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KeithO

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Nov 29, 2009
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Jackson, MI
Take a look at the Zenith airplanes. Can buy parts (kit) or can scratch build. Mainly pop rivets, the rivets themselves probably more expensive but much faster to set them, only need access from the outside. No trying to get access for a bucking bar. Much less hours to build than a Vans. Less expensive and well proven automotive engines are very common (Viking). 130hp will take the airframes to VNE.

If you want to consider a single seater there is the Titan Tornado. Much shorter build time. Absolutely reliable with a 4 stroke engine. There is the 3 cylinder Mitsubishi from Viking that will provide awesome power for a single seater or a 2 seater.
 

Daleandee

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Sep 11, 2015
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SC
Take a look at the Zenith airplanes. Can buy parts (kit) or can scratch build. Mainly pop rivets, the rivets themselves probably more expensive but much faster to set them, only need access from the outside. No trying to get access for a bucking bar. Much less hours to build than a Vans. Less expensive and well proven automotive engines are very common (Viking). 130hp will take the airframes to VNE.

If you want to consider a single seater there is the Titan Tornado. Much shorter build time. Absolutely reliable with a 4 stroke engine. There is the 3 cylinder Mitsubishi from Viking that will provide awesome power for a single seater or a 2 seater.

Truth is I looked at both of these before settling on the Sonex. At that time I knew I wanted an all metal aircraft with a four stroke engine. Back then the Sonex kit was 3K cheaper than the Zenith and the VW conversion seemed like a good deal for an inexpensive engine.

A guy at our airport had built a Titan Tornado ll with a 912 & a warp drive prop on it. Looked nice but the engine/prop combo was LOUD!

The Sonex line of aircraft also used pulled rivets, are not difficult to build, and back then were the cheapest of the three that ended up on my list. Over the years my list has changed and my next build, if & when it happens, would likely be a Pietenpol or Bearhawk LSA. Means I'd have to learn some new skills but that's all part of the adventure!
 

Dana

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I trust we've established that @saki2fifty is the kid here... ;)

If "expensive kits" are all you're seeing for LSA, it may be you're looking at approved ELSA kits, and yup, they're expensive. But any aircraft that meets the LSA definition can be flown by a Sport Pilot, and that includes many older certified planes, simpler kits, as well as many scratch built designs.

The first thing you should do is define your mission, i.e. what do you want to do with your plane? Do you want to go places fast, do aerobatics, land out in the bush, or just tool around the sky in a nice day? The answer will determine what kind of plane you should be looking at, and to a lesser extent, what kind of instructor or flight school will be best for you.
 

drwet

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Sep 21, 2021
Messages
10
My dad was 70 years old when he and I started building our Murphy Rebel. My dad was 72 when he did the test flight. We flew that airplane for 16 years together. That’s right: he flew well into his ‘80’s. If he heard you talk about being old at 50 he’d set you straight.
“Whether you think you can, or think you can’t- you're right!” -Henry Ford
“You don’t stop doing stuff because you get old. You get old because you stop doing stuff.” - that one’s mine.
 

Tiger Tim

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Apr 26, 2013
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Thunder Bay
On the subject of when to start, I knew a gentleman who began building a Fokker Triplane replica when he turned 80, finished it at about 85. He knew from the start it was going to be enough of a handful that he’d have someone else fly it and he got to see it campaigned all over the area for the last several years of his life. Could he have had some catastrophic medical issue take him out of the game before the triplane was done? Of course, but the same could happen to a seventeen year old who starts building an airplane.
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2021
Messages
85
Location
Millbury, Ohio.
57 and counting. Recently set my sights on attempting to develop the little amphib concept you see in my avatar. Took some good advice from someone somewhere and joined this group, the EAA, and my EAA local chapter. Spent the weekend volunteering my time signing up kids for free airplane rides at our local Young Eagles event at Toledo Express Airport. Got to fly three times in two days. Twice in a little Cherokee, where I actually got a little hands on with the yoke, and a exhilarating ride in a Bell UH-1 that was on exhibit with the Yankee Aircraft Museum. What a blast. I don't know how far I'll get in my quest for a trailerable amphib of my own design, but I am having fun, making friends, and serving my community.
What more can you ask for?
 

Pops

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Jan 1, 2013
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USA.
My father watched as two of his best friends get killed in an airplane crash just after WW-11. Was always against me having anything to do with aircraft. One day I we were driving past the airport there I based the Piper Pa-28 Cherokee at the time. I told him I needed to get something out of the hanger and when we were there, I ask if he wanted to go for a flight. Surprised me when he said OK. At 83 years old at the time and had never been in an airplane. We flew for a good hour looking at places where he grew up. After landing he was almost crying, said I have been missing this all of my life. He was so thrilled, he told everyone he talked to about that flight for months. Died at 92 years old.
Added-- Even had him putting his hands on the wheel keeping the wings level for a while. Loved it.
 

Bigshu

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KCMO, midwestern USA
After talking to my wife yesterday and realistically, it would more than likely go as you've said. Lessons, license... and then, 152/172. Oh well, at least I'll be in the air!
Don't make that path sound like a failure. Nothing wrong with a certificated plane if that's what makes your wife happy. Happy spouse, happy house...You can always build something in the garage as well. Airframes can be very inexpensive. It's the engines and radios/instruments that add up fast. Even a spam can in a hangar lets you putter around with the gang at the airport. If you have access to a 172 for the trips with the wife, you can build a very light tube and gusset WW1 replica for very reasonable prices. That scratches a lot of fun flying itches.
 

