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  #1  
Old 07-14-2010, 08:19 AM
Jim Lewellyn's Avatar
Jim Lewellyn Jim Lewellyn is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 273
Default RV6-vs-RV9A - A Brief Flight Comparison

For those of you that do not know me, I fly an RV6 that I purchased (flying) a few years ago. I have logged roughly 400 hours in the 6 and have loved every minute of it. I recent flew a friend?s RV9A, so I thought I would share my impressions of the two machines for those trying to decide which model they might prefer.

My 6 has an O320 with a fixed pitch Sensenich prop. It is a very mannerly tail-dragger. Taxi requires little if any s-turning because forward visibility is quite good. Simply holding right rudder pressure during the take-off run keeps her tracking right down the middle. Once off the ground, the 6 is very responsive in pitch and roll. Both pitch and roll forces are very, very low. In fact, when I give the stick to someone in the right seat for the first time, I ask them to grab hold of it with the thumb and index fingers only. The reason for this is that almost all non RV pilot?s will drastically over control when using their whole hand on the stick. I once turned the stick over to a very seasoned pilot (without giving him the 2 finger instruction) and he promptly pitched the nose up pulling about 3.5 G's. Once he realized it, he pitched forward and vaulted us both off the seat. He just wasn't prepared for such responsiveness and low stick force requirements. In cruise, my 6 will indicate about 155 knots using 2400 RPM at 2500 ft. Back in the pattern, just easy the throttle back and trim the nose up to slow down to 90 mph, then dump out all the flaps. I fly final at about 65-70 knots depending on conditions, then three point land. As I said earlier, the 6 is very mannerly on the ground and again requires rudder pressure to keep it on the center line. Rudder/tail wheel response is also very quick (like pitch and roll). It is totally the opposite of a Cub where you kinda jab a rudder and then wait for something to happen...The 6 responds right now.

My friends RV9A is also fitted with an O320 and fixed pitch Sensenich prop, so engine start-up procedures are identical to my 6. My first impression while sitting in the 9A was that I was sitting really high off the ground, and forward visibility was incredible. Taxing the 9A was simple and felt like I was riding on a cushion of air (compared to my 6 with a solid tail wheel tire). The 9A just floats along in taxi like a magic carpet. Take off was simple and required about the same rudder inputs as my 6. Just hold right rudder pressure to keep it tracking straight ahead. Out of habit, I let the speed build up to about 80 MPH before rotating. My friend said that I waited too long and the 9A would have flown off nicely much earlier. I could tell that he was right because the 9A jumped into the air and climbed nicely like an RV does. I really didn't pay attention to the climb rate, but it seemed a bit better that my 6 would do 2 up. We leveled off at 2500 ft. and I pulled the throttle back to 2400 RPM's. It was a bumpy day, and we were indicating about 135 knots. I rolled the 9A to about 45 degrees and did a 180 in each direction. My friends 9A requires much greater stick force in roll than my 6, which makes perfect sense due to the extra 5 feet of wing on the 9. I did a couple of steep 360's (roughly 70 degrees). Pitch forces during the turn (and flying straight ahead) feel very similar to the 6 (very light). I would have to guess that the roll forces are roughly 3-4 times greater in the 9 than in the 6. The 9 is very stable and seems to right itself better than the 6 after coming out the back side of a bump. Back in the pattern, I slowed the 9 down just like I do my 6, just ease the power back and trim the nose up and wait. The 9 is very slippery like the 6 and requires a bit of planning to get it down to flap speed. But with a little practice, it is very easy to manage. Same full flap routine in the 9, as I use in the 6. I flew final at about 65 knots and floated way down the runway. The 9 just wants to keep on flying. Flare was simple and I made an extra effort to keep the nose wheel off the ground as long as possible. Landing the 9A was very easy, and if I could have done just a few more, I could have really greased it on.

Before flying the 9A, I had read all the specs for it on Vans web page. I must say that it flew just like I expected it to. It is all RV, and a real hoot to fly!
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Jim Lewellyn
N6312V
RV6 - O-320 FP
GRT Sport & GRT AP
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  #2  
Old 07-14-2010, 09:00 AM
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L.Adamson L.Adamson is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: KSLC
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Good comparison, because I have not flown a 9A with a fixed pitch prop. My comparison thoughts are between two 9As with constant speed, as well as my 6A with a C/S. I have flown a 6A with fixed pitch.

