A single seat design for a C65

Discussion in 'Classics' started by BlueRidge, Jan 14, 2016.

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  1. Jan 14, 2016 #1

    BlueRidge

    BlueRidge

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    A single seat design for a C65.

    There are a number of single seat designs of this type that use a VW engine, but I’d like to use a C65. It's reliable as gravity but usually too heavy for aircraft that were designed for VW power plants.


    Use: I’d like a fun sport plane that has 120mph cruise, nice handling but doesn’t need to be aerobatic, it will mostly be used for 600-700 mile commuting flights carrying a 200 lb. pilot and 50 lbs. of baggage. Three hours of cruise fuel plus reserve is enough. Most of the designs I've seen for the C65 are for low speed local flying. I'm definitely looking for a simple cross country airplane.


    A fun sport plane that is low tech and reliable, day VFR (hand prop is ok, I'll likely use a battery pack for electrical devices like sailplanes do). Rag and tube construction is preferred, but I’m open to wood or metal.


    Any good ideas?
     
  2. Jan 14, 2016 #2

    Dana

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    Sounds like what you need is a Mooney Mite.

    Dana
     
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  3. Jan 14, 2016 #3

    dcstrng

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    Sounds like the MiniCoupe might be worth a look – sort of a civilized Tennie 2 on steroids… several are VW powered, but Ron Dixon’s has been powered by Continentals of various flavors for many years. If left dirty it probably won’t get your cruise speeds, but Ron’s is relatively clean and was pretty “well-traveled…” This much I know is that a 200# pilot is no big deal for it… Ron still sells the plans although I doubt he makes any money off them – labor of love, I’d guess (Pics are Ron’s MiniCoupe two years ago -- about four-decades young!)

    MiniCoupe Site: Home

    MC2012RON 016.jpg MC2012RON 035.jpg MC2012RON 026.jpg
     
  4. Jan 14, 2016 #4

    TFF

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    Soneri two seater.
     
  5. Jan 14, 2016 #5

    Kyle Boatright

    Kyle Boatright

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    Spacewalker I.
     
  6. Jan 14, 2016 #6

    TFF

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  7. Jan 14, 2016 #7

    BJC

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    The Personal Cruiser Specifications meets all of your criteria except for material of construction.

    Time to learn a new skill?


    BJC
     
  8. Jan 14, 2016 #8

    bmcj

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    Didn't the early Cassutt's fly on a C-65?
     
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  9. Jan 14, 2016 #9

    Pops

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    My JMR Special fills the bill except for the cruise speed. It will need a C-85 for a 120 mph cruise speed or change the C-65 to a 75 and add a cruise prop over a climb prop. Built for a large pilot like my 2 grandsons, 6'5"x 250 lbs with baggage is OK

    Dan
     
  10. Jan 14, 2016 #10

    BlueRidge

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    All of those are good ideas, I'll read up on them, keep the ideas coming, thanks
     
  11. Jan 14, 2016 #11

    ScaleBirdsScott

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    Could a Thatcher CX-4 handle the Continental?

    I'm interested in how you're looking for a commuter but want a single seat. It's not bad, just seems to be an uncommon use-case requirement if you listen to what most people suggest. I can see the benefit to lone, long commutes in not having to lug a space reservation for a second human.
     
  12. Jan 14, 2016 #12

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    Salvay Skyhopper. The great Grand-daddy of the Varga Kachina. I met Gene Salvay (he spoke at our EAA chapter)... fantastic guy with a great history in aviation. The skyhopper is a delightful, utterly conventional airplane, that has been very very very well designed by an old-school aircraft engineer. The Skyhopper was intended to be certified at one time, so it meets all of the FAA (CAA) safety and handling standards.

    There's a pretty nice one in a hangar next to me here in Los Angeles. It has an O-200 on it, which the owner says is a little too much engine. The A-65 is perfect for this aircraft in every way. If you're interested, I believe he will sell the airframe at a very reasonable price because he can use the O-200 for a spare engine in a 150 he has.

    The Pazmany PL-4 is a neat little airplane, but it is my understanding that you can scratch build a B-29 in slightly less time. If you are not a craftsman-level sheet metal worker, building the Pazmany will be quite a chore.

    Please also consider restoring an old Taylorcraft, Chief, or Champ. A Taylorcraft that is built light and simple will amaze you with a decent A-65 on it. You can even build one up as a "homebuilt" experimental. D&E aircraft in Florida has "Factory built" Taylorcraft fuselages for sale CHEAP. They have wing kits for them as well. Or, you can just buy a dilapidated project airplane and rebuild it as a certified LSA.

