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Thread: What's a good 3-4 year, plans built project?

  1. #1
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    What's a good 3-4 year, plans built project?

    I would probably be able to put in 10 hours a week, maybe more on weekends (occasionally).

    I have pretty good craftsmanship experience with wood, composites and sheet metal (A&P).

    I'd like to pay as I go, so plans seems like the best option.

    Please share with me your build time stories and experiences.

    Two place, 120mph+, at least Utility Class rated (4.4g).

    End price isnt as much a concern as time. I dont want to unknowingly start at 10 year project! 3-4 years seems reasonable to me.

    Thanks!

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    Registered User bmcj's Avatar
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    Re: What's a good 3-4 year, plans built project?

    That would be about 1500-2000 man-hours. Better cut that estimate in half because the best laid plans...

    Some of the kits like Kitfox and Avid Flyer could be built in that amount of time with no problem, and some of the models might come close to your 120 MPH goal. As far as financing the project as you go, there are many Avid kits out there for around $5,000, complete with almost all of the construction materials. Then, as you build, you can save up for the engine, instruments, and paint.

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    Re: What's a good 3-4 year, plans built project?

    Have you considered a Sonerai? Two seat tandem 135 cruise
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    Re: What's a good 3-4 year, plans built project?

    Sonerai might be a good option... not sure what the published build time is though.

    My general rule is take the time you think you can devote to building and divide by 2 (life happens), and then take the published construction time and multiply by 2. Even that may be optimistic.
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    Registered User djschwartz's Avatar
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    Re: What's a good 3-4 year, plans built project?

    Most plans built aircraft take 2000 - 4000 man hours to build. The time you've said you have available and the time frame in which you want to end up with a flying airplane are a better match for a kit effort than a plans effort. My hangar neighbors are building a Christavia from plans. They will likely be done in about two years; however, there are two working on it and they average about 30 person-hours per week on it. They spend many weekends living in their hangar to be near the project as well as spending some time during the week. Since they're married and both enthusiastic about the project that isn't a problem for them. They also have several local experts who step in with help in special areas. As an A&P you can probably avoid some of the wasted time new builders face; but, it's still a big job. I'll also second the caveats about the build time estimates on those. They range from mildly optimistic to outright ridiculous, with the supposed "simple and quick to build" ones being proportionally the worst.

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    Re: What's a good 3-4 year, plans built project?

    Quote Originally Posted by SuperDave View Post
    Two place
    You might also want to clarify what you mean by "two place". There's huge difference in what that means for, as examples, a KR2 and an RV-9A. Are you interested in two full size adult men? One man and one smaller person? How much baggage? How comfortable for each occupant? How long a flight do you want it to be comfortable for? If the second person is a non-pilot, be careful not to make the assumption that they'll be happy with the same levels as you. That has been one of the biggest mistakes, and cause of project failure, I've seen over the many years in homebuilt aviation.

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    Registered User rheuschele's Avatar
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    Re: What's a good 3-4 year, plans built project?

    You may want to consider an already started project. There are plenty out there that someone started but
    can't finish. You step in and in 3 years you have a plane.
    Ron

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    TFF
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    Re: What's a good 3-4 year, plans built project?

    If you open up to welding steel tube, the plans world is much larger, and not that hard to learn. I like the Tailwind W10. If you want to stay sheetmetal, Mustang II or Thorp T-18. If you devote the time, 4 years is not bad, but you cant count the daydreaming time you have about the project. 2000-2500 will build a flying plane. It is the stopping and starting that eats productivity.

  9. #9
    AVI
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    Re: What's a good 3-4 year, plans built project?

    Recruit some labor and go LongEZ -either fresh from plans or a project.
    Hard to beat the bang for the buck.
    Iceman

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