Oracle Turbo Raven
An aerobatic airplane with a positive thrust-to-weight ratio was a dream come true for airshow performer Wayne Handley. In 1998, he turned that dream into a goal and succeeded in producing a one-of-a-kind show plane. With a 750 HP turboprop engine producing 2,800 pounds of thrust, the Oracle Turbo Raven was able to go straight up, stop, and go straight up again. The Turbo Raven was truly state of the art. Its airframe was made entirely of composite material. The optimization of performance was the design goal in every construction decision while making the Turbo Raven as strong and as light as possible. One result of this goal was a single seat.
The engine was a Pratt & Whitney PT6A-25C which is used in some military training aircraft that require the use of an inverted oil system. The Turbo Raven had a roll rate of 450 degrees per second and a top speed of 260 knots (300 MPH) at sea level. The airplane was IFR equipped, had bleed air heat to the cockpit and oxygen, so flying coast to coast in one day was possible.
The Oracle Turbo Raven established itself as the fastest climbing propeller driven airplane in the world. On January 20, 1999, Wayne took the Turbo Raven from brake release to 3,000 meters (9,842.5 feet) in one minute and nine seconds. This was deemed as one of the most significant world records of the year by the National Aeronautic Association. Later that year, during Airventure 99 at Oshkosh, WI., Wayne and the Oracle Turbo Raven shattered the time-to-climb record to 6,000 meters with a time of three minutes and six seconds. Along with the vertical stops and starts, Wayne enjoyed its ability to fly out of an upright flat spin to the left without lowering the nose below the horizon. He would add power until the nose was 15 degrees above the horizon, then come in with right rudder, add more power and fly out of the spin. The pilot's ability to select reverse propeller pitch in flight was another unique feature of the Turbo Raven. Reversing pitch turned the propeller into a big speed brake, enabling the pilot to make extremely steep approaches. Of course, this feature also allowed Wayne to back in and out of his parking spot - the envy of every other airshow performer.
Wayne flew the Oracle Turbo Raven in its first airshow on Oct. 3, 1998 and its last show on Oct. 3, 1999. During a steep approach to landing, the engine flamed out as Wayne was bringing the propeller out of reverse and he was unable to attain the speed necessary to flare for landing. The airplane was destroyed and Wayne was severely injured, but has since made a complete recovery.
Specifications and Performance
Paint Colors: PPG's Deltron Flame Red DBU76481ALT, Dark Blue "Raven" DBU4429,