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Old 08-04-2011, 01:34 PM
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DanH DanH is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
Posts: 9,339
Default One-piece Grove Gear

Grove aluminum gear legs are a popular option with RV-8 builders. Compared to OEM steel legs, the standard aluminum legs save 17 lbs and the airfoiled legs save 11 lbs. Both types are drilled for an internal brake fluid passage.

One subject at OSH this year was the idea of adapting one-piece gear to the RV8. Many (or most) RV8 ground loop incidents result in damage to the gear tower structures and forward fuselage skins. It is an expensive and time-consuming repair. One piece gear would greatly lessen many of the peak fuselage structure loads. The penalty would be the additional weight of the connecting section, but total weight is still likely to be less than a stock steel gear.

Grove is quite willing to build one-piece airfoil gear for the -8. They would like 6-10 orders, as they do for batch production of the two-piece airfoil gear.

Like you, I'm aware of sensitivity in certain quarters regarding design modification, and a one piece gear would require some modification of the belly. I'm not aware of any published work in this area, and I've done no personal review. I do recall mention of one-piece gears on past -8's.

If I had realized the possibility of a one-piece gear a few years ago, my airplane would have I volunteered to open the subject.

Dan Horton
Barrett IO-390
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Old 08-04-2011, 01:52 PM
benbell4140 benbell4140 is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: broussard louisiana
Posts: 155

Dan, I would of definantly went one piece if I had known they were willing to build them. I had a one piece grove gear setup on my avid flyer and it was very nice. Not trying to jack the thread but does anyone know the reason 8's don't use engine mounted gear?
Ben Bell
RV8 (sold)
Awaiting Kitfox SS7 kit
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:18 PM
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Neal@F14 Neal@F14 is offline
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Wichita Falls, TX
Posts: 2,182

I also inquired about the 1-piece gear for the -8 at Grove's booth and he said that while it is not currently available as a regular production item, they are more than happy to custom-make you a one-piece main gear for an -8 either standard profile, or airfoil profile, and either with or without gun-drilled integral brake lines. All it takes is a special order and some extra moolah and they'll gladly make whatever you want

It would be beneficial if several builders were interested at the same time to get together so they could manufacture them in a batch instead of one at a time... might even offer a substantial discount.

I may be mistaken, but I think Doug Ripley may have built an RV-8 using a custom Grove 1-piece gear some years ago. It might have even been that very first RV-8 I ever got to ride in. I knew nada about RVs back then.
Neal Howard
Airplaneless once again...
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Old 08-04-2011, 04:19 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Seattle
Posts: 1,412

I see on Grove's site that they offer one piece gear for Skybolts and Stardusters in the same gross weight (or a few pounds more).
Are any of these adaptable? They seem very afforable. When I get home, I'll measure my plane and think about it.
Perhaps an RV-8a would be a good starting point, and the gear towers wouldn't need to be so big?
Still, the center piece of the gear would be under your legs...
Scott Emery
EAA 668340, chapter 326 & IAC chapter 67
RV-8 N89SE first flight 12/26/2013
Yak55M, and the wife has an RV-4
There is nothing-absolute nothing-half so much worth doing as simply messing around with Aeroplanes
(with apologies to Ratty)
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:07 PM
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Ironflight Ironflight is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Dayton, NV
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Back when I was building my -8, the one-piece was a rumor on the horizon - if it had existed, I probably would have really studied it and would have picked it unless I saw some clear reason it was a problem. Seems like an elegant solution to me!
Paul F. Dye
Editor at Large - KITPLANES Magazine
RV-8 - N188PD - "Valkyrie"
RV-6 (By Marriage) - N164MS - "Mikey"
RV-3B - N13PL - "Tsamsiyu"
A&P, EAA Tech Counselor/Flight Advisor
Dayton Valley Airpark (A34)
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Old 08-04-2011, 05:42 PM
PCHunt PCHunt is offline
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: San Diego, CA
Posts: 1,653

Just curious, has anyone asked Van's why the plane was designed the way it is? Surely some serious modification to the fuselage structure where the new gear would attach would be required?
Pete Hunt, [San Diego] VAF #1069
RV-6, RV-6A, T-6G

2020 Donation+, Gladly Sent
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Old 08-05-2011, 12:33 AM
DeltaAlphaZulu DeltaAlphaZulu is offline
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Gosford, NSW, Australia
Posts: 45

I'm probably quite a long way from that stage, but Grove gear is already one of my planned modifications to stock standard kit. Yes, I'd definitely be interested, particularly that there is currently a good $USD - $AUD exchange rate.
Darren Rickett
RV-8: Empennage kit - working on it, Wing kit received
Gosford, NSW, Australia

Build Site:
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Old 08-05-2011, 06:39 AM
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jseavolt jseavolt is offline
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Powell, OH
Posts: 43

I spoke with Grove at Oshkosh regarding the 1-piece gear and they are very willing to make a batch once he receives enough orders. My deposit has already been paid.
Jason "Bacon" Seavolt
RV8 N143MS "Fiona"
6.5 yr build
1st flight 4/23/17
Painted 11/17/17: Tribute to F16 Arctic Aggressor (Eielson AFB, AK)
-Over 200 hours VFR/IFR flown during 1st 15 months
-Bronze Lindy OSH18 (still in shock)
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:30 AM
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DanH DanH is offline
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: 08A
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Surely some serious modification to the fuselage structure where the new gear would attach would be required?

Quick look, no detailed analysis: It would require reviewing the contribution of the two F-802M intercostal ribs (DWG 61) and designing a substitute if simple deletion is inappropriate. The forward section of the F850-1 belly skin would be removed and re-tasked as a center cover plate, or ditch the two F-861PP outboard cover plates and fabricate a new one-piece cover. Either way, 802K and L get a few more nutplates.

Again, first glance: Nothing about the outboard leg clamps would change. I'd retain the U806 inboard wear plate and its AN4 attach hardware, drop the U804 clamp bracket, but retain the AN7 bolt, with a hardened washer under the head.
Dan Horton
Barrett IO-390

Last edited by DanH : 08-05-2011 at 07:38 AM.
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Old 08-05-2011, 07:46 AM
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Toobuilder Toobuilder is offline
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Mojave
Posts: 4,577

Aside from possible protection against ground loop damage, what is the benefit of the single piece? It's more weight, plus you are still stuck with the towers intruding into the cockpit.
WARNING! Incorrect design and/or fabrication of aircraft and/or components may result in injury or death. Information presented in this post is based on my own experience - Reader has sole responsibility for determining accuracy or suitability for use.

Michael Robinson
Harmon Rocket II -SDS EFI
1940 Taylorcraft BL-65
1984 L39C
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