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Hi call me Cooper, just got a J3 kitten by Hipps superbirds

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soupercooper

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I just got a fresh built brand new J3 kitten by Hipps superbirds with 447 rotax, tell me i got a great airplane suppose to be a great trainer for newbies, did i make a good decision, not much info out there on J3 kitten these days? love to find other J3 kitten owners, its basically a 3/4 scale J3 CUB. FLY SAFE AND SANE EVERYONE.
 

Victor Bravo

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Congratulations. You made a good decision, as long as you do NOT expect to teach yourself how to fly it from zero experience. You WILL need to have some amount of "dual instruction" in a 2 seat trainer before you can safely fly this.

I also have a modified Hipp's J-3 / J-4. HBA member Addicted2Climbing's father owns a J-4 Sportster.

I have not flown mine so I cannot speak from experience, but it appears to be a good basic design with a pretty good reputation. In order to be lightweight, it has a very light structure. So do NOT think of it as a heavy duty bush plane that you can carry 500 pounds of stuff in, or do aerobatics in, and you should be fine.

(Same as buying a small, light, economy car.... you can't treat it like a heavy duty full size pickup truck.)

Remember that whatever the design maximum flight weight is... that's what it is. No matter what the empty weight is.

So if it was SUPPOSED to weigh 254 pounds empty and 500 pounds gross weight (allowing you to carry 246 pounds of pilot and fuel) but YOURS weighs 300 or 350 pounds, you can't carry 246 pounds of pilot and fuel any more. You may only be able to carry 150 or 180 pounds of pilot and fuel combined.

There are a lot of experienced pilots, airplane builders, mechanics, etc. here on this forum. So even if you get some advice that is unpleasant or "not what you wanted to hear", the overall majority of people here will help keep you safe and successful.

If you have good close-up pictures of the airplane, the inside structure of the wings, the inside structureof the body and engine installation, we can help you figure out how good of a deal you got, and whether there are obvious major safety problems.

Another thing you should do is find your nearest EAA chapter and get involved with them. Almost all of the time, an EAA chapter has people with plenty of knowledge to actually look at, inspect, and advise you on the safety of the airplane.

What type and how much flying experience do you have, and what partof the country or world do you live in?
 

Daleandee

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They are cool - is it a true ultralight?
You may know much better than I but my limited research (many moons ago) found that it would be impossible with a 447 Rotax. Most are reported to be close to 400 lbs. Might get closer to true 254 lbs using a Rotax 277 but not sure if those are used or recommended.

I agree though ... they are very cool. I really thought about one for a long time.
 

Victor Bravo

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I agree the 447 probably puts it way over weight. Mine has the 277, but I am pretty sure one of the newfangled paramotor engines would make the same weight with more oomph.
 

D_limiter

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I really like the J3 Kitten plans. Such a cool little plane. Great videos on youtube showing people flying them.
 

Doran Jaffas

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I have been an aviation all of my life literally and I'm 59 years old. Been around experimental since I was 15.
Take the advice of Victor bravo. Do not Skip and please do not try to teach yourself how to fly
 

soupercooper

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I agree the 447 probably puts it way over weight. Mine has the 277, but I am pretty sure one of the newfangled paramotor engines would make the same weight with more oomph.
wow! what a great response from all you helpful pilots,thanks for the welcome and great advice, I cant wait when I'm at your guys level and give back to the community and give out great advice and tips for the well being of fellow pilots as well.

So here's my update...I may of assumed it was a standard J3 kitten but after my own research I found out its a Super Reliant SX that's exciting news for me (fastback version with 447 Rotax), fastback version is so gorgeous and i didn't know until a few hours ago there's a notch-back and fastback versions of these models. funny thing i also restore old shelby mustangs and i got fastback versions of those as well. I love fastback designs! I guess
In 2005 the kit was acquired but not built until recently and just completed with only 1 hour of test flight time so far with 4 hours of engine break in time, its registered Experimental and I am aware with 447 its pushing the part 103 scales. I read through this forum before I joined and figured out Victor Bravo is a great asset to this forum along with so many other great pilots. I promise you I will get dual instruction in a similar aircraft. I did own a quicksilver back in the day around 1987 but I haven't flown since then so I will consider myself a newbie, I don't think its the same muscle memory as riding a bike. and back in the 1980's we were one of the first west coast Rotax dealers.

Im in no hurry, safety first. more to come. cheers! from soupercooper
large_image_1597217_4_1597357345.jpeg
 
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soupercooper

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To introduce myself I live on beautiful Monterey Bay Calif, besides the Kitten I also bought a project plane to keep me happy in the hanger or in my case the garage for now. my second plane i bought is a Phantom X1, but Im not flying her until well after i have flight time in the Reliant SX (Fastback Super kitten) as its somewhat docile but its still highly aerobatic. Dont worry guys I have no plan for aerobatics ATM. here is another photo angle of my Reliant SX20200808_103413.jpg
 

soupercooper

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here's an example of what I want my phantom X1 to look after completion. Im pulling any 2-stroke motor from my aircraft and replacing with 4-stroke. I already have two new 4-stroke EFI engines sitting on the shelf. So maybe soon I be selling a 10 hour rotax 377 and a 4 hour 447. I'll keep you posted. not sure as of yet. Im replacing the tail boom with carbon fiber tubing and other areas I may find useful for carbon fiber, even carbon fiber tail feather framework.phantom X1.jpg
 
