“I wish I had less horsepower!”…..said no pilot, ever!
But honestly, the difference in performance between the two (assuming you;re talking angle valve to angle valve) is going to be pretty small. And also honestly, I have heard a number of guys with LOTS of RV-8 time that built a plane with an angle valve engine muse that if they built another one, they’d just go with a parallel valve engine because it makes the nose lighter, which makes for lighter handling.
Van originally designed the -8 for an O-320, but very, very few build that way!
With my 180 horsepower O-360, dual P-Mags, I cruised to and from Oshkosh this year at 170 KTAS burning about 8.8 gph. that’s just a data point, not a recommendation - just to help quantify things.
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)