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conlimon
12-05-2008, 10:41 AM
so I'm in the extremely long home stretch (might be a stretch to call it the home stretch just yet...) of a 3+ year RV-10 build. I'm having fun building, but during that time, I've not had an aircraft to fly, so the flying has suffered greatly. Over the last couple years, I've flirted with the idea of buying a tandem seat aircraft (cause I want one anyway!) to fly around. I'm looking at 8's, 4's, but leaning toward a Rocket... but I'm a fairly low time pilot that's never flown anything faster than a Cessna. I'm smart enough to know that I'm stupid enough to do something dumb in an aircraft that's too advanced for me, but it also occurs to me that knowing that is half the battle. So is it ridiculous for a 200 hour Instrument rated pilot to consider buying and flying a Rocket? If not, what steps would one take for training to make this a safe endeavor? I understand that transition training for RV-4 flying is done in a 6 or a 7. Same for a Rocket? Does the extra power and weight of the 540 in a Rocket make it much more challenging to fly? Someone talk me off the ledge!

cj

Kahuna
12-05-2008, 11:02 AM
Yes you can do it.
Folks over the years in and out of the military have learned to fly in much higher perfromance aircraft, much heavier, much larger, much faster, with lower time, with very good success. Its the skill you bring and the training you receive to transition to a rocket that will determine your ability to do it.
Go for it.
Block your ears from the neah sayers. Its been done many times. You can too after you assess your abilities and your instructors.
Best,

N941WR
12-05-2008, 11:10 AM
CJ,

The first question is how many of those hours are in Conventional Gear aircraft?

With 200 hours in Cessnas I suspect not many. You might want to start in a Citabria/Decathlon/Cub/Champ and get your endorsement first. That will take 10 hours +/-. Once you have crossed that hurdle, then you will be ready to start with transition training towards a -4/-8/Rocket.

FWIW, I got my endorsement after seven or eight hours in a J-3 but didn't feel really comfortable until I had around 100 hours. Now with more than double the TW vs. NW time I wonder what the big deal was BUT, and this is a big BUT, I still sit up and take notice every time I prepare to land.

Mike S
12-05-2008, 11:13 AM
I'm smart enough to know that I'm stupid enough to do something dumb in an aircraft that's too advanced for me, but it also occurs to me that knowing that is half the battle.

cj

Scary thing is------I understood this without having to re-read it:eek:

conlimon
12-05-2008, 11:51 AM
yup... Nope... of my 200 hours, exactly 1 hour was spent in a decathlon, which I didn't pilot during the takeoff or landing. I did however do one excellent hammerhead, followed by a very not-so-excellent hammerhead (think waiting waaaaay too long before kicking the tail around) and some fun loops and rolls, and one very interesting attempt at making a coordinated turn while inverted. My brain couldn't decide how to go about that one, and my buddy who I was flying with was extremely entertained. But no, no takeoff, and no landing. So start with the TW endorsement? Seems a logical place to start... I'll have to trek a bit south for that one, as I haven't seen anywhere cept Sunrise here in socal that's got a TW trainer. Maybe I'll stop typing and give them a call... Keep egging me on everyone!

cj

wilddog
12-05-2008, 12:35 PM
Better check with your insurance co to see what they are going to require before they will write a policy for you.

jtrusso
12-05-2008, 12:37 PM
I'll have to trek a bit south for that one, as I haven't seen anywhere cept Sunrise here in socal that's got a TW trainer. Maybe I'll stop typing and give them a call... Keep egging me on everyone!

cj


I think I'm reading that you're in SoCal? I'm not sure where Sunrise is but if you're anywhere in LA County check out CP Aviation in Santa Paula. They do TW endorsements and acro instruction.

http://www.cpaviation.com (http://www.cpaviation.com/)/

Jeff Brenhaug
12-05-2008, 12:47 PM
You will be completely capable of flying a Rocket if you take the time to do it right.
You've taken the first step in admitting you need training and asking for help, now it's up to you to find it and follow through with it. The Decathlon is a good choice for training, I did my TW endorsement in a Citabria.
Live it, breathe it, be the tailwheel.............always be flying it until the wheels stop rolling.........stick back!...stick back!(flashbacks of my instructor yelling at me are still in my head)
Then go out and buy a -4 and get more training in it, log a good 100+ hours in it and then sell it, if you can. You'll want to keep it after owning it so I've been told by all owners.
Then go out and get some good training in a Rocket. Learn all the little tricks from the instructor, ie..forward cg, rubbery legs, somewhat blind landings, etc.....
If you really want it, you'll do it.
Just remember, the insurance will be your largest hurdle so don't skimp on the time involved.
IMHO,
Jeff

