Brad Hood flight comments, 9-14-17:

Vince, I have flown several times now with Greg. His RV-8 is powered by an IO360 angle valve engine that was hot rodded by Performance Aero Engines. He has a Hartzell 2 blade CS prop. It is the fastest RV around here.

Our 2 aircraft are identically matched. Same fuel flow for power setting and identical oil temps. At 25/25 our airplanes are identical in the climb. At 24/24 cruise we are still identical – TAS about 211 mph. This should answer some questions. With a 2 blade Scimitar prop my airplane would probably be a bit faster than his is.

I would guess this F-4 would be as fast or faster than the majority of big engine RV-8s.  I’m getting consistent 212 mph TAS @ 24/24.


Brad Hood’s brand new F4

Airventure Grand Champion kitbuilt 2017
Brad Hood's F4 Rocket II
Brad Hood’s F4 Rocket II

Brad reports:
My F-4 is flying and currently in the paint shop.  I named it: F-4 Rocket II.  F-4 for 4 cylinder.  It is not a Raider due to it’s unique construction. (It has RV-8 wings and tail.)  I do plan to have it at OSH to compete. 

It flies absolutely perfectly.  Looks like a Rocket and flies like an RV-8.  No CG issues at all. In fact, it came out up next to the forward limit with full fuel and pilot only.  I couldn’t be happier with it!  Performance is like an IO-360 RV-8 or better.

The concept is verified!

Thought you would like to know,

More photos:

Brad Hood's F4 Rocket II
Brad Hood’s F4 Rocket II, rear quarter
Brad Hood's F4 Rocket II
Brad Hood’s F4 Rocket II, side view

Brad Hood's F4 Rocket II

Brad Hood’s F4 Rocket II engine installationBrad also had this to say after flying it:   Appears to be comparable to an angle valve RV-8 and possibly a bit better. Frankly it feels very similar to my F-1 but roll stick pressure is much lighter. Again, like a RV-8. I am totally pleased with it!

Larry Vetterman’s HRII, now with a Lycoming IO-360

Larry Vetterman swapped his 6 cylinder Lycoming for a 4 cylinder 360.

HRII owner/pilot Larry V. swapped his big 6 cylinder Lycoming for a 4 cylinder several years back, thus proving the F4 Raider concept. Currently there are others under construction, including our own personal aircraft being put together right here in Southern Indiana. – Vince

Larry was kind enough to send the following comments regarding his 4 cylinder conversion:

” .… on another subject good luck with the (Raider) project.  It is a great airplane and after flying mine 275 hrs with the (6 cylinder) 540, and then doing the conversion to the (4 cylinder) 360, I would never consider going back.  Even Van (who produces the RV kits) himself chuckled and said ” I bet it flies like an RV now” (which is a HUGE compliment).

It’s still quite a ride, with half tanks of fuel it still climbs really well.  Some time back I flew against an RV-8 with the 200hp angle valve and I was 3-4 mph faster than he was, so that made my day.

One time I had an RV-8 in my hangar, nose to nose to my Rocket,  the -8 guy looked for awhile at the 2 planes and then pointed at the rocket and said “Ferarri”, then pointed to the RV-8 and said “minivan”.  We both laughed, and agreed.  Keep up the work.  It will pay off.

Here’s what my 4cyl. Rocket does and weight numbers.

Empty wt. reduced 150 lbs.  removed the large 35 lb. battery and cable from behind the baggage compartment and installed a PC680 on the firewall/rudder step. The rest of the wt. reduction came from engine, prop, baffling etc.  The prop is a Hartzell blended airfoil.

Cruise speed reduced 4mph from IO-540 to IO-360.  Fuel burn reduced 3.8-4 gph.  Typical cruise speed at 8500 ft. DA is 208 mph, 2450 rpm, full throttle @ 9.2-9.4 gph.  – Larry V. “

Top Speed215 m.p.h.*
Cruise Speed(approx. 75% power@ 8500′ MSL, WOT) 208 m.p.h *
Stall Speed52 m.p.h.*
Range @55%pwr1000 sm
Rate of climb sea level1500+ fpm
Take off Distance500ft
Landing Distance700ft
Engine usedLycoming 320 – 360
HP Range150-200
Fuel Capacity42 gal
Empty Weight1050lbs
Gross Weight1850 lbs
Length21 ft.
Wing Span23′
Wing Area110 sq. ft.
No. of Seats2
Landing Geartail wheel
Building MaterialMetal
Building Time, varies depending on experience1500 – 2000 man-hrs
G Limits (at Va)+6 and -3 g

*Estimated figures