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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS FeedGeared Drives gives Ravin 500 economical power

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 Chevrolet.

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 mogas.

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.

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