conlimon
12-05-2008, 12:56 PM
so I'm headed down to John Wayne tomorrow at noon to start learning how to ditch the nosewheel. I'll be flying a Decathlon at noon! Thanks for all the advise everyone. Starting with a 4 seems like a pretty good idea, and the cost to jump in is a bit easier to swallow - especially since I've already got a bunch of money tied up in an RV-10 shaped paperweight! I'll be snooping around for a 4 or 8 in the near future I guess. You really do need two planes, don't you? (practicing for when I talk with my girlfriend)

cj

N941WR
12-05-2008, 01:13 PM
CJ,

After you start flying a -4 I doubt you will want a -10, or so I've been told.

Have fun tomorrow and don't worry, that first lesson is a real eye opener. Don't get discouraged by what happens tomorrow.

Just remember, the trick is to keep the nose straight. No matter what else happens, just use your feet to keep it straight. Oh, RV's are much easier to fly.

conlimon
12-05-2008, 01:24 PM
I'm not about to give up my 10, but if I can persuade the boss that a tandem AC would be a good addition to our household, I'm going for it!

cj

1:1 Scale
12-05-2008, 03:01 PM
Just convince her that a TW will be safer to land at Elsinore;)

conlimon
12-05-2008, 04:27 PM
How's your transmission Kelly? Yea - last time I saw you I was already talking about a tandem seat RV... I'm thinking it might happen. I need to figure out if I can fit two people plus skydive gear in an RV-4. It might be tight. Or I'll have to leave Bethany at home :eek:

SMO
12-05-2008, 05:16 PM
Starting with a 4 seems like a pretty good idea, and the cost to jump in is a bit easier to swallow

'cause that is zactly what I have done!

You really do need two planes, don't you?

YEP

1:1 Scale
12-05-2008, 09:35 PM
How's your transmission Kelly? Yea - last time I saw you I was already talking about a tandem seat RV... I'm thinking it might happen. I need to figure out if I can fit two people plus skydive gear in an RV-4. It might be tight. Or I'll have to leave Bethany at home :eek:
Dude, the car is a story way too long for a post on here. I'll just say that I could have had it fixed in an hour, hour and a half tops, and I spent a extra week down there dealing with it, and I'm not done yet:rolleyes:

I'm not really familiar with -4's, but I'm guessing two people, one rig, MAYBE two, and that's if you wear your jumpsuit, helmet and alti while you fly:D

pierre smith
12-06-2008, 05:58 AM
......since a jump rig and suit might not fit in the only small baggage area behind the back seat. I just looked at the -4 in my hangar. Besides, you might have an aft CG problem.....but man, is it fun to fly!! Go for it.;)

Regards,

Dprestonsr
12-06-2008, 06:17 AM
I think the insurance will be a biggy, at least it was for me. I found a rocket I wanted but insurance was more than I was willing to pay. This was about 4 years ago. I had over 23,000 hrs, over 1000 in TW in many various types from the P-51 to corporate jets. Premium was $4800/yr. I have stayed with the various RV models and love'em. Good luck.
Doug Preston
RV-10
N372RV

conlimon
12-06-2008, 06:50 PM
back from my first flight lesson in a decathlon. I went for a tailwheel endorsement, and ended up signing up for the aerobatics course. awesome. lots of spins. whew. The last training I did before this was for my instrument rating. boy is this different. I got yelled at for looking at the ball too much :) funny takeoffs and landings, but I think I'll get the hang of it. I'm gonna fly twice next weekend with my instructor. Thanks everyone for all the great advise. this is good fun.

cj

logansc
12-07-2008, 09:28 AM
Check with Doug Rosendahl about dedicated training in his F1 Rocket. Doug is FAA certified/authorized to do Rocket training in his ship. He's a great instructor and a terrific guy. Check him out.

Regards,

Lee...

John_RV4
12-08-2008, 09:00 AM
Doug,
Any idea how much of the insurance cost was due to hull value ? Obviously, if the hull is worth $150k, the insurance is going to be higher.

I guess I'm asking: If you had a HRII/F1 and say.. an RV10 that were both worth $180k (example), would the HR have a dramatically higher insurance premium?

John

B25Flyer
12-13-2008, 06:13 AM
I do have an EAA/FAA exemption to sell dual in my Rocket. I may or may not do it next year, the little bit of training I do barely covers the insurance costs.

As a practical matter, a competent pilot could easily transition to the Rocket from any RV, but the insurance companies see Rocket training as a better choice.

