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  #1  
Old 12-16-2017, 09:47 PM
DrDrift DrDrift is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 17
Default Van's Aircraft Taxonomy

I've been looking for a guide on visually and functionally distinguishing the different Van's aircraft models, but all I found was the "Which RV is Right for Me?" page. In the absence of a guide, I copied the 3-view diagrams from the Van's site and made a simple set of "Airfield Identification Guides for Van's Aircraft"

The first guide is the "Van's Diagram" (sorry), which shows the distribution of aircraft based on aerobatic capability, seating arrangement, and number of seats.



Aerobatic only: RV-3
Side-by-side only: RV-10 (I suppose tandem too...)
Aerobatic and two-seat: RV-4/8
Two-seat and side-by-side: RV-9/12
Aerobatic, two-seat, and side-by-side: RV-6/7/14


I revised the "Which RV is Right for Me" question sequence into a decision flow diagram.



Want 1 or 4 seats, RV-3 and -10 are the only options, respectively.

For two-seat aircraft, the aircraft choice depends on aerobatic capability, seating arrangement, size of interior, and LSA compatibility. I'm sure it's obvious to people who are already familiar with the different configurations, but I was trying to make a diagram that easily distinguishes the main features of the aircraft. Of note, I left off the /A nosewheel options which are subsets for certain aircraft.

Here's a top-view comparison of the 9 RV aircraft with approximately-correct relative size scaling.




Front-view comparison of RV models:




Side-view comparison:


Last edited by DrDrift : 12-16-2017 at 09:51 PM.
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  #2  
Old 12-16-2017, 10:37 PM
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ChiefPilot ChiefPilot is offline
 
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Location: Twin Cities, MN
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDrift View Post
What makes you think a -7 isn't roomy inside? Have you ever flown one?
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  #3  
Old 12-16-2017, 11:09 PM
DrDrift DrDrift is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 17
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiefPilot View Post
What makes you think a -7 isn't roomy inside? Have you ever flown one?
Fair point! I wasn't trying to slight the spaciousness of the -7, just trying to find a distinguishing characteristic(s) between it and the -14. To answer your questions, I haven't flown the -7 or any other RV, and I'm basing the diagrams off information on the Van's site, namely this paragraph:

From http://www.vansaircraft.com/public/rv14.htm
Quote:
Probably the first thing you’ll notice is that the RV-14 sits tall. The upright seating position and large bubble canopy provide superb visibility in all directions. The large cabin (as wide as many four-seat airplanes) is truly roomy. Lots of headroom, lots leg room, lots of room between the seats. Big people will like this airplane!
I'll be glad to change the "Roomy Interior?" block if you have have a better way to describe how to decide between the two available two-seat, side-by-side, aerobatic RVs.
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  #4  
Old 12-16-2017, 11:17 PM
DrDrift DrDrift is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2017
Location: Central Florida
Posts: 17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RV8JD View Post
Conventional gear vs Tricycle gear is an important differentiator for most, as is slider vs tip-up canopy. It might make for an interestingly complicated decision chart!
I agree about the gear and the canopy, but you could argue that two decisions are only important *after* you have chosen the airframe. In this case, the diagram would be extended a bit to include the options, but only for some airplanes. The RV-3 would only include the taildragger option, the RV-10 would only include the tricycle, while others would include both.

Part of the problem with the diagram is that it assumes that the "number of seats" is the first decision in the process. While this is probably true in many (most?) cases, it's possible to choose an aircraft starting with the main requirement being a tip-up canopy.

Another way to make an excessively-complicated decision chart is to have multiple starting points. Start with "Ok, so you want a tip-up canopy!", then start filtering based on secondary characteristics. There would be bunches of intersections with other paths through the chart that start from other questions. All the paths would eventually lead to one of the RVs. If it gets complicated enough, it would be a good introduction to aircraft electrical wiring diagrams.

Last edited by DrDrift : 12-16-2017 at 11:20 PM.
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  #5  
Old 12-17-2017, 06:39 AM
KatanaPilot KatanaPilot is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Locust Grove, GA
Posts: 751
Default Nice play on words

Quote:
Originally Posted by DrDrift View Post
The first guide is the "Van's Diagram" (sorry), which shows the distribution of aircraft based on aerobatic capability, seating arrangement, and number of seats.
I like the Van's (Venn) diagram.
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  #6  
Old 12-17-2017, 07:04 AM
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Mel Mel is offline
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Dallas area
Posts: 11,215
Default I agree.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by KatanaPilot View Post
I like the Van's (Venn) diagram.
To me, Van's diagram is much simpler.
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  #7  
Old 12-17-2017, 07:04 AM
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rvanstory rvanstory is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Location: New Braunfels
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Default

Nice job! I'm building an RV and never fully realized all the differences between their models. Since I wanted 4 seats, my choice was simple. For others trying to decide, this is an easy way to see some of the differences quickly.
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  #8  
Old 12-17-2017, 08:25 AM
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rolivi rolivi is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Fort Worth
Posts: 558
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You may consider adding BUY of BUILD since you can't buy a 6 kit anymore.
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  #9  
Old 12-17-2017, 12:11 PM
rv9builder rv9builder is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Irvine, CA
Posts: 950
Default

Quote:
I'll be glad to change the "Roomy Interior?" block if you have have a better way to describe how to decide between the two available two-seat, side-by-side, aerobatic RVs.
Maybe say "larger interior"?

I like what you did?very clever!
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  #10  
Old 12-17-2017, 01:17 PM
David Paule David Paule is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 5,059
Default

Any of them can be flown non-aerobatically, and the RV-3 is not roomy.

I chose an RV other than the sweet-flying RV-12 because the -12 wasn't a taildragger.

The -12 has exceptional visibility, another distinguishing feature.

Dave
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