Why I chose the RV-8
Updated: Nov 1, 2021
When I went on active duty with the USAF in 1994, I ventured into the amateur built aircraft world when I purchased the plans for the Cozy Mark IV. I immediately started building the bulkheads (chapter 4) for this 4 passenger cross country speed machine. I love the looks of this fiberglass and foam composite, canard aircraft. It could carry my future family and some luggage. The perfect airplane for an Air Force family that moves around all the time. Life, career, and the constant moving disrupted my ability to build this airplane so I decided to wait until I retired from the USAF to build it. Fast forward to 2019 and I was set to start building my airplane again. But life has a way of changing your plans. In the summer of 2020 I had a new job and had moved to Athens, GA, but a funny thing happened. My "mission requirements" had changed for my airplane. The Cozy Mark IV was fast and could carry my family, but what it couldn't do was aerobatics and certainly could not really land or takeoff on anything other than a hard surface runway. I kept eyeballing the Van's RV-4 in 2019 with a desire to just buy one (instead of building one). Several things happened that prevented that plus I kept thinking the roomier RV-8 might be a better choice. The RV-4/-8 could do loops, aileron rolls, barrel rolls, Cuban Eights, Hammerheads, etc. All of Van's Aircraft are soft field capable...meaning they can land and take off on grass, dirt, and gravel air strips. Oh and the RV-8 is the fastest Van's airplane at the moment.
The RV-8 is almost as fast as the Cozy Mark IV at over 200mph. Truthfully, the RV-8 can do more than the Cozy Mark IV with 3 exceptions. The RV-8 cannot carry the same number of passengers, has a shorter range and has a smaller useful load than the Cozy. But that's ok! My children are now adults and it's just me now. So, being able to only carry 1 passenger is perfectly fine. And the RV-8 will carry most of my camping gear in and out of back country airstrips. This combines 2 things that I like to do, flying and camping.
One last thing about the RV-8, it looks and feels like your very own fighter plane. So yeah, there's that...