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Old 11-30-2013, 03:59 PM
smokyray's Avatar
smokyray smokyray is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: TX32
Posts: 1,968
Default X-Perimental

I thought I would share a few lessons learned from my ongoing test bed "Kinda RV" The RVX. When my late friend Arvil and I came up with the idea to combine several projects to produce a low budget, stellar flier, I had no idea it would turn out like it did. The RV4 wings and tail mated to an RV6 fuselage with Rocket center section ended up being the best handling RV in all axis I've flown so far.

Recently I sold my 0-320 FWF and installed a 0-360J2A removed from an R22. The J2A is a straight mount 0-360 often overlooked by experimenters. In keeping with the"X mantra" of keeping costs down, all items were purchased used or paid for by selling unused items around the home. Never exceeding my $30K budget maximum was key. Accessories purchased (all from this site) were a Carb, B&C SD8 and mated to a Catto Gen2 prop. PMags were kindly donated by RVbill. My big goal was no weight gain. An 0360 powered RV6 sorta weighing less than 945 lbs and cost under $30K? Yup, it can be done.

Lessons learned:
1. Deviating from a proven design requires even more extra time, patience and fortitude.
2. Leap of faith, is.
3. A tape measure and Google can solve many problems.
4. Light airplanes fly better!
5. Build what you can afford.
6. Never, ever quit...

By the numbers:
Takeoff/Climb 300" 2250 RPM/ 2000 fpm
WOT 2800 RPM at 1500" MSL 183 KIAS (185 GS) big tires, caked mud and all.
Best of all it still has a light nose for nice acro handling and short field landings.
Just ticked over 500 hours, testing continues...



PS: dream big!

Last edited by smokyray : 12-03-2013 at 01:28 PM.
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:11 PM
GLPalinkas's Avatar
GLPalinkas GLPalinkas is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Venice, Fl
Posts: 1,022

Dang I gotta get up there and see that thing Smokey. Been meaning to make the trip since you invited me last year.

Just shows to go you it can be done
Gary Palinkas - Gman.... VAF #161
Venice, Fl
RV-6 "Sassy" Flying 400 hrs since Oct 2011
Lycoming 0-360 A1A, FP Sensenich Prop
SARL #19 .... Van's Calendar March 2015
Although exempt several ways, =VAF= Dues paid to support this awesome site/family
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:12 PM
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grubbat grubbat is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Ga
Posts: 719
Default Prop and stuff

Couple of questions on your engine swap:
Did your J2A come with 0320 prop bushings? If so, did you swap those out for 0360 or just reuse your old 320 Catto prop?

what mods, if any, did you have to do to the upper and lower cowl?

what model carb did you go with?

What part of the conversion took the most time?


RV-3 Sold
RV-4 Sold
RV-6a Sold
RV-9 Built and Flying
1965 Maule M4 Bushwacker projectů till RV-15 shows up

Last edited by grubbat : 12-01-2013 at 12:29 AM. Reason: Refined questions and removed the bla bla bla
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Old 11-30-2013, 04:34 PM
Mike S's Avatar
Mike S Mike S is offline
Senior Curmudgeon
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Dayton Airpark, NV A34
Posts: 16,114

Originally Posted by smokyray View Post
RV4 wings and tail mated to an RV6 fuselage with Rocket center section
Would you elaborate on the Rocket center section???

Mike Starkey
VAF 909

Rv-10, N210LM.

Flying as of 12/4/2010

Phase 1 done, 2/4/2011

Sold after 240+ wonderful hours of flight.

"Flying the airplane is more important than radioing your plight to a person on the ground incapable of understanding or doing anything about it."
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Old 11-30-2013, 06:39 PM
dealfair dealfair is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: George West, TX
Posts: 567

Good Grief Smokey. I thought your RVX was pretty awesome. This makes it even AWESOMER!!
Deal Fair
RV-4 (N34CB)
George West, TX (8T6)
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Old 11-30-2013, 08:00 PM
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turbo turbo is offline
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Stuart, FL /Hartford, CT/Virgin Gorda,BVI
Posts: 3,177

I feel a trip to the swamp coming up some time soon.
TURBO YES =VAF= Payed Jan2021
Ed D'Arcy
RV6-A 5,300+ hrs, R-44 1,600 hrs, Helicycle traded for 33 FFR coupe, 300 young eagles flown
Stuart, Fl / East Hampton,Ct / Virgin Gorda, BVI - villa sold.
addicted pickle ball player
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Old 12-03-2013, 12:12 PM
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smokyray smokyray is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: TX32
Posts: 1,968
Default X marks the spot...

