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SgtZim 03-20-2018 11:45 AM

Describe a normal takeoff and landing :)
Hi all,

Could anyone do a quick verbal brief on what a normal takeoff and landing are like in an 8?

I just finished a fresh tailwheel endorsement in an Aeronca Champ - 90% on a grass runway, and am looking for transition training this summer before I finish construction. I did some flying of a Citabria many years ago off of hard surface and I'm sure that was a bit closer to RV performance.


I'm located near Cincinnati if you know of a good instructor in the area.

mike newall 03-20-2018 12:06 PM

Compared to a Champ......

Mark Dickens 03-20-2018 12:58 PM

I have no experience in a Champ, but I think it's safe to say that transition training in an RV would be strongly suggested, especially on hard surface runways. Takeoff isn't the issue, but it does happen fast and because of the horsepower, there can be noticeable P factor and left turning tendencies. An -8 will get up and go and you need to be ready for it. Landings of course are a challenge. Read for more info. Suffice it to say that the stiff legs on the RV-8 will bounce you back into the air with the slightest error. Three point landings can be made, but they are difficult and you have to have your airspeed control and timing just right. This is why most wheel land their -8s. I wouldn't assume that Champ training makes you ready for an -8 or anything other RV, and I'd strongly suggest transition training.

Ron RV8 03-20-2018 04:27 PM

I have flown both and second Mark's comments above..

rzbill 03-20-2018 04:55 PM


Originally Posted by mike newall (Post 1247291)


I actually have never experienced an RV takeoff since I shut my eyes tight and then firewall it. :D

Rallylancer122 03-20-2018 08:46 PM

Like others said, takeoff happens fast. It's kind of hard to screw up, just watch the torque. Although I guess anything is possible, I can't imagine departure stalling one of these.

Landing happens fast too. Your pattern speeds will be higher than Champ cruise speeds. You'll need to plan ahead to slow down and fly a larger pattern. Ours has a constant speed and on landing it can develop a pretty high sink rate so plan on carrying some power. With the Hershey bar wing it does not float. I chop the power, flare, and am on the ground about that fast.

Ours 3 points nice onto grass with a little weight on the back. Without weight it will not 3 point. I've never tried a stall landing on pavement. It wheel lands nice on either surface. Make sure the brakes and tailwheel steering are up to snuff because once the tail comes down the rudder is pretty ineffective. (I learned this hard way.)

Solo with 20-30 lbs in the back ours is a pooch to fly. With a full size adult back there it's a whole other animal. Not harder, just different.

Definitely get some dual.


YvesCH 03-21-2018 02:40 AM


I fly currently a Champ with 100hp and I am building a RV-8 in Switzerland. As I had to go on a business trip to the US, I took the opportunity to visit Bruce Bohannon in Texas to get some RV-8 Stick time.. I will write about this trip maybe in another section but to summarize:
Yes the Video explains quite well the difference :) I even forgot sometimes to apply full throttle at takeoff as the acceleration was so intense :)
The RV-Grin is still on my face and the training was very very valuable!

Capt 03-21-2018 05:03 AM

I owned a 7ECA for a few years and now have a conventional u/c 8, the primary difference is the speed and acceleration, they are just numbers, no need to be afraid just be aware��
I've got instructor friends who have many 1000's of hrs teaching but mention an RV8 & they start sweating! Too many people have old wives tales to frighten those that have not had the thrill of power up & rotate, there's no need to look at the speedo, Vans just want to fly, enjoy the ride��

BillL 03-21-2018 07:26 AM

I found a 100 hp Champ to be a good trainer for the RV7. Maybe just me, but I was more comfortable in the RV after getting my tailwheel endorsement in the Champ. If you can nail the approach speeds, rotate and land with little bounce in the Champ, then you won't have any problem moving to the RV, if your experience is like mine. Yes, it is way faster, and more P factor, but nailing the landing speeds and getting the vertical speed right at touchdown was extremely helpful in the Champ. Not at all to say transition training is not needed, but your first hours in the RV should come much easier with the Champ skills. At least if you are a low time TW pilot to start with.

SgtZim 03-21-2018 07:54 AM

Thanks for all your comments! Thanks Mark for the link! How did I miss that page!?

One of the strange things to me about the Champ takeoff (grass) was holding the stick full forward for several seconds until the tail came up - mentally a challenge / counterintuitive to try forcing the nose down during takeoff :eek: From that, I was imagining starting takeoff with stick full aft in the 8 for a couple of "bananas" for directional control until the rudder works, then lifting the tail. Sounds like the bananas slip by pretty fast. :)

Landings were almost all full stall in the Champ, wheel landings were tricky and discouraged by the management and instructors.

Really looking forward to some training in the 8 and flying!

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