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  #1  
Old 09-01-2021, 08:06 AM
tentoes tentoes is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: McMinnville, Oregon
Posts: 5
Default Rough fields and RV8s

Hello:
I am new to this cool site and if my question has already been posed, then my apologies and please point me in the right direction. I am an older guy just now getting back into flying after a long hiatus and the RV8 has really caught my eye, especially with the bigger engines and the ability to do 200 mph at altitude has really got my interest.

One question I have is how robust is the landing gear on an RV8 (or other Vans as well)? I understand that the tires are only about 4 or 5 inches in diameter and I have been entertaining the idea of taking trips to places like the Alvord desert (in Southeastern Oregon) and other such spots where no airport exists.

It may be a vague question, but how robust is the gear on an RV like the -8?

Thanks for all of the insight!
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2021, 10:13 AM
Chkaharyer99 Chkaharyer99 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Pilot Hill, CA
Posts: 867
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Welcome.


These threads may give you some insight to your question.

https://vansairforce.net/community/s...t=74993&page=2

http://www.mattsrv8.com/users/displa...g=173542&row=7

http://www.vansairforce.com/communit...ad.php?t=42689
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RV-8
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2021, 11:11 AM
tentoes tentoes is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: McMinnville, Oregon
Posts: 5
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Wow these are great discussions….if I am not mistaken, these posts concern the RV-8 and not the RV-8a with the tricycle gear….or am I wrong. I am looking at the -8a a lot because of my fear of ground loops….
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2021, 11:17 AM
fixnflyguy fixnflyguy is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Winston-Salem, N.C.
Posts: 1,454
Default Look up "Vlad" on here

Take a look at the travels and posts by Vlad on VAF..he and his RV9A have been on some pretty extreme A model adventures. Dont let the ground-loop worry you..that fear can be overcome with a bit of training and confidence.
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2021, 12:43 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 2,947
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I pretty routinely fly my RV-8 off of dirt and grass strips. Some rougher than the Alvord desert. I'm very confident that the -8 would land there just fine.

I do use bigger tires than standard. 380-150x5 rather than the standard 500x5. The bigger tire is about an inch bigger in diameter and about an inch wider. It still fits inside the standard wheel pant.
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RV-8 N825RV
IO-360 A1A
WW 200RV
"The Magic Carpet" Flying since Sept. 2009
Hobbs 700
also
1/4 share in 1959 C-182B (tow plane)
LS6-15/18W sailplane SOLD
bought my old LS6-A back!!
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2021, 12:55 PM
DanH's Avatar
DanH DanH is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
Posts: 10,279
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tentoes View Post
...the RV8 has really caught my eye, especially with the bigger engines and the ability to do 200 mph at altitude has really got my interest.
One question I have is how robust is the landing gear on an RV8 (or other Vans as well)?
Short answer...the 8A nose gear is not robust, and the RV8A typically has a CG very far forward when solo, in particular given an angle valve installation with metal prop. I flew a friend's angle valve 8A about 60 hours years ago, and the combo would be way down my list of rough field RV's.

If you must have a nose wheel, look for a 9A with 320 and a light fixed pitch prop (like the aforementioned Vlad the Unstoppable), or a 10, or 14A.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2021, 01:10 PM
scsmith scsmith is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Ashland, OR
Posts: 2,947
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanH View Post
Short answer...the 8A nose gear is not robust, and the RV8A typically has a CG very far forward when solo, in particular given an angle valve installation with metal prop. I flew a friend's angle valve 8A about 60 hours years ago, and the combo would be way down my list of rough field RV's.

If you must have a nose wheel, look for a 9A with 320 and a light fixed pitch prop (like the aforementioned Vlad the Unstoppable), or a 10, or 14A.
There is the new, improved nosewheel system now from Vans. A switch to that would be a big improvement in ruggedness of any tricycle gear RV-6,7,8,9. (EDIT: Sorry, it appears the new improved nose wheel system is only available for the RV-7a and -9a? Looking at Vans SL-19-04-30. Would be nice if they also introduced the same improvement for the -8A -- call Van's and ask)

That doesn't solve the nose-heavy issue though. Put the battery in the back, and anything else heavy.
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Steve Smith
Aeronautical Engineer
RV-8 N825RV
IO-360 A1A
WW 200RV
"The Magic Carpet" Flying since Sept. 2009
Hobbs 700
also
1/4 share in 1959 C-182B (tow plane)
LS6-15/18W sailplane SOLD
bought my old LS6-A back!!
VAF donation Dec 2020

Last edited by scsmith : 09-01-2021 at 01:32 PM.
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2021, 01:40 PM
bifft bifft is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Utah
Posts: 119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scsmith View Post
There is the new, improved nosewheel system now from Vans. A switch to that would be a big improvement in ruggedness of any tricycle gear RV-6,7,8.
That doesn't solve the nose-heavy issue though. Put the battery in the back, and anything else heavy.
The new nose gear is only for the 6A, 7A and 9A. (and is standard on the 10A and 14A). Not available for the 8A. If you build an 8A light, the CG isn't far forward (mine is in the middle of the range when solo.) This does make it harder to load large passengers. The 8A leg has different geometry than the 6,7,9 so the change won't fit:

https://www.vansaircraft.com/2019/06...a-finish-kits/

Because of the reputation I've restricted my 8A to pavement so far. From what I've seen of Alovard Desert or the Ibex hardpan I'd be Ok with taking it to those but not anything much rougher.

Regarding tailwheels, despite the claims of so many, they really aren't hard to fly. The directional instability isn't much harder than riding a bike at slow speed. You can learn it. The poor visibility on the ground is the part I don't like. Find a way to sit in a few and see what you think.
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  #9  
Old 09-02-2021, 09:45 AM
tentoes tentoes is offline
 
Join Date: Aug 2021
Location: McMinnville, Oregon
Posts: 5
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Thank you for the detailed responses….y’all have given me a lot of food for thought and research!
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  #10  
Old 09-02-2021, 10:08 AM
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greghughespdx greghughespdx is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Aurora, OR
Posts: 1,014
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Many RV-8As fly off grass strips, dry lakebeds, and similar surfaces all the time. Maintaining aft elevator while operating on the ground and ensuring the aircraft configuration doesn't create a forward-CG are helpful.

The difference between a parallel and angle-valve IO-360 for example can make a significant difference, as can prop choice in combination with the engine. An angle-valve, 4 cylinder engine with a metal constant speed prop and a heavy battery on the firewall is the most likely forward-CG scenario. You can choose a lighter prop, lighter engine, and locate the battery aft (decisions like this are made in combination while building or adjusting). In addition, with only one person seated in the forward seat position, plus the ability to spread loads between the front and rear baggage compartments, you can pretty easily adjust your load to avoid forward CG configuration - even more so than a side-by-side RV a lot of the time.

The Alvord Desert is really not an issue (assuming the lake bed is dry, of course). It's essentially a dusty, hard-surface landing surface. And it's an amazing place to go fly!

And we're just up the road from ya, so feel free to drop by sometime.
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Opinions, information and comments are my own unless stated otherwise. They do not necessarily represent the direction/opinions of my employer.

Building RV-8A since Sept 2014
Dual AFS 5600, Avidyne IFD 440, Whirlwind 74RV, Superior XP IO-360
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Aurora, OR (EAA Chapter 105)

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