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99 Questions

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Jul 25, 2021
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North East Wisconsin
Hi,

I built a Simplex Cloudster, it's nice. Sort of a motorcycle with wings. Removable fuel tank, hand-propped single-cylinder two-stroke with a multi-groove belt re-drive, three gauges (rpm, cht, egt). Perfect except for the single seat and the fact that Wisconsin winters are a bit nippy whether your bike has wings or not.

How close can I come to "simple perfection in E-AB. I sent for the EAA guide and it's a combination useless advertisement and monotonous repetition of a single rule from 20-27.

Maybe someone here could help me out.

What items do I legally need onboard an E-AB?

(Q: 3/99)

Is a replica (built from Roger Mann Ragg-A-Bon plans) of a Vagabon grandfathered like the real thing? 20-27 says it is with registration, just registration? Anywhere else?

(Q: 4/99)

Are there restrictions on the avionics I use?

(Q: 5/99)

It seems like I can use any powerplant and prop combo I choose (the plans call for a 72" x 39" Culver wood prop driven by a 50 hp Rotax that is out of production)?

(Q: 6/99)

Can I use a belt re-drive?

(repeat of Q: 2/99)

The pans call for the no longer produced Rotax 503, Power Sports suggests the Hirth 3202 as a direct replacement. I chose the Hirth 33 largely from watching the way they performed mostly from Be-Lite's videos (sadly they are gone). Be-Lite also seemed to have success with the Hirth 23. Does anyone have experience with this engine they would care to share.

(restatement of Q: 1/99)


Basically what I would like to do is build a replica of a 1946 airplane. Hand-propped, no electrics, minimal instruments, I'm fine with using the whisky compass as a wing leveler, a pressure ball air pressure (speed) indicator, non-sensitive altimiter, tach, egt, and cht.

Jack (Sheboygan WI)
 

TFF

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EAB is about you building the plane. You can build a from scratch 747 and it’s an EAB. There are no limits on that part. If you are not building something relatively standard, you will be the one responsible for it all to work. Whatever you want in reality. To the FAA each homebuilt plane is one of one. Even a kit where hundreds are sold, it’s still one of one to the person who built it. There are standards of quality, let’s say, but if you wanted to build a plane of saltine crackers powered by a bubble maker, you can. You will probably have to defend such a crazy machine, but legal.

All the FARs are in play. You need specific avionics if you need to go into specific airspace. If you don’t go there, it’s not necessary. Safety of passengers and people on the ground is required. There is a minimum amount of stuff to fly safe, been the same stuff used a hundred years ago. You can have a minimal airplane just fine.
 

Wanttaja

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What items do I legally need onboard an E-AB?
Not much, if you've got a single-seater. 14CFR 91.205 lists the equipment and instrument your DAR will expect to see. Mind you, 91.205 is for STANDARD category aircraft, but you'll probably end up needing the equipment listed.

Most of it is pretty common sense that you'd install anyway.
- Airspeed indicator.
- Altimeter (a sensitive altimeter is only required for IFR, non-sensitive is OK for VFR)
- Magnetic direction indicator (compass)
- Tachometer
- Oil pressure gauge (if your engine has a pressure system, vs. a two-stroke).
- Coolant Temperature gauge if you've got a liquid-cooled engine
- Oil temperature gauge (if you're not running a two-stroke)
- Fuel gauge

And a couple of other things, which probably don't apply to the kind of airplane you're looking at.

Note that these instruments do not have to be "approved"; you can use automotive or other sources for them.

You might need a transponder/ADS-B out, depending on whether you're going to be operating in the Class B veil.

If it has two or more seats, it must have an ELT. If you're going to fly at night, you need lights.

Is a replica (built from Roger Mann Ragg-A-Bon plans) of a Vagabon grandfathered like the real thing? 20-27 says it is with registration, just registration? Anywhere else?
I'm not sure what you're referring to, as far as "grandfathered." Getting an Experimental Amateur-Built certificate depends on meeting the famous "51% Rule," and anything from plans is going to qualify. You can build from plans, you can copy an existing aircraft, you can build from a kit. You, or another amateur, just have to perform the majority of the tasks.

Are there restrictions on the avionics I use?
Stuff like transponders and ADS-B units have to meet the same standards as certified aircraft.

Comm radios have to meet the FCC requirements to operate on aircraft frequencies. This means that REALLY old radios, such as the Escort 110 my plane originally came with, can't legally be used in the US. All you really need for a radio (if you need a radio at all) is a handheld...that's what I have in my airplane.

