Fisher v.s. Ragwing

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bulldogdiver

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Oct 30, 2008
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I'm trying to decide on a wood/fabric biplane to build. The 2 designs that appeal to me are the Fisher Youngster/404 or the Ragwing Special.

Does anyone have any comments on the difference between the plans and construction of a Fisher v.s. a Ragwing?
 

xj35s

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Sep 23, 2007
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Fulton,NY
For starters the ragwing special is tube not wood. It has a VNE of 125mph. The fisher is wood geodetic and has a VNE of 90 mph. both with a rotax 503. I personally would go with Fisher. Paul Reidlinger is the new owner and has been very helpful. More than Gene was. Quicker response too. I asked about the spring upgrade from bungy landing gear. He sent me the PDF of all the info. part numbers, installation notes from the engineers, and full instructions.

The wood is easier to work with in my opinnion. t-88 epoxy-nuff said. I have a koala FP202, I bought it built by someone else.
 

badger

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Tooele Utah It's 40 klicks south and west of SLC
I CAN tell you this much, for sure...

Being one who has already built a Koala 202 (see xj's avatar), and being in the middle of building Roger's RW-11 (Rag-a-bond), I can say without a doubt that the plans that you get from the Fisher folks, will be 10 fold better than the ones you'll get from Roger! (the Ragwing guy).

Roger is a good guy, and his planes are proven and reliable, but his "plans" are definately NOT for the first time builder. If you've built before, or are familiar with the process, you'd probably be good to go. But if this is your first time, go with the Fisher. Roger does this as a hobby. He has a full time job, wife, kids, etc., etc., and his "response" times aren't nothing to be proud of! There's a yahoo group for Ragwing builders, and most get their answers, tech help etc., there. I know of 3 or 4 guys that waited as long as 3 months before they received their plans from Roger. He's not a thief....he delivers, it's just that he has to do it as HIS convience.....which is often slower than cold molassess on a crisp Alaskan morning!

The Fisher folks.....I can only say Outstanding. And thats when Gene was there. Especially if you buy their kits. Simple, straight forward, and full size I THINK. They were full size years ago. You'd have to be a bumbling idiot to screw up one of their planes. Good people. Their "kits" are way expensive, as are most kits, but they have to make a profit too.

Were it me, I'd definately build Fisher, especially if it's my first time. No question. I'd go the extra 100 bucks or so, and get the Dakota Hawk though! Not a bipe, but a really beautiful bird, with good numbers.

Good luck with what ever you decide, but get decided, and get to building! The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step! The sooner you start, the sooner you fly! And honestly...is there anything better?

Good luck!

John.

BTW...hey xj....your 202. If it has flaps, is the actuation handle mounted on the main spar carry through? I'm kind of curious as to what happened to my old 202.

jb

I'm trying to decide on a wood/fabric biplane to build. The 2 designs that appeal to me are the Fisher Youngster/404 or the Ragwing Special.

Does anyone have any comments on the difference between the plans and construction of a Fisher v.s. a Ragwing?
 

bulldogdiver

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Oct 30, 2008
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Bellevue, WA
Thanks for the input on the plans. That's exactly the sort of details I'm looking for. The small extra cost for more "clear" plans is always money well spent in not having to redo things along the way. I'm also not worried about kit price (Fisher doesn't seem to offer the kits anymore although I understand they were recently sold and may start offering kits again).

Maybe I'm reading it wrong but RagWing Aircraft Design, plans for proven replica models seems to say it's a wood/fabric plane.

As for the Dakota Hawk, not really my style, I've just always wanted to build a bipe and a flying boat - haven't found the boat I want to build yet but a small single place bipe - lots to chose from.
 

xj35s

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Sep 23, 2007
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Fulton,NY
no badger, no flaps sorry. I'd like flaps. I don't understand why there isn't a serial or model number with each plane like on a data plate. Then it'd be trackable a little anyway.
 

badger

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Tooele Utah It's 40 klicks south and west of SLC
Well, you'll love the Fishers then. When I got mine, you couldnt buy just the plans.....you HAD to buy the kit(s), so I was stuck. Somebody said somewhere that these new owners are going to start selling kits again, so maybe? Personally, I'll never buy a "kit" anything again. You pay for a LOT of labor.....especially the wood stuff.

You know, I didn't think that the Ragwing Special was a tube fuselage either. I may be wrong, but it seems to me that I remember it being a completely wooden structure too. I'll have to double check I reckon.

Yea, if you're dead set on a bipe, the Hawk aint your plane for sure. Try this: Ragwing Builders and Pilots. You might find the answers there. Or here. RagWing Aircraft Design, plans for proven replica models. I KNOW you'll find it there, as per the Special.

Good luck, and get to glueing!

John
XJ...oh well. I think I did have a SN for it. But back then, I didnt keep a builders log of any kind, and about all I can remember is that it was a low, 3 digit number...like 108 or something. Oh well....my bad. Should have kept better records...but that was before all the new ultralight rules and regs I think. I dont know why I didnt keep better track. Wish I would have now. Thanks anyway. BTW, putting flaps on that critter is a piece of cake.

John
 

xj35s

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I'm sorry. I read it and missed the "option" it's "steel tube fuselage OPTION". my bad.