The instructor is much more important than the airplane you use for transistion training. The instructor should have some Rocket experience, unless the student is highly experienced in High perf T/W aircraft. (Extra, Pitts, Stadaucher etc.)

I charge $250/hr for dual. I am located at MCW in N/C Iowa. The rental includes a place to stay in my hangar.

Tailwinds,
Doug Rozendaal
dougr(at)petroblend.com

RVCFI
12-13-2008, 01:39 PM
Hi I give training in RV's and Rockets. Rockets are easier to land because they are more stable in pitch. I travel for free via the airlines. I fly to you. If I can help in any way let me know.

F1 Rocket
12-22-2008, 07:38 PM
I am I low time pilot with little high performance time. All of my time is in tail wheel aircraft (l learned to fly in my Kitfox) so that helped bit. I had not flown anything in almost 4 years so I the first thing I did was get back up to speed in my brothers '56 182, and get my medical and BFR out of the way. Next was approx 10 hrs dual in an RV-6 (mostly bouncing along the runway) as well as seat time in the front of my brothers Extra 300. The site picture and performance of the Extra is very close to the Rocket. Then I just waited for the right day to come along to fly the Rocket. I have about 20 hrs in it now. While the Rocket is way easier to fly than the RV-6 or the Extra I have a huge amont of respect for it. It is a total blast to fly and I love every minute I get in it.

Danny
F1 N14ZM

pierre smith
12-23-2008, 07:22 AM
....Which aspect of flying the Rocket is easier? Am I to assume you're talking about ground ops.....landings and takeoffs?

Thanks,

smokyray
12-23-2008, 08:44 AM
Pierre,

The biggest difference I noticed on my first Rocket flight was stability, feel and of course, POWER. The Rocket with heavier wing loading lighter ailerons, heavier pitch sensitivity and mo power really separates it from the RV's. The RV4's wing loading is very close to the Cessna 182, the Rocket is nearly identical to the B50 Baron. Big difference, especially in the bumps. Since I (like you) operate my HR2 out of a relatively short/rough strip, the Rocket's low speed qualities are what I really looked for. 60 Knots over the fence is no worries with a little practice. To me, all of the RV's seem easy to fly, the Rocket is just more so, very stable. My South African spray pilot friend Johan landed my Rocket from the back seat very nicely. Anyone who has experience with poor ground visibility, lots of torque on takeoff and blind forward visibility on low speed approaches (sound familiar...Ag Truck, Dromader, Thrush) will have no problems with the Rocket.

To compare the RV to the Rocket is like comparing a Pawnee to a Turbine Thrush...:) I'm sure you can relate!

Merry Christmas!
Smokey
HR2

MattSR
12-23-2008, 11:53 PM
How does the rocket compare to the Pitts S2B/C?

smokyray
12-24-2008, 07:45 AM
Matt,

The Pitts is a much more Aerobatic airplane than the Rocket. Much slower, more draggy and more short coupled, ailerons about the same, rudder more sensitive. Curtis wouldn't have had it any other way! The Pitts is alot of aerobatic bang for the buck though, a truly great airplane. If unlimited acro over the home patch by yourself is the mission, the Pitts is hard to beat.
By comparison, the Rocket is a Sport Aerobatic airplane, very clean, builds up speed quickly with heavier pitch forces, but great cross country. The Rocket shines in that it does many things well and is just a hoot to fly. The downside of the Rocket is cost.

As I have heard many times, you need two airplanes...:)

Smokey
HR2

Dangerous Dan
12-24-2008, 11:08 AM
I was wondering / dreaming about what it takes to pilot a Rocket.
This thread indicates it is possible for me. :)

They look fast just parked. I keep a photo of the shark mouth rocket on my hooch wall for motivation. I plan to own an RV-4 that has all the good stuff on it. Seems if you add all the good stuff you get a rocket.

Been planning to own three airplanes: 1 kit fox - Low and Slow. 2 Tri Pacer - my old "pick up truck". 3 RV4 - fast & fun. Maybe just need one airplane...a Rocket :D

Here is the hard part for me:
Why does a flying rocket sell for about 2 - 3 times more than a -4?
How much more does it cost to operate and maintain?

Perhaps I should aim for the stars (it takes a rocket to get there);)

Merry Christmas, Dan

Norman CYYJ
12-24-2008, 11:20 AM
A Rocket is like a woman. Expensive. You want speed and good looks you gotta pay the piper.

Dangerous Dan
12-24-2008, 12:00 PM
You love a lot of things,
if you live around them,
but there isn't any woman,
and there isn't any horse,
not any before nor any after,
that is as lovely as a great airplane.
And men, who love them, are faithful to them,
even though they leave them for others.
Man has one virginity to lose in fighters,
and if it is a lovely airplane he loses it to,
there is where his heart will forever be.
Ernest Hemingway

Got the above quote off a team rocket site this morning..