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soupercooper

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Im so relieved Victor Bravo approves of my purchase of Reliant SX (J3 Kitten Fastback with bigger engine). thank god I made a good decision, I did do my diligent research to get to this point and I did work hard to get to this point. my vision wrong or right is fly J3 kitten for a trainer and then step into the Phantom x1 when Im experienced. But Im a newbie so I dont know much as most of you and Im keeping my eyes and ears open to the elders..LOL
this photo shows the phantom sponsors a v-twin 4-stroke of which i have two versions of this type engine to put in my aircraft when the right time comes. Im a 4-stroker guy. phantom X1 image 3.jpg
 

soupercooper

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They are cool - is it a true ultralight?
Hipps offered 4 to 5 models, half are claimed 254 pounds, the rest are overweight from larger engine as usually it goes. Im a hot rodder as well and the big 3 (chevy, ford, mopar) would fudge the numbers on HP specs.
 
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soupercooper

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I started off in PPG trikes but my heart seemed to land in fixed wing again. Im sure you know PPG industry is booming and they are bringing a lot of great new engines (and other products to market that fixed wing can use as well, so keep your eye peeled. I know A LOT about the new engines from PPG industry for 4 stroke and 2-stroke so ask away so i can pay back to this forum. also Im a mechanical engineer for 30 years now and EXCEL in solidworks 3D CAD since 1998, but started on PRO/E since 1995. Im excelling in carbon fiber tubing and its fittings for aircraft design as well. I have to be honest and say the ultralight designs havent made much progress since the 80's of course thats just my opinion. theres some great new designs out there but generally speaking.. PUT carbon fiber in your heads during your design and builds, its now cost effective. as for electric power still too costly and short flight times (45 minutes to an hour or so with reserve times) but very close to getting there. within a year is my projection. i hope to give some pointers on some electric power manufacturers as well. My goal is to be an asset to the forum like victor bravo and the rest of the gang.
 

Woofbite

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Sep 15, 2010
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Forest lake MN, washington
I just got a fresh built brand new J3 kitten by Hipps superbirds with 447 rotax, tell me i got a great airplane suppose to be a great trainer for newbies, did i make a good decision, not much info out there on J3 kitten these days? love to find other J3 kitten owners, its basically a 3/4 scale J3 CUB. FLY SAFE AND SANE EVERYONE.
there is a J3 Kitten and N3 Pup facebook page that is really good and has a lot of information from its members.
 

soupercooper

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hope you don't kind my avatar being a PPG trike, its my first 3D CAD design so far in aeronautics. I'm working on a fixed wing ultralight now in 3D CAD as well. I'd like to meet someone on here that does Solidworks as well?
 
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soupercooper

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Thanks "Woofbite" for the Facebook link to N3 PUP and J3 kitten I'll definitely check it out, I almost bought a N3 pup instead but seller dropped the ball on me and by time he responded with a final offer I l already bought the J3 kitten but I think everything turned out well in the end. N3 PUP has folding wings of which was very important feature for me to have, I missed out on that option though and may regret it. J3 mfg claims easy removal of wings for transport or storage but we'll see about that. I was serious about a kolb or badlands (kitfox lite) during my shopping spree but those slipped through my fingers as well. Im sad about the situation at Badlands as they wont return my emails or phone calls anymore, they responded slowy for a short time but now no more so I cant deal with that kind of business practice. I really like what badlands (kitfox lite) has to offer, did you see his titanium airframe option? (yet pricey of course), Badlands got some great ideas but maybe just overwhelmed right now. and he is a very fresh start up company. I wish all folks that take a risk to start a business well, I hope they do well in the end anyhow.
 

soupercooper

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so I have important question, so I see my craft has "N" numbers so that means it has airworthy inspection by FAA agent?? and should it have a FAA airworthiness certificate when I receive the aircraft, how does that work? since Im going part 103 route should I unregister it? IM sure I can run the "N" numbers somewhere to get any data? I know what your thinking I should of done this research before I bought aircraft.
 

Scooper

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Welcome Soupercooper; I'm another Cooper a bit north of you in Sonoma County. That Reliant SX looks pretty cool.

Here's the FAA Registry on your J-3 Kitten N3978W. The biggest issue you'll face flying under 103 is whether it meets the requirements of the FAR regarding empty weight, fuel capacity, speeds, etc. It is registered as an Experimental/Amateur-Built which means it has a special airworthiness certificate and an FAA "Operating Limitations" document which is part of the airworthiness certificate and needs to be carried in the airplane at all times. As far as I know, there is no reason you can't fly it under part 103 as long as it meets the part 103 requirements.

The specs for the Reliant SX with the Rotax 447 list the empty weight as 285 pounds, which is probably why the builder registered it. At that weight, it doesn't qualify for operation under part 103.
 
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TFF

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If you want to fly PT 103, you better de register it and turn in the airworthiness certificate. Forever after don’t mention it ever had an N number. Remove evidence of it from the plane. Essentially it needs to be a different entity. How you deal with it being overweight is up to you as long as you don’t talk about it. How or what is ok, but once you lock in, follow the story. You don’t want to be caught flying without a license or a de registered airplane; you don’t want a tale of how you did it. Overweight UL is rarely investigated. If you did, someone had it out for you and knew the story. At that point it better be 254 lbs.
 
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