PDA

View Full Version : F4 Rocket rumors?


SpacemanSpiff
06-11-2008, 02:11 PM
Can anyone shed any light on when the kit will be available? Performance characteristics? And will the price be comparable to an RV-8?

Aden Rich
06-19-2008, 11:59 AM
I started all of this some time back. The F4 is completed just ask Larry Vetterman. He took his Rocket and re-did the mount to accept an 180hp engine. FF is all new and I have not heard any performance figures but you could call him. I know Mark is trying get the F1 EVO back in production and the F1 with the IO-550 is almost finished. If gas prices keep rising, I would suspect that there might be more pressure to get the F4 going. Price will not be in the park with the RV-8. Van's has got the volume. If you want to get close though, buy a HRII kit from Harmon, get the steel legs from Harmon Lange and see if you can get the mount from Mark.

rocketbob
06-19-2008, 12:38 PM
Personally I don't understand why anyone would want anything but a 6-cylinder rocket. They burn the same fuel at RV speeds. A climb to 10K takes 2.5 minutes, vs. five minutes in an RV... you're saving fuel in the climb as well, because your climbing in nearly half the time. On top of that you have a smoother, cooler running engine just loafing at 50% power vs. an engine that's running hot at 75% power. And you have all that extra power on tap that's really nice to have. The first time I flew a Rocket I fell in love. Even after over 1000 hours in RV's whenever I fly a rocket it still knocks my socks off. It is truly a poor-man's P-51. The 540 is what makes the difference.

Webb
06-19-2008, 12:58 PM
Personally I don't understand why anyone would want anything but a 6-cylinder rocket.

Heart says yes, wallet says no.

And my wife will kill me if I build another.

f1rocket
06-19-2008, 04:32 PM
I talked to Larry last week and he was still just feeling out the combination. Initial results were unscientific and Larry felt good about the performance, but the numbers seemed in line with a RV-8.

I'm with Bob. Once you get over the initial investment, the economics are the same.

F1 Rocket
06-19-2008, 05:15 PM
When I was looking for a higher performance plane to transition to from my Kitfox I really fell in love with the Rocket but the local RV guys had me convinced they were way too much of a hotrod, burned an un-necessary amount of fuel, and I would have a hard time handling one. Based on this input and the great rep that Vans had I set out to build an RV-8. Along the way I stumbled on an un-started F1 kit near my house, made the guy a ridiculous offer, and became a Rocket builder instead. A couple of times during the build I had thoughts of putting a 4 cyl in it. Every time Id mention this to anyone who owned or had flown a Rocket they would just laugh, shake their heads and tell me I was working in the sun too long. I was nervous about handling the power up to the point of my first takeoff. That nervousness lasted for appox 30 seconds after it left the ground. The airplane is really easy to fly, goes like stink and the sweet sound of the 540 up front is very reassuring as well. I havent had the chance to fly side by side with my hanger mates RV-8 yet but I believe (as others have said) that I will be burning the same amount (or less) at the same speeds. That is if Im willing to pull the power back that far so he can stay with me


Danny

Aden Rich
06-19-2008, 08:43 PM
We have a Rocket in the family. Great plane. However, with all of the speed mods you can get a 4 cyl Rocket to fly just as fast as the 540 version. No, you won't climb as fast but that's about it. I know the fuel consumption is the same at the same speed. It's the economics of the engine purchase and the assy to go with it. I put together my Rocket engine on my EVO and it cost me over 35K with me buying a core and doing all of the work. I just bought a complete engine kit BRAND NEW for 16,800 with a forward facing sump, mags, and fuel pump. That's hard to beat. PLUS there are way more fun accessories to buy for the 360's. Everything on the 540 is more, Mags, injection, starter..the list goes on. If my family wasn't so hooked on the SBS model, I would be owning a Rocket lite right now. For the money, it would look better than the RV-8 and made be a little faster. I know you 6 cyl jugheads think it's taboo to bolt on a 4 cyl, but come on, you know you would want one over the RV-8:cool:

vlittle
06-20-2008, 12:46 AM
I sat in an RV-8 and a Harmon Rocket today, and the Rocket fits me much better (6-1, 240 lbs). I can make the -8 fit, but the Rocket seems a lot more comfortable.

Thats a good reason for a Rocket of any kind over an -8. An F4 compared to an RV-8 would have similar performance, but the F4 would look better and have more cockpit space (and cost more).

Having said that, if Van's (or someone else) could offer an RV-8 engine mount with gear sockets to eliminate the gear towers, that would help a lot. Not sure why it wasn't designed that way to begin with.

It's probably all academic anyway, Mark can't supply F1 rocket kits right now and I'm worried that he may not be able to restart production for a long time.

Vern

Aden Rich
06-20-2008, 04:31 AM
Get what you need from Harmon. He is still selling kits. It's a slow build process but what the heck. The RV-8 has the towers because when Van originally designed it, being a little longer he was afraid the rake on the gears legs would be too much to put the gear where it needed to be for the CG. Hence came the straight legs. I guess it wasn't that big of a deal as I think the RV-9 has a different mount with more rake than the RV-6. I could be wrong on this however.

f1rocket
06-20-2008, 05:26 AM
We have a Rocket in the family. Great plane. However, with all of the speed mods you can get a 4 cyl Rocket to fly just as fast as the 540 version.

