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EUROPA XS vs VANS RV6/9

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EUROPA XS vs VANS RV6/9

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Old 28th Feb 2003, 23:04
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: UK
Posts: 59
EUROPA XS vs VANS RV6/9

I just thought I'll start this interesting discussion...

1.
Which of these 2 kitplanes will be the most enjoyable building project?

2.
After completion, which one would be the most economical to operate? (insurance, fuel, maintainance etc.)

3.
Composite or Aluminium?

4.
Which one is the most fun & enjoyable to fly?

5.
The actual cost of operating such an airplane.

If there is anyone that owns or operates a EUROPA or RV I would like to hear from you!
EchoKiloEcho is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2003, 03:36
  #2 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: UK
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Just an observation.....

Not built or flown either and of course it depends on what you want; apples or pears.

Try buying a newly finished Europa. Not that difficult, in fact a fair few seem to come up for sale upon completion.

Now try to do the same with a newly finished RV.

A quick look at G-INFO reveals:

RV registered: 110 current permit: 58
Europa registered: 188 current permit: 126

The AAIB reports for the Europa (33) mention loss of control in the take off or landing phase 13 times (all relating to the monowheeltype) and a problem with the retractable monowheel 8 times. Both these problems have been addressed by modifications. The rest was a variety of mechanical and piloting matters (nosegear collapse; fuel contamination etc)

For the RVs I could only find 3 reports on the AAIB site. One related to a probable powerloss; one nosewheel failure and one whereby the nosewheel got bogged in on landing.

In the end factors that need to be taken into consideration when deciding what to get should include; mission profile (?aerobatics); price ( I think not a lot of difference there); operating costs (Europa more nimble dont know about insurance); seat configuration (SBS or tandem); preferred material to work with; hangarage/storage (no detachable wing option with the RV machines); and what does the heart say (beauty being in the eye of the beholder.

If you are going to build either, make sure you use appropriate protection. More people end up in Accident and Emergency departments as a result of DIY than any other single cause. Further for working with Epoxy use appropriate gloves as a lot of people do get allergic to the stuff and when using with rivets (the blind not the pop variety) wear earprotection.

No doubt you have already looked here:

For Europa Aircraft

and here:

For VANS RVs

HTH

FD

Declaration of interests: none
Flyin'Dutch' is offline  
Old 1st Mar 2003, 08:08
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Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: UK
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I think that FD has hit the nail on the head. Second hand RV's are as rare as rocking horse poo. Owners don't seem to want to part with them, and the few that are advertised for sale are snapped up at a BIG premium to the cost of building even after several years and a few hundead hours on the clock (sadly not the case with Europa's). I suspect that if there was a JD Power type survey of owners of PFA type aircraft the RV series would be at or near the top.

This months PFA Popular Flyer magazine contains the accident stats for PFA aircraft for 2002. "Only" 4 Europa entries for 2002 compared to apparently "considerably more" in previous years.

No entries for the RV series at all. Data like this would certainly influence my decisions.

(On a side issue, the Jabiru has 8 entries for 2002 - 1 in 10 of all those flying).

Mr. W
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Old 1st Mar 2003, 08:47
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Canterbury
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I would go for the RV any time. I have been drooling over the Vans website for ages now, wondering if I have the guts to order myself a quickbuild kit of 7 or a 9.
My problem is that spare time is a precious commodity and I doubt if my family would be impressed if I took 1600hours plus out of my family commitments. So I suspect I will keep on dreaming for a little longer.

Maarten
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Old 1st Mar 2003, 09:15
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GRP
 
Join Date: May 2002
Location: Hampshire, UK
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I'm in the middle of building an RV8 (just couldn't resist the option to sit on the centre line!) so my tuppence worth on which would be the most enjoyable building project.....

The RV is an all metal aircraft so the bulk of the building effort is taken up by assembly, drilling, deburring and rivetting. It's fun and a generally dry, muck-free experience. From time to time (sealing fuel tanks, priming parts, applying an interfay compound) you have to get out the rubber gloves, breathing equipment and goggles and mess with sticky wet stuff which is potentially hazardous to your health. My only knowledge of building a Europa comes from the 'Plane is Born' TV program so I don't have any first hand experience, however the impression I have is that there is a much higher 'wet' content to the build than with a metal aircraft. So for the choice of which to build, for my money if you want to build a Europa you have to be happy to spend a lot more time working with the mucky stuff. Personal taste!

