Nose(Gear) Job


If you find yourself at AirVenture, wandering around the Van’s Aircraft booth, make sure to take a look at the fuselage they have tucked around the back corner. Right there on the nose you’ll see the latest design to come out of the Van’s engineering – the new nose gear for the RV-7A and -9A. Based on the design used for the RV-10 and RV-14, the updated hardware features a hinged gear leg and a rubber donut shock absorber.

Van’s traditional nose gear leg simply slotted into a socket on the engine mount, and depended on the flexibility and springiness of the strut itself to absorb nose gear loads and runway roughness.

The new gear design has been extensively drop tested by the engineering department at Van’s Oregon facility, and meets or exceeds the standards set for Part 23 (certified) aircraft.

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor, as well as a former member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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