YouTube – Vans RV-4
20 ft. 4 in.
The Vans RV-4 is one of the most popular kit built aircraft. Some 1,435 have been sold to date.
Designed by Richard Van Grunsven, the aircraft is generally powered by engines from 150 – 180 hp.
Flying the Vans RV-4
The Vans RV-4 is a fun machine to fly. Take off is generally done without flaps. Acceleration with the 180 HP engine is quick and the 75 mph rotate speed is soon reached. The aircraft will climb at approximately 2,220 fpm at around 115 mph.
During cruise, aileron control is very crisp and the aircraft exhibits excellent directional stability. Aileron and rudder interface in the aircraft is easily achieved for positive control.
Landing approaches with the Vans RV-4 are very comfortable in the 78 – 82 mph range. Three point landings are easily accomplished. The landing roll-out is uneventful and does not present any challenges.
Modified Vans RV-4 aircraft hold a number of world records, including time to climb in their class (class c-1.b) and maximum altitudes.
On November 13, 2004 a specially modified Vans RV-4 Aircraft set the single piston engine manned level flight altitude record for its class of 47,530 feet.
The most significant modification of the record setting aircraft involved the fitting of a 350 hp engine in the airframe.
In 1995, 1996 and 2000 Jon Johanson completed round the world flights in a Van’s 4 modified with extra fuel tanks, electronic ignition, a metal propeller, and a padded race car seat.
The park flyer RC RV-4 for sale as a kit from Stevens AeroModel has a wingspan of 35 in. and a length of 30.5 in. It is of all wood construction. A BL400 is the recommended motor. Weight is around 1 lb.
The Hangar 9 RC Vans RV-4 is made from all-wood and features working flaps and LED landing lights. The ARF has a wingspan of 85 in. and length of 72 in. Power can come from a 30 cc two cycle gas engine or a 160 size electric motor. All-up weight is about 13 lbs.
There is a RC Vans RV-4 from a kit by Great Planes. Wingspan is 54 1/2 in. and length is 49 1/2 in. Construction is balsa and ply. Engines can be from .40 to .52 two cycle or .48 to .70 four cycle. All-up weight is around 6 lbs.