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Wed, Nov 23, 2022

Aero-TV: Van’s Hotly Anticipated RV-15

Of High Wings and High Expectations

The RV-15 is an amateur-built, all-metal, two-place, back-country aircraft being developed by Van's Aircraft of Aurora, Oregon. The machine made its public debut to much fanfare at the EAA’s AirVenture 2022 hootenanny. Though production of RV-15 kits is expected to commence in 2023, Van’s is not yet accepting deposits for delivery positions thereof.

Known for low-wing models such as its wildly popular RV-4, Van’s decision to develop the high-wing RV-15 was surprising, and predicated largely upon customer input. The aircraft was designed by a 12-member engineering team that included Van's chief engineer and current president Rian Johnson; Rob Heap, formerly of Scaled Composites and Cessna; Brian Hickman formerly of Glasair Aviation, and Axel Alvarez, a civilian graduate of the United States Naval Test Pilot School.

The RV-15 gets aloft by means of a 36-foot, strut-braced, semi-cantilever wing and  a single, forward-mounted, 210-horsepower Lycoming IO-390 four-stroke powerplant driving an eighty-inch, constant-speed, three-bladed, Hartzell Trailblazer composite propeller. Lycoming’s 180-horsepower O-360 engine is being considered as a possible future powerplant option.

The RV-15’s conventional empennage comprises a fixed vertical stabilizer, a cable-actuated rudder, and an all-flying, push-pull-tube-actuated stabilator fitted with a trim tab and an anti-servo tab. The airplane’s large fowler flaps reportedly add significantly to its excellent STOL capabilities.
While Van’s has yet to determine the actual speeds and useful load of the RV-15’s final design, the company has established targets of 140-knots and at least nine-hundred pounds. Initial RV-15 kits are planned to be tailwheel aircraft, with a tricycle-gear iteration to follow.

Van’s website calls the RV-15: “An airplane that will get you there reasonably quickly, get down and stopped and then back off the ground in short distances, while letting you carry all the stuff you need to answer the question, ‘Okay so we’re here, what are we gonna do? Fish? Bike? Camp?’”

Aero-TV is a production of the Internationally syndicated Aero-News Network. Seen worldwide by hundreds of thousands of aviators and aviation adherents, ANN's Aero-TV has produced over 5000 aviation and feature programs, including nearly 2000 episodes of our daily aviation news program, AIRBORNE UNLIMITED, currently hosted by Holland Lee. Now in its third decade of operation, parent company Aero-News Network, has the most aggressive and intensive editorial profile of any aviation news organization and has published nearly a half-million news and feature stories since its inception -- having pioneered the online 24/7 aviation new-media model that so many have emulated.

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