Without doubt, the 6A stick forces are lighter, and it could be easier to over control. However, most of my RV hours were in the 9A's, and I didn't have too much trouble adapting. The first surprise was when I did a touch and go in the 6A. With the C/S prop, it really wound up on the last third of throttle, and wanted to pull much harder to the left as well as wanting to torque roll to the left. This tendency definately requires more right pedal than the 9's did.

BTW, with C/S props, the 9A's will come down quick too. Not as fast as the 6's, but you don't have to worry about floating at all. The 9's will also fall out from underneath you in a flare too...........if you don't watch it. They are just not at all like a typical f/p Cessna or Piper when on final descent....when running a C/S prop on the 9. But I find that to be very beneficial!

In regards to turbulence, the kind of stuff you get on a warm afternoon; it's sixes between the 9 & 6. If I was blindfolded, it would be hard to tell which plane you're in. Both get bounced around, just as much. Just not much relief with those longer wings. There are a few times I'll get that hint of "dutch roll", with my short six tail..... that the nine doesn't do. Other than that, both planes feel much the same on long cross countries in smooth air.

As for climb, the 9A has a 160 HP & I have a 180. I can out climb, but not by enough to worry about it. The 9 does plenty good! At top speeds, I'm around 20 mph faster. We start out at 4200' msl, and haven't tried climbing test's above 12000' feet. Perhaps at these higher altitudes the 9's wing may do better than the 6 with it's longer & thicker leading edged wing. But I just don't know.

All in all, I wouldn't trade my six for a nine, except for resell value. I kind of like the lighter stick forces. Yet, the nines are very nice airplanes, and perform far better than your average Cessna 172 or 180 powered Pipers.

L.Adamson --- RV6A
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  #3  
Old 07-14-2010, 09:06 AM
KirkGrovesRV8 KirkGrovesRV8 is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Paradise,Pa S37
Posts: 734
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Neat O Jim
Wanna fly the finest of the fleet next and give your report
Front seat of the Queen is open to you.
Hope to see you Saturday
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All the Best ;-)
RV-8
RV-9 once the kids are older
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  #4  
Old 07-14-2010, 09:18 AM
Jim Lewellyn's Avatar
Jim Lewellyn Jim Lewellyn is offline
 
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Location: Bloomsburg, PA
Posts: 273
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Kirk,

You KNOW that I want to take you up on your very generous offer! See you Saturday...
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N6312V
RV6 - O-320 FP
GRT Sport & GRT AP
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2010, 10:30 AM
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twsurveyor twsurveyor is offline
 
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Location: Ridgetop, Tennessee
Posts: 134
Default RV6-vs-RV9A - A Brief Flight Comparison

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Lewellyn View Post
. I recent flew a friend’s RV9A, so I thought I would share my impressions of the two machines for those trying to decide which model they might prefer.
Good report Jim! I fly a 6A/180 hp/FP and regularly fly alongside a buddy with a 9A/160 hp/FP. My buddy has had his 9A flying less than a year and I've been flying my 6A for over 4 years now (538 hrs.). Until he got in the air, I had visions of my 6A easily "eating his lunch"!.............. Well, in reality, it ain't quite like that.

My first impression of the 9A is that it "just flies better than it ought too"! I have noticed it seems to climb with "less effort" than my 6A, my extra 20 hp being the only reason I can out climb him.

The 9A does very well in cruise also. As all of you know, the term "cruise" has many different meanings to many different pilots. Heck, I've seen performance specs. hanging on RV props at OSH etc. claiming 175-180 kt cruise speeds from a 7A with an 0-360??? Well I ain't gonna say that's B.S. but I know for sure my airplane won't do it!! My 6A has a "comfortable cruise" range of 150-160 KTS (TAS) and my buddy's 9A seems to have a "comfortable" range of 140-150 KTS (TAS). On a 500 mile trip that's only 10-15 minutes difference.

I have flown (from the right seat) his 9A. As Jim has reported the stick force required is noticably greater than a 6(A). I have not flown as many different types of planes as a lot of folks, but I have flown a lot of them. The "heaviest" yoke or stick I ever had a hold of was in and old model Mooney. Having just gotten out of my 6A, it was like driving an old logging truck down a muddy log road! Anyhow I'd rate the 9A's required stick force somewhere between the 6A and the old Mooney, probably about equal to a Cessna 150 or so.

