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Thread: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

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    Question Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    Hey everyone,

    I'm pretty new hear, but figured this might be the best place to look for information (and join a community that seems to be quite amazing!). I searched the forums for about an hour and a half (and another 2 hours just rabbit-holing into discussions), but didn't come up with much. If this is a repeat, please point me in the right direction and you'll have my apologies.

    I have been looking at building my first plane, and have a few things I'm trying to look for. I've always been a hands-on kind of guy, so I'm not overly intimidated by the build process, plus I live in an area with a lot of EAA guys and they are all pretty nice. One of the things that are a requirement for the build choice, though, is m wife wants us to have a plane that can fit the four of us (wife and I and two kids) so we can still do things together. I personally wanted a tailwheel, STOL-ish type plane, or at least one I can take off airport (within reason. I'm not a "Gotta put it down on this 150-ft mountain top" type of person). Living in Arizona, there is plenty of beautiful country to check out and possibly spend an overnight at, and would love a plane that can fit both missions.

    After a lot of bouncing around, I found the Murphy Yukon as a potential fit for what I'm looking for. It's a 4-seater, seems rugged enough for off-airport ops, and is within a reasonable price range for me. My problem, though, is that I can't find a lot of information on it. I have heard Murphy is a solid manufacturer, but I can't really find a lot of Yukons that have been built. I sent a message to Murphy last week (or maybe it was Sunday, the days flow together sometimes), but haven't heard anything back yet. Some things on their site seem to be broken (I couldn't get the Purchase Agreement to come up), so I'm just a little in the dark about what kind of company they are and if it's a good option.

    I'm also open to alternatives if anyone has any that fit those missions. I *NEED* to have a 4-place or higher, and I would *LOVE* it to be able to go off-airport. STOL capabilities are a big plus (~500ft landing and 300-400ft takeoffs), so if there are any suggests, I really appreciate it!

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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    At one time some of the Murphy bush planes had some problems; don’t remember what. I would be looking at a Bearhawk.

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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    Sounds like you need a 4 place Bearhawk. Can be scratch built from plans, scratch built with any parts bought from the kit factory, to a complete quick build kit. I have flown the proto-type and its a great flying airplane for the mission. A true 4 place with baggage and full fuel tanks airplane.

    https://bearhawkforums.com/forum/bea...iscussion-news
    Pops

    If its not there, it cost nothing, weighs nothing, and is 100% reliable.

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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    I'm checking out the specs on a Bearhawk 4-place now. I remember looking at one at one point and deciding not to go that route...I'm not sure why. It's probably a lot easier to find someone who has one around to check out than it would be to find a Yukon. I liked the idea of being an all metal plane for the Yukon, but I am not hard set on that. How does build time look for a first-time builder?

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    Registered User BJC's Avatar
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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by johwiltb View Post
    ... One of the things that are a requirement for the build choice, though, is m wife wants us to have a plane that can fit the four of us (wife and I and two kids) so we can still do things together. I personally wanted a tailwheel, STOL-ish type plane, or at least one I can take off airport (within reason. ...
    I'm also open to alternatives if anyone has any that fit those missions. I *NEED* to have a 4-place or higher, and I would *LOVE* it to be able to go off-airport. STOL capabilities are a big plus (~500ft landing and 300-400ft takeoffs), so if there are any suggests, I really appreciate it!
    For any aircraft that you consider, take a realistic look at the empty weight of a “typical” version, not the light weight one built by an expert in weight control, the baggage capacity, the balance with camping equipment aboard, and the realistic STOL performance. Homebuilts are like the children in Lake Wobegon.


    BJC

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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    The Moose is only a bit more money than the Yukon and bigger with more payload. You can also fit an LS-3 V8 as Ray Watson did on his.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Ray will be offering FWF LS kits later this year.
    Ross Farnham
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    "The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion" Paulo Coelho
    http://www.sdsefi.com/aircraft.html




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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    One more all metal option, Dream Tundra
    Click image for larger version. 

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    https://backcountrypilot.org/knowled...ircraft-tundra

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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    Hi and welcome. A few quick thoughts....

    You have defined your mission as four seats, STOL, and off-airport operations but we'll need a little more info. A simple way would be to point to a factory aircraft and say, "I want to build a plane that can do what [that plane] can do."

    Otherwise we'll need some numbers. Two big parents with two teenage football player kids and a lot of luggage would require double the payload capacity of two slim parents, a couple of toddlers, and lightweight camping gear. You don't need to tell us anybody's weight but I'd suggest adding up you and your wife, doubling that (kids have a habit of growing over time) and adding a realistic allowance for baggage/gear to come up with a target.

    Also, do you have a budget in mind, a preferred type of construction (sheet metal, welded steel tube, wood, fabric, composites), a preference for high or low wing, minimum cruising speed in mind, minimum range?

    Cheers,

    Matthew
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    cluttonfred.info
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    « Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant! »
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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by rv6ejguy View Post
    The Moose is only a bit more money than the Yukon and bigger with more payload. You can also fit an LS-3 V8 as Ray Watson did on his.

    Ray will be offering FWF LS kits later this year.
    I'm not opposed to that, I just wasn't sure I wanted to go that big. Operating costs seemed to be pretty high on the Moose (at least from what I read, but no first-hand experience there), but maybe the LS-3 makes it not as much as the radial? I'll definitely stay on the lookout for the kit you mentioned. Any link to more info there?