    IMHO The Cassutt will probably fly fairly well with a healthy 65, but you would have to keep it light. It was designed around the C-85, putting out closer to 95-105HP in racing configuration. If you do a Cassutt with an A-65 don't use the smallest 13 foot span "Racing wing". Use the standard 15 foot wing and then go to any length to lighten it up. That means sh**-can the heavy steel landing gear and make a carbon gear. That means fabric on the whole fuselage instead of a composite speed fairing system. That means a lighter carbon cowling and not one of those old chopper-gun glass mat monstrosities. Then put the mag timing back to the original setting, or better yet save weight and gain power by using one of the LightSpeed Engineering electronic ignition units. If you're not a big porker like me you would wind up with a fabulous little sportplane. With an A-65 you are looking at a 150-160 MPH airplane at most, because you can't pitch the prop any more and still have reasonable takeoff and climb. The Cassutt is a safe airplane, but you do not want to be landing one in a farm field, because you can NOT get out of it if it is upside down. That, in turn, drives several decisions regarding horsepower and reliability.

    The Fly Baby was designed around an A-65 I believe. There happens to be one of the top experts on that aircraft here on this forum, who can explain anything you need to know.
     
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  13. Jan 14, 2016 #13

    dcstrng

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    I spoke with the Thatcher folks a few years back about using a Corvair in a CX4 for a somewhat similar mission -- he was pretty much against it -- said to wait on the CX5. My Corvair is 229# wet (minus exhaust -- that's real, not advertised and better than I'd thought it would be...) so I'd guess the C65 would bump up against the same issue... I then thought to use it in a single-seat Sonerai II, but life moves on...

    The JMR sounds really intriguing... this lower power, lower complexity, but not just for "around the patch flying" breed of aircraft has kind of gotten lost in recent years... seems like we're overdue for something (maybe as an LSA class) -- why not a compact, but sturdy bird that sips gas and can knock out 600 statute in a bit over 4-hours... (one that doesn't need a 2nd mortgage to build)
     
  14. Jan 14, 2016 #14

    BJC

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    VB:

    I've always liked the lines of a Skyhopper. Many years ago, a friend rebuilt one, and another friend flew it for several hours before the restorer sold it. I don't recall which engine it had, but the pilot, who was very experienced in multiple homebuilts, was not impressed with the handling. Probably too much like a type certificated airplane.

    Did you get to fly it?


    BJC
     
  15. Jan 14, 2016 #15

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    Unfortunately I haven't flown it, the guy is a good friend of mine but there is no insurance on it. I would have bought it already myself (I have a good A-65 just sitting there...) but it will not fit in my T-hangar with my !(#$*% old Cessna 172 in there. I really hate leaving any airplane outside, so I would not sacrifice the 172's well-being for the Skyhopper. And the Skyhopper is a wood wing so that's staying inside as well.

    If any of you know a good home for this little airplane, where it will be hangared, let me know.

    I have no doubt that it's no RV-3 in the handling department, but it's likewise probably not a 172 or Cherokee either.
     
  16. Jan 14, 2016 #16

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    And aesthetics, IMHO:emb:
     
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  17. Jan 14, 2016 #17

    BJC

    BJC

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    You no like V tail?


    BJC
     
  18. Jan 14, 2016 #18

    Victor Bravo

    Victor Bravo

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    V-tails are fine with me when and where appropriate.

    The recent trend toward hasty and awkward design of windshields and canopies, with numerous forays into the downright ugly, is viscerally disturbing to me. It all started with the flood of east European LSA's.

    It's similar to the recent trends with ridiculous looking automotive headlights and tail lights that were made possible with LED's... Audi and some other manufacturers have gone completely overboard with trying to put fabricated "attitude" and personality into their cars by giving the cars a smiling/grimacing/intimidating "face". But their attempts have gone completely off into Kabuki Theater land, becoming laughable at worst or preventing the car from being taken seriously at least.

    This isn't totally new. In my opinion (and to my visual sense), for many years the American (Boeing, Douglas, Lockheed) transport aircraft had windshields and cockpit windows that gave the airplane a more intellectual or wise appearance, and the Russian transport airplanes (Antonov, Tupolev) always had "tiny little eyes" on their face that were (ironically) suggestive of a dim-witted or not-too-bright bear.

    I just heard a great phrased used recently on "Shark Tank", someone who works as a federal agent mentioned that they have to maintain what is called "command presence"... meaning their bearing, posture, and appearance. It's intangible stuff that cannot be quantified, but it makes a big difference in credibility and respect. In a strange way, this kinda sorta somewhat illustrates what I'm saying about the effect that a vehicle or aircraft's visual styling has when you look at it.

    Of course this has NOTHING to do with how the air looks at an airplane and what the air finds attractive or repulsive.
     
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  19. Jan 15, 2016 #19

    BlueRidge

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    Each of you have raised interesting points, let me try to address them, or provide explanations to your questions.