Only if you've found a way to defy the laws of physics. Are there enough "speed mods" to overcome 120 additional horsepower? I seriously doubt it but I could be wrong. Of course, the proof is in the pudding. In the end, I suspect you might spend as much time and money to get a souped up, highly modified, shorter-life 4-banger to even get close to the same speed than if you just bought a IO-540 to begin with.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not against the Rocket Lite. If folks want to go in that direction, I'm okay with that. It's not for me but might be just fine for others. I agree the economics can be a lttle hard to swallow.

BTW, if you can get an IO-540 for $35K, that's a good price. I just ordered mine from Bart and it cost me over $42K. Almost the same engine 5 years ago was $29K although I am getting 40 more horsepower. (Darn RV-10 builders!)

rv6rick
06-20-2008, 07:37 AM
OK...let's make a similar comparison.....How 'bout if you made the SAME SPEED MODS to the 6 banger Rocket.....Hmmmm :D.

[QUOTE=Aden Rich;232424]However, with all of the speed mods you can get a 4 cyl Rocket to fly just as fast as the 540 version.QUOTE]

osxuser
06-20-2008, 01:59 PM
42K for an engine? Yikes. I'd be building my own at that point.

groucho
06-21-2008, 01:43 AM
Pictures anyone? :D

FLYPTV
06-22-2008, 12:04 PM
This weekend we had our airshow at my home airport. First time in over 10 years. Which was really great for me. I grew up on this airport. The annual "Moonlight Fly-In" always coincided with my birthday and Fathers Day. When I was a kid, my Dad was heavily involved in the Porterville Area Pilots Association (PAPA). So it was good to see the show return, albeit without the PAPA club, and my Dad's involvement, he was sailing his boat yesterday.

Since we are in such close proximity to Bakersfield, you know there is a strong likelihood there will be a Rocket or two in for the show. And there were, several, including John Harmon in his HRIII, and a couple of Fast Back -4's.

John did a fly-by photo pass in the HRIII when he got there, he raced that airplane at Reno a few years back I think. The Speed, The Climb Rate, and the Sound, is INTOXICATING. . . It is (don't laugh) for me, every bit as intoxicating as a P51. A couple of others made a pass or two over the weekend, they must have been climbing over 4000 fpm, I realize it is a bit of a zoom climb, but still appeared to sustain the number for a pretty lengthy time.

I keep thinking. . . an RV4 kit is only just over 15k (HR gets another 12 to 15K). . . with the tail kit at $1230. . . hmmmm. . . maybe if I start now, by the time I need an engine (10 years easy!), there will be lots of those gas guzzling IO540's sitting around due to lack of use on those big Cherokees and Aztecs. . .:D They can't get the speed and fuel flow. . . but the Rocket sure can!

Aden Rich
06-22-2008, 12:08 PM
The Rocket kit should only cost about 3-4K more than the RV-4 kit, this is due mostly to the gear legs being TI. BUy a set of steel ones form Harmon Lange that mate to a F1 Rocket engine mount and your Rocket should not cost more than 15K. The Rocket is on heck of an airplane and lite would suit you just fine.

smokyray
06-22-2008, 12:33 PM
Having built and flown an RV4 for 10 years, put 1500 hours on it and now own an early HR2, I can say with all authority: Rockets Rule! I just flew one of the fastest RV4's on the planet from Seattle to Orlando. Not as fast as Dave Anders, but fast. It belonged to a former squadron mate who sold it several years ago. Art Chard built it, a 190HP 0-360, Hartzell, it is truly one of the best RV4's I have ever flown. However, I jumped in my Rocket this morning having not flown it in 2 weeks (having just spent 14 hours in a RV4!) to fly alongside a friend in the very RV4 I just delivered. The first thing I notice is the extra room and view in my HR2. You sit higher and the panel isn't over your knees like the RV8 or sit low as the RV4. The roll rate is faster than all the RV's combined and it feels solid. Why you say? RV4's have the same wing loading as the Cessna 152. The Rocket has the same as a Baron, much more solid and noticeable. At 8500' TAS is 195 knots at 11 gph yet it can cross the fence at 60 knots. Questions?

Meanwhile, back at the ranch I was loping along at 20/2300 while the very fast RV4 was 24 squared doing 170 knots. I firewalled everything, accelerated to 200 knots, pulled away, then pulled into a loop, right back over and onto his left wing. Back to 20/2300/8GPH Flew home and landed on my 1800' grass strip, what other airplane can do that? There is no substitute. Yep, they're more expensive, yep, they burn more gas at high power settings, (but you go FAST)Yep, insurance is more (depending on the agent) but worth the price of admission. The RV4 IS the best bang for the buck and an awesome machine however comma, the Rocket is much more bang for much more bucks! There is a reason John Harmon sold his RV4 after he finished the Rocket, he just didn't fly it anymore. Trust me, I know why...

The Rocket is what it is, an awesome airplane designed around a IO-540, anything less would be like kissing your sister.

Rob Ray
HR2

If the IO-540 is an issue, buy a used one or come down here to FL and I'll introduce you to an Airboat Lycoming builder who sells race-ready IO-540's for alot less.

FLYPTV
06-22-2008, 07:55 PM
Oh my! I have a couple of thousand hours in a Baron. . . One of the nicest flying airplanes I have flown. Tough to get used to in IFR, but with time, you'll come to appreciate that too.

This is something I will take into serious consideration. . .

