Need to re-think the aircraft that I want

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NCPilot

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Oct 26, 2010
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For the longest time, I've had my eyes set on the RV-12, it's a solid aircraft created by the best manufacturer of kits in the aviation industry. Unfortunately, the kit {plus the other stuff I'll have to buy that's not in the kit) puts the RV-12 out of my price range. Also, I think Vans kinda shot themselves in the foot by not offering a FWF kit sans engine.

So I'm looking at another kit to build, and I'm looking for advice. Here are my requirement for the aircraft.

Kit aircraft that fits the LSA rules and regulations.
Good aircraft to fly around in in the Southeast (Mostly NC and SC). Honestly this would be about 95-98% of my mission.
A good aircraft to take to AirVenture and Sebring.
First time builder friendly.
EDIT: Can be upgraded for the ADS-B thing that's coming in 2020.
And I guess the most important part is that it's fun to fly.

Also I'd like for the aircraft to be able to take off and land in grass strip, but off-site landing isn't going to happen. :p

So any thoughts or suggestion?

EDIT: I also forgot that the kit must allow me to be frugal, since I'm not taking out a loan for what is a hobby.
 

Topaz

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One assumes from your earlier choice that you want two seats.

What's your bottom threshold on cruise speed?

"Frugal" means how much? Do you have a price where you can say, "Yes, I can afford that comfortably."

These answers will help people answer your original question.
 

NCPilot

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One assumes from your earlier choice that you want two seats.
Yep, two seats.

What's your bottom threshold on cruise speed?
Eh 70 mph, so that's 61 knots. The aircraft cannot go faster than 120 knots though.

"Frugal" means how much? Do you have a price where you can say, "Yes, I can afford that comfortably."
My max price limit is honestly $50k.

The aircraft has to be within the LSA limitation. I am a sport pilot.
 

gtae07

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All of the Sonex series are LSA-legal and very affordable, especially if you go with a VW engine. The plans are very good and they now offer a range of kit options so you can trade off money and time to suit your needs. Scratch-build, quick-build, or anything in between.

However, performance with a VW may be limited at high payloads; using a Jabiru 3300 will give you much better performance but will cost significantly more.

Be aware with any airplane that additional costs can quickly add up. Anything more than bare-bones VFR avionics, interior, and a DIY paint/polish job (which is what kit manufacturers might quote as a finished price) can add tens of thousands to any project.
 

cluttonfred

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If you don't mind starting from scratch, there are many, many Sport Pilot-legal aircraft that can be build from plans for far less than your budget as well as a few kits. So far your criteria are "a reasonably fast two-seat LSA under $50,000 all in." Since you were considering an RV-12, that gives us some idea of your preferences, but here are some questions for you so it will be clear. You can choose more than one answer for each one if need be.

1. Kit/Plans/Don't care
2. Low wing/High wing/Biplane/Don't care
3. Sheet metal/Steel tube/Composites/Wood/Fabric/Don't care
4. Tricycle gear/Taildragger/Don't care
5. Enclosed cockpit/Open cockpit/Don't care
6. Side-by-side seating/Tandem seating/Don't care
7. Rotax 912/Aerovee or other VW/Jabiru/Other engine/Don't care
 

TFF

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Much better choices if you go plans rout. Butttercup without the leading edge and maybe without the flaps would be my pick. There is some assistance available if needed. I am looking a parasol airplanes right now, most are in the SP range.
 

Vigilant1

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Cluttonfred's questions/checklist would be a good starting point. Give us some hints and more suggestions will follow.

In addition, you say you want to do "fun flying", but people define that in different ways (low and slow vs. spritely handling vs. a plane that is very stable and makes few demands, etc). If you are flying right now, tell us what you are flying mostly and what you like/don't like about it.

FWIW, some LSA-legal aircraft cruise faster than 120 knots. The regulation specifies 120 KCAS at sea level and at the engine's max rated continuous power (or words to that effect). A plane meeting that spec might be able to fly considerably faster at 10K ft.
 

TFF

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Indicated verses True airspeed; about every 1000 ft yields +3 mph due to density.
Defining fun can be tough. Some just want to be in the air, and some need to fill a task. Sight seer to hardcore aerobatics. Planes are different because they do things better with the loss of being able to do something else.
 

NCPilot

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Salisbury, NC
Well the main mission of the aircraft is to go to the local fly-ins (breakfast run $100 hamburgers) etc. I'd also like to be able to just fly around, look at the scenery or to take family and friends up. Honestly I'm not looking for an aircraft that's a handful, so a docile aircraft is preferred.

In the past I have flown a Piper Cherokee 140, a Piper Warrior 161, Cherokee 180 and Czech SportCruiser. I like the Piper Cherokees/Warrior for their docile and forgiving nature, but I also like the SportCruiser for it's sporty feel and the excellent view from the canopy. So I guess I'd like an aircraft that has a docile/sporty feel that isn't too squirrely or requires constant flying because like I said, sometimes I'd like to look at the scenery, esp during the fall when I fly over the Apalachicola mountains.

The longest X-country trip will be to Oshkosh, Sun n' Fun and Sebring.
 

NCPilot

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Oct 26, 2010
Messages
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Location
Salisbury, NC
If you don't mind starting from scratch, there are many, many Sport Pilot-legal aircraft that can be build from plans for far less than your budget as well as a few kits. So far your criteria are "a reasonably fast two-seat LSA under $50,000 all in." Since you were considering an RV-12, that gives us some idea of your preferences, but here are some questions for you so it will be clear. You can choose more than one answer for each one if need be.

1. Kit/Plans/Don't care
2. Low wing/High wing/Biplane/Don't care
3. Sheet metal/Steel tube/Composites/Wood/Fabric/Don't care
4. Tricycle gear/Taildragger/Don't care
5. Enclosed cockpit/Open cockpit/Don't care
6. Side-by-side seating/Tandem seating/Don't care
7. Rotax 912/Aerovee or other VW/Jabiru/Other engine/Don't care
1 Kit
2 Low or High, no biplane
3 Sheet metal or Steel Tube
4 Taildragger
5 enclosed cockpit
6 Don't Care
7 AeroVee, Rotax 912 or ULPower engine.
 

autoreply

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Rotterdam, Netherlands
Just a mad idea; but what about a Breezy/Aircam like plane? A twin isn't LSA-legal, so you're probably limited to scratch-built, but otherwise it might be a good fit?

Using wings/struts from an existing kitplane and welding/designing a steel tube fuselage is one of the easiest things in terms of design.
 
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