Why Choose Us?
The Revolution Aviation, Inc. (RAI) design team combines over twenty-five years in hands-on experience with composites. The key to our Build Fast program is simplicity in design. The RAI Build-Center program adds customers to the mix. Many customers who build in our center have built other aircraft. They include engineers, military and commercial pilots, scientists and manufacturers. If there is a better way to build a plane, we will be the first to hear about it.
The RAI-1Tango was preceded by the TC-2 (below). Though from “the last century”, the design is still advanced. It had superior performance, doing 200 mph on 100 hp, but lacked comfort and space. For the kit-built market the retractable gear was recognized as a complexity without a sufficient return in either weight or cruise speed. The design was modified to become the RAI-1 Tango, a true 200 mph+ cross country speedster that could be built in much less time than similar performance kit-built airplanes of the time.
We have put much thought into making both the RAI-1 and RAI-6 safe aircraft. The wing uses a constant chord, constant thickness airfoil which gives it gentle, textbook stall characteristics. That is, wing root first, ailerons last, with no built-in twist required. The stall itself is simple with distinctive aerodynamic warning and little to no tendency to drop off. To recover, relax back pressure add some power and fly out of the stall with minimal altitude loss. The powerful rudder can easily keep the ball centered throughout the entire envelope. Differential ailerons counteract adverse yaw during mild maneuvering, such as in the traffic pattern, greatly reducing the chance of a low altitude stall/spin entry.
Both airplanes were designed to +/-6 G’s and have been successfully tested to 1.5 design limits. We test each wing and horizontal stabilizer spar to 6 G’s before it leaves the factory.
The fuel system enhances safety in several ways. First, all of the fuel is carried in four separate wing tanks, two ahead of and two behind the main spar. There is no fuel (header tank) anywhere in the fuselage or engine compartment. Second, we use capacitance type fuel probes that run the entire length of the wing. This allows accurate fuel quantity readings from full down to zero, a rarity in many airplanes. Total unusable fuel is measured in ounces instead of gallons. The fuel selector is in plain view on the forward console and is easily accessible for switching from left to right. No confusion in stressful situations.
The rear tanks normally transfer automatically to the front. You don’t need to do anything until that last 40 or 100 gallons if you decided to put gas in the aft tanks on a particular day. Last, the large capacity tanks provide a generous reserve even after an eight or nine hour flight, which is usually long enough for most pilots. The airplane can do it if you can.
The relatively high power to weight ratio, or power loading, when compared to many airplanes also enhances safety by greatly improving takeoff performance at high density altitudes, and, by giving you, the pilot, the ability to easily climb above most of the foul weather that you find below ten thousand feet.
We use only FAA approved foam core in the structures. It is more expensive, but compared to other popular foam cores it is the only one that does not create cyanide gas when exposed to flame, is self-extinguishing and fuel -proof.
The RAI-1 and 6 both feature dual entry doors which incorporate a reinforced fiberglass roll cage safety system. This provides the best combination of access and safety.
A good cross-country airplane should have speed, range, a good load capacity, and not be too restricted in runway requirements. Few other airplanes can match the RAI-1 and 6 in total capability. See the individual aircraft descriptions for specific numbers, but note that as a minimum, both can cruise at 200+ mph, have a range over 2,000 statute miles, carry over 100 pounds of baggage, and can operate off a grass strip.
VISIBILITY AND COMFORT
To reduce drag, the RAI-1 in particular has a sharply raked back windscreen that may appear to restrict forward vision. In fact, the fuselage sits level in cruise flight which is three degrees lower than the ground attitude. The good visibility over the nose is a pleasant surprise to many skeptics.
The standard molded fiberglass seats put the pilot and passenger in a semi-reclining position leaning back approximately 30 degrees. This is similar to an F-16 fighter and many high-performance sailplanes. They are very comfortable on long flights. The RAI-1 and RAI-6 are a spacious 44 and 50 3/4 inches wide respectively, giving ample elbow room between you and your passenger.
We install various antennas into the fuselage during the lay-up process, when it is easy. This saves time and several hundred dollars compared to buying them from other vendors. Also, in the 200-mph speed range an external comm antenna creates about 2 mph worth of drag, others maybe a bit less. That equates to several free horsepower.
The instrument panel is divided into three sections. This allows easier installation and access for maintenance and upgrades.
WHY OUR AIRPLANES ARE THE BETTER CHOICE
Although Team Tango has been in business and producing aircraft for several years most people who concern themselves with experimental aircraft have never heard of us. We have taken a proven and exceptional aircraft design and created an aircraft kit manufacturing process that vastly reduces build time. Not only is the build time much lower than any other quick build available today but it is also customizable to a particular builders’ needs and tastes in ways that other manufacturers cannot accommodate.
Our team is headed by our General Operating Officer and Chief Test Pilot, Denny Funnemark. Denny is a retired U.S.A.F fighter pilot with 3000 hours of F-4 Phantom, F-5E and F-15 Eagle time. Denny purchased and built his own Tango in 2001 and liked it so much he bought part of the company. As it stands now half of the senior staff at Team Tango is ex U.S.A.F. Team Tango is owned by the men who work there. In other words, the guy building your airplane is part owner of the company and has a huge stake in producing the best product possible. As a result the quality of each part is exceptional and quite unlike anything you’re likely to get from one of those other kit manufacturers.
Our wing spars don’t break. They are a one-piece composite I-beam structure that goes from wing tip to wing tip. Each spar is tested to 6g’s before it’s installed in the aircraft. Each one, every time, no exceptions. The spar has been tested to 10g’s. We were unable to test it further as the tester failed rather spectacularly at 10g’s. And that was without the wing skins and wing ribs bonded in place, which makes the whole structure much stronger. A fully formed wing would be very difficult to break indeed. The tail spar was also tested to 10g’s. We build one tough, no non-sense airframe.
Because we’re all fallible and once in a great while we may have a landing that is less than ideal, our fuselage incorporates a roll over bar made of composite that’s proven itself to be effective in, ahem, real world testing.
Our fuselages are built tougher than they need to be and use quarter inch foam core that is reinforced at the horizontal stab attach points and up into the vertical stab. As a result, our airplane has a stiffer fuselage and airframe.
Our control surfaces are solid, stiff structures, built and designed to be resistant to flutter. You are not limited to lower power engines. A 350hp engine works just fine in the RAI-6.
Our aircraft have nearly twice the range of many of our competitors. Why would anyone need 10 hours of range? Well, for one thing, it’s very convenient. You can fill up at a less expensive fueling point and not have to fill up again for quite some time, or you could simply take off from Miami Beach, Fl and head for the ski slopes in Vermont without stopping for fuel. Most importantly, it’s about safety. The extra fuel gives you plenty of choices to get to good weather without having to worry about finding fuel in the process.
Our airplanes are faster as they stand now and can be built to be even faster.
We have our own build center. You can build your airplane right at the factory where we produce the parts, guided and instructed by the guys that know everything there is to know about your airplane. That expertise is included in the price of your aircraft. .
Our airframes can be customized in ways not available from some other planes. For example, we can install a three inch insert into the RAI-1 fuselage to increase the headroom for those just won’t fit otherwise, but still want the smaller two seat airplane.
Our airplanes are quieter. The foam core not only greatly strengthens the structure but acts a sound insulator as well.
Our airplanes are smoother in rough air. The high wing loading smooths out the bumps while you are cruising at speeds that would rattle your teeth in a low wing loaded airplane.