Shhhh. . . been shopping tool kits today. . . don't tell the wife. . .:eek:

Now, RV8 or RV4 tail? I know they will both work on an HRII. . .

What is the debate?

n5lp
06-22-2008, 08:09 PM
...RV's have the same wing loading as the Cessna 152. The Rocket has the same as a Baron, much more solid and noticeable....Well, there are RVs and there are RVs. I have always considered the RV wing loading to be comparable to a C182.

I don't have a C152 manual here at the house, but I do have a C150M manual. The wing loading is listed as 10 Pounds/Sq Ft. My C182P manual, which I seem to be getting out a lot lately, lists 16.9 Pounds/Sq Ft. Vans says my RV-6 has a loading of 15. I'm sticking with my opinion that the RV is a lot closer to a 182 than a 152.

smokyray
06-23-2008, 07:05 AM
Actually Larry, I stand corrected. The RV4 (which is the RV I was comparing it to) is 13.4, closer to a 172 at 14.1. The 182 originally spec'd at 17.8 The Baron is 20.2. The HR2 spec'd at 16.8, HR3 at 18. What does all that mean? Who cares! The Rocket rides better in rough air and feels more solid than RV's...and is way faster than a 182...or RV6!

This is the Rocket forum after all:)

Smokey
HR2

pierre smith
06-23-2008, 07:30 AM
......you're gonna get me in trouble yet! When Brian and I flew the Race-to-Ridgeland last month, we were balls to the wall, bone-jarring rough air but loved every minute of it and placed second, 220 showing across the finish line and a pegged VSI into a chandelle:D over 3000 FPM.

I can only imagine a Rocket...

Thanks,

f1rocket
06-23-2008, 07:34 AM
Here's the latest from Larry Vetterman on the performance of his Rocket "Lite":

Randy, Before I removed the 540, I had 288 hrs on it, so I had a good
background as to the handling and flight characteristics. I always felt it
was heavy feeling and never enough elevator trim for lndg. So, when we
weighed the Lite, and it lost 150 lbs and the arm moved back 1.7 in. I felt
it was positive. It really flies good and I feel it is more than just speed
differences to make a fair comparison. Take your Rocket and do a 60 degree
bank turn. the big engine wants to stay going straight. The Rocket lite
will turn much better. It's like a talk Van and I had years ago about the
RV-4 and how much fun it was with the 0-320 and a wood prop. then we started
adding bigger engines and heavy constant speed props. Van suggested that we
built the fun right out of the RV-4. I agree. I do want some Rocket pilots
to fly this and see what a different and fun plane it really is. Now that I
have 9.5 hrs on it, I have to say that was is worth doing and would I do it
again and do I miss the 540? The answer is I would definitely do it again
and even though the 540 was extremely smooth, so is the 360 and I do not
miss it. The engine I installed is the IO-360 ECI taper fin cold air model
rated at 191 HP. Richard and Steve Fowler at Americas Aircraft engines
built it and it is a good one. I am enjoying all the benefits of the Rocket
roominess etc and have an aircraft that flies very close to my RV-4. One
more thing, I have flown the box and GPS speeds show typical 206 to 212 mph
depending on altitude and power settings. You have my permission to print
any or all of this on the web. Keep in touch Larry

smokyray
06-23-2008, 07:42 AM
Randy,

Interesting. Larry has been doing this a long time and I trust his insight. Here is some data for the IO-390 and XP-400 which might be a substitute for the IO-540. My question is cost. The IO-390 and XP-400 are over $30K. I can buy a used 540 for under 20K and I don't have to cut my cowling, make a new mount or mess with success. I'm not against the F4, I just need to see a good why...Here's my argument, You get more bang for the buck from a IO-540 and with the right prop and CG, a great flying airplane. Right now I'm just comparing the IO-360(200HP) with the IO-540 (260-300HP). Larry didn't say which prop he used, that would help too.

First here are Lycoming HP/Weight/HP-Weight ratios:The IO-360 looks good on paper, The IO-540 looks better...
O-235-C1B 115 240 0.48
O-290-D2C 140 263 0.53
O-320-A2B 150 272 0.55
O-320-A2C 150 271 0.55
O-320-B2C 160 277 0.58
O-320-D2A 160 277 0.58
O-320-E2A 160 277 0.58
IO-320-B1A 160 285 0.56
IO-320-C1A 160 294 0.54
IO-320-E2A 150 280 0.54
O-360-A1D 180 284 0.63
O-360-A3A 180 285 0.63
IO-360-A1A 200 320 0.63
IO-360-B1B 180 295 0.61
IMO-360-B1B 225 274 0.82UAV engine!
GO-480-B1D 270 432 0.63
GO-480-G1D6 295 437 0.68
IGO-480-A1B6 295 469 0.63
IGSO-480-A1F6 340 498 0.68
O-540-A1A5 250 396 0.63
O-540-B2B5 235 395 0.59
O-540-B4B5 235 395 0.59
O-540-B4B5 260 398 0.65
IO-540-A1A5 290 437 0.66
IO-540-C4B5 250 402 0.62
IO-540-D4A5 260 402 0.65
IO-540-E1A5 290 437 0.66
IO-540-G1A5 290 443 0.65
IO-540-J4A5 250 409 0.61
IO-540-K1A5 300 470 0.64
AEIO-540-L1B5D 300 476 0.63
IGO-540-B1C 350 500 0.70
IGSO-540-A1D 380 530 0.72
IGSO-540-B1A 380 532 0.71
TIO-540-A1A 310 535 0.58
TIO-541-E1A6 380 632 0.60
TIOGO-541-A1A 400 663 0.60
IO-720-A1A 400 597 0.67