The X construction was based on three sets of plans, RV4, 6 and HR2. The RV4 and six wings are identical vice one center section rib bay and the larger fuel tanks in the six. So we simply laid the 4 plans on top of the six plans with a bright light underneath and voila', the instant comparison!

Mike: The HR2 uses similar dimensions as the six but with thicker skin (one piece top skin on mine) Thus, the conversion included building a beefier center section to mount the wing. It matches the RV6 plans dimensionally but we used the Rocket drawings for bolts, doublers and attach points. We also zeroed the HS, Wing and engine incidence. At 180 Knots indicated the HS and elevator are perfectly matched. We worked very hard on the CG as well getting the light nose feel I wanted without being tail heavy.

Grubbat: The 0-360J comes stock with 7/16" lugs in the flange so my engine seller (E.E.) mounted 1/2" lugs in it for me before I received it. Craig Catto told me the 7/16" lugs are fine for his 0-360 props, even with 180HP. The 0-360J2A also uses a MA-4SPA Carb on the R22 to de-rate it to 160HP. Using a MA-4-5 Carb (180HP) or fuel injection servo for an 0-360 brings it up to 180+ horses at 2700. Difficulties? Even though the engine is mounted horizontally in the R22, it is electric fuel pump only, therefore you have to remove the accessory case housing and install a lobe gear for the mechanical pump, or mount another electric pump inline. (if you want redundancy) Installing the cam lobe gear for the mechanical fuel pump requires removing the accessory case housing and sump, a several hour job. Otherwise an easy swap from the 0-320 if you have a conical engine mount. The lower stock 0-320 cowl with an MA-4-5 won't work with the VANS FAB. I hired a welder friend to build me a RAM air-box very similar to my HR2 and RV4 with a K&N filter by-pass. (I can send you dimensions and a picture if you like). It works great and I didn't have to cut up my pretty cowl! No fiberglass work! If you don't want to use a MA4-5 Carb, The Ellison or Rotec TBI for the 0-360 will work with the Vans 0-320 FAB with nearly identical height as the MA4-SPA. Good luck, the 0-360J2A is a great engine and slightly lighter than an 0-360A1A.

Turbo, Gary, Deal: Anytime sirs! (FD33)

Thanks for the kind words...

Last edited by smokyray : 12-03-2013 at 01:30 PM.
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Old 02-27-2015, 12:47 PM
Triple7 Triple7 is offline
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: St. Charles, Illinois
Posts: 28
Default X perimenter

Smokey, I've followed your threads for quite awhile. Glad there is another that appreciates light weight RV's. My 8 has AD prop and 0-320 D3G, polished with minimal instruments. Thought about about an 0-360 but my 8 flies great. Soon to change to one of Craig Catto's propellers, looking for a little more performance.
Do you have any other helpful suggestions?? A gentleman from the Netherlands took a better picture than I could ever have taken taxing out from OSH. If you care to look it is on, my tail number 819MW. Never knew till recently it was there until a friend suggest I take a look.
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Old 02-27-2015, 01:41 PM
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az_gila az_gila is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: 57AZ - NW Tucson area
Posts: 10,011

Good going Smokey...

How did you solve the paint job problem and keep the coloring within your budget?
Gil Alexander
EAA Technical Counselor, Airframe Mechanic
Half completed RV-10 QB purchased
RV-6A N61GX - finally flying
Grumman Tiger N12GA - flying
La Cholla Airpark (57AZ) Tucson AZ
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Old 11-08-2016, 03:06 PM
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Xkuzme1 Xkuzme1 is offline
Join Date: Jan 2015
Location: KC, MO
Posts: 381

Isn't the J2A limited to 145HP because of the cylinders. What have the downsides been the using the J2A? The cylinders aren't as strong. I'd think that cooling would be extremely important.
RV-4 - 0-320 (160HP)
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