All in all the 9A is a very impressive, well rounded airplane! I really like it but, at the end of the day, I'll stick with my 6A!
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Tommy Walker
Ridgetop, TN (1M5)
RV-6A, N 350 TW
830 Hrs & "Climbing?!

Last edited by twsurveyor : 07-14-2010 at 04:41 PM.
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  #6  
Old 07-14-2010, 10:55 AM
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Vlad Vlad is offline
 
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Location: Utah
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Lewellyn View Post

snip...


In fact, when I give the stick to someone in the right seat for the first time, I ask them to grab hold of it with the thumb and index fingers only.


snip



I was that lucky someone .It was light touch and so easy. Great comparison Jim.


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Не имей сто рублей, а имей сто друзей.

Last edited by Vlad : 07-14-2010 at 05:11 PM. Reason: added pic from Bloomsburg 2010 RV Fly-in
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  #7  
Old 07-14-2010, 11:59 AM
jerryab jerryab is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Northwest Arkansas
Posts: 40
Default RV Speeds

The RV 9 is a great airplane, but not a 6" and wasn't intended to be by Van's. I have a RV6A with 160hp 0320 behind a C/S prop. I'm always interesting to see the speeds posted in the threads. My RV never is quite as fast, I wonder if I have a pitot problem or rigging, or something else. As 6500, 24/2400, 20 Centigrade, leaned properly, my plane indicates 138 kts. True airspeed is 180 mph or 156 kts. Just curious if I'm as slow or is everyone else just faster!!
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  #8  
Old 07-14-2010, 04:35 PM
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twsurveyor twsurveyor is offline
 
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Location: Ridgetop, Tennessee
Posts: 134
Cool RV Speeds

Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryab View Post
I have a RV6A with 160hp 0320 behind a C/S prop. I'm always interesting to see the speeds posted in the threads. My RV never is quite as fast, At 6500, 24/2400, 20 Centigrade, leaned properly, my plane indicates 138 kts. True airspeed is 180 mph or 156 kts.
I think your (RV-6A's) only problem is that your an honest man! At 24 square with an 0-320, your probably running about 75% power and burning around 8.7 G/Hr?........ According to Van's numbers for a 160 HP 6A, your "in the ball park".

My normal (honest) "comfortable cruise" speed with my 180 HP 6A (FP) is 154 Kts (TAS) @ 64%, burning about 8.4 G/Hr.

I think the a lot of the "Hangar Flying" cruise speeds quotes you read on the VAF Forums are a lot like the Boat Dock lies you hear quoteing the size of "the one that got away"!!
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Tommy Walker
Ridgetop, TN (1M5)
RV-6A, N 350 TW
830 Hrs & "Climbing?!

Last edited by twsurveyor : 07-14-2010 at 04:48 PM.
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  #9  
Old 07-14-2010, 04:45 PM
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pmccoy pmccoy is offline
 
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Regardless of actual cruise speeds.... I can't wait to get my 9A in the air. I love reading threads like this that describe how fun these machines are to fly. Keep it up!
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RV9A N35PM S/N:91335
First Flight: April 2013
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  #10  
Old 07-14-2010, 04:52 PM
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n5lp n5lp is offline
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Location: Carlsbad, NM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twsurveyor View Post
I think your (RV-6A's) only problem is that your an honest man! At 24 square with an 0-320, your probably running about 75% power and burning around 8.7 G/Hr?........ According to Van's numbers for a 160 HP 6A, your "in the ball park".

My normal (honest) "comfortable cruise" speed with my 180 HP 6A (FP) is 154 Kts (64%) burning about 8.4 G/Hr.

I think the "Hangar Flying" cruise speeds you read on the VAF Forums are a lot like the Boat Dock lies you hear quoteing the size of "the one that got away"!!
Well "comfortable cruise speed" is highly subjective of course. But Van's number for 75% power at 8,000 feet in a 160 HP RV-6A is 164 knots which I would consider significantly higher than some of the figures given in this thread.

At the risk of being considered dishonest, I have no difficulty at all exceeding the Van's published cruise speeds in my kind-of-rough and old, fixed pitch, 180 HP RV-6.
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