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Paradigm busted

Revo's aerobatic performance not reflected in price

The Revo is a forceful rejection of seemingly irresistible forces in aerobatic flying toward evermore capable, refined, and costly aircraft.

The single-seat, mid-wing bantam from aerobatic design sage Eddie Saurenman has an empty weight of just 500 pounds, and the prototype is powered by an 80-horsepower Rotax 912 engine.

“The design goal is to deliver Extra 300 performance at a fraction of the cost,” said Saurenman, a veteran designer who has worked on aircraft projects ranging from Learjets to extreme airshow machines such as the jet-powered Waco biplane and the Yak 110, which consists of two conjoined Russian Yak 55Ms attached to a jet engine.

“This airplane could easily be flown in the Advanced category,” he said of the Revo. “Maybe even Unlimited.”

Pilot Maurizio Perissinotto, seated, is helping aerobatic aircraft designer Eddie Saurenman refine the Revo in California (when not greeting admirers at AirVenture). Photo by Dave Hirschman.

The prototype Revo displayed at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022 has logged about 72 flight hours, and Saurenman is working with Maurizio Perissinotto in Santa Paula, California, to further test and refine it.

The airplane cruises about 130 miles per hour and rolls up to 400 degrees per second, Saurenman said. His Florida firm, Saurenman Aero Works, plans to sell Revo kits for about $30,000, not including engine, propeller, or avionics, beginning in 2023.

Orange Aircraft of the Netherlands will produce the carbon fiber, strut-braced wings. The fuselage is steel tube, and the seat is reclined a whopping 43 degrees.

Perissinotto said visibility is “unparalleled,” and the reclined seat improves G tolerance. All controls are pushrod actuated.

“There’s absolutely no play in the controls at all,” he said. “They’re tight.”

Saurenman said the Revo harks back to his own start in aerobatic flying as a teenager in the 1970s.

“I started building my first Pitts Special at age 14, and I flew it at age 17,” he said. “I was able to pay for it by pumping gas and washing cars. I was able to buy a Pitts instead of a car.”

Today’s aerobatic airplanes are economically out of reach for similarly aspiring young pilots. But a kit like the Revo has the potential to change that, Saurenman said, because it’s less expensive to buy and operate.

“If someone really wants to get into acro the way I did, this airplane gives them a way to do it,” Saurenman said. “If it’s successful, it’ll create a new market. It won’t take away from an existing one.”

A single-seat Saurenman Aero Works-designed Revo aerobatic aircraft is on display in the International Aerobatic Club area during EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2022. Photo by David Tulis.
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, EAA AirVenture

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