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Burning questions provoked by Van's RV–15 tease

Even though Van's Aircraft continues to maintain radio silence about its soon-to-be-unveiled RV–15, some insights can be gleaned from the teaser video the company released ahead of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022.

The RV-15 Engineering Test Prototype aircraft offers clues about features the upcoming RV-15 kit might include. Image courtesy of Van's Aircraft via YouTube.

Whetting pilots’ appetites with 58 seconds of footage viewed nearly 70,000 times in the first 10 days provoked plenty of speculation about the number of seats, cost, and features.

From the video and previous statements from Van's, here's what we know about the RV–15, what we think we know, and what we don't yet know.

What we know

  • High-wing, metal, strut-braced, tailwheel, two side doors with room inside for up to four seats.
  • Four-cylinder Lycoming engine with Hartzell constant-speed propeller and Beringer wheels and brakes.
  • Wide-span Fowler flaps that are manually activated via an overhead handle.
  • A "flying" horizontal stabilizer for elevator trim, and a large counterweighted rudder.
  • Pushrod-actuated ailerons and elevator.
  • Impressive short takeoff and landing performance with a roughly four-second takeoff roll (with flaps up).

What we think we know

  • Lycoming IO-390 engine.
  • The metal main landing gear are dampened by internal nitrogen/oil shock absorbers, as is the tailwheel.
  • Control sticks, not yokes.
  • Fuel stored in the wings (even though the prototype has a fuel tank in the fuselage).
  • Forward-hinged transparent doors.

What we don't know

  • Does the big vertical tail mean a seaplane version is in the works?
  • Will there be a nosewheel version?
  • When will kits be available? And how much will they cost?
  • What are the biggest tires it can accommodate?
  • Are handling qualities similar to the rest of the RV series?
  • Performance?

We'll be among the first to check it out and report from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh.

Dave Hirschman

Dave Hirschman

AOPA Pilot Editor at Large
AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
Topics: Experimental, Aircraft

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