing that it will use Rotax 912 to 915 engine options.

That said, it will be fun to see if I'm right about any of this.
 
Top