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View Full Version : Rocket Vs. RV-8


xblueh2o
06-02-2012, 10:20 PM
Performance aside (since it is a hands down no contest kind of thing) I am looking for input on the roominess of the HR2 and/or F1 rocket Vs. an RV-8. At 6'5" I am pretty snug in an 8. I sat in one very plush 8 and it was very uncomfortable. I tried another 8 with all the padding removed from the seat and the peddles full forward yet my knees were still touching the bottom of the panel and had I been wearing a headset it would have been touching the canopy. Wondering if either rocket is better for tall folks?
Thoughts?

drill_and_buck
06-03-2012, 05:56 AM
An RV-8 with Todd's canopy and the tall option installed would be a good bet.

I have an RV-8 with Todd's canopy, which has a different profile than that stock Van's canopy. Depending upon how it is installed, it can increase headroom by several inches.

Vans also has a "tall pilot" option that will change the configuration of the seating so that there is more legroom in the front seat but less in the rear seat. From their literature... "For really tall people; 6’6” or 6’7”."

N395V
06-03-2012, 08:33 AM
I am 3" shorter than you and probably weigh a good bit more than you do.

For me an F1 Rocket was snug, an RV 8 was much more comfortable and roomy.

Tried to fly a friends Harmon Rocket and couldn't close the canopy over my head.

Besides roominess (if you are older or suffer from arthritis) the RV 8 provides significantly greater comfort just from seat posture and ease of entry/exit.

I had my F1 Rocket for approximately 5 years and absolutely loved it but as I aged I found that just sitting in it after the 2 hour mark was painful misery and getting out was several minutes of pure agony.

I can easily do 3 hours in an RV 8 and still get out without difficulty.

TThe RV 8 also has significantly greater baggage capacity.

Performance is in the eye of the beholder and relative to his/her wants and needs.

I went with an F1 because I wanted to go fast and it looked sleek sexy and fast just sitting on the ramp.

From a practical standpoint I had no real need for the few extra knots. My typical mission was a 400NM trip and hangar to hangar the RV 8 (200HP FI with CSP) typically took only 15 to at most 20 minutes longer than the F1 on any given day. (caveat my F1 was only 260HP not 300 or 310 HP like some)

Were I in the market today I would go with the RV8 given my size and infirmities and would not pay a huge premium for a percieved need for speed.

The Harmon Rocket, F1 Rocket, and RV 8 are all wonderful planes. If I were younger, a bit smaller, and flush with cash the choice of which one would be difficult indeed.

Right now all I would want for Christmas is Tsamsyiu and the good health and youth to fly it.

lancef53
06-03-2012, 09:32 AM
I haven't been in a rocket, but I built my 8 with height in mind. (I am 6'4") There are several things you can do to an 8 to make more legroom and headroom. The legroom items can be done to a completed plane, headroom needs to be addressed while working on the canopy.

The tall pilot option is helpful, but the seat bottom needs to be moved back to help with legroom. My seatbase is moved back 1.5-2", and the rear stick bent to clear the seatback.

I would imagine not having gear towers in the Rocket would be very helpful, kind of like the difference between an 8 and 8A?

xblueh2o
06-03-2012, 12:02 PM
Hmmm, All good info.
I am aware of the tall pilot option and moving the bottom of the seat back. I tried to emulate this position by removing all the cushions which pushed me back and down about two inches each and it was still just not quite enough. The trouble is that my knees just barely touch the bottom of the stock instrument panel with both peddles neutral. If I had to jam full rudder on one side it would smash the opposite knee into the panel for sure. I can see where I could raise the bottom of the panel slightly (at the cost of panel space) but I also see there is a strut tower brace just fwd of the instrument panel that limits how far I can go.
I was mostly just wondering if either Rocket was significantly "bigger".

lancef53
06-03-2012, 04:03 PM
How long are your legs? I have a 36" inseam and don't seem to have any issues. I have the deluxe throttle quadrant and the prop and mixture lever position isn't the most comfortable, but the panel is fine.

Compared to sitting side by side with someone of similar size, the RV8 wins hands down!!

Toobuilder
06-03-2012, 05:20 PM
I've flown both, with a bunch of time in the -8. Most of my time in the -8 is trying to decide if it is "good enough". In my opinion, compared to the Rocket it is NOT. Too slow and too tight in the shoulders. The -8 does have a better, more upright sitting position than the Rocket, but the former is far more "roomy" feeling. I do like the fwd baggage of the -8 a great deal, but get the seats right in a Rocket and it is hands down the superior choice for me. I'm 6-1 and 205, btw.

Mike S
06-03-2012, 05:30 PM
the-8---- too tight in the shoulders.

I have the same problem with the 8, but it is a world of difference better than the 1.

The Show Planes canopy setup gives not a better looking aircraft line, but it also widens out the shoulder area.

