It Flys!
Cool Contrail Shadow

Welcome to my Online Builder's Log
AS of December 20, 2008 N678PR, "Jane Plane" is Flying!
Here's the first flight video:


I'm finally pursuing a long term dream of mine. I'm building an airplane! I'm building a Van's RV-8a, which is a two seat (tandem) all metal airplane. It's fast, will work out of short fields, and is capable of more aerobatics than I am. For more info go to:

The "a" at the end of the model number means I'm building the tricycle geared variant. That has been an interesting decision for me: I learned to fly in taildraggers, and still have more tail-wheel time than I do nose-gear time. Here's why I made this decision.

1. Although I really enjoy taildraggers, I haven't found them to be drastically more fun than nosedraggers. Tailwheels belong on classic tube-and-fabric aircraft, but putting one on a modern airplane is trying to make it something it's not.

2. I talked to many builders at a local fly-in. Several said that after living with the plane for awhile, that they wished they had built the tricycle geared variant.

3. I intend to use this plane extensively for travel. Having a nose wheel reduces the stress and workload on an already fatigued pilot at an unfamiliar airport.

4. There is very little speed penalty imposed by Van's well-faired nosewheel (2 statute mph). Because of their small, well-faired wheels, stock RVs don't really like rough fields. So there's not a rough field advantage to the taildragger either.

5. RV's maximum angle of attack is steeper than the ground stance of the taildragger. This means that (theoretically) the nose-geared variant can land shorter and take off quicker as it can handle a steeper angle-of-attack on the ground without the tailwheel in the way. I'm hoping never to have to cut it close enough to test this theory.

Guy 'n Merideth Camping / Climbing @ Jack's Canyon, AZ Summer 2004

I couldn't be doing this without the support, sacrifice, and help of my wife, Merideth.

When I announced that I had bitten the bullet and bought my empennage kit, my wife's parents presented me with a check to put towards the project. That

Castleton tower, Utah
View from the top!

Contact Me.
If you would like to reach me with questions, etc. My email address is speed3guy at comcast dot net. The desert climbing photos are by ERKLE.

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