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Bigshu

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Two nice airplanes. How many are completed each year? In the early days of homebuilding, almost all designs were single seat. Today, almost all are two or more seat airplanes.


BJC
Yeah, I think a two seater is just the easiest way to get a spouse to agree to the build. I totally forgot the Litefighter! Also a single seater that should develop a following. You've also got a few of the Fisher designs, and the Archon (not sure how it classifies, but it's single seat). I've got the plan set for a Taylor Mini-IMP, which is single seat, but has few completions. The builder group has gotten pretty active in the last year, so there might be a few more flying in the next 12 months. The Hummels ( Ultra Cruiser and H5) seem pretty popular around the Midwest. There's even a secondary market for completed aircraft. I'm always seeing interest in the Evans GP-1 and Fly Baby too.
 

Dan Thomas

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That's a pretty good draw, since the powerplant is such a big portion of the cost to build. All the single seaters I have plans for can be VW powered, either a half or a full case. Even the Mini-IMP was set up for a Limbach conversion.
It's hard to find a VW engine to convert now. I think most of the parts used to build them are made in Mexico or Brazil, and some US outfits build them up for homebuilts. That's not nearly as inexpensive as finding a used engine and converting it yourself. The VWs, as we knew them, went out of production in the US and Europe in about 1976.

The Aerosport Quail was designed for the VW, I think. The BD-6 was supposed to use the HKS engine. VW might have been better.

The Quail:

1657127825819.png
 

Bigshu

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It's hard to find a VW engine to convert now. I think most of the parts used to build them are made in Mexico or Brazil, and some US outfits build them up for homebuilts. That's not nearly as inexpensive as finding a used engine and converting it yourself. The VWs, as we knew them, went out of production in the US and Europe in about 1976.
Yes and no. I had zero trouble finding a Full case VW already converted and with flight hours on it for less than 4K. There was a half VW mentioned on the Ebay thread recently that sold for $1500. I see them on FB marketplace fairly often, and if you look in the VW specialty magazines, there are plenty of places that will sell new magnesium cases and your choice of innards. Not always cheap, but still way less than a run out certified engine. Casler still builds both half and full case VW conversions for less than 5K, not sure what his lead time is these days. Maybe junk yard VW engines are scarce, but if you really want one, you can find one.
 

Tom DM

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Clearly, homebuilts and the industries supporting them are the fix for recreational flying. Smash your aileron on your RV, and you can buy a whole new aileron kit with pre drilled and formed parts, all hardware and instuctions for less than a hundred bucks. Try the same with a Cessna, Beech or Mooney and compare.

Dont let the gloom and doom of certified parts drag you into a downward spiral of inaction. Go build and fly.

And now reality: General aviation is a very limited group, homebuild aircraft are -certainly in Europ but I suspect also in the US- a fraction of that.

Not all pilots are builders which implicates that your advice: "go build and fly" will lead to a certain number of disappointments -projects not finished- but also to sub-standard aircraft. These in turn will lead to accidents and deaths. The circle closes fast if a substandard homebuild crashes into a house : politicians (save our childern from these death-machines!) and aerodromes alike will act quicky "in the interest of the public" and ban.

The above IS the situation in Europ and certainly at my home field where ultra-lights and quite a bit of experimentals are flatly forbidden. Knowing the aerodrome-side in detail: structured protest (green planetsavers, noice) send lawyers which need to be responding (=cost money and energy) but 1 accident (a Jodel with grandpa + granchild going into the ground in 1982) closed the airfield for 10 years.

"Homebuilding" is an part of but will not save recreational flying, it may make flying even more marginal and add potentially a bad reputation, proveable by statistics (all is proveable by statistics)

Your Rocket is a fine aircraft but you have seen other Van's aircraft of rather less to frankly dubious quality. Remember a builder of the "beloved" BD5-thread : "it was a deathtrap so I sold it".

There is no alternative to factory-build aircraft in the same sense as there is no alternative for car-manufacturers due to the obligation of volume and quality.

The opinion above is backed up: I put my money where my mouth is. In fact this last part -with the bonus that most here are pleasant company- is why I am here.
 
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