RV8s Sports Car and Heavy-Lift Cruiser
Extract from an article by John de Fraine for VansAirforce Net:.
An experimental aircraft is an aircraft that has not yet been fully proven in flight. Often, this implies that new aerospace technologies are being tested on the aircraft.
So here are some further images of the Stretch RV8 build overseen by Innovative Wings of Canada. (See RV8 Newbie for the start of the build on this forum).
The concept of a stretch to the RV8 design was first instigated by Perry McNeil of McNeil Aviation Corp. (Canada and Australia).Perry brought the design modification and concept drawings to Innovative Wings, and their Engineering Team went to work on the redesign and fabrication.
Perry’s eldest daughter Heather is a Degree Qualified Aerospace Mechanical Engineer (who was working with Boeing Australia at the time), and his youngest daughter Kristy is an AME. The Engineering Team at Innovative Wings "meshed" well with the Australian Concept team and an extremely innovative and exciting project developed for the RV8 stretch.
When asked about the concept Perry states "please understand the objective and concept was not all about Speed per se. There are plenty of F1 Rockets and Super RV8’s already in the skies over Northern America and Australia. The requirements for cruising over the Continent of Australia and for this build was the use of advanced design dynamics to improve upon a known entity".
Firstly, the team looked at the stretch that would have minimal effect on handling characteristics. The aim was to keep the C of G centralised. Then they investigated utility design features. Note, that there is a second cargo locker located forward of the cockpit.
The main stretch was to the second control seat (aft) built with independent Rudders, Brakes, Throttle and its own Instrument Panel. Here an additional 20 inches was added making the entire area suitable (and very, very comfortable) for someone well over 6ft tall (183cm) and at least a size 2XX.
Perry’s wife Leigh is also a Pilot, and he and Leigh share the sectors. Leigh is quite petite and fits well into the RV8s front seat.
Perry’s original design was a 40-inch stretch. Cad-Cam modeling proved the feasibility however not the appearance or aesthetics.
The final design was over 36 inches in length and six inches in height. The extra undercarriage height suits the “rough” unimproved airfields that predominates throughout the Australian outback and a change to the tailwheel was also instigated. The aircraft is fitted with a forward micro camera (lens size about the size of one confetti ring) which enables the aircraft to see forward and the Pilot to easily taxi straight ahead on either of the three Garmin Screens.
Being a Builders Assist project, Perry, his charming wife Leigh and youngest daughter Kristy, were hands on throughout every phase of the construction project. Innovative Wings in Canada have been completing innovative Builders Assist and supervisory build programs for over 15 years now and Perry decided this was the team for surveillance of the build.
The full fast-build kit was purchased from an owner for $17,000 in the USA. Innovative Wings located and transported the RV8 kit aircraft from Florida USA to their base at the Springbank Airport in Calgary, Canada. They used a local, highly skilled DAR to complete the final Engineering and requisite design drawings.
Being a proof of concept aircraft the team manufactured complete new full-length longerons and stringers to deal with the stretch and increased MTOW. Therein they had to dismantle the airframe to rebuild the airframe to structural design. Yes, this Rv8 is built as tough as a Boeing!
The Innovative Wings build team then set-about the reconstruction of this popular aircraft to the new and advanced design by McNeil.
The engineering project manager Shane Daly, states "that this RV8s is now longer than a P51T at just over 24ft in length and the height exceeds 6ft". It is powered by a New 215hp Turbo-Normalised Superior Aero-Sport Power Engine (TIO-400) out of Kamloops, Canada and has a suite of Garmin G3X Avionics with full rear controls and separate G3X panel.
Two Garmin 430W and a Garmin GMC 305 Autopilot and 3 GSA 28 “smart” servo units assisting towards its VFR - NVFR - IFR ratings.
The addition of Two Wing Tip Tanks added extra Range so necessary to meet the "tyranny of distance" in outback Australia and a set of Hollow Point Speed brakes assist with descent from the Flight Levels. The aircraft carries O2. Descent is aided by the electric Speed-brakes.
The aircraft is aerobatic maneuver approved and the cruise speed regime is the same or slightly improved over the standard RV8.
MTOW is 2350lb or 1066kg.
A hybrid, the aircraft can holistically be a very comfortable cruiser and “Winnebago” its occupants around Australia with built in seat-warmers for the cool high-level Turbo-Assisted cruise. It certainly has the cargo/baggage capacity and uplift capability. Whilst on other occasions it can morph into a weekend Sports Machine and thrill passengers and spectators alike!
This RV8 was issued its Transport Canada C of A, on 21st December 2016 AND was issued its Australian C of A, on the 21st July 2017. VH-FSX next chapter is an appointment with the Paint Shop!
P.S If you are contemplating do something similar yourself and would like to discuss Perry's build, you can contact Perry through this forum or at McNeilAviation1@gmail.com.