Planning which plans for plane

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by 12notes, Aug 28, 2014.

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  1. Aug 28, 2014 #21
    Look into the local aero club in Louisville and the EAA chapter which meets on the second Wednesday of each month at Bowman field. The aero club...which you can join once you have your license has (I believe) two rental planes available. That way you can fly for a reasonable price while building.
     
  2. Aug 31, 2014 #22

    59Manche

    59Manche

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    I, like others would advise getting your certificate first, then work on narrowing down your build choice as you fly beyond lessons. It doesn't need to be a lot....just some to get a feel for what suits you.

    Years ago someone wise told me to build if you like building, but don't try to build something fast to have a plane to fly. He was right....my plans built project got sold and I'm on my second factory built plane that I maintain, need and love. I, like you aren't wealthy and can't seem to do multiple planes. My project has been gone ten years and I still miss working on it. I may still build or complete one and is one of the reasons why I'm on this forum.

    Tony Bingelis cautioned against building single place airplanes. A lot of the joy is sharing the experience. You'll grow as a pilot. Don't build a dead end airplane that you'll outgrow before its done.

    Since you're a welder, learning to gas weld will be a joy for you. A good torch is the secret. 4130 is one of the nicest alloys to weld, and you can produce art in your completed parts.

    Lee Bottom is a great place to see lots of airplanes, maybe Rough River too, but attendance has been low in recent years. In Owensboro, Chris May is a master builder, restorer of homebuilts. Invest a day to visit with him. David Lowe is another one in western, KY who has his own strip. I don't know any builders in Louisville, but you should join the chapter there and see what you can learn. Good Luck!
     
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  3. Aug 31, 2014 #23

    skier

    skier

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    I know a lot of people share that opinion. However, there are some of us that would rather fly alone. I find flying to be an escape. Sure it's nice to take other people up once in a while, but most friends and family members will quickly get bored going up to bore holes in the sky or going to get another $100 hamburger. Plus, when you want to do that, you can always rent.

    Single seaters offer a lot of benefits, including (in many cases) being cheaper to operate. I've had many people try to talk me out of a single-place plane, but I'm just drawn to them. The baby great lakes has always captured my attention.A few decades ago, I would have bought a kit for a Quickie Q1. If I had the money, I'd buy a M-18 mite. Right now I'm focused on the DA-5.
     
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  4. Aug 31, 2014 #24

    Joe Fisher

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    It was about 1954 I was 9 I was out at the school ward with my kit Vitamin 1/2A with the typical .049 The other kids had there plastic store bought airplanes. A man was watching us after a while he said to me "If you didn't build it its not yours". That still applys.
     
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  5. Aug 31, 2014 #25

    dcstrng

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    Yep, agree – philosophically… Mine is going to be a 1+1; I share your sentiment, but want the option of introducing the grandkids to flying… But mine won’t hold a beef-fed buddy and fuel too, so the extra seat is primarily just for youngsters around the patch… whether auto, motorcycles or even boating, the bulk of my enjoyable travel hours have been decidedly solo – I suppose essentially decompression (from life) therapy – the trip being at least as important as the destination… have no intention of running a busline or taxi service (USAir does that…), but a smidgeon of added gross means I can haul enough to be modestly independent of… stuff…
     
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  6. Aug 31, 2014 #26

    cluttonfred

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    After many years of doing a lot more dreaming than building or flying, I think a single-seater soon is far better than a two-seater someday.
     
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  7. Aug 31, 2014 #27

    FritzW

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    Patrick,

    It's probably a pain to plan which plans for a plane.

    Don't look at this as the only airplane you'll ever build/own/fly, just look at it as the first. For now just build something that's simple, affordable and goes together quickly. Fly the heck out of it and have a bunch of fun. You'll have a much better idea of what to build next. "Success breeds success".
     
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  8. Sep 1, 2014 #28

    59Manche

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    No argument from me on the amount of time we all probably fly alone... I do alot for the same reasons. Fact is you can fly alone in a two or four place too.

