The inspiration for the Ravin 500 kit
plane may have been the venerable Piper Comanche, but the inspiration
for the powerplant powering the Ravin on display here was from
Sporting an all-aluminum 350-cubic-inch
(5.7-liter) small-block Chevy LS1 crate engine, the Ravin arrived Monday
piloted by the mastermind behind the firewall-forward (FWF) package, Bud
Warren of Geared Drives.
Warren began the flight 873 nautical
miles away from AirVenture in Conroe, Texas. En route the Ravin turned
in 189 knots true with only 22 inches of manifold pressure and 3575
engine rpm—a combination that consumed only 13 gallons per hour of
While the cruise-power engine rpm may
seem high, the prop turned a leisurely 2144 rpm thanks to the 1.667-to-1
propeller speed reduction unit sold by Geared Drives.
Normally the all-composite Ravin 500 uses
the same power package Piper picked for the Comanche 260—the Lycoming
IO-540 making 260 hp; Geared Drives claims the FWF package it delivers
provides more performance using less—and less-expensive—fuel and at
half the price.
The company also supplied the same
package to an RV-10 that’s also here on the field. Visit www.GearedDrives.com
for more information.