The Vans RV-3 is fast. It will easily top 200 miles per hour on 150 horsepower.

Vans Aircraft RV-3

Light, fast, nimble, and possessing remarkable short field capabilities, the RV-3 is the airplane responsible for the original "RV Grin" – the expression found on the face of every pilot after his or her first flight in an RV.

When Van put pencil to paper on his first airplane design, he coined the phrase "Total Performance" to describe his objective. He wasn’t trying to build the fastest airplane, or one with the shortest takeoff roll, or win an unlimited aerobatics title. He wanted an airplane that did as many things well as possible, even if it wasn’t the absolute best in any one category.

He succeeded.

The RV 3 is fast. It will easily top 200 miles per hour on 150 horsepower. Even on smaller engines it will cruise at three miles a minute. But speed is only part of the equation. The first thing that starts the RV Grin is the takeoff roll and climb. It doesn’t take long to get airborne! The climb rate is exhilarating. In the air, the RV-3 is a joy. The controls are smooth, powerful, and almost perfectly harmonized. Sport aerobatics are delightful. Flying an airplane that handles this precisely and easily is a new experience for pilots used to flying production airplanes – and even to some used to flying fighters.

Vans RV-3

Landings are straight forward. Simple hinged flaps, an effective wing, and excellent low speed handling let the RV 3 land at almost any airport, and the rugged steel rod landing gear can handle a variety of surfaces; dirt, gravel, grass or pavement. Many RV-3 owners keep their airplanes on private strips at home…. some of them as short as 700 feet!

Despite the fact that it was designed as a sport airplane, the RV 3 has proven a capable cross-country traveler. The fuel capacity allows practical distances, the cockpit is big enough for pilots up to about 6’ 3", and there is enough baggage space to carry a reasonable amount of "stuff." The speed, climb rate and STOL performance all enhance the cross-country ability, too. Headwinds don’t hurt as much, there’s no more grinding around in circles trying to get high enough to get out of mountain valleys, and almost any flat spot can serve as an emergency landing strip.

If you enjoy flying, and flying solo, there is no better way to do it than in a Vans Aircraft RV 3.

The information and photographs used on this page are done so with the written permission from Vans Aircraft. Copying of this text, and the associated pictures, without the consent of Vans Aircraft is strictly prohibited.

Return From RV-3 to Kit Airplanes

Return To Vans Aircraft

Return To Home Page