Size Differences


Back in the months leading up to the reveal of the RV-15 Test Article at AirVenture 2022, there was a lot of speculation as to the size of the airplane. Many thought that it would be in the same weight class as myriad LSA back-country capable airplanes such as the Kitfox, Highlander, Carbon Cub, etc. Because we were given very early access into the design and build process of the aircraft, we knew (and couldn’t disclose), that Van’s was shooting more for the Cessna-170 size – something that can carry two full-sized adults and all of their camping/fishing/hunting gear into the back country. Not to take anything away from the LSA-class airplanes, as they are wonderful fun machines, but it is hard to carry everything you need along with two people if you plan to spend any time in the woods.

We’ve got a visitor in our hangar for awhile, the Jabiru LSA owned by Home Shop Machinist Bob Hadley. The Jabiru is another great fun airplane, not really a back country machine, but similar in airframe size. Here it is tucked under the wing of our Dream Tundra, a C-170-sized bush airplane. Yes, the Tundra is in front, so perspective is a factor – but the Jab is comfortably beneath the wing of the Tundra (which is undergoing its annual physical exam… ”turn your head and cough!”).

We’re not comparing the Tundra to the RV-15 in anything but gross size, and the Tundra is sitting on 26 inch bush wheels right now, but having the two next to each other brings the size/class differences into focus. We’re not saying better or worse, of course—just different!

And maybe Bob will let me take the Jab around the patch.

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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 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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