About That Seating Capacity...

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Victor Bravo

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I've posted previously about a new project I just got, it's a Rocky Mountain Wings "Ridge Runner" Model 2. Doing some research on this aircraft, to see just what I had gotten myself into, I noticed that they claimed it was capable of carrying a passenger. OK, cool... maybe I could give someone a ride if I needed to...

And then I found the picture below, as part of a Dan Johnson review article, showing two people sitting in this airplane. Now folks, yes I do indeed come from Los Angeles, and we're very "inclusive" in this part of the country, but I'm afraid this would be questionable even out here during our yearly "Pride Parade".

It made me think that there seem to be a pretty large number of airplanes that claim to have room for X number of occupants, but in reality it is a Y seat airplane. So this thread is to display, discuss, ridicule, or marvel at the differences between brochure seating capacity, actuaal comfort, and real-world reality.

Here's the benchmark to start the discussion !
 

BJC

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It takes two really skinny people to sit in the back seat of a “three seat” PA-12.


BJC
 

Pops

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Local friend of mine built a so called 2 place Sky Raider and it was about the same. Powered with the HKS engine. Just some Baggage room.
 

plncraze

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I see individuals at the local buffet who are wider than a KR-2.
 

Wanttaja

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Before Pete designed the Fly Baby, he was a founding member of the "Second Story Club," which operated the second Story Special.

The Fly Baby had a nearly-identical layout, but made with wood rather than steel tube.
upload_2019-12-14_11-55-14.png

http://www.bowersflybaby.com/pix/story_pete.jpg

After he completed the Fly Baby, he'd go places with one of the other founding members of the Story club, Cecil Hendricks.

One year, they decided to fly to the Abbotsford Air Show, up in British Columbia. Cecil wanted to bring his young son along (~8 years old).

So they built a seat inside the Story fuselage, behind the pilot seat, completely under the turtledeck. The kid could only see outside past his father's shoulders....in other words, he couldn't see much. The seat actually replaced an old fuel tank, so the CG wasn't affected.

Don't think he had a lot of legroom, either.

When they got to Canada, Pete pulled the customs guy aside and said, "Hey, that man is trying to smuggle someone into your country....."

Ron Wanttaja
 

plncraze

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There is a picture in an old Air Progress where the editor who was flying it had to pull his hand out of the fuselage to adjust the throttle. He should have ridden ON the fuselage ala Mike Melvill.
 

TFF

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There is a local Flybaby that has a kid seat. The builder built essentially a shelf with a seat belt and a removable section of the top deck. He flew his daughter in it and she loved it. Then mom found out. Plane ended up parked in the garage for many years until it was bought and restored. Don’t make Mom unhappy. It’s side by side but you have those Taylor designed Chummy.
 

thump

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9597B953-AA0A-46C7-9F52-91CE361ACB23.jpeg No matter what your station in life your at, if your type of individual that can do anything when your handed nothing to work with that makes you the pilot in command. Unfortunately there’s always someone on your back.Oops I forgot the winky thing;) thanks for the thread victor I’ve been laughing my a$$ off the last 40 min you made my day
 
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cluttonfred

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The Evans VP-2 Volksplane is more like 1-1/2 seats unless you build a very light plane and both pilot and passenger are skinny. It can carry bigger folks but the experience is...cozy! Note the arm of the passenger (test pilot Bill Beatty) behind the pilot (designer Bud Evans).

evans vp-2 sport aviation cover (medium).jpg
 

pictsidhe

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Cheapie's "Bob" will be staggered seating. I don't know why that is so rare. I've pondered it myself. It keeps the pilot and passenger cg far closer togther than tandem and also allows a narrower fuselage than side by side seating.
 

BJC

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Staggered seating is good for mass distribution control and some aero issues. As done in the NXT, it certainly can look good, but otherwise is not attractive to me. Perhaps others feel the same way, and that is why it infrequently is used.


BJC
 

TFF

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Most spouses want to sit side by side. Not all, there is always the rare bird, but they are rare. A step back and to the side is a little condescending.
Also staggered means one set of controls. Automatic no bi-annuals in your own airplane or any safety pilot practices. If currency is your thing, it’s out.
Staggered ends up being a single seat plane in essence.
 

Vigilant1

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Cheapie's "Bob" will be staggered seating.
I'm not sure about that. When he mentioned the "staggered" cockpit area in his build thread I thought the same thing, but it appears he's building what I'd call a "stepped" cockpit-- narrower at the bottom, a few inches wider at the shoulders due to bump-outs on either side. The occupants still sit side-by-side. I think...
 
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