Rans S20LS Raven
The Rans S20LS looks a lot like a Rans taildragger (the company has been making straight-up sport airplanes for 30 years), just a little more civilized. The Raven has a roomy side-by-side cockpit with sticks and conventional rudder pedals, you know, the kind you actually have to use! With a variety of construction materials and techniques, the Raven is part ultralight, part tube-and-rag bird and part LSA. It has a welded steel fuselage for occupant protection, fabric-covered fuselage and wings that are constructed from tubular aluminum, including the spar. The Raven has a cruise speed of just under 100 knots, but it’s really slow, with a stall speed with full flaps of just 28 knots. It takes next to nothing to land or take off, 300 and 340 feet, respectively, and the handling of Rans airplanes is legendarily harmonious. The Raven is a relatively easy lander for a taildragger, thanks to its wide-set spring-aluminum gear. (Rans will sell you a nose gear version if you insist.) In either configuration, the Raven is a nicely executed sport airplane that offers good value and great flying manners.
Niche: High-wing taildragger
Base Price: $119,000 (factory-built fly-away)
Major Competitors: CubCrafters Carbon Cub, American Legend Cub
Learn more at Rans.