Anyone here have experience building the Aeroplane Manufactory Chinook Plus 2? Its one of very few designs I have found that should fit my budget / fun / safety needs. Looking at building it with a Rotax 670 or maybe a 912 if I can make the $$ work.
I have one that was built and certified by another builder, and then disassembled and sat for several years. I am putting it back together, doing some repairs and upgrades and hanging a new motor on it. My hanger is maybe a hundred yards from Aeroplane Manufactory. The owner is a long time aviator (log books like an encyclopedia Britannica), instructor and now builder, who really knows his stuff. I have seen these going together at the factory, and from working on mine, I can tell you these are excellent airplanes that are incredibly simple and versatile, and can carry an enormous load with a helicopter like view. These are the best kept secret in aviation.
Question: How much is your time worth? The kit has a documented 200hr build time. It could be more or less depending on the builder. Other airplanes with similar capabilities have build times over a 1200-2000 hours and cost more. I bill my time at $65 an hour, that's $52K worth of life that can be spent flying instead of building, plus the kit is cheap. If you have kids, they will be able to help (its so simple!) and see results very quickly.
We have a Chinook 912 at the field that they just installed the DR Cub style gear on that is covered in Oratex (by the original builder). I highly recommend the Oratex for speed, simplicity, and durability. Not sure I would recommend the 912 for a normal applications. The 912 is only necessary if you want floats, otherwise it is in my opinion too much power and weight. The performance with the 582 is exceptional. The 65hp Hirth 3203 is another option, that is cheaper and simpler then the 582 for the same power. Call Andy at Heaven Bound Aviation for more info. I was going to install the Hirth but a 582 sort of fell in my lap for a price I could not ignore. If you really want some extra power the 670 from Rick might be a good option. Fell free to ask any questions, or if you need pictures or whatever I can help out.
Thanks for the info. Having a repairman's certificate is more important to me than loosing some time to the build process. I want to be able to do my own maintenance, mods, and annuals. Definitely going with the DR gear. I am leaning toward one of Rick's 670s in the future but will start out with the 582 I already have. I have been hearing good things about Oratex so I will probably do that for the tail. For the lower "pod" I will probably go carbon. Still light but a little added strength and it opens up a few more options. The more people I talk to, the better this thing sounds. I need to make a trip down to the factory one of the these weekends.
They are in the processes of recovering and upgrading their 582 trainer/display modal with DR gear and a partially metalized lower cabin right now. I bet they have if finished by the end of the month. There is certainly a lot value in the repairman certificate, and is a great reason to get a kit. As I said before, the build time is so short and simple there is very little reason to not go with a kit. You and your family and friends can one get it together in no time. If you come down, mine will probably be the only one of the field with the original factory main gear, let me know if you want to check it out. The DR gear changes it into what is one of the best bush plane kits on the market.
Thanks for all the info! Any idea what sort of brake setup they are using with the DR gear? The original non differential brake system always seemed a bit sketchy for tail dragger use in my mind. Also, do you have a any pics that show the structure and how it goes together? I haven't been ably find any good pics that weren't of an already completed aircraft.
They recommend toe breaks and sell and auxiliary kit. With the DR gear and the toe breaks it turns on a time.
This is a pic of one of D.R.s builds. He licensed the design to Aeroplane Manufactory who builds and sells kit. I will post a better pic of one of their gears tonight. A lot of weird geometry in those legs, the factory spent a lot of time an money fabricating jigs to make sure they come out right every time.