It seems like I can use any powerplant and prop combo I choose (the plans call for a 72" x 39" Culver wood prop driven by a 50 hp Rotax that is out of production)?
Yep. To quote Topaz's favourite author, "It's Liberty Hall, here...." Experimental amateur-built aircraft can use any powerplant, in any configuration (e.g., no reduction drive, gear reduction drive, belt reduction drive) that the builder wishes.

Basically what I would like to do is build a replica of a 1946 airplane. Hand-propped, no electrics, minimal instruments, I'm fine with using the whisky compass as a wing leveler, a pressure ball air pressure (speed) indicator, non-sensitive altimiter, tach, egt, and cht.
Perfectly feasible; Pietenpols and Fly Babies meet your requirements, as do a ton of other designs. The pressure ball airspeed indicator should be used on a pusher-type aircraft, of course, or made big enough that you can read it out on the wing.

Ron Wanttaja
 

rv7charlie

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For homebuilt experimental, day- vfr, outside 'rule' airspace, you're not required to have *any* instruments. ( Not the wisest choice, but legal.)
 

blane.c

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Some nice to have instruments for a two stroke would be a cylinder head temperature gage and possibly a exhaust gas temperature gage even if not required.
 

99 Questions

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2021
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Location
North East Wisconsin
Some nice to have instruments for a two stroke would be a cylinder head temperature gage and possibly a exhaust gas temperature gage even if not required.
My Part 103 Simplex Cloudster (two-stroke F-33 powered) has four instruments, in order of my perceived importance: CHT, Whisky Compass, EGT, RPM.
 
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99 Questions

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2021
Messages
14
Location
North East Wisconsin
For homebuilt experimental, day- vfr, outside 'rule' airspace, you're not required to have *any* instruments. ( Not the wisest choice, but legal.)
Hi,

I'm not being a jerk, just offering my perspective.

CHT... On a two-stroke it's the only "needed" instrument. Too hot I melt my powerplant. Everyone agrees this is bad.

EGT... With mixture control you can lean and enrich, I can pull power, but CHT would have already advised me to do this. I have a one-cylinder two-stroke on my Cloudster. So, the EGT reading is a confirmation of the CHT reading.

My thought is to put a two-clyinder two-stroke on my Vagabon replica. If I had to choose, I'd do two CHTs, one on each cylinder before i did a single EGT. The tachometer would be the sixth and final instrument. After a Whisky compass (third) and two EGTs.

RPM, schorPM... It's just a number. So, if I can fine tune it so the propeller is turning at 2100 instead of 2200, to optimize fuel burn, yeah it's useful. But in a less critical than "my heads will melt" or "where the hell am I" way.

NORAD and VFR, I can see the ground, why do I need an altimeter?

Airspeed? Nah, I can feel the precursor to a stall, Two place tandems with spit doors have built in stall warning devices. Me, I can look at the whisky compass or the ground for my attitude.

Gas gauge, nah, I wear a watch and physically checked the fuel for quantity and water before I left the ground.
 
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proppastie

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Airspeed? Nah,
on your first flight ......what if it does not do what you think it will feel like....when you do your first stalls at altitude...???? now if you have an airspeed you can see where it stalls and do your first landing approach at a minimum of 1.3 of that airspeed...... can always take it out after that. some aircraft have no feel until they drop a wing and spin in the stall....often a stall strip has to be added to give warning of the stall.....I would think you need all the help you can get for your first flight and an airspeed would be necessary and I doubt a DER would pass you without one.
 

Dana

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I would consider a altimeter a necessity if flying from an airport, too know when you're at pattern altitude. Also if you're flying over or under any class B, C, or D airspace, you need to know where you actually are.

EGT is very useful when tuning a 2-stroke as it responds much faster than CHT.
 

99 Questions

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North East Wisconsin
Two separate issues...
I doubt a DER would pass you without one.
Not saying that you are wrong about this. Because the DAR is in CYA mode and if I die and the numbers are "right" his A is C. OTOH, dying will ruin my day, so results are all that matters.
on your first flight ......what if it does not do what you think it will feel like....when you do your first stalls at altitude...???? now if you have an airspeed you can see where it stalls and do your first landing approach at a minimum of 1.3 of that airspeed......
I can plug the numbers into a formula. USA-35 is barely different than NACA 4414, both are Clark Y derivatives. So I have a value, but so what? It's my first flight.. why am I looking at a gauge INSIDE the cockpit? If I have two hours of flight time, I need to climb way high and do real stalls and then simulated approaches so I understand the flight characteristics, not the numbers. Of course, I've been flying without an airspeed indicator since day one-- just like the pioneers did.
I would think you need all the help you can get for your first flight and an airspeed would be necessary and...
Spending precious moments looking at and evaluating what a secondary source tells me would take away from my paying attention to the airplane and the way it reacts. It would slow my response and in doing so hinder, not assist me.

