Thorp T-18 Mutual Aid Society
Thorp T-18 Mutual Aid Society
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 RV Series vs T-18
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168 Posts

Posted - 09/03/2010 :  05:44:12  Show Profile  Visit admin's Homepage  Reply
I will attempt to give an unbiased opinion on the T/S-18 and the RV series.

I have just returned from a breakfast flight in my T-18 with S-18 wings. As always, it leapt into the air with two aboard and promptly cruise climbed to 2,000 agl at about 1,000 ft/min. We leveled off and with 24 squared power, indicated 187 mph. After a fine airport breakfast on the seaside in Venice, Florida, preceded back to LAL. I decided to push it up at 1000 ft msl and got just over 200 mph (two aboard, hot day, full internal fuel). I have easily broken the red-line of 214 mph straight and level (autopilot on a cool day, solo).

With a roll rate of 180 degrees per second, light aerobatics are a joy in the Thorp. While not a great soft field plane, you can get it in and out of a short sod strip without too much pucker factor.

Contrasted with the RV series, you will find the RVs have about 120 degree per second roll rate with a decided ratcheting effect with full deflection. The RVs must be flown all the time as they exhibit neutral aileron feel much like a helicopter. Some are better than others depending on the trim spring tension. The Thorp just sits there like a 40# robin.

As far as speed is concerned, they are about even with a lot depending on weight and trim. The tandem RVs are a bit faster due less flat plate area, given the same power and prop selection.

Pitch moments in the RVs can vary widely with CG. The RV-6 is particularly pitch sensitive. The RV-7 is more mild mannered due to a longer tail arm and the -8 flies well if you mind the balance with two aboard. It is a totally different plane with two aboard. The -9 is again, a different plane as it was designed with a docile airfoil.

The Thorp has the edge in ground handling as you can easily see over the nose in the three point attitude, which you can't in the taildragger RVs. the nose roller RVs are OK on the ground except for the excessive braking required to steer, especially in a cross wind. Takeoff in the nose rollers, particularly in the RV-7 can be tricky as the ground attitude yields a negative angle of attack. This causes the nose to pop over center at lift-off and can cause a high pitch up at lift off if you are not ready. Most of us use full aft stick from the beginning of the take off roll blending it out as the tail becomes effective.

The RVs have more room and more fuel (you need to switch tanks as you burn off). The T/S-18 has more baggage capacity and a more tolerant CG range.

In the final analysis, I have owned a T-18 and an RV-7. I still have the T-18.

*** admin posted ... original text provided by fytrplt ***

Richard H Woodcock

151 Posts

Posted - 09/06/2010 :  04:53:46  Show Profile  Reply
Good comparison! Thanks, both of you!

Rich Woodcock
N114RW - T18CW

Edited by - admin on 11/07/2011 11:00:00
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