The Radial Rocket TD combines nostalgic airframe design and radial engine sound with modern day materials and aerodynamics.
The Radial Rocket is an American amateur-built aircraft, produced by the Altitude Group LLC of Overland Park, Kansas. The aircraft is supplied as a kit for amateur construction and features a cantilever low-wing, a sports two seat tandem enclosed cockpit under a bubble canopy, with either fixed or retractable landing gear.
All radial rockets have a single engine in tractor configuration.
The pilot-in-command sits up front, on the aircraft centreline, with visibility excellent to either side of the round engine cowl. This is further aided by opening the sliding canopy for taxi operations.
The Radial Rocket design started with the desire for a high performance, aerobatic, two-seat, radial engine powered fun machine that would also have excellent cross country speed, comfort, and utility and had to evoke the look and feel of a radial engine fighter.
The Radial Rocket features a natural laminar flow airfoil designed to perform efficiently throughout the speed spectrum. Careful attention to the design of the fully slotted flap system leads to solid low speed capability and control.
The one-piece wing yields maximum strength and is of a tapered wing planform with a relatively high aspect ratio.
The Radial Rocket airframe is constructed primarily of high temperature, oven-cured moulded composite panels utilizing a honeycomb core – light, strong and smooth, enabling a low drag, high performance design.
The wing span and area as well as gross weight varies depending on the model.
The Radial Rocket’s recommended engine power range is 360 to 400 hp using one of two engines of either the radial Vedeneyev M-14P or the 402 CID LS2/LS3 hybrid.
It does not take common sense to see that the airplane would lose a lot of its no-nonsense, yesteryear visual appeal with a horizontally opposed or turbine powerplant.
The company claims a sea level, standard day climb rate better than 2000 feet per minute with the 360-hp engine; a 400-hp version is also available.
Designer Jeff Ackland and his team continue to refine the aircraft.
Radial Rocket RG
- Retractable tricycle gear model.
- Wing span is 8.2 m.
- Gross weight of 2,575 lb (1,168 kg).
- Construction time from the supplied kit is 2000 hours.
- Radial engine.
Radial Rocket TD
- Fixed taildragger gear.
- Slightly smaller wing span of 7.8 m.
- Gross weight of 2,550 lb (1,160 kg).
- Construction time from the supplied kit is 1900 hours.
This aircraft is the result of installing a powerful, light, all aluminium liquid cooled V8 engine technology into the solidly engineered Radial Rocket airframe. The focus of the P85 is on a simple, relatively low cost V8 firewall forward powerplant option, with a modified cowling. The engine installed in the first P85 is a 402 CID LS2/LS3 hybrid designed to deliver 400+ HP to the prop at a reasonable 5000 crankshaft RPM.
A 1.8:1 ratio PSRU (prop speed reduction unit) reduces prop rpm to 2800 max. The rugged, single mesh gearbox drives a Catto 3 blade, 80 inch diameter fixed pitch propeller which is simpler, lighter, and much less expensive when compared with the constant speed set up. A single-lever power management control is available, linked to an electronic fuel injection controlled ECU.
South Africa has one completed Radial Rocket based in Krugersdorp, ZU-IJP.
Capacity: one pilot plus one passenger
Length: 22.2 ft. (6.8 m)
Wingspan: 26.8 ft. (8.2 m)
Fuel capacity: 65 U.S. gallons (250 L; 54 imp gal)
Powerplant: 1 x Vedeneyev M-14P nine cylinder, air-cooled, four stroke radial engine of 360 hp.
1 x 402 CID LS2/LS3 hybrid 400+ HP.
Propellers: 3 or 4 bladed constant speed propeller.
Cruise speed: 242 mph (389 km/h, 210 knots)
Stall speed: 70 mph (110 km/h, 61 knots)
Range: 1,200 mi (1,900 km, 1,000 nmi)
Rate of climb: 3,500 ft. /min (18 m/s)
Wing loading: 27.4 lb/sq. ft. (134 kg/m2)