Originally Posted by smokyray
Many years ago (when building RV's required you to drill alot more holes) I flew my RV4 to the annual RV fly-in in North Plains (old factory location, Van's backyard) Van took a couple of us over to his garage/hangar and in the rafters was a small airplane not unlike my Sonerai 2
. I asked what is was and Van said "The RV5". It was Van's answer to a low cost, VW powered RV anybody could afford. It too, never went into production as a kit.
My guess is Van's sport-plane marketplace savvy (as Mel so intuitively
pointed out), ruled out production for the same reason as the RV11. Not enough demand.
The Xenos motorglider kit however by Sonex is probably the closest thing to the RV11 vision
On a another cool note, my RV4 turns 20 this week...
The RV-5 was never designed to be put into production as a for sale kit.
In fact (from my understanding) the drawings were never much beyond napkin sketches.
It was designed to be a flight test platform for a 1/2 VW engine that an acquaintance of Van was working on. The build of the airplane was taken on as a EAA Chapter project, with Van consulting.
The 1/2 VW proved to be not viable (lower than expected power and rather rough, from what I have heard).
Rather than just discard the airplane it was re-engined with a 447 Rotax. From what I have been told it was an amazing performer in that configuration.... even though it is only 40 HP performance can be impressive with an airplane empty weight of under 350 lbs.
Van's niece and nephew (brother Jerry's son and daughter) put a lot of hours on it building time for their commercial tickets.
It will hopefully fly again if we can find all of the parts needed to refurb the engine (rather scarce now adays).