My IO-540 has 10,4:1 compression and cranks out (LyCon dyno in 98')300HP/385lbs at 2850 RPM. That equates to a HP:Weight ratio of .69, a bit better than the chart. Should I spend more on less HP to drop 100 or so lbs? OK, say I go with the IO-390 or XP-400 which weigh roughly the same as an IO-360, but cost 30K+ and give me less HP. Is it worth it? I hear my old college economics prof talking "economies of scale" again. My bottom line is design and bang for the buck.


From Marc Cook:
The tactic with the XP-400 was to provide competitive power -- it's rated for 210 hp at 2700 rpm now -- without resorting to a high compression ratio or extreme ignition timing. Displacement makes "easy" power possible, and to that end, Superior took the angle-valve 360's bore dimension from 5.125 inches to 5.25, and extended the stroke from 4.375 to 4.625 inches. Seems like a lot, but the cylinder bores only need grow a sixteenth inch from the centerline, meaning that existing head castings can be used. The barrels are new, of course, but the expensive pieces can be retained. (Lycoming boosted the IO-390's bore alone from 5.125 to 5.319.)

By using the 5.25-inch bore, Superior was able to use rings meant for Continental big-bore engines fitted to brand-new pistons that result in a modest 8.5:1 compression ratio. For reference, the standard, angle-valve IO-360's is 8.7:1. While everyone was told the IO-390 would have the same compression, it turns out to have an 8.9:1 ratio.

More displacement comes from additional stroke; for the XP-400 that's a mere quarter-inch more than the IO-360/390 engines. Superior was able to machine this extra stroke -- the big end is just an eighth-inch further from the main-bearing line -- from O-360 blanks. Like the IO-390, the 400 will use a counterweighted crankshaft. Crescent-shaped weights are pinned to the crankshaft at the back end to absorb high-order harmonics. In exchange for increased engine weight and rotational mass, the counterweighted crankshaft can make the engine smoother and will assuredly make life easier on the propeller. (These high-order vibrations can wreak havoc on a metal prop, and they're the primary influence that prop manufacturers check when approving a certain engine/prop combination.)

This engine packs a few clever touches, including a new Ryton (composite) sump with a choice of front- or rear-facing servo locations. The current IO-390 spec comes with a front-facing inlet only. Superior's roller lifters and specially ground camshaft carry over from the XP-360. Thanks in part to new case castings and the weight savings of the sump, the engine is expected to come in from 294 to 305 pounds ... which is 3 to 14 pounds less than is claimed for the IO-390.

Might be worth considering for your EVO

I'm not cutting my cowling anytime soon...:)

Respectfully submitted...

Smokey
IO-540 HR2

BTW: Found these on Barnstormers this morning...there were many more under 20K.

LYCOMING IO 540 C4B5 675 SMOH • $18,500 • AVAILABLE FOR SALE • Overhauled by Signature Engines 7-22-2007 includes all accessories. s/n L-4384-48 no prop strike • Contact Clark B. Swanson, Owner - located Clearfield, UT USA • Telephone: 801-564-2660 . • Fax: 801-475-1898 • Posted June 15, 2008 • Show all Ads posted by this Advertiser • Recommend This Ad to a Friend • Email Advertiser • Save to Watchlist • Report This Ad

LYCOMING IO 540 C4B5 1075 SMOH • $15,500 • AVAILABLE FOR SALE • Overhauled by Signature Engines feb 1 2007 No prop Strike all acessories included • Contact Clark B. Swanson, Owner - located Clearfield, UT USA • Telephone: 801-564-2660 . • Fax: 801-475-1898 • Posted June 15, 2008 • Show all Ads posted by this Advertiser • Recommend This Ad to a Friend • Email Advertiser • Save to Watchlist • Report This Ad

LYCOMING IO 540 C4B5 675 SMOH • AVAILABLE FOR SALE • Overhauled by Signature Engines 7-22-07 675 SMOH no prop strike all accessories included • Contact Clark B. Swanson, Owner - located Clearfield, UT USA • Telephone: 801-564-2660 . • Fax: 801-475-1898 • Posted June 15, 2008 • Show all Ads posted by this Advertiser • Recommend This Ad to a Friend • Email Advertiser • Save to Watchlist • Report This Ad

f1rocket
06-23-2008, 11:10 AM
I'm with you Smokey. Although I paid a heavy price for my engine, it is a zero time, brand new Lyc that's been ported, flow matched, roller tappets, and Bart swears it will dyno at over 300 HP.

I know the costs are not for everyone, but I've been known to sell an airplane or two in my time:D and when I do, the purchase goes much smoother when there's a new engine up front. (Not that I'm thinking of selling my new EVO)

SpacemanSpiff
06-24-2008, 11:35 AM
Thanks for all the insight on the various rockets. I will be referring to this thread often. I would of course like a 540 but it's out of my price range. Unless I can find a good used one. I hear what you're saying f1rocket, but if the plane with the 540 will be as impressive as everyone says it will be, I can't imagine selling it. I know... things may change.