Tiger Tim

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152/172. Oh well, at least I'll be in the air!
People Pooh-Pooh those common little Cessnas all the time but I find I’ve grown to recognize that as a sign of inexperience and… I don’t know… impatience, maybe? Don’t wait a decade or more to see for yourself that they’re lovely and immensely usable little airplanes, just ask yourself today how they can be that bad when so many have been sold.
 

Vigilant1

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After talking to my wife yesterday and realistically, it would more than likely go as you've said. Lessons, license... and then, 152/172. Oh well, at least I'll be in the air!
A C-152 can be a really good learning tool for many years. Enjoy it, go beyond the basics, challenge yourself to fly with precision and you'll have a skill set that will translate to a lot of other aircraft. Moreover, you'll be a better, safer pilot than a sloppy, inattentive pilot in a $200k Cirrus.
It is worthwhile to take a moment and appreciate the humble Cessnas. The wing/fowler flaps are really outstanding and allow safe approaches at very moderate speeds. Doing that safely takes practice and is a hoot.
And, yes building an airframe isn't very expensive. So as you fly and gain some more focused insight into the type of flying you enjoy, you can be building.
Enjoy all of it!
 

saki2fifty

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May 13, 2022
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Tx
what part of Houston,?? I live at RWJ Airpark (54T) in Baytown and also spend time in Atoscosita area

I'm working on my 4th homebuilt at 77, partner just finished his 14th at 98. He got bored between 12and 13 and built a small sailboat. GET BUSY John B

What 4 if you don't mind me asking?

And 14th? There has to be a Breezy in there somewhere.

NW side in the Tomball area.

There was a link above that someone posted about how a T18 is for experienced Pilots... well, that link was to a page that I believe was written by a "Lee Walton". He owns a T18, and also created and maintains the T18.net forums, lives in the Houston area as well, and flies out of Hooks which is a couple of minutes from where I live. I've even seen his T18 fly over a couple of times... or at least I'd like to think it was his. :)
 
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J.L. Frusha

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Feb 17, 2006
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981
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Luling, Texas
My Dad (stepfather) was a former Air Force Pilot of the F-100 Super Sabre (The Hun). He always encouraged me to become a pilot, to which end I went to Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Unfortunately the flight school failed to 'make' for the degree program and my mother insisted I stay with the degree program, rather than start flight school.

He always tried to indulge my appetite for aviation. I wish he was going to see me build and fly my own airplane.
 

BJC

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97FL, Florida, USA
People Pooh-Pooh those common little Cessnas all the time
A C-152 can be a really good learning tool for many years.
Yup, everything that TT and V1 said.

I went from an S-1S to nothing to a Cessna A152, and had a ball with the airplane for years. And it lived outside half the time, and under a shade hangar the other half. Yes, anyone can fly a 152, but very few actually fly it with precision.

Wrt the pooh-poohing, I’ve concluded that people do that as an excuse for never actually owning and flying.


BJC
 

Pops

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Yup, everything that TT and V1 said.

I went from an S-1S to nothing to a Cessna A152, and had a ball with the airplane for years. And it lived outside half the time, and under a shade hangar the other half. Yes, anyone can fly a 152, but very few actually fly it with precision.

Wrt the pooh-poohing, I’ve concluded that people do that as an excuse for never actually owning and flying.


BJC
The Cessna 150/152 and the C-170/172 are better airplanes than most pilots are pilots. Yes, very few can fly one with precision.
 

Dana

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The 150/152 and 172 are two of the all time great airplanes. Kind of like the Toyota Corolla of airplanes. They do exactly what they're designed to do, with no fuss, and well enough that thousands of people have been willing to shell out the cash to buy them. That said, I can't see myself ever owning either (or a Corolla for that matter); they're just not particularly interesting (to me).

The 150 is a good trainer, because while it's very easy to fly, it's difficult to fly it well.
 

Derswede

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Jan 6, 2016
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Central North Carolina
My favorite joke for young'uns (esp those who don't reognise a band such as the Rolling Stone), is that the Stones are going to do one more tour! They are calling it the Geriatric Tour, and the lead out song is "What a drag it is getting OLD!" (Mother's little helper).

Derswede
 

Chopndrag

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Nov 6, 2016
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145
Location
Spring hill,Fl USA
As a quick note... I've also been looking at the CX7, which is an LSA. But a quick question to you official pilots; can an LSA really be a practical cross-country plane? with the speed caps and all?

(Just noticed that my response earlier from this morning is pending moderator approval. So I didn't just reply to y'alls awesome posts with just an LSA question!)

Ok, now heading off to Costco with wife...
Little food for thought. I started building aircraft 27 years ago with my dad. When we started I saw this little plane called a sonerai 2 and immediately knew I wanted one. Fast forward 27 years later after a couple different planes , set backs , life in general I have the plane I always wanted and couldn't be happier. I know a 73 year old man getting his license now. He always wanted to fly and now is doing it. Side note a aeropup is a nice little plane that is making its way into the states.
 
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