    Quote Originally Posted by BJC View Post
    For any aircraft that you consider, take a realistic look at the empty weight of a “typical” version, not the light weight one built by an expert in weight control, the baggage capacity, the balance with camping equipment aboard, and the realistic STOL performance. Homebuilts are like the children in Lake Wobegon.

    BJC
    I've been trying to figure that in as well, and keeping my expectations reasonable. I figured if the deviation of my skillset between the different homebuilts is pretty close, I can use those as reference numbers (as in, one says 400ft takeoff roll, another says 700, so I'll just say that the first would yield a little more than half the roll, not necessarily 300ft better). But I don't know a better way than trying to find ones around to check out in person (I've already been scoping out the Bearhawk builder's map) and/or building and seeing.

    Quote Originally Posted by TarDevil View Post
    One more all metal option, Dream Tundra
    That isn't bad, either! I'll keep that as an open option. Thanks!

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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    Quote Originally Posted by cluttonfred View Post

    You have defined your mission as four seats, STOL, and off-airport operations but we'll need a little more info....

    I appreciate the response, and thank you! Those are definitely helpful questions to be answered, and helps me with giving out pertinent information.


    I am not entirely sure what certified plane would match my mission, but the specs on the Bearhawk mentioned earlier were pretty decent.

    Size-wise, I'm about 5'9" and ~180-200lbs (Arizona heat still fluctuates my weight pretty well in the summertime), and my wife is pretty petite, running in around 100lbs when soaking wet. My kids are little babes right now, with a 2 1/2 yr old daughter and 3 month old son. So, what they'll be when they're older, not sure, but probably somewhere between 100-200lbs Payload-wise, I'd love to be able to take the kids camping (wife isn't huge on camping), so maybe minimal camping gear for us on a weekend. Biggest trips would probably be a family vacation to a spot in California or Colorado, ~200lbs luggage tops, and that would be all four of us. I'd say at heaviest, we'd be 700lbs all in at that point (before fuel)?

    Range would be good down to 600nm, although I'd prefer possibly a little further (800-900nm). Cruise in the 140kts is good, but I'm willing to budge on that, too. I would prefer high-wing, and like metal construction, although I'm good with partial fabric (again, like the Bearhawk). Budget-wise, firewall back, before avionics, I'd like to keep it under $60k.

    Hopefully that's a little more clear? And thanks again for taking time to ask those questions.

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    Registered User rv6ejguy's Avatar
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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    Ray's website is here: http://www.moosemods.com/

    Yes, the fuel (and oil) burn is lower with the LS-3 compared to the M14P radial. It's less expensive, lighter and more powerful as well. Parts are readily available.
    Ross Farnham
    Racetech Inc.
    16 years and 428.6 hours on Subaru Turbo powered RV6A
    "The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion" Paulo Coelho
    http://www.sdsefi.com/aircraft.html




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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    I have seen Murphy Moose powered by the usual Lycomings and Continentals and even one powered by an Allison/Rolls Royce C250 turboprop! Murphy has a great reputation among Canadian home builders!
    The only Moose problem I have heard about was larger than stock vertical stabilizers bending. The Murphy factory probably has a fix for that problem.

    Seabee Pilots tell me that the Corvette liquid-cooled, V8 engine conversion is by far the best engine for their heavy flying boats ..... half the fuel consumption, cabin heater, stock oroovette parts, etc.

    Also look at the Christavia Mark 4 and Wag Aero Sportsman 2 + 2. But both are totally covered with fabric. The Christavia 4- seater is comparable with Cessna 170 ...... enough for hauling small children. The Christavia series are only available as plans sold by Aircraft Spruce and Specialty.

    The larger and more powerful Sportsman 2+2 is more comparable with a Cessna 180. Wag Aero will cheerfully sell you a completely welded fuselage and tail feathers, engine mount, landing gear, etc plus enough wing parts to make it a quick-build kit. Wag Aero also manufactures a wide variety of PMA certified parts for fabric-covered Aeronca, Bellanca and Pipers.

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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    Most of the options have already been covered but the Zenair CH801-HD and higher payload -SD might also be worth a look. They are slower than your mission brief and not cheap but they have STOL chops and good payload.

    www.zenair801.info
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    A site for builders, owners and fans of Eric Clutton's FRED and other safe, simple, affordable homebuilt aircraft

    « Voici ce que j'ai fait...vous pouvez en faire autant! »
    "This is what I have done...you can do the same!"
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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    Matthew beat me to it! As the Red Baron said to Snoopy (as told by the Royal Guardsmen) "Curses, foiled again!"

    The CH-801 might be an easier build (sheet metal and pop rivets), and will have as good or better STOL performance than any other choice. The 801 has been built with everything from an aluminum V8 auto conversion to the Walter LOM inline 6, to the (standard) O-360.

    The aircraft will reliably operate out of a 500 foot clear strip I believe. Well worth considering, quite a few have been built, very very good support form the manufacturer, the builder community, and two or three additional entities.
    "Everything in this book may be wrong."
    Richard Bach, Illusions

    "Common sense is so rare today, it should be reclassified as a superpower!"
    Derswede


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    Re: Murphy Yukon or Alternative

    The CH-801 is pretty slow as a serious traveling machine. Not going to go 140 knots as the OP was hoping for.
    Ross Farnham
    Racetech Inc.
    16 years and 428.6 hours on Subaru Turbo powered RV6A
    "The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion" Paulo Coelho
    http://www.sdsefi.com/aircraft.html




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