I want to build a baby great lakes someday.
 

badger

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Tooele Utah It's 40 klicks south and west of SLC
xj,

I thought it was an option. No big deal. Not sure about this either, but a Baby Great Lakes is a hand full of airplane too! You should get with someone like CFIIDave, or a GOOD aerobat instructor before hand. Too much airplane-not enough pilot has been the cause for many a mishap! Ask JFK jr.!!

Take care bud,

jb
 

Holtzy3

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Mesa, AZ
For starters the ragwing special is tube not wood. It has a VNE of 125mph. The fisher is wood geodetic and has a VNE of 90 mph. both with a rotax 503. I personally would go with Fisher. Paul Reidlinger is the new owner and has been very helpful. More than Gene was. Quicker response too. I asked about the spring upgrade from bungy landing gear. He sent me the PDF of all the info. part numbers, installation notes from the engineers, and full instructions.

The wood is easier to work with in my opinnion. t-88 epoxy-nuff said. I have a koala FP202, I bought it built by someone else.
um the ragwing is not tube, there's a tube option but thats it
 
R

riberno

I think fisher is good because of its ease of fly else you should consider all the options listed above. All the Best for manufacturing plane.
 

Tony

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Oct 28, 2011
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Springfield IL
I have a friend building a Rag wing. It is built of wood. He has not flown it yet, he's really close, but from the looks I bet hands down my Avenger flies better and has better ground handling then the Rag wing. It just looks to be a handfull. It might fly better then my Avenger but I would doubt it. I myself cannot wait to see him fly her. She looks really nice. He did one of the best builds I have seen. Although I have only seen a few. But the best I have seen.
One other nice thing about the Avenger. If you stream line her with fairings on all the tubes and put a set of wheel pants on her. When using a vw the Avenger V model has a VNE of 105. With all the fairings and such you will have no problem reaching VNE. There is a man on here by the name of Mike who built such a bird. He flies her on skies and wheels.
I have owned two Avengers. One had a two stroke and the other the VW. I would go with the VW model hands down.

Tony
 

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Tony

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Springfield IL
I know you are talking bi-planes but the fisher bi-plane looks just like this Avenger just with a top wing. If you put the Rag wing and fisher side by side I believe just looking at them the fisher will fly better.
I could be wrong, have been before and will be again.....

Tony
 

Tony

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JFK JR. he was not flying to much of an airplane...That accident was because of "Poor Decision Making Skills". What happen to JFK jr. could happen to anyone, be it cross winds, flying into IFR, fuel managment....ect
He should have never taken any airplane out over water at night. He was not rated for it. He was working on it, but was not quite there yet. He flew that bird into the water, none of them saw it coming. If it was day we would not be talking about this.....
This was about Decision Making Skills. That will kill you faster then anything. That had nothing to do with the Airplane. That was all about the Pilot.


Tony




I thought it was an option. No big deal. Not sure about this either, but a Baby Great Lakes is a hand full of airplane too! You should get with someone like CFIIDave, or a GOOD aerobat instructor before hand. Too much airplane-not enough pilot has been the cause for many a mishap! Ask JFK jr.!!

Take care bud,

jb[/QUOTE]
 

Dana

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JFK JR. he was not flying to much of an airplane...That accident was because of "Poor Decision Making Skills". What happen to JFK jr. could happen to anyone, be it cross winds, flying into IFR, fuel managment....ect
He should have never taken any airplane out over water at night. He was not rated for it. He was working on it, but was not quite there yet. He flew that bird into the water, none of them saw it coming
Actually he was rated for it, but it was a situation where being legal isn't necessarily safe... VFR at night is legal and in many circumstances safe, but flying at night over water or sparsely populated land is tricky. His big mistake was not listening to more experienced pilots who advised him not to go.

-Dana

Exceeding the legal fun limit on a regular basis!
 

Tony

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IMHO..... Its to easy to go from VFR to IFR at night, to not have a IFR rating when flying VFR at night. Without this IFR rating one should not fly VFR at night...Again IMHO......


Tony
 

Tony

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But getting back to this subject at hand....I have seen both the Rag wing and fisher products...They both look to be good birds. I can not wait to see this Ragwing fly my buddy built. He is doing the engine run ups and such the last I heard. Its completed and ready to fly.
 

dcstrng

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Oct 17, 2010
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VA or NoDak
Pardon for activating an older thread, but I just received my set of plans for Ed Fisher’s Lil’ Bitts and it looks like it could belong in this conversation. I note my plan number is pretty low so I assume there aren’t too many Lil’ Bitts out there, but wondering if anyone is working on one – or thinking about it. Must finish my current project first and I’ve got the RagWing plans, but the Lil’ Bitts looks like a very doable design (I like Ed’s plans anyway, lot of pride of workmanship in his drawings, it appears to me) and this shrunken Pitts biplane is solidly in the LSA category, but not too (extremely) light for us beef-fed geriatrics… with prescribed power about 350# of payload (minus fuel, 30# of glass-cockpits and any other techno-gizmos that take up residence). Great looking little bird… Usual caveat; Ed Fisher is not related to FFP (also like theirs – but like the tube and fabric of Bitts).
 
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