I really enjoy building and flying vicariousely through this wonderful site.
Learning from you flyers helps me see many of the pluses and minuses.

Like they say, if you ask about mileage, you probably cant afford it ;
Ho ho ho :D

B25Flyer
12-25-2008, 08:45 PM
You love a lot of things,
if you live around them,
but there isn't any woman,
and there isn't any horse,
not any before nor any after,
that is as lovely as a great airplane.
And men, who love them, are faithful to them,
even though they leave them for others.
Man has one virginity to lose in fighters,
and if it is a lovely airplane he loses it to,
there is where his heart will forever be.
Ernest Hemingway

:D

My first fighter was the Corsair, and these words are true.

I have owned lots of airplanes, L-2, PA-22, 28, 23-250, C-150, C-182, 182RG, 195, 210, 310, B-33, B-55, Cassutt, RV-4x2, HR-II, others I've missed, and the F-1 EVO. Some to keep & fly, and some to sell. As for the keepers, I have always had a good idea what airplane would be next. Since i have had the F-1 EVO, I have no idea what I could replace it with....

There is just no airplane to move up to from here that that meets my requirements and needs. It is not a Corsair, and a big piece of my heart will always be with the Corsair, but the Rocket is a great date!

Tailwinds,
DougR

SteinAir
12-29-2008, 11:19 AM
There is just no airplane to move up to from here that that meets my requirements and needs.

Tailwinds,
DougR

I'm working on that! Might be awhile, but we'll see......are you SURE there is nothing out of Younkin land that would suffice!?!?!? :)

Cheers,
Stein

B25Flyer
12-29-2008, 08:01 PM
Stein,

Much as I love your new toy, i don't think I would want to fly it IFR at night in the wintertime..... Too many 985 failures in my past...... In fairness, it was an maintenance problem more than an engine design problem, but I still like my 985 in pairs at night.

For that matter, probably not a good daytime IFR airplane in the winter. Can you imagine landing that thing with an inch of ice and a frozen W/S????

I think not....

I want to fly it, not buy it!

Tailwinds,
DougR

SteinAir
12-29-2008, 10:31 PM
Touché my friend! Heck, I'll probably have a hard enough time with "normal" landings! :)

Cheers,
Stein

Dangerous Dan
12-30-2008, 12:02 AM
Ahh, flying Corsairs probably gave you some good experience for "long nosed" aircraft take offs and landings. The Udvar Hazy museum has a Corsair hanging at the end of the entrance walkway. In a left bank, flaps out, gear and hook down. The Docent explained that on landing the pilots use a turning approach so they can see the carrier since looking over the nose was impossible. Guessing the HR3 would be about the same..

Working in Iraq earning my airplane money so, All I can do is read about flying for now. Great idea to buy an RV-4 and get at least 100 hours before becoming a "Rocket man".

I bought my C-152 before I had any lessons. That was hard not being allowed to start or taxi my Airplane until the only Instructor made an appearance a week later. The airport manager made sure to keep me honest.

Hmmm, buy and fly an RV-4 while building a Rocket :D

Is flying the RV-4 really that much easier?
Is flying a Rocket really that tricky?
Would lots of rocket training be as good as 100 hours in a -4?

I figure the Rocket of today is the surplus P-51 of the 1960's.:cool:

f1rocket
12-30-2008, 04:47 AM
I certainly don't have the experience that other's do but as a lowly VFR only, less than 1000 hr private pilot, I can assure you the F1 is really quite easy to fly. It shares all the great handling characteristics of the RV series. I think it is easier to land because it is a tad heavier and the elevator feel is just a little heavier too. It just "feels" good in the pattern, rock solid. You just have to watch your speed because it will start to sink pretty good if you get too slow.

About 6 months ago, a complete stranger made me an offer I couldn't refuse for my Maroon and Gold Rocket. I sold it to him and immediately bought another F1 Rocket kit, an EVO. In fact, that was one of the terms of the purchase agreement because I would not let my F1 go if I couldn't secure another one. It's nice to know that my feelings for the F1 are shared with others who have had an opportunity to fly many more types of aircraft than I ever will.

smokyray
01-04-2009, 06:44 PM
Dan,
As stated above, the Rocket isn't that hard to fly for an adept tailwheel pilot. However comma, some insurance companies don't see it that way. A solid foundation in tail wheel instruction from the "backseat" of a Citabria or Cub closely simulates the reduced forward visibility in the Rocket on the ground, it's highest accident rate. Simply stated, S turns are required. The final approach visibility into my short strip at 65 knots requires a few S turns as well, no big deal. The RV4 is a perfect warm-up to the Rocket, a few hours should prepare you well for the ensuing adventure.