That said I'm resigned to the fact that I will have to install one. But nobody can make me look at it.

Jack
 
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99 Questions

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2021
Messages
14
Location
North East Wisconsin
I would consider a altimeter a necessity if flying from an airport, too know when you're at pattern altitude. Also if you're flying over or under any class B, C, or D airspace, you need to know where you actually are.

EGT is very useful when tuning a 2-stroke as it responds much faster than CHT.
Airport? What's that.

But, seriously the guys with altimeters don't pay any attention to them so...

Uh, class "A" is 18,000 AMSL, my back yard is ca 600. Give me a week to climb and I might get there. The outer ring at Milwaukee (south) and Green Bay (north) is at 19(00). Higher than I'm likely to fly. A bigger issue is the north-south rectangle around Oshkosh (west) there is a similar box to the east (Minnow) in the lake,.

I know where everything I need to avoid is, but you can call before takeoff to see if the boxes are "hot," but when I fly to Michigan I go the scenic route. Going north around the lake I'm good to Muskegon, which I could just go around inland.
 

blane.c

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Two separate issues...

Not saying that you are wrong about this. Because the DAR is in CYA moode and if I die and the numbers are "right" his A is C. OTOH, dying will ruin my day, so results are all that matters.

I can plug the numbers into a formula. USA-35 is barely different than NACA 4414, both are Clark Y derivatives. So I have a value, but so what? It's my first flight.. why am I looking at a gauge INSIDE the cockpit? If I have two hours of flight time, I need to climb way high and do real stalls and then simulated approaches so I understand the flight characteristics, not the numbers. Of course, I've been flying without an airspeed indicator since day one-- just like the pioneers did.

Spending precious moments looking at and evaluating what a secondary source tells me would take away from my paying attention to the airplane and the way it reacts. It would slow my response and in doing so hinder, not assist me.

That said I'm resigned to the fact that I will have to install one. But nobody can make me look at it.

Jack
If you cannot properly scan your instruments and keep vigilance outside please try not to sound arrogant about it.
 

blane.c

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Airport? What's that.

But, seriously the guys with altimeters don't pay any attention to them so...

Uh, class "A" is 18,000 AMSL, my back yard is ca 600. Give me a week to climb and I might get there. The outer ring at Milwaukee (south) and Green Bay (north) is at 19(00). Higher than I'm likely to fly. A bigger issue is the north-south rectangle around Oshkosh (west) there is a similar box to the east (Minnow) in the lake,.

I know where everything I need to avoid is, but you can call before takeoff to see if the boxes are "hot," but when I fly to Michigan I go the scenic route. Going north around the lake I'm good to Muskegon, which I could just go around inland.
Things don't always go as planned. I know my altitude while flying and the overwhelming majority of pilots do, if you do not, again don't sound so smug about it.
 

rv7charlie

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an airspeed would be necessary and I doubt a DER would pass you without one
I wouldn't want to fly without one, and I know there are DARs out there (including some rather 'high profile' individuals) who don't understand the rules, but a DAR doesn't have any right to deny an a/w for a homebuilt for no ASI, under the rules as they exist today.
 

proppastie

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I guess I don't understand the authority of a DAR,....can you make one approve your build if he refuses?
 

99 Questions

Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2021
Messages
14
Location
North East Wisconsin
If you cannot properly scan your instruments and keep vigilance outside please try not to sound arrogant about it.
I'm trying very hard not to sound arrogant. But under VFR we don't fly without reference to the ground and at 50-80 mph we can see stuff before we are in it. Can't you, without an altimeter as a crutch, tell within say 200' how far above ground level you are?

I know where I'm going, so I look it up before I leave. NORAD means that I'm not talking to anyone, nobody is aggining me anything. So unless "the Caretaker" sends me 70,000 light years to the "Delta Quadrant," I'm not worried. If he does, I have much bigger things like "the Phage" to worry about.
 

99 Questions

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Joined
Jul 25, 2021
Messages
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Location
North East Wisconsin
Do you have a PPL..?
Yes, A-SEL, A-SES, and a thousand hours in chiefs, champs, t-cups, 'combs, but mostly in cubs before I built the Cloudster. Then a couple thousand more that doesn't count in it.

So, you can see where my comments are coming from. I learned to fly in airplanes where you could not trust the accuracy of the instruments then I built one (okay... it's not an airplane, it's not an airplane, it's not an airplane... it's just a machine that flies) with only four: (top to bottom) Whisky compass, CHT, EGT, RPM.
 
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