Van's Aircraft RV-6
The Van's RV-6 and RV-6A are two-seat, single-engine, low-wing homebuilt airplanes sold in kit form by Van's Aircraft. The RV-6 is the tail-wheel equipped version while the RV-6A features a nose-wheel. The RV-6 was the first aircraft in the popular Van’s RV series to feature side-by-side seating and the first to offer a nosewheel option. It was first flown in 1985. Over 2000 kits have been completed and flown.
The RV-6 kit has been superseded by the similar, but improved, RV-7. Kit components are still available to allow builders to complete RV-6s under construction, but no new complete kits are available.
Market demand motivated VanGrunsven to design the RV-6 and offer it as an optional nosewheel design. The original two seater RV-4 has been a remarkable success, but the tandem seating configuration was not considered ideal by many potential owners as it leaves the passenger isolated in the back seat. Many female spouses of builders especially favoured the side-by-side configuration over the tandem arrangement.
VanGrunsven worked diligently to create a side-by-side design with a generous 43 inch wide cockpit that did not sacrifice the RV-4’s handling, STOL performance and especially its high cruise speed. In the end the RV-6 prototype produced cruise speeds that are only 3 mph slower that the RV-4 with the same engine.
The first RV-6s had a forward hinged canopy design. This was a simple one-piece arrangement, but it made taxiing the aircraft with the canopy open more difficult. Later kits had the option of a rearward sliding canopy that could more easily provide ventilation on the ground.
The RV-6A version features tubular steel landing gear with the nosewheel mounting tube welded to the engine mount. The nosewheel is free castering and the aircraft is steered with differential braking. The brakes are mounted conventionally on the rudder pedal toes.
Nigerian Air Force RV-6A Air Beetle
The RV-6 has a rare distinction in the world of kit built aircraft - it is used as a military training aircraft. Searching for a suitable trainer that could be assembled in Nigeria using local labour, the government of that country settled on the RV-6A. Van's produced 60 kits to fulfill the order and these were assembled in Nigeria, test flown and entered service with the Nigerian Air Force in 1989 as elementary training aircraft under the name "Air Beetle". The RV-6As equip an air training school is based at Kaduna, Nigeria.
Aircraft Type Club
The RV-6 and RV-6A have a very active aircraft type club Van's Air Force that provides support for owners and pilots of these types.
Specifications are given for 180HP, O-360 configuration.
- Crew: one pilot
- Capacity: one passenger
- Length: 20 ft 2 in (6.21 m)
- Wingspan: 23 ft 0 in (7.10 m)
- Height: 5 ft 3 in (1.62 m)
- Wing area: 110 ft² (10.2 m²)
- Empty weight: 965 lb (437 kg)
- Loaded weight: 1,600 lb (724 kg)
- Max takeoff weight: 1,600lb (724kg)
- Powerplant: 1× Lycoming O-320 or Lycoming O-360 fixed pitch or constant speed, 150-180hp (112-134 kW)
- Never exceed speed: mph (km/h)
- Maximum speed: 210 mph at sea level (340 km/h)
- Range: 720 statute miles at cruise 75% power at 8,000 ft (1,166 km at cruise 75% power at 2,500 m)
- Service ceiling: 25,700 ft (7,900 m)
- Rate of climb: 1,790 ft/min (9.2 m/s)
- Wing loading: 14.5 lb/ft² (73 kg/m²)
- Van's Aircraft Website
- Van's Aircraft website - Nigerian Air Force
- International Air Force Directory 1999-2000
Lists relating to aviation
|General||Timeline of aviation · Aircraft · Aircraft manufacturers · Aircraft engines · Aircraft engine manufacturers · Airports · Airlines|
|Military||Air forces · Aircraft weapons · Missiles · Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) · Experimental aircraft|
|Notable incidents |
|Military aviation · Airliners · General aviation · Famous aviation-related deaths|
|Records||Flight airspeed record · Flight distance record · Flight altitude record · Flight endurance record · Most produced aircraft|