Originally Posted by berniematic
I'm considering the purchase of a 4. I have little - make that no - experience with them. One thing I've been told is weight and balance can be tricky. Plane weighs about 1000lbs. o-360 and metal prop on the front. What should I expect for the max weight for a passenger, with nothing in the baggage compartment?
Good considerations. I finished my RV4 25 years ago after reading a magazine ad from Vans touting "Total Performance." The plans back then were pretty specific concerning aft CG and Aft of Datum loads. Building an RV4
gives you a distinct advantage as to the CG loading but it varies greatly depending (as mentioned above) on weight out front.
If nothing else, find a builders manual and read it through. You'll be glad you did.
My RV4 weighs 945lbs with an 0-320WD firewall mounted Odyssey battery, lightweight starter/alt and Catto prop out front. I set my max weight aft of the roll bar of 200 lbs.
This was attained after several flights with a heavy passenger or some large parts I carried with the back seat removed. This included an air compressor, a disassembled 0-320, Honda Trail 70, etc...
I've flown just about every RV4 iteration over the years. The 0-360/Hartzell combo airplanes are a bit nose heavy solo but fly sweet with a 100lb pax. The 0-320/composite or wood, fly incredible solo or with a lighter weight pax. (pretty girls, grand kids etc)
I personally use fuel to manage CG
as the tanks are forward of the datum which is right under your butt. Heavy load? Add fuel, empty back seat, fly lighter.
Like the F16
, the RV4 for me is the most fun CG-wise approaching
relaxed static stability, or the aft datum.
PS:Personally after 3000 hours, 25 years and alot of "yanking and banking", the 0-320/fixed pitch composite or wood is the preferred mode, but again, my mission may be different than yours.
I like simplicity, light weight and enjoy the occasional 1V1...