Help in deciding on an aircraft

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pequeajim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
Messages
45
Location
New Holland, PA
I have done quite a bit of searching on the web and in the forums here about different aircraft types. I am looking for something that somewhat fits the following criteria:

- Easy to build for a first time builder.
- Economical to own and fly, (Rotax or Jabaru powered)
- Comes in a quickbuild, or at least in a prepunched kit so I don't have to setup jigs to get it right and my build time is less.
- Strong user support
- Good useful load and decent room. (I'm 6'-2" and 250 lbs)
- Faster than the normal sport plane, 150+ mph
- Slightly aerobatic.
- Aluminum or composit is ok.
- Can operate off grass, (I like to visit fly-ins)
- Well behaved for a lower time pilot, (I have about 150 hours so far)

In reality, an RV would be the better solution, but I would like to find something a little smaller on the engine size and cheaper to build.

Thoughts?
 

orion

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Joined
Mar 2, 2003
Messages
5,800
Location
Western Washington
The drawback you might run into is the conflict of size, power and performance. You're right, an RV does sound like your ideal choice except that the smaller RVs are not as likely to be comfortable for someone of your size (and mine) and will probably have a bit of a limitation on payload.

My recommendation is mainly to get a bit more flexible regarding your engine budget. In general it can be said that there is no such thing as too much power and while that does have reasonable limits for a given airframe, it is true that having a bit more umph will be quite useful just when your'e likely to need it. Also, don't worry about a bit of extra fuel burn - fuel cost is the cheapest part of flying. Besides, nothing says that you have to fly throttle to the wall.

In the kit market, besides the RV's the other alternatives include the Glastar and one or two of the Murphys, both of which would be superior for a bit of grass or back-country operation and both of which would provide you with sufficient payload and range capabilities.

All aircraft are aerobatic to a point, as long as you understand how to fly the maneuvers without exceeding the flight limits and understanding the limitations of float-equipped carburators.

Good luck and most importantly, have fun.
 

pequeajim

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Joined
Sep 11, 2005
Messages
45
Location
New Holland, PA
I already have a Murphy Rebel and want to build something else while I am flying the Rebel. I was looking at the Sonex web site. They seem to have some nicely designed aircraft with a pretty wide speed envelope.
 

ebonheart_2

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Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
338
Location
Delaware, USA
How about the GP-4? It's all wood, mostly, and has a fairly large engine (IO-360) but it cruises at 240Mph and has an 1100 mile range! It says it can carry two 200Lb pilots and 75Lbs of baggage though... it also has an +8 and -6 G loading... and retractible tri-cycle landing gear. I think it's plans built only though.

http://www.expersys.ca/osprey/index.php?section=2
 

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orion

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Mar 2, 2003
Messages
5,800
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Western Washington
Yes, it is very attractive however, given your above requirements, it falls short on quite a few.

First, despite its claims of size, it is quite small and would probably require substantial modifications to fit someone of your size.

Second, it is a wood airplane, and is considered as not the simplest to build. There are very few examples of completed GP-4s (and as such, not much of a builder community), partially due to the complexity and partially due to the fact that it is a plans built airplane.

It is fast but due to some quirky handling, it is definitely not for a low time pilot.
 

orion

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Messages
5,800
Location
Western Washington
Not easy to build.

Not economical.

Plans built - not a kit

Little or no builder support

Strongly not recommended for low time pilot.
 

orion

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Mar 2, 2003
Messages
5,800
Location
Western Washington
. . . and therein lies the problem: Looking at the market there really is very little choice beyod the few established companies that managed to survive over the years. While this weeding out is a natural business progression, in the long run it does tend to limit our choices when looking for the good, all around kit. And yes, I'd love to loose about 70 pounds. I was there in the midst of my cancer treatment but unfortunately the pounds crept back. But I'm working on it - snowboarding season is almost upon us.
 

ebonheart_2

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Sep 21, 2005
Messages
338
Location
Delaware, USA
and I guess that's why we're talking about designs all the time... likely not to find one already out there that does what you need it to.
 

ebonheart_2

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Joined
Sep 21, 2005
Messages
338
Location
Delaware, USA
Ah Ha, how about Team Rockets F1? It is all metal, has quick build option, a two seater... cruises at 230Mph.. 3500fpm initial climb rate and 1000 mile range at 55% power... which may or may not be 230Mph.. probably not. It does use a Lycoming IO-540 though... and it does need 52 gallons of fuel to do all that...

http://www.teamrocketaircraft.com/intro/intro.html
http://www.teamrocketaircraft.com/spec/spec.html
http://www.teamrocketaircraft.com/evospec/evo.html
There's also this Evo model but I dont know exactly what the changes are... I would recommend reading the FAQs though.. it's interesting.
http://www.teamrocketaircraft.com/faq/faq.html

What do you think of this one Orion?
 

pequeajim

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2005
Messages
45
Location
New Holland, PA
I appreciate the suggestion, but if I was going to go that route, I would stick with an RV-8. I was really looking for something more like the Sonex, but of a different style.
 
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