A single seat design for a C65

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N8053H

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This airplane was built for the A-65. It is a Sonerai but the builder wanted to use a GA style engine for the reasons you state. It has a cruise speed of 120 mph. I have had her in a dive or nose pointed down at 160 mph ground speed. Indicated at 149 mph. She has a payload of 500 lbs. This is with a 200 lbs pilot. Hold 14 gallons of fuel with 7 usable without a fuel pump. She has no electric system.

This is a two seat Sonerai IILSS. IILSS mean Two seat Low wing stretch with S modes " IILSS".


Tony

P.S. If you would like to purchase this airplane PM me, I might be willing to sell it.
 
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Pops

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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.

I have be working on designing an aluminum wing for the JMR. I'll be starting construction on the wing later this year when I get more time, (I hope).

Back in the 1970's I flew in formation on a cross country with a Mini-Coupe. It just had a 1600 cc, VW engine and it out climbed my Ercoupe and cruised about 110 mph. Nice airplane, never could understand why more were not built.

Dan
 

dcstrng

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a Sonerai but the builder wanted to use a GA style engine for the reasons you state. It has a cruise speed of 120 mph...

Nice !!

There have been several Sonerai built with non-VW engines (for a variety of reasons). Some are pure hotrods with nearly double the original power which makes them hot little rascals (and engineering unknown to me), but some have more modest power and simply used an alternative engine… Sonerai old-guard seem to frown on many power alternatives, but as long as one stays attentive to weight and balance a C65-C85 shouldn’t surprise the structure adversely…

I had once thought to build my Sonerai II powered by a Corvair – set to be up as a commuter with extra tankage in the unused passenger well as several have done, but moved on to other projects before it became all that mature… had planned to stay well within the Monnett gross weight limits and call the Corvair an 99hp but cruise at 55% power – which I calculated to be almost 120 on the nose (very conservatively) and that’s dragging a nose-gear – figured on 22-gallons would be 4.5 hours endurance (530 statute miles) plus reserves – but after 4-plus hours figure this geriatric pilot would like something easier to land… conventional gear would up everything about 4%... seemed like a good plan for a compact but comfy single-seater. Played with it for a couple of years, but life moves on… still like the idea.
 

BlueRidge

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I have an A&P friend who has restored a Sonerai, he is having trouble getting the VW to run consistently. He keeps threatening to replace the VW with a Continetal or Rotax 912. But he seems to have lost interest in the airplane for now. Wish he'd use his A&P skills to modify it right and we'd know - he modified the two plane into a single cockpit with a big baggage compartment.

N8053H your link to the video isn't working (or at least on my computer), if it's specific to the airplane your talking about maybe try again, if it's generic I'll try finding another for the model on youtube, thanks.

Pops (Dan) I am going to subscribe to your building thread. Looks like you have a great design in the making. A mini coupe site suggested 150 had been built, but it doesn't seem so in the FAA registry. Maybe they meant 150 sets of plans had been sold (seems like they sold partial kits too). Updated cowling, bubble canopy and use "real" Ercoupe tails and it could be a modern "retro classic". Good performance, a 28" wide body version, I wonder why it didn't catch on too.
 

N8053H

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Not sure what to do about the video. My Soneria with the A-65 full of fuel or wet with 180 lbs pilot tips the scale at around 740 lbs. It has a gross weight, off the top of my head around 1200 lbs. This was built to be slower then your average sonerai. With the raked up windshield, the cowl and no wheel pants she is not the hot rod of the single seat sonerai, and why I love it. It's perfect. She also has a baggage compartment behind the pilot. The height of the turtle deck is a few inches taller also. A 6'2" pilot fits in this with lots of leg room and some head room. This airplane is so much fun to fly. I really do like it. It flies just like my Avenger just a little faster.

Tony
 

ScaleBirdsScott

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If the embed link isn't working but you can get youtube working, you can always try a manual search for "CS flying his new sonerai" and it should come up first thing.
 

don january

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How about a KR2, Design for single seat. More HP then really needed but you can always throttle backl.kr2.jpg
 

Raceair

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I have experience with a 'hopped up' A-65 powered Cassutt. The airplane was light, 517 lbs. empty, was the stock 111M version, and we put an A-80 on it, which is basically a 65 Continental with high domed pistons, and drilled rods, and you run it at 2600 to 2800 rpm. We may have re-jetted the Carburetor too. Many A-65 / A-80 Cassutts have been flown over the years. When I re-built the airplane, years later, it got an 0-200 and we raced it. The A-80 gives a nice cruise of about 165 mph, good climb, and we flew it out of 2200 feet of sod, with trees and wires on the ends. Consider building a Cassutt, and adding 1" to the fuselage width in the cockpit…It has been done before, and makes it very comfortable….Ed
 

BlueRidge

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Ed,

If you use the larger sport wing how fast do you approach and land a Cassutt? I carry about 50lbs of baggage, will the Cassutt c.g. range allow this amount of baggage? 165 mph with A-80 on 5 gph? 6gph? Most have small fuel tanks for racing. If I built a larger fuel tank, realistically how many gallons could it be? I like the design, and thought of it before, but ruled it out because the cockpit was too small for me (the one I sat in), I didn't know people build them wider for sport flying.

There's much discussion about modifying Cassutts for racing (go figure), but not much about optimizing them for sport flying. Any suggestions? Particular wing design to use? Larger tail surfaces? Particular landing gear manufacturer or tailwheel for more tame handling? Thanks Ed.

