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. Sanglier Volant - Flying wild boar

Total performance Aircraft - Construction d'un avion Van's RV8

Pourquoi un Van's ? «  

[en] Why a Van's by Michèle Delsol

Wings are rectangular (constant chord), thus not skewed, which makes it a lot simpler for a beginner.

Web ressources are impressive - see to appreciate the diversity and
shear number of links. You'll also find mailing lists including an RV8 specific "Yahoo ! Groups" at .

When a problem hits you, one is never alone. A French site serves as a rallying point for French builders - in passing, I thank its author, JC Chauvet, who does a thorough and thankless job of keeping the site updated with the latest info, for his kind advice on the phone when I was looking for information concerning Van's.

France has a sizeable Van's community : 13 machines currently fly (the first one being 10 years old). At least 32 are currently being built, 8 of which are RV-8s.

As of October 24, 2003, at least 3446 RVs had been finished and where flying out of a total of 6000 kits sold, which makes Van the experimental aircraft world leader. This number is growing every day as evidenced by the fact that
58 more RVs took to the air between Septembre 12th (my last count) and October 24 (that's more than one a day).

The preview plan set I purchased late 2002 convinced me, as the quality of the builder's manual' is top rate. It guides you step by step, is detailed and gave every indication of being complete. Van's is very competent and is constantly being praised as evidenced through the countless RV articles I have read and RV web sites I have visited. I have never encountered criticism as to how they work nor concerning their methods. It is possible that I have not looked far nor wide enough however, other experimental and kit newsgroups abound with criticism, so, Van must be good. And their support is outstanding. Every question asked is blessed with a practical, knowledgeable response within 24 hours after posing the question.

Van's can supply instruments, engines and propellers as well as their aircraft kits. As a matter of fact, it is possible to buy from them just about everything one would need for the airplane, except for upholstery, paint, gazoline and oil. And the prices are good since they have OEM agreements with most vendors (Lycoming, Hartzel, MT...).

Another reason for chosing Van's is that their airplanes are made of aluminum, which does not provoke allergies.

As for performance, RVs, from model 4 to 8, are capable of aerobatics, at least 1st cycle aerobatics, given their +6g/-3g specs.

Furthermore, the airplanes are simple yet capable of meeting the needs of demanding pilots who fly them out of backyard strips. As for the RV8, its looks are great and performance self explanatory : 320kmh (200mph) with a 180hp at 75%, stall at 80kmh (50mph). Or 315kmh (197mph-175knt) with a 160hp (with a constant two blade prop).

And now back to French to explain how French RV builders find it a lot simpler to communicate in French using borrowed English technical words such as dimpling, stiffener, spar, rib... Here is a sample of franglais (français-anglais) :

Les van'smaniaques ont un jargon bien à eux, car il est plus facile (je trouve) de travailler en anglais et en pouces (inches) que de tout traduire et convertir en métrique. Donc si on dit : j'ai les bons drill bits pour mes stiffners de elevator et j'ai fini de dimpler les flanges du spar du VS j'ai plus qu'à deburrer et primer : ben nous on se comprend !

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