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any you guys know kit airplanes?

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any you guys know kit airplanes?

Old 07-24-2007, 08:05 AM
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Default any you guys know kit airplanes?

I have been thinking about getting current and flying again down here. So many islands with air strips. Do any of y'all have any experience with kit built STOLs like the Zenith CH 801? I know there are a bunch of other pilots on THT...just thought I would ask before looking for another forum.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:51 AM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

No direct experience, but I work with a guy who designed/builds aerobatic planes. don't underestimate the TIME it takes to build a plane. Had a friend who was building an osprey..I moved it to a few different garages for him, and I doubt he ever finished it. Maybe you can find a partially completed kit from a frustrated builder and finish it?
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:52 AM
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Default RE: any you guys know kit airplanes?

I'm looking at Kitfox
http://www.sportplanellc.com/ It might be a little light for zipping around the islands though. If I had my way it would be a Super Cub with all the Goody's.
If it's an option for you I suggest you make your way to the Sun n Fun air show in Lakeland FL. Just about every kit builder under the sun will be there to answer all you questions and take your money. Not sure where the Island in the sun is but it might worth the trip considering the money you are considering investing.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:19 AM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

I've got a buddy that flies an RV-9A by Vans. They seem to be a lot of bang for the buck.

http://www.vansaircraft.com/

Here's the forum where all the fanatics hang out.

http://vansairforce.net/
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:02 AM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

I am actually familiar with Sun N Fun, and of course Oshkosh. Florida is close for me, I am just a 75 min. commercial flight south of Miami. Thats a good suggestion. I got my flight training for my ultralight ticket in Tampa. My PPL in Hyannis, MA. Have flown New England, Florida, Bahamas, and Texas.

I am passingly familiar with the Vans aircraft. Sexy things. But not what I am looking for. The Zenaire CH 801 is STOL. High wing, more rugged. True 4-seat. I have flown low and high wing configurations, and for here, I like the high wings for a number of reasons.

I also like the Piper Cubs and some of the copies, also Aeroncas, Citabrias, but they are two seat. They also require an AP for maintenance, upgrades, repairs etc. past the basic level. To be able to do my own engine rebuilding and airframe repairs would be a prime consideration down here. This is not FAA territory.

Billinstuart, one of the reasons to build a plane is that the regs make the original builder qualified to do ALL the maintenance on it instead of hiring an AP mechanic. Thats only for the original builder. If he sells his kit-built plane, the guy who buys it does not get the approval to do the maintenance (other than the standard stuff any pilot can do, plugs, oil, filter, tires, cosmetics,and some other basic stuff). The time to build is considerable, 500-700 hours is not uncommon.

Trollme, I like the Kitfox too, but its a Light Sport. I need a bit more payload for hauling groceries and the odd visitor in the back. Not that all my visitors are odd..
I basically need a STOL flying jeep.

Thanks for the replies. I have found THT a good place to ask questions about ANY guy toys..not just boats and fishing. Funny how many of us have these passions in common.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:34 AM
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Default RE: any you guys know kit airplanes?

10-4
Head to Lakeland and plan on spending about 3 days. If it fly's its will be there.
If you don't find what you need at least you will have a blast hanging out with like kind and you will have more info than you can pack onto your flight back home.
Keep us informed.
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Old 07-24-2007, 10:42 AM
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Default RE: any you guys know kit airplanes?

I had a Pulsar XP in my garage for about 5 years. It sat pretty much the same way for 10 years prior to me getting it. There is a saying with kitplanes: "80% done 80% more to go"

Here are some things to think about... You might have to register your aircraft down there instead of in the States. If you do, you will probably have to get a JAA/JAR license conversion for your FAA rating.