The HRII is sounding pretty good. Can someone tell me how much the unused parts of the RV-4 comes out to when building the HRII so I can figure out the total cost? Oh, and I couldn't find the range of the HRII listed on their website.

f1rocket
06-24-2008, 01:46 PM
People build for different reasons. I obviously, like to build although I swear, this will be my LAST build. (I've said that before, my wife doesn't even pay any attention to it anymore.)

If you'd like some insights to build a Harmon, go to my friend Vince's website www.vincesrocket.com. His rocket started as a Harmon, and then he added a bunch of F1 parts to it.

Don't know the range of the HR.

Aden Rich
06-28-2008, 12:48 AM
Smokey,
Just poking a little fun here, but 18.5K for a overhauled engine? Sound like a Sherman Williams overhaul to me. I overhauled my IO-540 and did all the work myself. I know I juiced it up a bit but if you discount that, and keep the RSA-5 servo but still overhaul it, your in the 29K range. That is excluding any labor of course. I know economies of scale apply if a overhaul shop is doing it since they can get stuff for less than I can. I would be very cautious if someone was trying to sell me an engine for that price. However, giving current market conditions for gas, 540's might get cheap. 360's might be even cheaper. In fact, our airplanes will become conversation pieces in our garage if it keep's up:)

smokyray
06-29-2008, 09:13 AM
Aden,
Have you ever bought identical items at one store and seen it much less at another or flown from A to B on 2 different airlines and paid much more than the other? Being a Southwest Airlines employee we have a quote: You paid too much...
When I built my RV4 I overhauled my 0-320 myself (I'm an A&P) after buying the core for $1200 and invested $5000 in parts to get it ready to fly. Total investment $6200.I put 1500 hours on the engine and sold it for $4000. My friend J.R. has been overhauling IO-540's for Airboats near here for over 30 years. He uses aftermarket NASCAR forged pistons, rings, valves and bearings. The Cases, Cranks, Cyllinders and Cams come from various sources, mainly Lycoming and Superior where he buys them by the pound. He built me a wide deck 0-320 four years ago with racing airboat parts, yellow tagged crank and stock cam for $6000 out the door no accessories, dyno at 173HP (9.4:1). It was the smoothest running 0-320 I have ever flown. His workmanship is par excellence.
His forte' however is the IO-540, the most popular Airboat powerplant. JR sells stock IO-540's with his own Fuel Injection servo he builds to airboaters for $11,000 out the door, 13,500 for a custom HP engine. Sure, it's a used case, crank and cyllinders, but all engine shops build engines the same way. He uses aircraft (or better) standards on all his tolerances and quality control. My neighbor has one of his 540's in his airboat which I have ridden in many times. It has never missed a beat despite punishment that would make any 540 driver (Sean Tucker included) wince. No baffling, 3000 RPM on a 6 blade composite sensenich prop, going flat out for hours. They ABUSE them yet JR told me he has NEVER had an engine returned with catastrophic failure. Many have been "sunk" when they flipped the boat and several cooked cyllinders. (500F CHT's are considered normal)
I have visited many engine shops and also seen my Dad build engines for 40 years and it all boils down to machine work and parts, pure and simple. Sherman Williams overhaul? I randomly pulled those ads off Barnstormers, there were many more. Go visit the shop, see what they do or talk to customers. Being an A&P for 30 years myself I feel ALL aircraft labeled stuff is overpriced. That's why I try to get the most bang for my buck. Why pay more?

Experimental is a wonderful thing...

Rob Ray
HR2

penguin
06-29-2008, 01:58 PM
I used to fly an Extra 300 (early mid wing, light weight, version), it was great, I loved it. 3200 fpm climb and really light handling. I also flew an Extra 200 a couple of times - it was horrible, really under powered, as soon as the nose was pointed up it ran out of puff. Hope the Rocket vs F4 comparison is different.

Pete

(now flying an RV-6 coz of European gas prices)

Aden Rich
06-29-2008, 11:12 PM
My 180hp RV-6 with a C/S and a empty weight of 1095 climbed at 2700fpm with me and 15 gallons of gas in it. I would say this is no Rocket ROC but it's nothing to sneeze at either. I would gather the F4 would do the same unless it had EVO wings :). Maybe Larry can give us some figures about his.

Smokey, I agree with you 100% about paying too much for parts. But you still have to raise your brows when you here of a engine for so cheap-comparatively speaking of course. Most of us pay a little more for their stuff. But it is nice to see that prices are coming down on the engines. Now if we could say the same for gas......well that's another thread. When I get my Dad's Rocket some day, I will have to trick it out since he went on the conservative side of things.

Don't get me wrong about the Rocket. If I could afford one I would have it. The EVO I had just was too expensive. 50K for the kit #@$%!!! Another 35K for the engine, 6K for prop, 10K for avionics, 5K for paint, 3K in misc stuff. 109K WOOOOW.
I will have to be satisfied with my pimped out RV-6 for a while 40K and counting.

glenn654
06-30-2008, 12:02 AM
I Know Mark's F-1 is the one to have....has he considered building an F6/7. Since these are the models Vans is selling the most of this should be where the best opportunity would be. What do you think? Maybe have three engine options: IO-390, XP-400 or IO-540. The experimental world is full of opportunity!

Think about it.....

