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Homebuilt Aircraft & Kit Plane Forum

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  1. J

    Why are C150s (and other trainers/entry level planes) suddenly so expensive??

    Back in 2014, I bought a 1972 C150L with a mid time engine, upgraded avionics, and recent interior in Southern California for $17,500. During my time shopping, I looked at several in comparable condition, all under $20K. There were also plenty of Cherokee 140/160s going for 23-25K. Fast...
  2. J

    Rotax 912 Performance upgrades (Turbo, Big Bore, Etc)

    I have a Zenith 601XL-B that's getting close to needing an engine, and since I'm out west in Southern California with family in CO, I'm thinking I need something with some high altitude performance and reliability behind it since I'll be flying over mountains - and of course I'm on a budget...
  3. J

    Ok to build from previously purchased/used plans?

    Hi everybody, looking for thoughts on this... I was recently gifted a set of Zenith 601 XL plans. The owner had passed away and I’m not sure if he ever finished the plane or not (I received them from a friend of his). If I were to build that plane from these plans, would that be considered...
  4. J

    Designing/building a steel cage around the cockpit

    Hi Everyone, As a follow-up to my bubble canopy thread, this is something else I've been noodling: I was looking at the SAM Aircraft a while back and really liked the fact that it was an aluminum design with a steel cage built around the cockpit for crash protection. It got me thinking...
  5. J

    My Safety Concerns About Bubble Canopies

    Hi everybody, My boys and I are finally at a place where we can start a build, and this topic has been on my mind. We've been looking at Zenith 650s for a long time, and also like the Sling 2, Sonex and the RV-12. Problem is, they're ALL bubble canopy planes, and I just can't get comfortable...
  6. J

    Cheapest homebuilt LSA to insure?

    Hi Everyone, Looking for for some real world feedback, which 2 seat LSAs are generally the cheapest to insure? Especially for a low time (50 hour) sport pilot, and I'd get at least 10 hours of transition time in whatever type I end up building. Zenith? Kitfox? Vans rv12? Sonex? I don't want to...
  7. J

    Any auto conversion out there in the 160-180 hp range?

    My thread title pretty much sums it up, I was looking up 4 seat homebuilts and almost all of them use an O/IO-320 or 360 up front.... Is there a reliable auto conversion for those who may not want to spend the money on avgas and the high price of Lycomings replacement parts? It appears that...
  8. J

    Is there a market for a volksplane 2 kit?

    Hi All, I've been inspired to write this since reading parts of the "21st century volksplane" thread....I know the mission of that thread was to do just that: gather thought and ideas on a modern volksplane type of aircraft. But, do any of you think there could already be a place in today's...
  9. J

    Best Age to Start Building With My Kids?

    Hi Everyone, I've been dormant for a while around here, been really busy with three younguns and a full time job....I also finally got some flight training in, broke the 15 hour mark and hope to get my Sport ticket soon. Speaking of younguns, have any of you done any building with your...
  10. J

    Quick folding wing designs wanted/needed!

    Hi everyone, Due to the astromical hangar rates at my local airport, and the fact that they don't even have tie-downs, has caused me to expand my horizons beyond Zenith and KR2's and start looking at QUICK (5-10 min) and CHEAP (say $20-25k finished) 2-seat folding wing aircraft. Here's what...
  11. J

    Converting Taildraggers to Tri Gear

    Does anyone here have experience in taking a conventional gear kit plane or plans built plane that was designed for conventional gear and converting it to tricycle gear? I'm looking for any advice/warnings/do's and dont's, weight and balance issues etc. in the process so I know what I'd be up...
  12. J

    Zenith, KR2S, or Sonerai: Safety Record Comparison

    I've got my first project narrowed down to my final four: 1) Zenith 601 HD (the old school design with no wing "issues"), the Zenith 701 with VG's instead of slats (better cruise and glide ratio), the KR2S, and the Sonerai 2 stretch. All of these I would build tri-gear. i have read things here...
  13. J

    Cheapest place for raw aluminum for scratch build?

    I was just wondering if anyone could point me to the best deals on Aluminum (6061 T6) for a zenith or Sonex scratch build. I'm in the Los Angeles area and I keep reading about saving money by finding materials locally. Aircraft Spuce is out here but are there any better places with lower prices...
  14. J

    Jabiru 2200 Mount for VW engine?

    Hi All, I was looking at a couple FWF kits for the Jabiru 2200 and it looked like the mount points for that engine are very similar to some of the vw conversions (Revmaster R2300, Aerovee, etc.) Anyone know if their mount points are the same? I know this is a stretch, and the weight difference...
  15. J

    Need some help deciding on a budget build...

    Hello everyone, it's been a while since I've been on here due to job craziness and a new baby (#3!) but now I've had some time to sit down and reevaluate my build. Well, due to tighter finances I've had to reconsider my original plan of going with a metal kit like Zenith or Savannah, and after...
  16. J

    Taking a Spam Can and Making it Crashworthy

    I've finally finished reading the "Crashworthiness" and "Design for Crashworthiness" threads and have to say that was the most informative collection of posts I've read in a long time. Gave me a lot to think about regarding how safe to an airplane can theoretically be, how safe it possibly can...
  17. J

    Which plane is the safest / most durable?

    I'm looking at a couple designs for my build, and would like some feedback about safety and durability of said designs: ICP Savannah VG- Main site: ICP US Site: icpnorthamerica.com BRM Land Africa - (Very similar to ICP) Main site: BRM Costruções Aeronáuticas, Lda US Site: PLANE...
  18. J

    Safest most reliable way to operate a 2 stroke?

    Hi All, I've been reading a few threads here about two stroke reliability, and have heard different views on their operation, maintenance, safety, reliability, etc. And although the two aircraft I'm looking at have FWF kits for the 912, they also offer them for the Rotax 582, Simonini Victor...
  19. J

    Storing Tube and Fabric outdoors in CA desert?

    Hi all, Newbie here, I have been considering several sheet metal designs (Zenith, Savannah) as well as tube and fabric (Skyranger, X-air H, Skyraider, Ridge Runner 3) for my first build. I was actually all about metal aircraft because of the fact they can be tied down outdoors, but many of the...
  20. J

    2 stroke engine @ 55% or 4 stroke at 80%, which is better?

    Hi all, The title pretty much sums up my post, but here's more specifically what I'm pondering: I read in one of the many 2 stroke vs. 4 stroke debate threads that it's better to run ANY engine at 55% than 75-85%, regardless of 2 stroke or 4 stroke. I'm interested in doing a budget build of...
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