This is a very good tribute to the old aviators who made aviation what is today. I have no idea as to the author and editor who created this, but they did a good job with the tribute to the old aviators. I like the songs he chose to feature in the background. John Denver has always been one of my favorite singers. His music touched the souls of many.
(Found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPVAqOdJCPI.)
If you listen to the words of his poem, this pilot pays tribute to famous, and nameless, aviators who made flying what it is today. It is a history lesson in verse. It is well done and touches on many aspects of flying, from back in the old days, to the present time. As he flies around in his RV-6, you can tell he is truly enjoying himself. That’s what happens when you get caught flying in one of Richard VanGrunsven’s designs.
The RV-6 is a wonderful airplane, as are all the others in the RV series. In my opinion, all of the airplanes “Van” designed are at the top of the list of homebuilts. Each of the airplanes performs very well; they do exactly what they were designed for and do what they are supposed to do. As you can see from the video, the airplane is a real performer. On a 180-horsepower Lycoming engine, the airplane cruises fast and far. With ample wing area and flaps, she will slow down respectably to land.
In designing the airplane, VanGrunsven did a great job creating an airplane for both high speed and slow flight. Additionally, the airframe is strong enough for aerobatics. All around, Van’s series of airplanes is probably the best a pilot can build and fly dollar for dollar.
Not only does the airplane perform well, it is easy to build. Construction is straightforward sheet metal work with flush riveting. There are no surprises in the building process. The building process is as straightforward and as honest as the airplane flies.
I had the chance to fly a -6 once (thanks Larry), and it was one of the most delightful airplanes I have ever been in. The thing I liked most about the airplane was the visibility. The canopy, a one-piece blown affair, provides the best view ever out of an airplane. It is like riding in a convertible without the windblast.
For performance numbers, try these on for size: an RV-6 with a 180-hp and 38 gallons of 100-LL octane cruises at 199 mph (173 knots) at 75 percent power. At 55 percent, she will deliver 179 mph (155 knots) and take the airplane and two humans and luggage 880 sm (764 nautical).
On arrival, the airplane will slow down to 49 mph (42 knots) to land in a full stall. Takeoff distance is a mere 475 feet and the landing roll is only 500 feet. At gross weight, the airplane climbs out at almost 1800 fpm; at solo weights, it climbs at an impressive 2275 fpm. She is, in a phrase, a poor man’s F-14 (I’m a Navy guy, I have to stay true to the fleet).
If anyone ever gives you the chance to take a ride, take them up on their offer. You will be glad you did.
©2011 J. Clark
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Safety Note: Some will be tempted to fly as depicted in this video. Please be careful; remember you can only make a mistake one time in this type of flying environment.