Glenn Wilkinson
RV-4
N654RV @ MLJ

smokyray
07-11-2008, 08:47 PM
Trust me, the Rocket has the best vertical climb and acceleration of any light civilian airplane I have flown. Being a spoiled former F16 pilot I can appreciate "burner" climbs on takeoff, the Rocket does it out of my 1800' grass strip!
Here is some convincing video....BTW, Ken Fowler was at Arlington yesterday, I caught the Rocket aerobatic team show...

Smokey
HR2

http://youtube.com/watch?v=u1wLUdTjsFI
Ken Fowler Rocket Airshow

Aden Rich
07-11-2008, 10:21 PM
I have seen the airshow at night. WOW! How in the heck does he keep track of what he is doing. With fireworks it's impressive.

Norman CYYJ
07-11-2008, 11:55 PM
He has it programed into autopilot. lol

glenn654
07-12-2008, 01:40 AM
after reading how great these rockets are.....how does a lowly -4 pilot get a ride and stick time in the mythical rocket...i trust it will be an orgasmic experince .

please contact me with offers...my time is flexible....MLJ
478-452-6813
I suspect a convert in the making

'Are there Rocket 6/7 out there?

Glenn Wilkinson

Aden Rich
07-16-2008, 07:19 AM
There is some Super Six's out there. There is a four place one for sale right now on Barnstormers. To me the Super Six is a lot more sexy than the straight 6. It's increase in length gives it a more refined look. Tom Hallendorf built the first one and there have been several others but I don't know what happened to all of the jigs for the weldments.

smokyray
07-16-2008, 10:14 AM
Here is a nice PDF file on the Super 6....

Smokey

www.aerosportpower.com/docs/D7B116E37F45C67D.pdf

rvmills
07-17-2008, 03:02 AM
Smokey, neat article. Any idea how to get in touch with Carl to compare notes?

I was lucky enough to buy Tom Hallendorf's Super Six last year. I'm the fourth owner, and bought it from a college buddy that is an F-1 Rocket builder/flyer. It really is a great airplane, fast and ton's of fun!

For the posters that expressed interest in the Super/Rocket 6, my website, www.rocketsix.com, has some pics and some history, including the Sport Aviation article on Tom's original design from 1998, the Wayne Handley test flight report, and the original dyno. The website is under serious development (needs it, as the webmaster...me...is a total website rookie) but if you scroll way down, you'll see the articles, along with the rest of my buddy's old site when he was selling it.

I don't have any info on jigs, etc, and have a basic builder's photo folder, but I'd like to talk to Tom and Boyd (owner #2) along the way and get even more history on the plane I've been playing with and showin' some Luv to! Will put what I learn along the way on the site (once I figure that program out!)

I've had it down for a couple months, completing the panel and interior upgrade my buddy started, so it'll look a bit different when I'm done...well, done with this phase! :D

It's a blast though!

Cheers,

Bob Mills
"Rocket Six"
N600SS
Reno-Stead (4SD)

pierre smith
07-17-2008, 06:52 AM
.....is the fuselage a little longer than a stock -6? Reason for asking is that the CG issues come to mind. How were they solved...battery in back, etc?

Thanks,

smokyray
07-17-2008, 08:45 AM
Bob,
The 1st Sun N Fun for my RV4 was in 98' where I parked right next to your Super Six when Tom Hallendorf owned it. Super nice guy, got the full briefing and tour of the airplane back then, impressive! Is he still flying/building? I'm glad you are keeping it going, a very cool machine. Does it still have the rear-facing kids jumpseats in the back? I can relate, I have an early HR2 I am slowly restoring and flying...alot!
Had dinner at John Harmon's Cafe a few months back and John visited with us while we dined. One of the many subjects we discussed was the SS. He mentioned Tom's excellent workmanship on the SS and I asked if plans were a possibility. John just grinned...

Smokey
HR2

rvmills
07-17-2008, 11:12 AM
Pierre,

Yes, the fuselage was lengthened 8 inches, near the baggage compartment, along with some other Rocket-like mods (wings clipped 3.5" each, titanium Rocket struts, thicker skin and beefed up structure...I've seen some extra doublers while working on it). Previous Wt. & Bal. came in at 1230 lbs...not bad given all the extras. I'll be rechecking that after the panel mod is complete. The battery is way in the back (and is held in place by a very beefy bracket), and the ELT is back there too (just did the tunnel crawl replacing the ELT batts during the conditional!). It flies very nice, and is very light on the controls (the F-1 Rocket buddy that sold 'er to me said its lighter on them than his Rocket). Nice machine!

Smokey,

Small world indeed. Tom and his team did a really nice job...his workmanship shows throughout. I don't know if he's still building, but I would like to meet him and let him see his baby is still flying, and is very much appreciated. I really wanted to get 'er done in time for OSH this year, but I want do it right, and it's not quite there. Next year! (And maybe some Sport FX SARL action along the way!) Need to make the trip to HR world to say hi to John when I get it flying as well! If you get any RNO layovers, give me a holler (you're one of Herb's Merry Band of Thieves too, right?)

