Great news from Van's Aircraft and a record to be proud of:
"We've been holding our breath for several days, and today's the day... the official 9000th first flight of an RV happened yesterday - in of all places, Denmark. Wild celebrations ensued throughout Van's facility.
Mr. Thomas Damm, a retired SAS pilot living in Billund, Denmark flew his customized RV-8 for the first time, thereby earning fame, adulation and hearty handshake from Van if Tom attends the Aero Show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, later this month.
Tom bought the barely-started kit from a close friend who’d imported it to Denmark and completed it over a span of 9 years. Using his life-long experienced as a pilot for SAS, he made the first flight of “Mistress II” on April 8.
His aircraft has a Superior XP IO-360 with a Whirlwind 200RV C/S prop. The panel is a mix of round gauges and a small Dynon D1 unit. Navigation chores are handled by a Garmin 296 and a SkyDemon MD GPS. Custom touches include a set of Grove airfoil shaped gear legs and the Showplanes FastBack/Canopy kit.
“On the first flight I saw 170 KTAS at 5000’ at only 24' / 2400 RPM. You guys produce great airplane kits!” Tom wrote. “I saw the website counter yesterday evening at 8,998 and said to my son: ‘Maybe, just maybe, Mistress II will be #9000?’ Soon I will drive to the airport and prepare for flight #2! It will be a nice calm evening flight!”
To help visualize what 9000 RVs might look like, computer artist Adam Burch produced a couple of graphics and “thought pictures”:
- Assuming an average wingspan of 27’ with no gaps, 9,000 RV’s parked wingtip to wingtip would form a line of aircraft 46 miles long…
- A rectangular grid of airplanes would be roughly 850 m X 720 m (with a couple inches of space between wingtips) (2788’ X 2362’) and would cover about 151 acres.
- Assuming an average of 180 HP, the total fleet of 9,000 would generate 1,620,000 HP
After the party died down, the engineering and prototype staff went back to work on the RV-14 Finishing Kit and the rest of us back to our workstations. When we glanced at opening page of our website, the Hobbs Meter already read 9002 – we’re on the way to 10,000!"