My friend in Costa Rica had to do something like that when he moved down there.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:01 AM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

My friends planes (Velox Rev2) are all experimental, not certified. His are all composite, as it appears some of the kits are. I would suspect that they are easier to maintain in a corrosive marine environment than tube frame kits. We just went thru his original plane, and corrosion inspection was a non-issue, except for some of the hardware. Engines, I'd probably stick with real aviation stuff. We do alot of our own engine stuff, and those things are PRIMITIVE, but rugged.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:08 AM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

I found out the ahrd way that composite aircraft do not like humidity when building, and tend to delaminate when fuel leaks out of the wing tip tank. Corrosion would certainly be a problem in the Carribean, but it would probably be cheaper to replace a piece of aluminum as needed rather than reglass.
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:14 AM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

Check this thing out.
http://www.zenithair.com/stolch801/index1.html
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Old 07-24-2007, 11:18 AM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

That's a nice aircraft. The 0-360 seems like a big engine for that plane though. I just rebuilt a 160hp. o-320 in my Warrior, and it ran me $15K.

I would go with the fixed pitch prop and the quick build kit for the simplicity. It costs more, but you know it's done right.
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:01 PM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

Saw one of those at Indiantown. Looked real ckunky, but rugged. I know from racing monocoque is harder to maintain than tube frame. Uses real engine, tho. Interesting.
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Old 07-24-2007, 01:11 PM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

oh yeah, its ugly. Its kind of a "form follows function" thing. But we have graduated to that here. Land Rover, panga-hybrid, etc. simplicity is good.

If I wanted to scoot a long way quickly and go from long paved airport to long paved airport, I would look along the lines of a Mooney-type. But if you want to haul groceries, do some aerial photography, and be able to set down on a beach...this thing looks interesting. We always have some wind here, and in my experience short wingspans seem to work a little better. I test drove a Maule a few years back and loved it. Thats kind of where my head is at, a small bush plane.
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:37 PM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

Can't argue with the form follows function notion. Maules are built in south Georgia, have a good reputation as heavy duty utility planes.
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Old 07-24-2007, 05:57 PM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

yep, I went to a town called Moultrie, as I recall. took a demo ride in a Maule turbo. unreal.

I also test drove Lake, Mooney, Aero Commander, couple Beechcraft during that period. I learned in Cessnas but was flying Piper Warrior II's out of Houston cause they had AC.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:06 PM
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Default RE: any you guys know kit airplanes?

Had a best friend (passed on a couple of weeks ago-not avaition related) that built a Kit Fox. A few observations from an old Air Force crew chief (O2's and C141's primarily) that spent some time lending a hand:
Overall a well done design. Components were aircraft grade and there was room for a proper set of instruments. Some issues with fuel siphoning out of the tanks in flight (don't remember details but it was an easy fix after a dead stick landing).
Landing gear was very sensitive to bungie cord condition. Easy to ground loop.
The Rotax powerplant was a constant problem, go with a 4 cycle or face constant issues.

You might want to check out some of the new ultralites. I've seen SOME of them that look to be pretty well thought out and appear to be well designed. I've also seen some that I wouldn't taxi across te pad.
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Old 07-24-2007, 08:52 PM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

I actually do know a little about ultralights and Rotax engines. I've got 30 hours logged in them. We sold our AirBorne EdgeX two place UL just before we moved down here. Had it two years. Rode in three or four different tandem ultralights before buying it. Actually made money selling it. Got a real nice tilting aluminum trailer sitting in a garage in NJ if anyone is interested. Was designed for snowmobiles, I used it with the ultralight. Its sitting right next to my motorcycle. I dont intend to ever use either one again.
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Old 07-24-2007, 09:14 PM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

My dad and I are building a glassair III 6 years off and on into it,flying it in August,then off to paint,not for the faint of heart,this is an all composite airplane btw,and we are both A&Ps,so that helped,
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:05 AM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

Those are beautiful aircraft. I shaped and glassed surfboards back in the day, and know how much work that can be. It sure produces some beautiful curves, though. this kit I am thinking about is all alumium and rivets. I figure I could put it together within six moths to a year, assuming somewhere around 500 to 600 hours and buying the fast build kit and the Lycoming. I dont need much in the way of avionics,, here. The Interntional airport in Providenciales doesnt even have a radar. And I already own a VHF and complete intercom system from my ultralight days. gets me a new four place STOL for around 50K.

Got any photos of your Glassair?
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Old 07-25-2007, 12:26 AM
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Default Re: any you guys know kit airplanes?

Cessna 172 with a STAL package

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