Hey, for that Back to the Future thang...here's a couple then and now photos:

As you remember it:

http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/3167/supersix1ak0.jpg

As it looks now:

http://img180.imageshack.us/img180/9827/n600ss4sdyl4.jpg


Cheers,
Bob

butch
07-17-2008, 11:34 AM
I have been sitting back watching this thread trying to decide whether to respond or not. My background has been with numerus Vans models (flying and building) with most recently bring an RV7 to finishing stage. As I looked into powering it with a 540 (side by side rocket) the costs and unknowns led me to selling it and purchasing an F1 kit. My interests are in sport fly and aerobatics with occasional cross country trips. Thus, I made the decsion to purchase and F1 kit (#114). As we see how things are changing, I am also deverting to a 4 cylander application (economy fuel, etc). The state of my project: F1 airframe with an adaptor mount going from the 540 mount to IO360 (similar to Vetterman) electronic ignition, constant speed prop. The goal is to keep it lite therefore, still having good performance. I am hoping to bring this into a completed project under 1000 lbs (knowing Vettermans rocket is just over a 1000).

Some of the hurdles that I need to overcome and am open to suggestions on: Having a completed airplane with the performance at 220 mph (?). Rate of climb at 2500 fpm (?). And have the featured comforts of a side by side for cross country trips. I'm currently working on designing seat pans and would like to adventure into carbon fiber pans to eliminate the weight of thick seat cushions but still have ultimate comfort for pilot and passanger. I'm looking of imput from you composite/aerobatic guys that have experience with these type of seat pans.

Being from central MN, I would be heading to Oshkosh on the 27th staying through the middle of the week. I would really be interested in getting together with anyone regarding my project or with anyone else interested in going this direction (and you big block guys). Please let me know your time frame that you will be in Oshkosh and I will try and meet up with you.

Lee Logan -- I'm working real hard at getting my project caught up with you. Love to hear from you.

Butch (Jim)
Rv4/RV9/RV7
Current project F1 Lite - IO360 aerosport

Aden Rich
07-17-2008, 12:02 PM
Finally,
I wish you the best on your project. Let me know if I can help in any way.

Aden

axeltow
08-26-2011, 12:47 PM
i though i would bring this topic back to life. cant seem to find any info on any 4 banger rockets. i found very little info on mr vettermans. how is yours going butch?

SpaYellowNsx
08-28-2011, 09:51 PM
i though i would bring this topic back to life. cant seem to find any info on any 4 banger rockets.

I was thinking about doing the same thing to my Corvette- drop in a four banger-:p

jetdrivr
08-31-2011, 09:36 AM
I was thinking about doing the same thing to my Corvette- drop in a four banger-:p


Or perhaps, you could try this nifty mod....It's a Fiero made to look like a Ferrari! (Sorry for the thread hijack)

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n41/jetdrivr/FieroGT.jpg

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n41/jetdrivr/FieroInteriorL.jpg

http://i109.photobucket.com/albums/n41/jetdrivr/FieroEngine.jpg



Somehow, they just aren't the same...just sayin'!!!

SpaYellowNsx
08-31-2011, 10:17 AM
Or perhaps, you could try this nifty mod....It's a Fiero made to look like a Ferrari! (Sorry for the thread

Somehow, they just aren't the same...just sayin'!!!

I would rather have a Fiero/RV-4 with a High HP engine, then a Corvette/Rocket with a four banger! Nice looking ride.

Sorry to highjack the thread!

smokyray
08-31-2011, 01:40 PM
Guys,

While flying my HR2 I too thought of removing the 540 in lieu of a light weight 4 banger to have a light nosed airplane that flew more like my RV4. I too thought that the weight and fuel burn of a 540 should be hauling four folks+gear(RV10). Recently while talking to Larry Vetterman we got on the subject of his Rocket.
First Larry built and flew his airplane with a 540. He removed it in lieu of an IO-360 built to produce 200 HP as he too didn't like the nose heavy feel of the Rocket. He removed the 540 and built the IO-360 engine mount to bolt up to the current Rocket 540 mount. This retains the original look and fits under the original cowling and you don't have to mess with the landing gear.
The appearance is identical except for the smaller Hartzell BA prop. Performance with the smaller engine is identical at equal fuel burns below 12 GPH. The big difference was handling qualities, according to Larry it flies much better and he shaved almost 150 pounds off the empty weight.

If the F4 ends up being a lower cost, lighter weight alternative, I think it will be Mark's fastest seller.

Personally, I like it...

Smokey

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/1470/lvhr2.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/405/lvhr2.jpg/)
Larry's 540 powered Rocket

jetdrivr
08-31-2011, 03:30 PM
All kidding aside, I do like the idea of a souped up 4-banger on the Rocket airframe. All the great looks of the Rocket with a friendlier fuel burn and long term mx costs (perhaps?). However, my Rocket will have as much horse-power as I can shove in it!

Like my Dad always says..."There is no substitute for horsepower!"

WhiskeyMike
08-31-2011, 04:13 PM
Performance with the smaller engine is identical at equal fuel burns below 12 GPH.

http://img405.imageshack.us/img405/1470/lvhr2.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/405/lvhr2.jpg/)


Mark Fredrick (and others) claim that the F1 Rockets routinely achieve cruise speeds of 200 KTAS at 10,000 on 11 +/- GPH. Is Larry's "detuned" Rocket achieving this performance?

prporter
08-31-2011, 04:54 PM
All kidding aside, I do like the idea of a souped up 4-banger on the Rocket airframe. All the great looks of the Rocket with a friendlier fuel burn and long term mx costs (perhaps?). However, my Rocket will have as much horse-power as I can shove in it!

Like my Dad always says..."There is no substitute for horsepower!"

