RANS’ Randy Schlitter reports that the company’s new S-20 Raven has passed a battery of static load tests and the final version of the airframe is entering full production.
Testing of the fuselage included vertical and horizontal stabilizer, rudder and elevator, control system, and landing gear.
The fuselage proved to be more than adequate, passing all testing with flying colors, according to Schlitter.
The landing gear was especially rewarding, since this a convertible from tailwheel to trike fuselage, he added.
Convertible fuselages can carry a small weight penalty, but the design team at RANS was able to optimize the structure to the point little to no penalty was incurred, he reports. This was achieved through graduated tube sizing, careful layout of the tail cone trussing and making the landing gear trusses as deep as possible. The end result is about a 2.75 pound weight increase for being able to switch from trike to tailwheel.
Several landing gear drop tests proved out the two piece flat aluminum legs. “What was impressive was the lack of bounce,” Schlitter said in his “Into the Flight” newsletter. “The gear absorbs but lacks recoil. This makes for smoother landings, and better control when a hard landing does occur.”
Being two piece rather than one required making those deep but light weight gear trusses, he explained. “A couple of advantages from this design are less weight, and lower cost replacement, should you manage to bend one,” he said. “From our testing, we do not see the Raven gear to be something we will see a lot of replacement market.”
For more information: RANS.com