131RB
06-03-2012, 08:39 PM
All good information here but the truth is it doesn't matter which one you choose. You will make adjustments on either one to compensate for your long legs, and the fact is no two of either kind are alike. I am finishing a rocket II and designed it to fit me and I am sure you would do the same. The rocket does not have adjustable rudder pedals so seatback and crossover structure are moved fore or aft to compensate for your comfort, of course this will have a direct impact on the room left for the passenger. I have flown and sat in both and I chose the rocket for many reasons but to me it offers a little more room width wise. I really like the RV8 for the sturdy gear design yet at the same time feel confined by the landing gear towers and prefer to have my legs spread out rather than together straight in front of me. My advice would be to define your mission for the airplane, pick the one you want and build it to be comfortable for you. Good luck in your decision.
Ryan

xblueh2o
06-03-2012, 11:40 PM
For those of you with ready access to an 8 can I make a request.
Just how much higher is this upper strut tower brace than the bottom of the instrument panel. I can't get an sense of the relationship looking at my set of preview plans or very possibly I am just not looking at the correct dwg.

smokyray
06-04-2012, 03:10 PM
For those of you with ready access to an 8 can I make a request.
Just how much higher is this upper strut tower brace than the bottom of the instrument panel. I can't get an sense of the relationship looking at my set of preview plans or very possibly I am just not looking at the correct dwg.

Sam,
Having owned a RV4, Harmon Rocket and flown RV8's with all three canopies (including tilt-over Fast Back) The 8 has the most cockpit headroom hands down. The Harmon Rocket easily matches it in width, but height and length are another matter. There is more room to adjust height and leg length in an eight than the HR2. Couldn't tell you about the F-1, having never owned or built one.

That said I have a 6'6" customer flying a very nice RV4 right now. I slightly moved his rudder pedals forward and used 1" NASA foam cushions back and bottom. Still a tight squeeze and doable.

His comment when he flies it? "I wear it like a speedo..."

:)
V/R
Smokey

xblueh2o
06-04-2012, 04:51 PM
Just the sort of info I was looking for. Thanks for the input.

F1Boss
06-05-2012, 09:18 AM
"I wear it like a speedo..."

Exactly right! tho the visual that conjures up is not all that good....:eek:

Carry on!
Mark

vfrazier
06-05-2012, 04:14 PM
I've been working on a customer's F1. He is 6'4"-ish (not sure) with rather long legs.

We moved the seat support tube back about an 1"+ and it gave him the room he needed without affecting the rear stick.

(FWIW, both sticks have an S-bend in them, but mostly for comfort, not clearance.)

riobison
07-03-2012, 10:17 PM
I went to Wal-Mart and bought a pair of slippers with real thin rubberized soles for $10.00 for my RV4. At 6 ft and 210 pds I did not have a lot of options. That was like moving the seat back at least another inch as there is no heel and nothing for a sole. I have a good pair of Simpson Racing shoes and they also helped but the slippers were the best. Another advantage is you have a better feel of the pedals.

Tim

Dragonfly
07-04-2012, 01:41 AM
I fly an F1 EVO and am 6'2", I have heaps of room. Also fitted with an RV8 canopy so lots of headroom too.

WhiskeyMike
07-04-2012, 12:01 PM
I fly an F1 EVO and am 6'2", I have heaps of room. Also fitted with an RV8 canopy so lots of headroom too.

Do you have some photos of your EVO with the RV8 canopy that you can share?

Snowflake
07-04-2012, 10:22 PM
I'll first qualify this by saying that I haven't flown either an -8 or a Rocket, but I have sat in the front of both with the canopy closed, and a friend let me taxi his -8 across the airport from the fuel pump to the hangar once. Personally, I didn't like how close my feet were in the -8. I did like the upper-body space available.

I found the Rocket cockpit to be more comfortable for my legs, with my feet apart near the side panels. The upper-body space was smaller though.

Oh, and i'm just a hair shy of 6' and 180lb.

vfrazier
07-04-2012, 11:03 PM
Snowflake brings up a good point. I can cross my legs in my Rocket. Even sit Indian style with both legs crossed. It is nice on long flights to have the extra leg room. Can you do that in an RV-8?

I've never noticed any need for more head or shoulder room for me at 5'11" and 190#,

Chris Hill
07-21-2012, 07:17 AM
Where do the wingroot fillets come from? are they kit products or do you have to build them? I'd be interested in any data folks might have for speed gains from installing the fillet?

Thanks!

Dragonfly
07-21-2012, 04:56 PM
Sorry for taking so long to post a pic of the F1 with the RV8 canopy, missed the post some how.

Sorry they are only first engine run pics, I will drag some of the first flight pics off the camera soon.

http://i21.photobucket.com/albums/b275/DragonflyDH90/P1020131800x600.jpg

pierre smith
07-22-2012, 05:54 AM
Where do the wingroot fillets come from? are they kit products or do you have to build them? I'd be interested in any data folks might have for speed gains from installing the fillet?

Thanks!

Chris, this has been discussed before. The flat root fairings from Van's are around 6-7 knots faster.

Best,

F1Boss
07-23-2012, 10:30 AM
Chris, this has been discussed before. The flat root fairings from Van's are around 6-7 knots faster.

Best,

Hey Pierre:

Can you lead me to this data please? I did not know anyone did back to back testing...

Carry on!
Mark