On the other questions.. I have no idea about relative running costs, maintenance, insurance etc and have not flown a Europa to be able to comment on how they fly. The RV however is a true delight to fly with very crisp control response, amazing climb performance with even the smallest of the engine options and excellent cruise speeds.

While I am on, the RV7 and 9 kits are stunningly well put together. So is the -8 but if you choose a slow-build -8 fuselage it is a lot of work. The key to the ease of the build and the eventual quality of the finished product is the fact that the kits (apart from the -8 slow-build fuse) are mostly pre-punched with matched holes so you can effectively get the parts out of the box and 'snap them together'. There is of course more work involved between doing so and finally rivetting the thing together but it is very satisfying how quickly you can turn a bunch of parts into an aeroplane part!

GRP
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Old 1st Mar 2003, 16:32
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Join Date: May 2001
Location: Coventry, UK
Age: 34
Posts: 348
Cool

Am currently involved with several projects, RV9A quickbuild, RV4 slow build, RV6 just acquired with some parts already built but needing re-doing in certain areas. The quickbuild is probably going to be finished first and should be diesel too.
I have only worked on the 9 so far, but the building is great fun, educational, and comes recommended!
The quickbuild also seems a great way to go about the build as most of the really time consuming/mucky stuff is done as far as I can tell, and it's just like Christmas when the fuse, wings and bits and bobs arrive, although lifting them off our trailer was interesting to say the least!
Have no experience with Europas yet, but haven't heard any bad things about Vans at all, and can't wait to fly the aeroplanes!
If you want to know anything specific e-mail me and I can hopefully find out for you.
Regards,

MS
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Old 1st Mar 2003, 23:14
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RV every time - I like to buy British ( excludes Leylands, Rovers or Jaguars) but having sampled the product, met the man and seen the support organisation, RV wins every time. They also fetch much more than you have in them if you decide to sell.
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Old 2nd Mar 2003, 09:11
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Looks like most people only have good things to say about the Vans RV's. So now the next question would be: RV7, RV8 or RV9? (or I see there is now even a RV10 on the way!)

MikeSamual, what diesel engine are you planning to install? (Wilksh??) Would also like to hear from you why you chose the RV9 and how you ordered your kit, how much was shipping and how long it took?

I have no doubt that an RV project with be realy great fun, and you can buit and order it in stages too!

My wife bought me a aerobatic trial lesson for my birthday in a Cap10! Great fun. Loved doing loops, but flying upside down is realy not for me, so aerobatics is not a must on a kitplane for me (although I wont say no to it). Most of my flying is in the local area with my family, the ocasional steep turn, and when abroad, doing long x-countries.

Does anyone know how RV's handle rough grass landing strips?

I would also still like to hear from people who owns RV's to get an idea about the actual running and operating costs.
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Old 2nd Mar 2003, 09:21
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MS

If you dont mind sharing with us I would not mind reading your answers on here.

Interesting subject.

FD
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Old 2nd Mar 2003, 11:50
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Join Date: May 2001
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Cool

OK folks, am just about to go flying, but I will be happy to write some stuff about the project here. I will need to check with the owners first if it is ok though. I will give you some details as soon as I've cleared it.
It is indeed a Wilsch diesel, and the aeroplane will be grouped when complete, so if you are Midlands based it's a fantastic oppourtunity to invest in some quality flying!

MS
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Old 2nd Mar 2003, 12:19
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Join Date: Aug 2001
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Hi MS

I am midlands bases and if possible would love to come and have a nosey.

I think BlueRobin mentioned your project to me a few weeks ago.

Drop me an email.

FD
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Old 3rd Mar 2003, 09:36
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Rod1
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Word of warning on the statistics mentioned above. The vast majority of bent Europas are the Mono version. The ones you see for sale are Classic mono / tri and XS mono. Finding an XS Tri is virtually impossible and carries a huge premium. This is the only version I would consider.

As to cost, I have no hangar available, so I needed to de rig or keep the aircraft outside. Having kept aircraft outside for many years I find it costs a lot of money, so the trailer option, in my case, was essential. The cost of operation will depend which engine you use in the RV.

I spoke to Vans about five months ago about Avtour power. I got the answer that they sold 98% of there aircraft in the US and there was no interest in Avtour power in the US. Because of this there were no plans to produce any factory-supported bits. Some of the engine manufacturers are producing firewall forward kits, but non-are flying, at least none in the UK. If you go for an avgas engine the Europa will be much cheaper on fuel with its Rotax 912S using about 17lph at about 125-130k.

Both aircraft are a lot of work.

