I was fortunate enough to find this forum through Google. My fascination with the number of people who have successfully built an aircraft at home prompted my research, which led me here. The thought of building my own aircraft interests me for a few reasons, not the least of which is the potential cost savings. For instance, in some cases, one can build the E-LSA version of an aircraft for less than half the cost of the S-LSA version of the same aircraft. In addition, as I understand it, if you build your own, you can maintain it yourself to a degree and maybe in some instances do your own annuals? If that's true, I'm definitely ready to take on this challenge.
My criteria is basically a two place, side by side seating low wing LSA with a reasonable useful load.(I'm 6'1" 248) My Sport Pilot lessons will start this Spring and it is not my intention to train in this plane so the useful load needs to only accomodate me.
For my tastes, the Thorp T211 is the perfect plane for me, but I wrote Indus Aviation and got a real generic reply. They appear to be "transitioning", in trouble or no longer offer kits for sale so I've been looking at similar styles in an attempt to find a cost effective alternative.
I had narrowed it down to the Zodiac CH650 and the Sonex, but I don't think I would fit comfortably in a Sonex and the low wing Zenith Zodiac CH650B seems to meet my every need. It seems I can get in the air for $30k and possibly, depending on power plant and instrument selection, significantly less than that. For my first project, I'm opting for a kit because, although scratch building would be even more cost effective, I think it would overwhelm me, at least until I learn more about this process. Because I'm new to aviation, I'm not sure exactly how you decide what project to build other than what appeals to you, what is a proven design and what fits your personal needs and budget. I was hoping to field suggestions from owners/builders/pilots of the Zodiac CH650B or it's predecessor the CH601XL as well as other aircraft to compare it to. All pros and cons welcome.