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Old 12-26-2006, 10:21 AM
unclecameron unclecameron is offline
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Southern Oregon
Posts: 4
Default RV-6 vs. Lancair vs. Glasiar

Hi all,

Okay, okay, okay, I know this is probably flamebait or something close, buuut, after poring over the myriad specs floating around, I'm wondering which is just plain more fun to fly, the RV6, Glasair I/II or Lancair 320/260? Looking for someone's who's butt has darkened the seat of more than 1, preferrably all three that can tell me which will yield the biggest stupidest grin after flying. The goal: take wife unit and I out of SoCal and do some touch-n-go's, er wait, let's go to Arizona for $100 hamburgers, and hey, look, clouds, no problem (my dream). Anyway, would appreciate input besides "go away you sniveling glass beast."

Love reading the forum, keeps me from working for a deliciously long time

San Diego
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Old 12-26-2006, 10:49 AM
RV8N RV8N is offline
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Sandpoint, Idaho
Posts: 487

I have flown RV-4s, RV-8s and been passenger in an RV-6a and an RV-7. I have also been a passenger in a Glasair I TD and a Lancair 320. While the Glasair have extremely light elevators, I concider them cross-country aircraft. I just don't see much fun in sucking the gear up and screaming around the area for .8 hrs. (95% if my flying is local flights, loops, rolls and stopping to see friends at other local airports)

As Van's advertises, the RVs are total performance. They are aerobatic, good cross-country aircraft that also will take-off and land in reasonably short distances, on somewhat rough terrain. I will take my RV to many strips that Glasairs and Lancairs won't even consider.

The other factor is the cost. The fast glass is probably twice the cost of a Van's QB.

Good luck, Karl
RV-8 #80240 SOLD
1999 BMW R1100RS
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Old 12-26-2006, 11:00 AM
pierre smith's Avatar
pierre smith pierre smith is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Louisville, Ga
Posts: 7,832
Default Rv for sure

Hi Cam,
As Karl pointed out, we can go into short strips that Glassairs and Lancairs can't get into because their landing speeds are quite a bit higher than ours.
Then again, if you plan mostly long cross-countries and the absolute maximum speed is a major priority, go for a Lancair, accompanied by a much higher price tag. You still only gain maybe 20 MPH unless you go really big bore with the retract Lancair and don't mind landing at high speeds.

I fly a few 250 to 400 mile cross countries and a lot around 100-150 miles so either of the other options wouldn't save much time over the RVs. We really do have a bigger bang for the buck IMHO.

Pierre Smith
RV-10, 510 TT
RV6A (Sojourner) 180 HP, Catto 3 Bl (502Hrs), gone...and already missed
Air Tractor AT 502B PT 6-15 Sold
Air Tractor 402 PT-6-20 Sold
EAA Flight Advisor/CFI/Tech Counselor
Louisville, Ga

It's never skill or craftsmanship that completes airplanes, it's the will to do so,
Patrick Kenny, EAA 275132

Dues gladly paid!
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Old 12-26-2006, 12:18 PM
RV7Guy's Avatar
RV7Guy RV7Guy is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 2,857
Default Flown all of them

I've had the opportunity to fly the Glasair II and the Lancair 360. In order--

Glasair. Nice plane, good speed, fairly simple with fixed gear. I did not feel comfortable in the plane at all. I'm not exactly Jockey size (5'8", 230) which didn't help. Anyone in the 6' range is going to be uncomfortable for sure. One of the things I didn't like was the rudder pedals. The pedals are offset to the right slightly. Didn't care for that. Also I was continually interacting with the brakes. This could be rigging.

Similar flight characteristics to the RV6/7. Faster landing however that will limit some of the flexibility. Similar baggage capability. I'd be a little concerned with the long term financial stability of the company.

Lancair 320/360. Much more complex with retractable gear. Definitely not for someone too tall or overweight. Very cozy inside. Faster than RV with similar range. Much more limited on baggage and where you can land.

Higher landing speeds but fairly easy even with the higher wing loading. Touching down feels like landing a go cart. Very firm even with a 'greaser.' Same long term company concerns.

I have a 7 and feel it is the perfect two person plane. Fairly roomy even with my size, fast, economical, easy to build and most importantly, your resources when building are unlimited. No issues with stability of Van's.

