The RV-8 has an Aerobatic weight limit of 1,600 pounds. In order to have a fully aerobatic aircraft, we need inverted oil and an aerobatic propeller. This adds weight – but how much?
The Whirlwind 330-3B 3 bladed composite prop weighs 53 lbs including the spinner and related hardware. With the Jihostroj P-940 governor that increases to 62 lbs. Normally an RV-8 might use a prop closer to 50 lbs – the aerobatic counterweights that prevent overspeeding upside down come at a cost!
Adding inverted oil to the engine costs another 4 or 5 pounds. I’m planning on using either the Raven or Sky Dynamics system – I think the Sky Dynamics system might be a tiny bit lighter.
I chose the RV-8 because it can do aerobatics, and because it’s also a great plane to travel in on day trips. To that end, I do want to include a nice interior and fully redundant IFR systems – more weight! I’m hoping that I can shave enough weight off the engine via light weight components to make this and the additional weight of aerobatic equipment come out a wash in the end.
On the other end of the plane, aftermarket tail wheels are available that are lighter weight when compared to Van’s offering. Similarly with the main wheels using a tubeless tire like with Berigner wheel can save some weight.