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Old 08-14-2019, 08:30 AM
oy-rvc oy-rvc is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 30
Default RV-Jet?

I now have my RV8 flying for almost 10 years. Its a great plane, no doubt. What I like the most about that airplane is the sport properties. But now I just came across the new two seat Sonex Jet and it made me think why Vans does not have something like this…? Yes its more expensive than pistons and uses more fuel, but its a notch up on sport properties: faster, smoother and sounds better. And with the new smaller FADEC jets like the TJ-100 Im guessing it has come into practical use and reach for the experimental sport GA market. Could be sort of a top-of-the line product from Vans too.

What do you think…? Is the market too small for these micro jets that we will ever see an RV jet?
Christian Thygesen
RV-8 QB - status: flying.
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Old 08-14-2019, 08:58 AM
Ralph Inkster Ralph Inkster is offline
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 867

I imagine there is a nitch market for a jet, don't know it would be universal enough to warrant a RV jet model.
One quality I like about RVs is that they are all traveling machines. Did you note how many stops Paul made flying home from OSH?
It's time to work on just my own planes, not everybody else's...
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Old 08-14-2019, 09:25 AM
oy-rvc oy-rvc is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 30

No sorry hasn't seen the trip you refer too with Paul, but it sounds like it was a lot of fuel stops :-) A turbojet eats a lot of fuel especially down low... But looking at the usefull load and range that Sonex posts on the 2 seater, Im thinking it might be possible to do a design with more touring range?... Maybe Im mistaken. The engine is very light compared to a piston setup and this weight saved could in theory at least be used for additional fuel. I think they post something like 50 GAL which is not much more than standard RVs...

Yes RVs are great for travel too. Economic on the fuel, carries alot of baggage, can land and start on grass ect. Its hard to beat for allround utility.
Christian Thygesen
RV-8 QB - status: flying.
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:20 AM
digidocs digidocs is offline
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: -
Posts: 480

Tandem seating for the RV jet please!
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Old 08-14-2019, 11:34 AM
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fl-mike fl-mike is online now
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 1,296

I think the 2-seat Sub will be a dog, but understand the training and baggage issues with the single.
That being said, I proposed an A-10 layout for a two-seater with two engines.
Totally impractical, but sounded neat!

And, Van's is very "practical" minded when it comes to designs. I don't see any jet coming from Van's.
Mike W
Venice, FL
RV-6A. Mattituck TMX O-360, FP, GRT Sport EFIS, L3 Lynx NGT-9000
N184WM reserved (RV-8)....finishing kit in progress. Titan IOX-370
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Old 08-14-2019, 02:25 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
Posts: 12,132

A lot to think about when proposing a jet.....

1) Yes, with the Subsonex, I figure that leg lengths of about 220 nautical miles is comfortable, 250 and you better be dang sure you land on the first approach.

2) More fuel? Well I’m at MGTW with me and full fuel already - so sure, there is probably margin, but you have to figure out where to put it. Volume just isn’t there, external tanks are problematic because it is already so low to the ground. And climb performance is not outstanding anyway (1500 FPM, unlike the R-3 at 3,000 FPM), and increased weight causes a direct hit on that.

3) The two-seater? Not enough information yet on that to be sure. I think it will make a good transition trainer, but doubt it will exceed current performance AND increase range.

4) Is there a market? It’s a pretty expensive (and very fun!) toy to be honest. Yes, I flew it from the west coast to Oshkosh. Used up 20 hours of a 300 hour engine inspection interval doing it, and probably wont have a need to do it again. The Subsonex has been for sale about four years now, and my serial number is how long will it take for them to recover development costs? And if someone else enters the market?

5) Awesome fun, great little airplane...but a two seater would have more apppeal. It also has more complications - annual proficiency checks are required if you have more than one seat, or more than one engine. And of course, add another engine, and you need a MEL rating....oh, and the engine package is $60K (I bet they don’t give you a discount for two....).

It would be very cool if the RV-15 turns out to be a jet, but I wouldn’t put my money on it!

But I think I’ll go burn a little kerosene.....

Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 08-14-2019, 06:35 PM
Northernliving Northernliving is offline
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 386
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Originally Posted by digidocs View Post
Tandem seating for the RV jet please!
Ditto! Couldn't agree more.
Brian J.
Boston, MA
RV8 Based at ORH - Purchased
RV8 - The Project #83313 - Under Construction
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:19 PM
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Weasel Weasel is offline
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Brooksville, MS
Posts: 745

Not trying to hijack your thread and I would love a jet by the way but 1st things 1st.

I would vote for a 6 place single engine turboprop with 600-800 mile range. would be close enough to be called a jet in my little world.
RV-4 715hr Sold
RV-10 "School Bus" - +1600hr counting
Fisher Classic Cassler Power VW sold
RV-10 N7631T 820hr Sold
RV-8 700+hrs
Carbon Cub 200 hr Sold
One-Off Super Cub 100 hr
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:32 PM
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N941WR N941WR is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SC
Posts: 12,887

Some years back I ran some basic numbers on building an RV-8A based jet. Keep in mind, I am not an Aero Engineer, so my numbers were VERY rough.

The reason for the "A" is to keep the jet exhaust from burning up a runway. Then there was the debate about an "ARG". More weight and complexity. I ultimately decided that there isn't a huge drag penalty up at 17.5 to offset the weight of retractable landing gear.

It came down to thrust and fuel burn. To get three hour legs plus reserves, it would have to carry a boat load of fuel! More weight than an RV can support on the ground. (IIRC, I was plugging in 90 gallons and that still wasn't enough.)

I didn't have a good understand of the fuel consumption to thrust of "jet" engines at the time. What surprised me is the only real way to fly them is how Paul flies; takeoff, climb like crazy, cruise, and land. If you want to play around down low like the military does, you can't lift enough fuel.

It is a great dream and will probably remain a dream until someone comes out with a really efficient engine package.
Bill R.
RV-9 (Yes, it's a dragon tail)
O-360 w/ dual P-mags
Build the plane you want, not the plane others want you to build!
SC86 - Easley, SC
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Old 08-14-2019, 07:50 PM
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Mel Mel is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 10,629

Originally Posted by N941WR View Post
The reason for the "A" is to keep the jet exhaust from burning up a runway.
Another reason for tricycle gear on a jet was proven with the original "tail dragging" ME-262. Without prop blast on the rudder, direction control is minimal during early take-off roll. This would also provide a need for nosewheel steering.
Mel Asberry, DAR since the last century.
EAA Flight Advisor/Tech Counselor, Friend of the RV-1
Recipient of Tony Bingelis Award and Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award
USAF Vet, High School RV-12 Project Mentor.
RV-6 Flying since 1993 (sold)
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