You definitely can't go wrong with the RV.
Darwin N. Barrie
Chandler AZ
RV-7 N717EE-Flying (Sold)
RV-7 N707EE-Building
EMS Bell 407,
Eurocopter 350 A-Star Driver
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Old 12-26-2006, 02:12 PM
gmcjetpilot's Avatar
gmcjetpilot gmcjetpilot is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 3,921
Default Good Advice

You already got about the three best opinions you can get for a fast 2 seater, can't add much except: One is made of METAL and the others are made with GLUE & STRING.

Seriously I think you'll find the RV best suited for your mission, fun, fast, safe, easy to build & maintain w/ great resale. You didn't indicate if you are building or buying, but either way you'll have more help and support with RV's.

It's some what moot talking about building the other models since they really don't make a Lancair 360 or the Glasair I/II (fixed gear) kit any more (I think?). If you could buy a new Lancair 360 or Glasair I/II kit it will be WAY more money than a RV kit.

Glasair is still selling the IIS/III according to their site. The IIS is about $40,000 for the kit and the III $50,000. Both are retracts. Van's kit is about $18,000.

Lancair has replaced the older 360 model with a Legacy two seater FG and a "ES" 4-seater. Lancair kits start at $40,000 and go up to $78,000 ($117,500 IV-P). That is just for the kit mind you. You can count on say another $60,000 to $90,000 to finish, at least. The Lagacy FG uses a more expensive ($11k more) and bigger IO-360/390 Lyc. The 4 seat ES uses an expensive (very) Continental IO550 6-cylinder. Hey they are nice but you will burn more fuel to go a little faster. Who would not want a big plane with a big 6 cylinder for cross country, but its a totally different deal from the RV FUN mission. Also if you never owned a plane check insurance and state tax. I CAN SAY WITH OUT FEAR OF DISPUTE THE RV IS THE MOST BANG FOR BUCK.

If you are frugal and have some bargain hunting skill you can build a RV for $50,000 to $60,000 (total). You can buy an older RV like a RV-4 for that price flying. The panel may be dated panel and there may be some wear and tear but it's still a RV. A nice flying RV-7's and 8's will be newer, more up dated and cost closer to $80,000 and up. Like I said you can build one for less than you can buy it. Many Lancairs and Glasairs sell for less than what the builder put into the airframe.

Lancair and Glasair both have had financial problems so be aware.

You can buy a RV, Lancair 360 or Glasair I/II for about the same money. You will probably pay more for a nice RV with the same engine, prop and avionics than a Glasair I/II or Lancair 360. The engine/prop/avionics drive price and they can vary widely, but RV's are just more in demand & popular (I think).

A BIG deal is the RV's LOW stall speed, which is a real safety feature. The difference in energy of say of 55 mph stall vs. 70 mph is a factor of 1.62. More energy = more hurt. Also metal structure will deform and absorb more energy than than ridged composite structure in an accident. I am not saying the other planes are not as safe as the RV, just that they may demand more of the pilot. Nothing wrong with them, but they are "hotter over the fence". Also with the higher stall and structure you have a greater risk in an off field landing, at least on paper.

Last is the subjective subject of "FEEL". I have very little time in Glasairs and Lancairs from long ago, so I can't make comment. I recall the ailerons where stiff. I do know a few guys who built and flew both types extensively who now have RV's. They say the RV is more fun to do aerobatics in and has better feel. Landing? I can say the RV is the most docile taildragger I have flown and I have time in many TG's, including cubs. A RV is like a Cub, just a little faster. For straight and level going cross country on auto-pilot "feel" is not that important. What is feel. Well you will have to fly a RV to know.

Suggest you fly each and decide. Get hooked up to the grapevine for the other makes. You will hear fanatical rants on all sides. Of course people here are RV fanatics, but I think the info you got is pretty fair and balance. Of course we all think the RV is better, or we would have built something different. It does it all, fast, fun to fly, acro and lands on fairly short fields and less expensive (to build).

Even the "slow" RV is going near 200 mph in cruse. An extra 10 or 20 mph is not going to make much difference. Also to go those extra MPH's is going to cost more gas and cash. The RV is VERY efficient and gets very good miles per gallon. A long-EZ is better but than EXZ needs long slab runways almost exclusively and the cockpit is coffin like.

