Have any of these features ever been incorperated into a homebuilt?

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by AnxiousInfusion, Mar 3, 2010.

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  1. Mar 3, 2010 #1

    AnxiousInfusion

    AnxiousInfusion

    AnxiousInfusion

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    To my knowledge, home built aircraft consist primarily of small, low cost designs. But have any of the following features ever been realized in the home built field?

    1. Seating exceeding two passengers
    2. Pressurized cabins
    3. Fly by wire
    4. Multiple power plants
    5. Weight (up to several thousand lbs.)
    6. Variable pitch propellers
    7. Fanjet engines
    8. Retractable gear
    9. Digital avionics

    Essentially, how sophisticated can a home built become?
     
  2. Mar 3, 2010 #2

    Tom Nalevanko

    Tom Nalevanko

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    All of the above have been done on Experimental aircraft. Designs can be as sophisticated as you want.
     
  3. Mar 3, 2010 #3

    AnxiousInfusion

    AnxiousInfusion

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    Really? I've searched my keyboard off (figuratively) and haven't been able to find any aircraft that have. Any examples? They sound very interesting.
     
  4. Mar 3, 2010 #4

    Dana

    Dana

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    1. Four seaters are common, if not the majority.
    2. I'm sure it's been done, though I can't cite any examples.
    3. ditto
    4. There are many multi engine homebuilts and even ultralights.
    5. Homebuilts come in all sizes.
    6. Quite common.
    7. Uncommon, but they exist.
    8. Quite common.
    9. More and more common every day... even on ultralights.

    -Dana

    The man who would be fully employed should procure a ship or a woman, for no two things produce more trouble" - Plautus 254-184 B.C.
     
  5. Mar 3, 2010 #5

    autoreply

    autoreply

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    2) Lanciar ES-P and IV-P
    3) I'm not sure about a fully FBW, but I know of several homebuilt gliders with FBW powered/dampened steering.
     
  6. Mar 3, 2010 #6

    AnxiousInfusion

    AnxiousInfusion

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    Thank you so much! Call me crazy but I've always held some sort of distaste to simple, wood and fabric planes. I don't know why...
     
  7. Mar 4, 2010 #7

    Dana

    Dana

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    Here's one that takes care of 1 (seats 7!), 5 (5200 lb gross), 6, & 8:

    Lionheart

    -Dana

    "The difference between death and taxes is death doesn't get worse every
    time Congress meets." -- Will Rogers
     
  8. Mar 4, 2010 #8

    mcmurphy

    mcmurphy

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    If you want something that burns kerosene check out the Viper LXR at viper-aircraft.com. 1000 mile range at 400+ MPH.
     
  9. Mar 4, 2010 #9

    bmcj

    bmcj

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    Fly by wire is not common in homebuilts simply because it is not needed. Certainly possible though, and has probably been used by some, but it's an unnecessary addition that is both complex and intricate. Mechanical linkages work fine in our small planes.
     
  10. Mar 4, 2010 #10

    orion

    orion

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    The only real limits to homebuilding are time and money, mostly the latter.

    1) There are several four seat homebuilts however several of the companies are sort of struggling to keep afloat. Examples that come to mind are the Lancair IV, the Express and several models from companies like CompAir. The latter also makes airplanes up to ten seats, as does Epic. The reason you don't see more though is simply because of issues of scale and economy. The larger airplanes would be expensive, even as kits, and rather time consuming to build (not to mention requiring a lot of floor space). Keep in mind that most of the homebuilt industry is still in the mindset that a basic kit needs to be able to be built in a two car garage. Also, the folks who can afford a larger kit generally don't have the time to invest into building it. That then leads to hired builders, which is illegal, at least here in the states.

    2) The Lancair IVP is pressurized. I think the Algie Composites plane is also to be pressurized, as are the models from Epic. Most smaller airplanes though are not pressurized since the vast majority of the customers tend to fly low enough to not need that extra complexity and expense.

    3) So far not used at all. There are several plans to develop digital-proportional systems (one of our programs will have that) but that's different than fly-by-wire.

    4) Multiple engine designs have not been used simply because of engine cost. If the vast majority of the average customers can barely afford the kit and engine, the idea of buying a second engine is not all that appealing. And the few that could are not enough to be called a "market". In short, no demand.

    5) Epic and CompAir come to mind as making larger airplanes, up to ten seats or so, so upwards of eight to ten thousand pounds.

    6) Most planes can use variable pitch or constant speed props - up to the builder. Those who opt not to use one usually do so because the airplane does not have the performance envelope where that's really necessary or simply because of the cost of the prop.

    7) Turbojet and fanjet engines have been used however the demand for those kits is pretty low simply because of the costs and complexities involved. Several that come to mind include the ViperJet, Epic, the Me262 Project, SportJet and probably a few others that I've forgotten.

    8) Again a complexity and cost issue - given that a well designed and faired gear results in a relatively minor penalty, most are quite willing to live with the hanging gear. Besides, it's one less thing to forget on landing.

    9) Plenty of choices here and companies like Dynon are bringing the capabilities down in price level to where most can now afford the option.
     
  11. Mar 4, 2010 #11

    AnxiousInfusion

    AnxiousInfusion

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    I see. That must be why most home builts do not include these features. Applying these same concepts, I can see why most builders also choose not to scratch-build. Thank you for your time.
     
  12. Mar 4, 2010 #12

    lr27

    lr27

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    1,4,5,6,8 Gweduck
    4- "Home Depot" plane aka Motorglider 101-twin 10 hp Tecumseh,
    pushers!, also Lazair.
    4 & 7- a version of the Cri Cri, but I think they may be turbo jets
    7 - BD5J
    9 - lots of hang gliders! Sometimes it's cheaper.
     
  13. Mar 4, 2010 #13

    Inverted Vantage

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    Orion, why is it that everything I want to do, you already have a program running for? :p
     
  14. Mar 4, 2010 #14

    orion

    orion

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    Great minds think alike?

    BTW, found an interesting link a few days ago - for those thinking of going the digital proportional route, some of this may be quite useful: Servocity
     
  15. Mar 4, 2010 #15

    lr27

    lr27

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    I know someone who had a fly by wire ultralight. Fly by wireless too. Zero passengers, all payload. Parachute test loads for the army.
     
  16. Mar 4, 2010 #16

    GarandOwner

    GarandOwner

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    Im a sucker for the classics, I love aircraft from the 30's and 40's. This Lionheart really appeals to me since it is reminiscent of the stagerwing Beech
     
  17. Mar 4, 2010 #17

    Richard Schubert

    Richard Schubert

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    There was a twin long ez powered by jabiru. Changed to a O-360 because it was slow
    RR02-327.jpg
     
  18. Mar 4, 2010 #18

    Inverted Vantage

    Inverted Vantage

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    Now that looks cool.
     
  19. Mar 4, 2010 #19

    autoreply

    autoreply

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    It would look even cooler if it'd be a four-engined one by making each engine nacelle a push-pull combi with two engines per nacelle.

    Could also become a very fast aircraft :)
     
  20. Mar 4, 2010 #20

    AnxiousInfusion

    AnxiousInfusion

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    It was too slow? Did that have anything to do with it being a twin?
     

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