    Dan your JMR Special does hit the mark.

    I think you are right to focus on a single seat aircraft for LSA. 85hp in a single seat airplane should provide great performance yet be economical overall. That you've built an airframe for a large pilot around a small Continental is genius. I can't figure out why others haven't seen the merits of your approach. I've watch other pilots and they match my own experience ... we fly by ourselves most of the time.

    Scalebirdscott, You asked why a single seat? Partly answered by the previous response, but further below.

    I currently have a factory built LSA two seat airplane with a Rotax 912ULS (100hp). I thought I'd be carrying passengers on backcountry camping adventures. Reality is - I end up flying by myself. When I do go on a trip I can't seem to coordinate my schedule with others - and I end up going by myself. I haven't been going on backcountry trips either, I end up flying to other airports. My significant other "talked" about going with me, and offered suggestions while I was buying an airplane, but reality is she doesn't go on flights with me (sound familiar?).

    I have a lot of unnecessary expense tied up in a plane for two people, when reality is I end up flying by myself. The Rotax 912 is a great engine, but I could buy (or build) an entire single seat airplane for just the costs I have tied up in the 912 engine.

    General point: My costs and how to lower them. I have a nice factory built LSA. I carry hull insurance, but a with a less expensive airplane I'd probably just carry liability insurance. Depending on building materials I may even store my airplane outside (hangar rent is my greatest expense). Dan I vote for Metal wings on your JMR Special! An airplane with a utility grade finish would be better for me than a show winner airplane.

    General point: A used small (experimental) Continental would be less expensive to buy and maintain than a Rotax 912, but it would be reliable as gravity and would require less tinkering than an automobile engine that has been converted to airplane use.

    General point: When looking at airframes, those that were designed for VW engines, are generally not suited to using using a C65/85/90. That's why I came here ... looking for designs that can use a C65

    General point: It's easier, and more likely, to get good performance out of a C65 with a single seat design than a two seat design. Why the C65? I keep seeing good C65s in good shape and at reasonable cost.

    Victor Bravo: I really like the old Taylorcrafts, but I'm 6'2" and 230lbs. and when I've flown them I just feel cramped. I will get down to 200 lbs for overall health, but Taylorcrafts just seem too small. I'd like to fly one with a C85 and the skylight modification before I rule one out though.

    Cassutt: I don't think I'd fit in the airplane. It doesn't seem suited to carrying baggage (I'd like to carry at least 50 lbs) it seems to sacrifice comfort and utility for speed ... but that's what race planes are for !!! But great speed at low cost does have appeal.

    Plazmany and Salvay Skyhopper ... ok this is part of my devious plan. I suspect there are great airplanes from the past that are sitting in hangars ready and waiting to be rediscovered, restored and reused. I'll look into these designs and PM you if I think they're a good fit.

    Why 120mph cruise?

    I have a 95 mph cruise airplane right now. I'm surprised by how often I face a 20 mph headwind, which results in a 75 mph ground speed. On those flights I'd be better off going by ground and this has been more frequent than I'd like to admit. The 120 mph cruise is a pretty firm number based on my experience and desires. I'm typically making 600 mile flights, two 300 mile legs is range enough (plus reserves).

    Mini Coupes? I did'nt know this airplane. When looking at the performance with a C85 it's surprising it's not more well known. Apparently it came out just before the Rutan Canard craze and events just past it by. 120 mph on C85 has potential.

    Spacewalker 1: 105 mph cruise on C65. I try to imagine it with a C85, a canopy, and Wittman / Cessna / Grove aluminum gear. Seems like 120 mph is within reason. Has anyone flown one? Not a lot of info on the single seat version. Apparently only 10 gals of fuel?

    Flybaby: An old favorite and to some degree it is the basis of my concept. Several articles on their website talk about how the simplicity of the aircraft (non-electric etc) leads to a very reliable and cost affective airplane. This is the heart of my concept. I'd like to spend money up front, ONCE, and have a simple, reliable, low cost airplane, that I can fly for the rest of my life. But the Flybaby is too slow.

    I appreciate you responses, you've shown me airplanes I didn't know about, keep em' coming.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  20. Jan 15, 2016 #20

    BlueRidge

    BlueRidge

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    Forgot the Personal Cruiser.

    I like the concept, large cockpit for a big guy, but a small airplane overall. I couldn't build one, I can walk into a fiberglass workshop and I'm itching for days. Maybe one that is already built. Not enough baggage allowance with the heavier Corvair engine, so even less with a lighter engine. !5 gals of useable fuel would not be enough range, BUT! They are getting great mpg with the Corvair engine.

    Is this a unique characteristic of the Corvair? Does it get substantially better fuel economy than say an O-200. Their gph (and Mark Langford's Corvair KR-2 gph) suggest it does.
     

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