RV-8 Info.

General Information:

The Van’s RV-8 went on the market in 1996 and complete kits were available by the end of 1998.  Today there are almost 9,000 RV kits that have been completed and flown and thousands more are under construction.  There are approximately 1.5 RV kits completed every day.  RVs are flying in at least 45 different countries and kits have shipped to about sixty.  Needless to say, the talent pool and resources necessary to complete a kit are out there!

The RV-8 retains the fighter-like feel of center-line seating but the wider fuselage contains cockpits that accommodate large people in comfort.  Two baggage compartments, one forward and one aft keep even large amounts of luggage well within the weight and balance envelope.  Pilots up to 6’7″ fit in the front and passengers almost as big find the rear seat fits them too.  Factory demo pilots have flown demo rides with passengers up to 6’9″ and 260 lbs. in the back.

The large 42 gallon fuel capacity and 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.  Handling on the ground or in the air is typical RV which is exciting and responsive but never “twitchy” or unpredictable.

The sliding canopy is built around a sturdy steel roll bar and fixed windshield.  It must remain closed in flight but the standard fresh air ducts provide plenty of fresh air to both seats.  The RV-8 is designed to be flown from the front seat, although a rear stick is provided and a rear throttle and rudder pedals are optional.

The RV-8 climbs well, lands slow and goes fast.  Unlike previous designs, the RV-8 was designed to accept the 200 horsepower IO-360 Lycoming engine.  The prototype with this engine demonstrated really remarkable performance.  With a single occupant it would take off in 250’ and climb out at 2600 fpm, performance that had controllers asking “what kind of airplane is that?”  If you like sitting in the middle and enjoy responsive, agile and capable airplanes, then the RV-8 should suit you well.

The almost perfect control balance and harmony as well as the excellent visibility make aerobatics a delight.  At the aerobatic gross weight of 1600 lbs., the RV-8 complies with the +6/-3G standards of the FAA’s Aerobatic Category and can still carry two people, making it possible for a new pilot to get aerobatic instruction before he or she starts rolling and looping.

rv-8_3view    RV-8 Cutaway Image


Exterior Dimensions
Span 24 ft.
Length 21 ft.
Height 5 ft. 7 in.
Wing Area 116 sq. ft.
Empty Weight 1067 – 1120 lbs.
Gross Weight 1800 lbs.
Wing Loading 15.5 lb./sq. ft.
Power Loading 12 – 9 lb./hp.
Engine 150-200 hp.
Propeller [in prototype] Fixed or C/S
Fuel Capacity 42 US gal
Baggage 125 lbs.

Interior Dimensions and Baggage Area:



Solo Weight 1400 lbs.
Gross Weight 1800 lbs.
160 hp. 180 hp. 200 hp.
Empty weight and performance measured with Hartzell 2 Blade C/S prop
Speeds and ranges in statute mph (sm)
Speed – Solo Weight
Top Speed 206 mph 214 mph 222 mph
Cruise [75% @ 8000 ft.] 197 mph 204 mph 212 mph
Cruise [55% @ 8000 ft.] 175 mph 182 mph 189 mph
Stall Speed 51 mph 51 mph 51 mph
Speed – Gross Weight
Top Speed 205 mph 213 mph 221 mph
Cruise [75% @ 8000 ft.] 195 mph 203 mph 210 mph
Cruise [55% @ 8000 ft.] 173 mph 180 mph 187 mph
Stall Speed 58 mph 58 mph 58 mph
Ground Performance – Solo Weight
Takeoff Distance 300 ft. 275 ft. 250 ft.
Landing Distance 350 ft. 350 ft. 350 ft.
Ground Performance – Gross Weight
Takeoff Distance 650 ft. 575 ft. 500 ft.
Landing Distance 500 ft. 500 ft. 500 ft.
Climb/Ceiling – Solo Weight
Rate of Climb 2,000 fpm 2,300 fpm 2,700 fpm
Ceiling 21,000 ft. 23,000 ft. 25,500 ft.
Climb/Ceiling – Gross Weight
Rate of Climb 1,400 fpm 1,650 fpm 1,900 fpm
Ceiling 18,500 ft. 20,500 ft. 22,500 ft.
Range [75% @ 8000 ft.] 855 sm 790 sm 780 sm
Range [55% @ 8000 ft.] 1,030 sm 955 sm 940 sm