Ravin 500 Causes Double Takes At Lakeland 2006 | Aero-News Network
Aero-News Network
RSS icon RSS feed
podcast icon MP3 podcast
Subscribe Aero-News e-mail Newsletter Subscribe

 

** Airborne 07.30.14/Oshkosh Day 3! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.30.14/Oshkosh Day 3 **
** Airborne 07.29.14/Oshkosh Day 2! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.29.14/Oshkosh Day 2 **
** Airborne 07.28.14/Oshkosh Day 1! ** HD iPad-Friendly Version--Airborne 07.28.14/Oshkosh Day 1 **

Sun, Apr 09, 2006

Ravin 500 Causes Double Takes At Lakeland 2006

A Composite Comanche?

by ANN Associate Editor Rob Finfrock

After covering a major airshow for a week, one tends to adopt a somewhat blase tone looking upon the aircraft that, just four days ago, seemed so new and exciting. A wide assortment of new Cirri? Check. Sharp looking Maule on floats? Check. New turbonormalized Mooney? Check (although wow, gotta love that paint job).

A fiberglass Comanche? Check -- uh, wait a minute...

Upon further examination, the bare airframe underneath the Ravin Aircraft USA tent at Booth MD4-C at Sun 'N Fun 2006 reveals several differences from a Piper-built PA-24. For one thing, the main pilot entry door is on the left, not the right as on factory-built Pipers. The wing is also a different design... and mostly notably, all surfaces are devoid of rivets and are MUCH smoother than any bird done up in metal.

But wow, does the thing ever look like a Comanche from about 20 paces, especially around the window area. So, what gives?

Alan Woodridge is President and CEO of Ravin Aircraft USA, the new US distributorship for the homebuilt Ravin 500. He filled me in on the specifics of the airframe before me, the tenth in the world and the first in the US.

The aircraft, created by South African designer and Comanche aficionado Jan Troskie (according to the company's website, he owned a 260C Shark Nose for eight years), is actually about 7 percent smaller in every dimension than a comparable Comanche 260, but features almost exactly the same cabin room. It also sits ever-so-slightly lower on its retractable landing gear.

Did I mention that the plane really looks like a Comanche?

A Lycoming IO-540 powers the plane, making -- you guessed it -- 260 horsepower. With 160-gallon fuel capacity and an expected cruising speed in the 190-knot range, the Ravin 500 will travel nearly 2000 nm (with reserves) burning 14.1 gph, according to the company.

In addition to the inherent smoothness of the composite structure, aerodynamic efficiency is aided further by antennae integrated into the plane's structure, instead of protruding from it.

Woodridge is currently building his plane, which he will then use as his demonstrator for potential customers.

Ravin Aircraft USA will also offer a factory builder-assist program up to 500 hours for new owners, according to Woodridge.

FMI: www.ravinaircraftusa.com

Advertisement

More News

ICON Aircraft Constructs And Flies First Production A5

ESN-1 Was Built From The Production Design, Tooling After years of waiting... and doubting... ICON Aircraft has unveiled what it says is the first production A5, an aircraft the co>[...]

Airborne 07.30.14: WomenVenture 2014, Skycraft Update, IMC Club Award

Also: AvNav EFB, Lockheed Martin, One Week Wonder Update, Pelton Intvw-Part3 It was hard to miss the energy, enthusiasm, and interest in aviation by hundreds of women celebrating a>[...]

EAA Holds Annual Meeting

Membership Feels Flight Path Still On The Center Line EAA held its annual membership meeting on Wednesday, at 08:30 on 30 July 2014 at Oshkosh, WI. in the Theater of the Woods. In >[...]

Historic OSH2014 Sponsor: Bendix-King by Honeywell

OSH2014 Sponsor: Bendix-King by Honeywell The history of the Bendix name runs parallel to the development of King Radio until the mid-1980s, when the Allied Corporation purchased B>[...]

Life-Saving OSH2014 Sponsor: BRS Parachutes

BRS Parachutes: Defining Aviation Safety It's a simple idea, really. A parachute which will, when deployed, turn what could be a very bad situation into one in which not only the o>[...]

blog comments powered by Disqus



Advertisement

Advertisement

Podcasts

Advertisement

© 2007 - 2014 Web Development & Design by Pauli Systems, LC