Gift Guide: Vans RV-8 From Vertigo Studios
By Joseph Thompson
On the west end of a rural undisclosed airstrip in northwest Oregon, lives aircraft designer, and mastermind Richard VanGrunsven. For many years, he has literally flown to work. You see, weather permitting, and sometimes not, first thing in the morning Richard fires up one of his several personal RV aircraft, and takes to the skies en-route to the Vans Aircraft facilities in Aurora, Oregon.
The idea of the RV-3 started in the late '60's, and by 1973 Vans Aircraft was founded. Then progressing to the two-place RV-4, in 1981, the legend of Vans Aircraft continued. By 1995 the RV-8 was unveiled, as once again, a tandem, center-seat configuration, differing from the side-by side models of the RV-6/7.
Being a kit-plane, the RV-8 is built of traditional aluminum construction, with all folding, welding, and forming done at the factory. This cuts the building time down to around 1500 hours. The kit lends many advantages to the first time aircraft builder, in its ease of use, and little requirements. A quick-build kit is also available, in which most of the aircraft's riveting is already completed upon arrival.
Maintaining a sleek and slender profile, the RV-8 sports a wider, and more comfortable cockpit, making it more enjoyable for cross-country flying. And like its predecessors, it flies fast, and lands slow. In fact, it is sometimes underestimated, but the RV posts incredible STOL numbers, even when loaded. Flying solo, the RV-8 will lift off in 275 feet, and land in 350 feet. Downright impressive, for such a maneuverable, high-speed sport aircraft.
Equipped with the 180 hp O-360 engine, the RV-8 will top out at 214 mph, cruise around 200, with a range of nearly 800 miles! All with the agility of a cat, and style to boot!
The bottom line is, whether you desire the ultimate in all around performance, and aerobatics, or for comfort in cross-country, and appeal, this user-friendly kit-plane the Vans RV-8 boasts the best of both worlds.
Enter Vertigo Studios
For the last couple years, Vertigo Studios has earned a reputable name within the flightsim community. Focusing primarily on vintage props, and radials in particular, I was a little skeptical about their first general aviation release, the RV-8/8a. However, any doubts I had were quickly dissolved when I loaded this aircraft into FSX.
Let's go over the basic features of this release:
- Two models, the RV-8 tail-dragger, and the RV-8a tricycle gear variant
- Six liveries
- Fully FSX/DX10 native
- 2048x2048 textures, with spec and bump maps
- Bloom effects
- Unique "Sound Cone" technology
- "Tru3D" gauges and instruments
- Fuel delivery system is simulated
- Configuration panel, with optional goodies such as opening baggage compartment, canopy cover, wheel chocks, cones, and tie-downs.
- 29-page PDF manual