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Van's Aircraft RV-8

From PlaneSpottingWorld, for aviation fans everywhere
An RV-8 with conventional landing gear at Carp, Ontario.
An RV-8 at Smiths Falls, Ontario.

The Van’s RV-8 is a tandem two-seat, single-engine, low-wing homebuilt aircraft sold in kit form by Van’s Aircraft. The RV-8 is equipped with conventional landing gear, while the RV-8A version features tricycle landing gear. The design is a larger development of the RV-4, and is similar in appearance to the earlier model.


Richard VanGrunsven designed the RV-8 series as an improved RV-4, itself a two-seat version of the single seat RV-3. The RV-8 first flew in 1995 and was first shown publicly at Oshkosh that year.

The RV-8 incorporated many changes as a result of lessons learned over the years in producing the immensely popular RV-4 design. The RV-8 airframe will accept larger engines, including the Lycoming IO-360, up to 200 hp. The RV-8 also has increased wingspan and wing area over the RV-4, as well as more cockpit width, headroom, legroom and an increased useful load, all with a view to accommodating larger pilots. Like all other RV series aircraft, except the RV-9 and 10, the RV-8 series are stressed for aerobatics.

The RV-8 shares many common parts with the RV-7 and RV-9 which reduces production costs. Like the RV-7, the RV-8 uses computer assisted design to produce a kit with pre-drilled rivet holes, thus greatly reducing assembly time for the builder.

The RV-8 was intended from the start to have a nose-gear stablemate designated the RV-8A. The RV-8A was first flown in 1998 and features tubular steel landing gear with the nosewheel mounting tube welded to the engine mount. As in all nose-wheel equipped RV aircraft, the nosewheel is free castering and the aircraft is steered with differential braking. The brakes are mounted conventionally on the rudder pedal toes.

Aircraft Type Club

The RV-8 and RV-8A have a very active aircraft type club Van's Air Force that provides support for owners and pilots of these types.

Specifications (RV-8)

Specifications are given for 200HP, IO-360 configuration with a Hartzell constant speed propeller

General characteristics

  • Crew: one pilot
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Length: 21 ft 0 in (6.46 m)
  • Wingspan: 24 ft 0 in (7.38 m)
  • Height: 5 ft 7 in (1.71 m)
  • Wing area: 116 ft² (10.7 m²)
  • Empty weight: 1120 lb (507 kg)
  • Loaded weight: 1,800 lb (815 kg)
  • Max takeoff weight: 1,800lb (815kg)
  • Powerplant:Lycoming O-320, Lycoming O-360 or Lycoming IO-360 fixed pitch or constant speed, 150-200hp (112-149 kW)


Related content

Related development

Similar aircraft

Designation series

RV-3 - RV-4 - RV-6 - RV-7 - RV-8 - RV-9 - RV-10 - RV-11 - RV-12

External links