Van's Aircraft calls it "Total Performance", short fields, soft fields, fast cross country, aerobatics and general sport flying. The RV has the best balance and therefore accounts for its popularity. Here is the thing, if you buy or build a RV, you will be able to sell it for more then what you have into it. You can always go to fast "glue-N-string", I mean "glass", if that's your dream.
Raleigh, NC Area
RV-4, RV-7, ATP, CFII, MEI, 737/757/767

Last edited by gmcjetpilot : 12-27-2006 at 09:24 AM.
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Old 12-26-2006, 03:32 PM
Bob Axsom Bob Axsom is offline
Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 5,685
Default Not All Glass is Fast

There are two well built Glasair fixed tricycle gear airplanes in our local chapter. Both are beautifully done pieces of work and both are slower than my RV-6A by 5 to 10 kts.

Bob Axsom
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Old 12-26-2006, 06:25 PM
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aadamson aadamson is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 726


I just don't know where some of this comes from.... So let me set the record straight *one more time*.

If you search under my username, you will find lots of comparitive info on the RV6/7 vs. the Lancair Legacy FG. Net-Net. The FG will cost you the difference in kit cost only. The engine options are the same as the RV, the avionics options are the same as the RG. The Kit is very complete and requires only engine/prop and avionics. Last time I did the comparision, it was a 9K difference for the Legacy FG vs. the RV's (Fast build to better compare build times).

Also, there are 2 types of Legacy's there is an RG and an FG. The RG uses the IO-550 6 cyl engine, is Retractable, is an carbon fiber constructed airplane. The FG can be had in either Carbon (more money) or eglass (the reference 9K difference). The RG cruises at about 240KTS at 13 g/hr, the eglass fg, which can only take a 4 cyl engine, cruises at 175KTS at about 8-9 g/hr.

Lancair has never had *financial* problems. The company was sold *once* when Columbia sold off the experiemental group. The sale kept the Lancair name. Glasair has been sold, out of business, etc a few times, still around today, but probably more focused on the sportsman than the II or III.

One advantage to the Legacy's - they are extremely fast build airplanes. about 600 hours to complete an eglass FG, about 800 to complete a carbon RG and 1200 to complete a carbon RG. This gets to to a flying state, but smoothing and contouring body work may still be required before paint. The factory used to offer a 10wk from kit to flying program.

Georga and I have gone round and round about the merits of "glue and string" vs. Metal. I'm not going to try to do that again. To each their own.

As for which to do. If you just want a fun flyer, that you can get into small places, then go for the RV. If you want a "touring" airplane then you can't beat the Lancairs.

Anyway, hope this helps, if you have any questions, feel free to drop me an email aadamson at highrf dot com.

I'm the stranger in the group and they say, as I'm building a carbon FG with IO-550. (see my signature below)
Alan Adamson
Atlanta, GA
Lancair Legacy FG-6 - N60AL (fixed gear, carbon fiber, IO-550)
Lancair Legacy Builders Forum
Beta Test Blog of Vertical Power install
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:21 AM
ohiopilot ohiopilot is offline
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 107

Alan...remember where you are. You're asking a huge group of RV'ers which one they prefer.

What did you expect?
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:34 AM
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aadamson aadamson is offline
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 726

Originally Posted by ohiopilot
Alan...remember where you are. You're asking a huge group of RV'ers which one they prefer.

What did you expect?
Oh, trust me, I know where I am. I know it each day I drop in this forum. However, what I just don't understand is *why* those that like something else, when ask for comparative comments, create myths or urban legends. If you don't know, then don't comment. You don't find me telling people how to build their RV, or how bad the company is or why Metal is bad vs. composites.

The best one I heard the other day - from an RV flyer too, is that "You don't want to own/buy a Lancair because they have problems with their tail feathers failing" - Good grief, where does this stuff come from? To the best of my knowledge and the FAA's as well, there has *never* been an accident that was caused by a tail failure. Just the opposite. The couple of inflight breakups were evaluated by NASA and the NTSB and the airframe was found to have failed "significantly" after VNE. The problem with the accidents wasn't the airframe it was the Category 5 Thunderstorm that was flown into.

I guess it's the Chevy/Ford debate (substitute what ever brand you like), it will always exist. I just try to keep the facts on the truth path ...
Alan Adamson
Atlanta, GA
Lancair Legacy FG-6 - N60AL (fixed gear, carbon fiber, IO-550)
Lancair Legacy Builders Forum
Beta Test Blog of Vertical Power install
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Old 12-27-2006, 07:57 AM
Deuskid Deuskid is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: St Louis, Mo
Posts: 178


check your Private Messages for an additional composite alternative to the 9A.

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