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2 place, 4 stroke with removable or folding wings?

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X Pilot

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Id like to hear recomendations for a 2 place, 4 cycle powered aircraft with removable or folding wings.
Ive looked at the Kolb line-up.
Any other recomendations?
 

WurlyBird

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I HIGHLY recommend you look at the Kitfox lineup! I have a KF Mod 3 that I love. If you are looking at Kolbs you have already decided you are not flying to get anywhere fast, so that is good. The 1,2,3, and 4 are relatively slow depending on engine, about 70 kt cruise is reasonable. A lot of them have 912s in them but I think that is way more engine then these planes need. I am in the process of swapping out the Rotax 582 for an HKS 700E which is a 4 stroke, 60 horse motor that burns about 60% what the 582 does for about the same weight and HP. Some argue the KF does not get the full 64 horses of the 582 because of the special exhaust. There is also a very active Kitfox community online for support and fish tales. The Fox is a very capable little bush plane, mine will take off in 200' solo and 300' dual very conservatively. If your budget allows, the models 5, 6, 7 and 7 Super Sport progressively move from 1200 lb up to 1600 (I think) and start using more conventional aircraft engines like Lyc, Cont, and even Rotec Radials! You can always find partially built kits and flying models for sale online.
Kitfox Aircraft
TeamKitfox.com

edit: Almost forgot, the wings fold and I store the plane on a trailer in my garage. From the time I open the garage door to pull it out and hook it to the truck, to the time I am fueling it up at the airport is under an hour. That usually includes a stop at the store for mogas and snacks.
 

cluttonfred

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"2 place, 4 cycle powered aircraft with removable or folding wings" is an awfully short design brief. You suggest the Kolb, with gives us a hint, but it would help to narrow things down.

Why do you want removable or folding wings: regular storage at home (trailer to the airfield for each flight); saving space in an airport hanger; or just the ability to bring your plane home to work on it or store in the winter? There are aircraft with quick folding wings and there are others that can be disassembled for transport occasionally but you wouldn't want to do it every day.

Other factors that it would be helpful to know are: type of airfield--500 foot yard grass strip, 5000 foot paved runway, etc.; type of use--short hops, long distance cruising, aerobatics, float operations,etc.; conventional vs. tricyle gear; preference for low, mid or high wing; preference for side-by-side or tandem seating; and lastly, the big one, budget?

Cheers,

Matthew
 

X Pilot

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I like a high wing design.

Want to trailer aircraft with no hanger fees.

STOL is prefered.

Any suggestions?
 

Dana

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There aren't many planes with quick folding wings... Kolb and Kitfox (and the Avid which the Kitfox is a copy of) are the most common. Most of the Kolbs have 2-strokes, though the MKIII is often built with a 912 and I've heard of VW, Subaru, and HKS powered ones. Not so sure about the Kitfox though my buddy has an Avid with a Subaru. Most of the Kolbs are indeed rather slow, but one model (the Slingshot) has GA class speeds.

One thing to consider, if you have to trailer the plane every time you fly, you'll fly less often. OTOH, keeping the plane folded inside an enclosed trailer at the airport isn't so bad... that's what I do, paying the outside tiedown rate instead of the high hangar rent, and I bring it home only for the winter, or to work on it.

-Dana

Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted. -Albert Einstein
 

cluttonfred

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Multiple Rans models, multiple Fisher Flying Products models and the Zenith CH750 all offer standard or optional folding wings, so you can take your choice of wood, aluminum tube or aluminum sheet construction. There are many more, but in all cases I'd want to see the folding/unfolding in action in person or at least a video to get a sense of the complexity and time involved.
 

neouson

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In my view and speaking from experience, folding wings are a convenience to be only used when absolutely necessary otherwise if used on a daily basis the wear factor will raise it's ugly head and then convenience is outstripped by the resultant cost and inconvenience of the aircraft being grounded for sometimes minor repairs and at other times major repairs, especially when something major gets bent by Murphy.

rick-p, Jun 19, 2007
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cluttonfred

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I agree with what neouson said in that most folding wing mechanisms are really intended for only occasional use. However, I do think a plane can be designed for regular, daily wing folding at some cost in the weight of robust and durable fittings. For example (warning, shameless plug for my own site and a video I made) check out this slideshow of folding the wings on Eric Clutton's FRED. I can't say for sure which if any of the current two-seat kitplanes are really meant for daily wing folding, but it's a question to ask when trying to decide.

[video=youtube_share;T6Q1yReILJc]http://youtu.be/T6Q1yReILJc[/video]

Clutton FRED
 

autoreply

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Many folding designs seem almost like an afterthought, but I can think you can certainly design very light, safe and fool-proof folding systems that work fine.

Essential is that it's often better to leave the folding to a component that doesn't see flight loads. Also isolated your wings from road vibrations. The Stemme S10 is a good example.
 

Andy_RR

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The RV12 is worth a look. A pretty successful LSA design with removeable wings. Some builders have designed trailers for them, but I'm not sure how many actually trailer them in the end.

Here's a wing removal-reattachment demo:


A
 
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bmcj

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Id like to hear recomendations for a 2 place, 4 cycle powered aircraft with removable or folding wings.
I second WurlyBird's recommendation of the Kitfox or Avid Flyer. Good flyers that are reasonably quick to build. For no obvious reason, you will find better deals (lower prices) for Avid Flyers compared to Kitfox even though the planes are nearly identical.

Are you wanting to build a plane or buy a flying plane?
 

WurlyBird

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For no obvious reason, you will find better deals (lower prices) for Avid Flyers compared to Kitfox...
While not under the management of the original owner and designer, Kitfox LLC is still around. They support the older models quite well and can fabricate most of the parts for them so there is still a lot of factory support. Avid is supported by a couple aftermarket folks but for what it is worth the "factory support" and availability of parts is much less. Both are great planes with active communities but restoring, repairing, upgrading an Avid is going to be a little more DIY by definition. That is where the price difference is most affected I believe.
 

X Pilot

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Thanks for everones advice!
I still havent found what Im looking for in a 2 place, 4 cycle, with removable or folding wing(s).
Seems like this would be a lucrative niche!
 

rtfm

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Hi,
I have always thought that the Valley Engineering Backyard Flyer - with its unique swivel wing - is the ideal aircraft for someone with your flight mission.

The aircraft seats one (but they have a two-seater also), comes with a great little 50hp four stroke engine (plus prop, plus PSRU) for under $20k

Here's a video of them "swinging the wing"

And here's a link to their web site.

Regards,
Duncan
 
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bmcj

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I have always thought that the Valley Engineering Backyard Flyer - with its unique swivel wing - is the ideal aircraft for someone with your flight mission.
It's neat, but if I were trying to share a hangar with someone, the typical T-hangar is 40' wide but only 20'-25' deep in the center. That means that you would still have to figure a way to position the 26' wing into a shared space.
 

cluttonfred

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The Just Aircraft designs -- Escapade, Highlander and SuperSTOL -- are worth a look. Folding wings without disconnecting controls or fuel tanks, and in the case of the new SuperSTOL with full-span automatic slats, some pretty awesome performance.

[video=youtube_share;5ccYFqY4Ymg]http://youtu.be/5ccYFqY4Ymg[/video]
 

agpilot

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Bainbridge, Ga. / USA
I agree with rtfm about the Back Yard Flyer. I have been looking for an airplane with wings that could be easily folded by one person.
The BYF is just what I am looking for........a beautiful airplane!!!!
 
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