John
 
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BlueRidge

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KR-2?

These give great performance on low horsepower, and several builders have adapted them Continental power. But I'm concerned there are fundamental problems with the design - almost everyone is heavier than the designer ever intended, he died in his own KR and hasn't played a role in where the design has gone. There's no one who is responsible or refereeing the changes ... and I don't know enough to modify the design.

It's another design that is really meant to be flown with a VW engine, and wood fuselages don't fair as well in crashes, they splinter into spears that further injure the occupants. The KR100 is a stunning airplane designed around an o-200, but the design isn't being offered today, a shame really.
 
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Little Scrapper

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I just love the Sonerai 2L design.

Anyhow, I also love the little 65. Just keep in mind that an 0-200 is plentiful and realistically there's not much of a price difference between the two. Something to think about anyhow.
 

Raceair

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John, I just now saw your post with questions……We built the 'stock' Cassutt 111M wing. It had 66 sq. ft of lifting surface, approximately 15' 3" in span… We installed flaps, but they were a waste….they interfered with elevator feel., (but dropping them made it easier to get into the cockpit) Flew downwind at 160, base at 135, Approach was 90 mph indicated….We had a tiny baggage in headrest, I think it was for a 10 pound capacity. We ran the A-80 at 2600 to 2800 rpm, which was about 6.5 gph, I think. Our tank held 15.5 gallons, surely more than 'my' bladder capacity.
For Cassutts under 220 mph top speed, I don not feel that a larger tail is necessary. However, a taller fin for speeds higher than that really helps with yaw stability…….Ed
 

cluttonfred

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+1 for the Davis DA-2...almost exactly the specs you describe, designed for that engine, proven, economical and, IMHO, pretty **** cute. Read this Budd Davisson pirep and you'll be hooked.

N2366Q_Davis_DA-2 (smaller).jpg

SPECIFICATIONS
Typical DA-2, data from Popular Mechanics August 1973

General characteristics
Crew: One pilot
Capacity: 1 passenger
Length: 17 ft 10 in (5.44 m)
Wingspan: 19 ft 3 in (5.86 m)
Height: 5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Wing area: 83 ft2 (7.7 m2)
Empty weight: 610 lb (277 kg)
Gross weight: 1,125 lb (510 kg)
Powerplant: 1 × Continental A65 horizontally-opposed four-cylinder piston engine, 65 hp (49 kW)
1 × Continental O200 horizontally-opposed four-cylinder piston engine, 100 hp (75 kW)

Performance
Maximum speed: 120 mph (193 km/h)
Cruise speed: 110 mph (177 km/h)
Range: 450 miles (725 km)
 

billyvray

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image.jpegI'm supporting the Davis recommendation, except for the Da5 single seat. It was made for this engine and goes 150 or so.
I've got simple plans, but you'd need to be pretty handy.

Bill
 

cluttonfred

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View attachment 47420I'm supporting the Davis recommendation, except for the Da5 single seat. It was made for this engine and goes 150 or so.
The DA-5A is an impressive machine for going fast on the cheap, but the OP wanted to carry 250 lb of pilot and baggage plus fuel and go for three hours plus reserve. An A-65 will use about five gallons per hour at cruise, so 20 gallons seems about right for three-hour endurance. So now we're up to about 370 lb of pllot, baggage and fuel, maybe even 400 lb with the extra gadgets and gear that accumulate in a plane used for serious traveling. The DA-5A has a listed empty weight of 460 lb and a gross weight of 775 lb, which only leaves 315 lb to work with vs 515 lb for the DA-2A, and that's if those numbers are exactly right (published empty weights are often a little, ahem, optimistic). Even if the higher speed of the DA-5A means he can get by with less fuel, say 15 gallons, that still leaves 315 - 200 - 90 = 25 lb for baggage with no margin. He's going to have to pack light! The DA-2A is a better fit for the mission, with the added bonus that he can take along a passenger when he doesn't need all the baggage capacity.
 

Little Scrapper

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Plans are not being sold to my knowledge. Has anyone checked the data base on how many were built and currently flying?
 

Kevin N

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Some of the "dream" specs are not reasonable in my opinion. I love A65's as they are reliable as a rock, are almost laying on the side of the road and are still reasonable to buy. If you want an A65 to fly you around with 50 pounds of baggage and 700 mile range you are going to need wing area(I'm NOT an engineer) 120 cruise, good luck. Might as well add STOL requirement to your dream sheet. I once bought the Davis DA2 plans just to learn how all the linkage made the tail work. Very good airplane and an interesting design. The mini coupe is a neat design but the plans are ****. I bought a set two years ago as I have a spare A65. The plans are bad photo copies of bad photo copies and are not very good to begin with. The designer of the mini coupe worked for Van and put the mini coupe deal together on the side. Too bad the design has faded, it has a big cockpit and some simple systems. Not sure why you need 50 pound baggage capacity, I flew 747's around the world and my personal suitcase with everything I needed for 16 days away from home weighed 37 pounds. JMR is indeed a good looking design. I only like scratch built airplanes, leave the "kits" for the hipsters and millennials. I'm building a Stits Playboy but it will use a C85. With the right prop a 120 cruise is possible but no 50 pound baggage possible. Interesting discussion.
 

Pops

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I flew a several hour cross country flight in formation with a 1600 CC, VW engine powered Mini-Coupe back in about 1978. I was impressed with the performance with the 1600 engine. The same owner still owns the Mini-Coupe, so he must also like it.

Dan
 
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