The Aircraft

The Ravens use Van’s RV aircraft The RV8s.  All are self build aircraft, albeit only Ravens 1,2 and 4 have been self built by the Team.  They are of all aluminium construction and use standard Lycoming IO-360, 180hp engines coupled to constant speed propellers, which given their light weight results in an agreeable power to weight ratio.  Performance is very good, especially climb rate when measured against typical flying club aircraft such as the C152 & PA28/38s, but they are not carbon fibre rocket ships such as the Extra 300s and Edge 540s on the display scene and competition circuit.  However, they are fully aerobatic with a decent ‘g’-limit range and aerobatic ability and as such are ideal for the requirements of Team Raven.

The Team have modified their aircraft with smoke systems, to which a big ‘thank you’ must go out to the LAA (of which all the Team are members) for the help and support in making this possible within the tight timelines prior to the 2014 display season.  The aircraft as well as being fully aerobatic are relatively quick and frugal which further adds to their attraction for private ownership.  They are a pilot’s aircraft and a delight to fly, but being tail draggers are always able to keep the unsuspecting pilot on their toes!  We are above all, passionate aviation enthusiasts and consequently are more than happy to discuss our aircraft with anyone who cares to listen at any venue we attend.  The aircraft are all self funded and owned and run by each of their pilots respectively.

G-VFDS – Lead Aircraft

RV 8

The RV-8 retains the fighter-like feel of centerline seating making it perfect for formation flying.  The RV8 has a fuel capacity of around 170 litres – and with its efficient airframe provide long range and high cruise speeds, so long distances can be covered easily.  The speed and the excellent climb rate provide options for dealing with weather and terrain that simply aren’t available to most pilots.  With a single occupant, it would take off in 250’ and climb out at 2600 fpm.  All the aircraft have subtle changes within as they are home built but generally follow the same design.  Glass cockpits in all but Raven 3 which is similar to iPad style display.

G-VFDS is fitted with a Superior XP IO-360 180 hp engine combined with a metal Hartzell 2 blade constant speed propeller and also has a fully inverted fuel and oil system for aerobatics that ensure the noisy bit at the front stays noisy when upside-down!  The aircraft has also been modified with a display smoke system.  Full glass cockpit incorporating all flight and engine management instruments. 

G-CJSM – No 2
(Leaders right hand side)

RV 8

The RV-8 retains the fighter-like feel of centerline seating.  The RV8 has a fuel capacity of around 170 litres – and with its efficient airframe provide long range and high cruise speeds, so long distances can be covered easily.  The speed and the excellent climb rate provide options for dealing with weather and terrain that simply aren’t available to most pilots.  With a single occupant, it would take off in 250’ and climb out at 2600 fpm.

G-CJSM is fitted with a SuperiorXP IO-360 180 hp engine combined with a metal Hartzell 2 blade constant speed propeller and also has a fully inverted fuel and oil system for aerobatics that ensure the noisy bit at the front stays noisy when upside-down!  The aircraft has also been modified with a display smoke system.  Steve started the build of CJSM in 2014 in his garage from a quick build kit (although despite the use of the word ‘quick’, it’s all relative!), completing it just before Christmas 2016.  This is a very rapid build time for a home build aircraft and is purely down to Steve’s work ethic.  Max speed for the RV8 202kts with a +5 -3 G limit.

G-EGRV – No 3
(Leaders left hand side)

RV 8

Barry’s ‘8’ was bought from another user and so not built by him.  EGRV, like VFDS is fitted with a SuperiorXP IO-360 180 hp engine combined with a composite MT, 3 blade constant speed propeller and fully inverted fuel and oil system.  EGRV has been modified with a display smoke system which, like all of the aircraft in the Team, is in the rear baggage compartment.

He had the registration changed from its original markings to make his wife’s initials plus the ‘RV’ of the aircraft type.  As far as can be made out, there is no appreciable difference in performance between the 2 types of propeller the Team use.

G-CIBM – No 4
(Outside right hand side)

RV 8

Gerald’s RV8 was built from a quick build kit taking approximately 3 years in total to complete.  CIBM is fitted (as with VFDS and EGRV) with a Superior XP IO-360 180 hp engine combined with a MT Composite three blade constant speed propeller and fully inverted fuel and oil system.

G-SOUT – No 5

(Outside left hand side)

RV 8

Mark’s RV8 was bought by him in April this year as a built unit and thus was not constructed by him.  G-CDPJ is fitted with an ex-RAF Bulldog Lycoming  IO-360 200 hp engine combined with a composite MT, 3 blade constant speed propeller with a fully inverted (most of the time!) fuel and oil system.

CDPJ is the only aircraft in the Team without the ‘vertical inlet’ air system and so has no chin intake under the nose.