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Old 02-19-2017, 05:19 PM
ssokol ssokol is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 39
Default Considering an RV-6A - Transition From Grumman Tiger

Greetings VAF,

So I'm considering an RV-6A as my next aircraft. I'm a low-to-mid-time pilot - ~500 hrs - with the last 250 almost exclusively in my 1976 Grumman Tiger. I like the Tiger a lot, but I'm working on experimental avionics (my company makes the FlightBox line of ADS-B receivers) and I need something I can use as a testbed. My "mission" is also changing as my daughter will be going off to school in another year, making a two-seater a good fit.

I fly out of Roosterville Airport in Liberty Mo. The strip is 20' wide and 2700' long. As I like my current home, I need something that doesn't require more runway. From what I've read, it doesn't look like that will be a problem with a 6A. We occasionally host the KC Flight formation team - mostly RV-4s and 8s - and they make it in and out without any issues.

I'm curious what to expect from the transition. Will it be a significant change or simply an incremental one? Any tips? Anyone in the Kansas City area offer transition training? Anyone in the midwest looking to sell a 6A?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 02-19-2017, 05:51 PM
cross cross is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Vernon, British Columbia,
Posts: 36
Default AA5b to Vans RV

Hi Steve,
I once owned a Tiger and own a rv4 and have checked out pilots in all rv models except the rv12.
Unless you are a terrible Grumman pilot you will find the rv a delight - they fly like a Grumman but more so. Getting slowed down for landing might be an issue for the first few landings. You might practice on wider landings for a bit.
Chuck Ross Vernon BC Canada
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Old 02-19-2017, 06:09 PM
MercFE MercFE is offline
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Maple Valley, WA
Posts: 219

Agree with what Cross said... I have a -9A and a friend that is a partner in a Tiger.

After spending all the time in the -9A, I find his plane very similar. But, the landings are quite a bit different, as the Tiger bleeds off speed a bit better than the -9A.
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Old 02-19-2017, 06:42 PM
pa38112 pa38112 is offline
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Clarksboro, NJ
Posts: 557

Your insurance will probably require 5 hours of duel. After two you will fell very comfortable coming from a tiger.
2004 RV6A Flying
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Old 02-19-2017, 07:12 PM
Canadian_JOY Canadian_JOY is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 1,636

A very important factor to consider is the relative fragility of the nose gear on the RVxA aircraft as compared to the Grumman AA5-series aircraft. While both types feature a castering nose wheel, the function of the nose gear is entirely different.

The Grumman nose gear is hinged at the firewall, thus the entire gear is free to move up and down. In the RVxA, there is no hinge - all "suspension" movement is accomplished via the flexing of the steel gear leg.

Another big delta is the size of the wheels... The 6A runs 5 inch mains and 4 inch nose wheel, while the Tiger runs 6 inch mains and 5 inch nose wheel. The Tiger is a heavier aircraft and needs the bigger wheels. The smaller nose wheel on the RVs, by dint of its smaller diameter, is less able to negotiate bumps.

In terms of handling qualities, you'll find control forces in the RV are lighter, particularly the amount of "armstrong" needed in the flare as pitch forces in the Grumman can be fairly high if one leaves the airplane trimmed for a low-effort go-around. The seating position in the Tiger is higher, meaning there are more inches between your backside and the floor. For some folks this is no big deal, while others have troubles sitting closer to the floor.

The Grumman is fairly well noise- and vibration isolated - the RV will feel a bit more like a tin can. Good headsets are definitely required in the RV.

I enjoy flying the AA5-series aircraft, as I am sure you have. Changing airplanes shouldn't be seen as giving up an old friend so much as having the opportunity to make a new friend!
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Old 02-19-2017, 10:26 PM
gerrychuck gerrychuck is offline
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Moose Jaw, SK, Canada
Posts: 525

I echo a lot of the comments already posted. My last airplane before my 6A was a Tiger, so I followed exactly the same path you are considering. You will be quite well prepared for the castering nose gear, and although the Grumman nosegear may be more stout than the RV, it is a known weak point as well, and I was taught in no uncertain terms to keep that nose wheel unloaded at all times on the ground, so I had no new procedures to learn in the 6A when it came to ground handling. In the air, the ailerons that seem so responsive to you now in the Tiger immediately seem heavy and slow compared to the RV. Responsive and twitchy are not the same thing at all, however; I had no difficulty at all adjusting very quickly. The biggest difference, as previously noted, is in pitch. I always felt the Tiger was extremely heavy in pitch compared to the light ailerons, and was quite surprised by the amount of force needed in the flare on my first landing. The RV, by contrast, is just as light and responsive in pitch as it is in roll. Very stable in pitch, but light and responsive. I actually found, right from my first flight in my 6A, that I had an easier time maintaining consistent altitude in the RV than I did in the Tiger. Transitioning was not difficult, it was just different, and a lot of fun. I remember just having a huge grin on my face the first time I had control of the aircraft. The main thing that really required adjustment was learning to not get behind the airplane in the takeoff and climb phase. As you know, the Tiger is no rocket coming off the ground and climbing out. The RV is a whole 'nother story! Even with a fixed pitch cruise prop, my first takeoff was an eye opener, requiring quite a bit of forward pressure on the stick to avoid deck angles that I really wasn't used to. I learned quickly to be very active on the trim button to keep this under control. I also got a lot more comfortable with steep deck angles and rates of climb never experienced in the Tiger!

Your runway length will not present any problems at all; I fly off 2950', and 9 times out of 10 make the midfield turnoff on landing. I'm glad I don't have to fly off a 20' wide strip though; you're welcome to that one!
Gerry Julian
Moose Jaw Saskatchewan
RV6A "Second Wind" C-GERZ (born N242UL)
O-360 A1A, Sensenich FP prop

Those who think any system is foolproof greatly underestimate the ingenuity of fools
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Old 02-20-2017, 02:15 PM
ssokol ssokol is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 39

Thanks to everyone for the input. Looking forward to the new challenge. If you know anyone who's in the market for a nice Tiger, please send them my way.

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Old 02-20-2017, 03:47 PM
rv6ejguy's Avatar
rv6ejguy rv6ejguy is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Calgary, Canada
Posts: 4,479

I put in about 60 hours on a Tiger prior to test flying my 6A. If you have 250 in your Tiger, you'll have no trouble flying the 6A which is easier IMO. You get used to the lighter control forces and lower stick movement in about the first 5 minutes.Taxiing and and landing are pretty much the same, keeping the nosewheel unloaded as much as possible and making sure never to to a wheelbarrow touchdown.

Ross Farnham, Calgary, Alberta
Turbo Subaru EJ22, Marcotte M-300, IVO, RV6A C-GVZX flying from CYBW since 2003- 420 hrs. on the Hobbs,
RV10 95% built- Sold 2016

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Old 02-20-2017, 03:56 PM
jgoehl jgoehl is offline
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Bryan, Texas
Posts: 74

Any pictures and price on the Tiger ?
2011 RV7A Flying
1974 PA32
1974 PA28
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Old 02-20-2017, 04:23 PM
ssokol ssokol is offline
Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: Kansas City
Posts: 39

Hadn't set a price yet. Really haven't started putting together the info.

[Hope you call sell the Tiger but non-RV aircraft ads are a violation of forum rules; S. Buchanan]

Last edited by Sam Buchanan : 02-20-2017 at 05:24 PM. Reason: removed non-RV ad
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