I'm just curious- how is the fiel burn "friendlier"?

jetdrivr
08-31-2011, 07:19 PM
I'm just curious- how is the fiel burn "friendlier"?

Referring to the assumption that the fuel burn will be "friendlier" on the wallet with a 4 cylinder vs. a 6 cylinder. However, I have my doubts on that one. I believe there have been several discussions on here comparing the two engines on a RV-4 airframe (or similar).

In fact, here is a link to one such discussion back in 2007:

http://www.vansairforce.com/community/showthread.php?t=23918&highlight=540+fuel+burn

jetdrivr
08-31-2011, 07:32 PM
I'm just curious- how is the fiel burn "friendlier"?

Disregard my previous post. Just saw that you are the same guy that is just finishing up your own Rocket. You have obviously figured it out. Good luck with the inspection.

M

prporter
08-31-2011, 08:00 PM
Disregard my previous post. Just saw that you are the same guy that is just finishing up your own Rocket. You have obviously figured it out. Good luck with the inspection.

M

From what I gather, the F1, when throttled back to slow down for the RV's, burns the same amount of fuel.

smokyray
09-01-2011, 11:07 AM
Guys,
I put 1000 hours on my 96" HR2 over six years. LyCon IO540 C4B5 with 10.1 flow matching, GAMI injectors, Electroair ignition. Lots of trips around the country and around my home patch to see some real numbers. If you're talking cross country, sure Rockets burn the same fuel as an RV at equal speeds. I routinely attained 10.5 GPH LOP at 180 Knots True with big tires, caked mud and all. However comma, short trips and flying acro around the home airpatch was much more costly. Six cyllinders burn more fuel than 4, trust me.
Larry's whole point was flying qualities more than HP or fuel burn. Now he has Rocket amenities at a much lower weight and comparative performance with the RV8 but much better looking :)
It all depends on what you like to do and can afford. Personally, I loved my HR2 but I couldn't justify having a $100K+ six cyllinder 2 place airplane in my hangar, when there are more constructive things financially I could be doing.

Half that cost and power easily does what I need to do and still puts a huge grin on my face.
Questions?

My 2 cents...
Smokey
www.fly-4-life.com

bryanrene
09-18-2011, 08:29 PM
I, like many others obviously, like the idea of a rocket lite.

I've got a rv4 and had a rocket... loved the take-off and cruise speed, the roomy cockpit, the beautiful lines but didn't like the nose heavy feel. The elevators felt out of balance with the ailerons. I'm thinking the recently announced O-408 at a projected 230hp with the rocket airframe might give very close performance with a better feel. I doubt it will save much fuel over the 540 however.

I also assume the loss of some of the payload to remain in CG... no more "large" guys in the back and aerobatics. I'd guess the rear seat weight limit should not be too different from the rv4.

I am really looking for a pumped up rv4 that is a little more comfortable so maybe this is the answer.

Question: HR2 is about the same amount of $ and time to build as RV4, right? 540 maybe a little more than 360, prop, etc. RV4's are selling for 40-50K, rockets are still 85-95K, will they come down to 50-60K?

smokyray
09-20-2011, 07:46 AM
Bryan,

My buddy JJ and I have both owned Rockets and sold them for similar reasons. JJ always liked my original 4 way back when and he owned several RV4's before building his masterpiece FB4. It is what I consider is THE most bang for the buck, Rocket Lite/Fastback 4 etc. With the pumped up 0-360 and BA Hartzell it posts nearly the same numbers as an HR2 for less cost.

If someone could build a pre-punched/QB kit of this airframe with a bit more cockpit room I believe it would sell, even in the current market.

My Dos Centavos.
Smokey

http://img192.imageshack.us/img192/2249/jjrv42.jpg (http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/192/jjrv42.jpg/)

PS: For the type flying I prefer, I better start saving my pennies :)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ljpMnCwN32c&feature=relmfu

rocketbob
09-20-2011, 08:52 AM
I've got a rv4 and had a rocket... loved the take-off and cruise speed, the roomy cockpit, the beautiful lines but didn't like the nose heavy feel. The elevators felt out of balance with the ailerons. I'm thinking the recently announced O-408 at a projected 230hp with the rocket airframe might give very close performance with a better feel. I doubt it will save much fuel over the 540 however.

I also assume the loss of some of the payload to remain in CG... no more "large" guys in the back and aerobatics. I'd guess the rear seat weight limit should not be too different from the rv4.

I am really looking for a pumped up rv4 that is a little more comfortable so maybe this is the answer.

Question: HR2 is about the same amount of $ and time to build as RV4, right? 540 maybe a little more than 360, prop, etc. RV4's are selling for 40-50K, rockets are still 85-95K, will they come down to 50-60K?

The heavy nose can be corrected with a modification to the elevator bellcrank. I came up with this mod and a friend put it in his F1 and his elevators are perfectly balanced with the ailerons. The harmony is perfect and its a true joy to fly. Not for the ham-fisted however!

My $.02...I like a loafing, underworked 540 much better than I do an overworked 360. Fuel burn is simply a function of throttle position and even though its hard to resist having all that HP up front its pretty easy to manage. I've flown MANY x/c trips with my friend Jim Winings and he has always beat me at fuel stops on using less fuel so, again, fuel burn is manageable and I would argue a 540 rocket does better based on my experience.

CG is a non-issue in a rocket and I would hate to lose all that baggage space.