Have a look at http://www.avnet.co.uk/touchdown/. Almost no Wet layup and much less time till you fly. I have the Club version, but only at the very beginning of the build.

All these aircraft are really good to fly compared with Mr. P and C.

Rod
 
Old 3rd Mar 2003, 10:28
  #13 (permalink)  

Why do it if it's not fun?
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Bournemouth
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Can't comment on the RV, never flown one.

Also can't comment on building a Europa, because I haven't done that. But I can comment on flying them - and I can't think of a better all-round machine. Excellent for touring, with 125kt cruise at only 15 litres of MoGas/hour. Extremely nimble, great fun for burning holes in the sky. Pity it's not allowed to aerobatic, that's the only criticism I have.

Lots has been said about the monowheel. If you are a competent tail-wheel pilot, you will have no problems. It's a little different to a standard tail-wheel - not much prop clearance means you can't raise the tail much on take-off, and wheel-landings are definitely out. But the stability during take-off and landing is no worse than any other tail-dragger I've flown, and during taxying, apart from the lack of differential braking, it's actually better than most tail-draggers.

There are two shares for sale at the moment in my Europa, for exactly the same price as I paid for my share 1 year and 80 hours ago, and there has been no lack of interest. So I don't believe they depreciate.

I will quite gladly take you flying some time if you can make it over to White Waltham, so you can see for yourself.

I don't want to put you off the RV, but please don't dismiss the Europa before you start.

FFF
----------------
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Old 3rd Mar 2003, 20:29
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FlyingForFun I havn't dismissed the Europa XS Trigear at all! Don't worry. I love the look of the Europa. I still just can't decide between the two.

I do agree the Europa is the best all round kitplane available today.

It will be great if you could provide us with actual operating costs of your Europa and see how they compare with RVs. Is yours a Trigear or Monowheel?

I think one should probably fly both aircraft before you could make a decision anyway, and also have hands-on experience with composite and aluminium construction.

Thanks for your input.

PS: I thought the Europa is aerobatic?
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Old 3rd Mar 2003, 22:20
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Rod1
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It is aerobatic in the US, but it is not approved in the UK. The same is true of a number of other aircraft, including some of the Vans range. I know the RV3 and 4 are cleared in the UK but I think the 6 is not.

Rod
 
Old 4th Mar 2003, 10:07
  #16 (permalink)  

Why do it if it's not fun?
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Bournemouth
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EKE,

You asked for operating costs. I pay 50/month for hangerage/insurance, 21/hour dry take-off to landing, and fuel costs around 10/hour. The cost of a 1/6 share is 6500. The dry charge includes all maintanance, etc, and enough for an engine fund. This is a mono-wheel.

It is not aerobatic in the UK, as Rod says. I believe that Europa themselves have special exemption which allows them to aerobat one aircraft for demonstration purposes, although I haven't actually seen it.

FFF
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Old 5th Mar 2003, 14:09
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EKE,

There's a UK RV news group at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/rvsqn. You can read the messages without registering, but if you want to post then you'll need to register.

There are also news groups for each of the RV types which you can access via http://www.vansaircraft.net. However you'll need to register to read these.

At the moment only the 3 and 4 are cleared for aeros in the UK. There's an issue with the strength of the tailplane on the 6, 7 and 8 which means that they aren't cleared for aeros. Somebody in the UK is building a tail for stress testing and the data generated will be sent to the PFA.
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Old 5th Mar 2003, 14:42
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Join Date: Aug 2000
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EKE

I have flown a 6 a few times and must confess that I fel for both of the aircraft that I flew.

Most of my flying was off grass and 400m would have been plenty 2 up.

I aerobatted a 6 overseas and it was sweet.

The handling reminded me of a light Chipmunk.


Stik
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Old 5th Mar 2003, 14:59
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Rod1
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Europa club at http://www.europaclub.org.uk/, which contains lots of info and is independent of the factory. Forum is a mine of info on building and operating the Europa.

Rod
 
Old 6th Mar 2003, 14:20
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Join Date: May 2002
Location: Over the hedge... just!
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Here is a UK run RV web site with links to builders web sites. There is a 'for sale' link that might give you and idea on the market value of a built up RV

http://www.rv6.co.uk/

At our airfield we have a trigear 100HP Europa, and an RV6 both have no problem with our 400m grass strip. Both are used for short pleasure flights and touring. Both owners love them.

The biggest difference seems to be the fuel consumption of 100HP Rotax V 150HP Lycoming.

CC
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