I learned to fly in a Yankee, but that was years ago and I was a lot skinnier then! My mission these days is solo day VFR flying for fun. Density altitude is pretty manageable in KC, most airports in the vicinity are well under 1000' MSL. All the airplanes I'm looking to fly or build are going to have those issues of low power, low fuel capacity and smaller size. The O-235 is a reliable engine, the systems are very simple, and there's still strong owner support with groups like GOPA to give plenty of advice. I've been looking for a while now, was trying to find a Traveller/Cheetah/Tiger, but those are hard to find and priced dearly. I'm open to a Beech Sport as well, but only the models with two doors. The AA1 is in my sights right now, but I'm not desperate to buy anything.Bigshu, sorry to butt in, but make sure to get familiar with the AA-1 airplane's quirks and known issues before buying one. IMHO it's a GOOD little airplane, but it has some limits you ought to be aware of. Fuel capacity, not exactly overpowered, not as easy for a bigger guy to work on. Great flight handling. But two big guys and high density altitude will get ugly faster than some other airplanes.
That's an apt comparison to the RV6. I remember how fun AA1's were to fly, light on the controls, not too finicky in the pattern. I'll for sure be looking at a MOGAS STC, and will ditch the vacuum system and steam artificial horizon and DG. Other than that, I'll keep it simple and freshen the paint and interior. That's my plan regardless of what I buy or build. I've never been that interested in speed demons or long range cruisers.AA1 is pretty good as a cheap plane. 108 hp RV6. It can be turned into an expensive airplane if you add every STC you can like a friend did. New AD on the tail, but most won’t have a problem.
My dad had a Dealership/flight school at Fairfax airport in KC (gone now, replaced by a GM auto plant, but it was right across the river from KMKC, and had a great diner in the terminal). I started in the Fast wing Yankees, but the fleet pretty quickly turned over to TR2's and Trainers. Never got to try a Lynx, but I hear they were a very nice version of the design.Sounds like the AA-1 is a very good match for your needs then. I didn't know what your experience with them had been or where you were flying. There's a conversion called Sparrowhawk that takes the O-235 up to 125HP, without increasing weight. The STC lightweight alternator and starter mods will shave off a significant amount of weight. The AA-1 can benefit from some gap seals (I did it on my fast-wing Yankee-150), and all the Dallas Metroplex "speed mods". I have a few ideas on aerodynamic cleanup for you as well, just to put the HBA "E" into a TC airplane You could wind up with a tremendously fun little runabout on a low budget.
Luckily, the one in the ad is based in Texas, so maybe close enough that Fletchair is familiar with it, and close enough to do the pre-buy.If you want a Grumman, be certain to get a referral from one of the specialty shops like Fletchair or the others who specifically know these types. The AA-1 could be a great flyer if bought right.
I'd give serious consideration to the higher hp STC. Extra margin on power never hurt. I'm for sure going to replace the horizon and DG with digital units, still deciding between Garmin GI 275 and the UAvionics AV-30. With the AV-30 I can use the UAvionics tailbeacon ADSB signal to give me traffic and weather on my attitude indicator. Second unit for DG also gives redundancy. Extended tanks are nice, but probably a huge hassle with the tube spar factory tanks. It's a deal at the asking price if not rode hard and put up wet. The big benefit is I'd be flying within a few months (crossing fingers), where any new build would be years to completion.I put a 160 hp Fletchair STC on a friend’s B. He had Garmin G5’s put in. He and a friend own a extended range fuel tank STC but are having lots of trouble getting answers to start producing parts.
An underlying issue is the airplane gets heavy with the engine upgrades. A buddy had an upgraded AA-1-x and the airplane's useful load was really low.The AA5 gear is recommended if it’s an early plane. The later gear is heavier duty. Also there is ground clearance issues on early planes; main reason for the nose gear upgrade. Seems a lot are converted already. Has to be done under an STC.