I too have flown several airplanes but my good ole' HR2 is hard to beat, the closest thing I can find to the F-16C. That one, I really miss.

Smokey
HR2

Once you have hunted armed men, there is nothing else that quite compares.
Ernest Hemingway
I'm sure you can relate...

Dangerous Dan
01-08-2009, 12:51 PM
OK I got my transition plan now.
Rocket Insurance cost is the dang wild card. :eek:

1. MS flight simulator While overseas. (building the PC now)
2. RV-4 and fly fly fly. For one year.
3. Hopefully will still have the heart and resources to get into a rocket. Maybe rent out my house and live in the hanger. :D

Do you guys know a single lady Rocket owner?... have her send pics ... of the Airplane ;)

Hemmingway sure was good with words.
As an older Civilain Commo guy, I am usually the one being hunted. Felt too much "heat" in the last few years. At Combat Out Post 579 living with the platoons running "Kill or Capture" missions. I often shared in the excitement of getting those murdering bad guys. Many more hours were spent scared and praying when the mortars and rockets hit our COP or Convoying though streets risking IED hits. So glad that we seem to have won this war here.
I am one lucky guy! good chance I might wind up "Rocket man Dan"!!! :cool:

smokyray
01-11-2009, 07:12 PM
Hi Dan,

Yep, did 6 tours there over the years, the last three noteworthy. Was there for all the no-fly zones in the 90's, then deployed our F-16's to a bare base in 03' for OIF. Did the "War in the West" supporting SOF , did stuff in the Viper that I never thought I would ever do, at night, in dust storms. Went back in 04 and covered the siege of Fallujah, lots of close in stuff, working very close to some very brave kids. What's the longest minute and a half on earth? The time of fall of a 500 lb bomb from 15K to the ground, danger close to good guys you're trying to help. I'm very proud of what I did and feel it was a noble effort, but even more proud of the generation of 18+ year olds doing the dirty work door to door.
Glad I could do my part.

Thanks for what YOU are doing.

Smokey
HR2

PS: When you get back, the first HR2 ride is on me...

Dangerous Dan
02-01-2009, 09:04 AM
Smokey,
Thanks for your kind words and for sharing some of your wartime experiences. I agree with you 100%, its the young guys doing the dirty work while separated from thier wives and kids that I hold in highest reguard. Hmmm, guess those young firepissers were us almost 30 years ago. ;)
I love reading your Notes, Stories, Technical and Piloting tips.
Your story about the old instructor farmer who runs the grass field surrounded by corn was forwarded to my 75 year old flight instructor and mechanic, an example that helps keep my IA / instructor motivated and in the game.
I am not goin to miss out on your kind offer for my first HR2 ride. It might take me a few years to catch up with you.
Thank you, Dan

RV Jerry
02-01-2009, 10:20 AM
so I'm in the extremely long home stretch (might be a stretch to call it the home stretch just yet...) of a 3+ year RV-10 build. I'm having fun building, but during that time, I've not had an aircraft to fly, so the flying has suffered greatly. Over the last couple years, I've flirted with the idea of buying a tandem seat aircraft (cause I want one anyway!) to fly around. I'm looking at 8's, 4's, but leaning toward a Rocket... but I'm a fairly low time pilot that's never flown anything faster than a Cessna. I'm smart enough to know that I'm stupid enough to do something dumb in an aircraft that's too advanced for me, but it also occurs to me that knowing that is half the battle. So is it ridiculous for a 200 hour Instrument rated pilot to consider buying and flying a Rocket? If not, what steps would one take for training to make this a safe endeavor? I understand that transition training for RV-4 flying is done in a 6 or a 7. Same for a Rocket? Does the extra power and weight of the 540 in a Rocket make it much more challenging to fly? Someone talk me off the ledge!

cj

CJ,

i HAVE A FULL DUAL CONTROL RV-4 (180 W/CS) AT CHINO. I KNOW OF
A LOCAL INSTRUCTOR WHO WILL GIVE DUAL IN THE -4. CONTACT ME
OFF LIST.

Jerry Scott
909-393-1538

bryanrene
02-18-2009, 09:46 PM
I am the stranger who bought pflanzer's f-1. I had a RV-4 that I had been flying for a little over 18 months. It was a breeze to move into the rocket. I think your plan is a good one. RV-4 for a little while then move into the rocket and never look back. Good luck.