    Its all personal preference, and there's no right or wrong answer....just hate to see him realize half way through a build that he wished he'd added another seat.

    My wife got tired of boring holes a long, long time ago....just makes it easier for me to get out to the arpt early for another dawn patrol :)
     
  9. Sep 1, 2014 #29

    skier

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    It's definitely a good thing to point out and think about, I just wanted to point out the other side.

    Another thing to remember when picking a plane is that whether it's 1, 2, or 4 seats, you still need to build the wings, the fuselage, the empennage, and the landing gear. You also need to install the instruments and the engine. You won't save much time building a smaller plane. Infact some single seat planes (Cri-Cri and BD-5 come to mind) take longer than many two seaters.
     
  10. Sep 1, 2014 #30

    Turd Ferguson

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    I think the social aspect of flying a single-seater would be unbeatable...... :)
     
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  11. Sep 1, 2014 #31

    FritzW

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    When I fly a single seater everyone on board the airplane is impressed with my piloting skills:)
     
  12. Sep 1, 2014 #32

    12notes

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    Thanks everyone for your input. I think the plane that appeals the most to me is the Sonex (suggested by cdstrng - Thanks!) I enjoy sheet metal work, and this type of construction is the most appealing with the least amount of motivation-sapping work. I think it would take me a very long time to sand because I really wouldn't want to do it. I trust myself way more in the cut, hammer, bend, drill & rivet method than I do in anything else. I don't think I'd have problems building by other methods, but I'd like to keep it as familiar to me as possible.

    It seems exactly what I'm looking for - 2 seats, 150kt cruise (@8000 ft), 550 mile range, conventional gear, low fuel consumption, acrobatic, 40mph stall. The only downside I've noticed so far is the cost of the plans ($750) and the small cabin.

    I'm still open to suggestions, though, and would like anyone's opinion on the Sonex. I'll try to contact the Sonex builders in my area and see if I can get a ride along.

    I may also have access to an industrial laser for cheap and water jet for free. Still working on that, though, and I'm not sure what would take me longer, cutting and drilling all the sheet aluminum by hand or making the CAD files for the laser.

    It'll be November or December before I get moving on this, so plenty of time to change my mind and plan. I need to set up my workshop and see what other resources I have access to.
     
  13. Sep 1, 2014 #33

    12notes

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    Thanks for mentioning this, I'm putting this on my calendar. Hope to see you there.

    I plan on joining up with the Bowman Eagles once I have my PPL, they have 2 planes, both taildraggers, and offer training for a traildragger endorsement, for dirt cheap rental (Citabria for $55/hr wet, Cessna 170B for $78 wet). I'm planning on the next EAA meeting as well.
     
  14. Sep 1, 2014 #34

    dcstrng

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    I think you'll find it large by KR standards (but smaller than, say, the Zenith Zodiac family...) The Sonex plans are quite thorough, so I'd plan to have them a month or two before building so you have time to study them... you'll immediately see where your $750 is going (I have a set and they are very good... not quite the overkill of a Falco, but very little left to figure out...).

    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWOKY5Lt05BkXwYBOM7C-oPZLBqOgd5xb
     
  15. Sep 1, 2014 #35

    skier

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    The Sonex is pretty comfortable for two adults (at least on the ground). I (5'10") have sat in one with someone who is 6' and we didn't have any problems.

    My only suggestion would be to build the Waiex. The tail just looks better.
     
  16. Sep 2, 2014 #36

    12notes

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    Good to hear about the 2 adults, I'm 5'10" as well.

    I agree about the Waiex, but they don't sell the plans for it, just the kit.
     
  17. Sep 2, 2014 #37

    Turd Ferguson

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    The plans are very good quality, well worth $750. Looking at the big picture, the plans represent about 2-3% what you will spend to build the entire airplane. So if the plans were free, you'd only be saving that amount. Savvy shopping and large orders to save on shipping can easily save 10% on the entire project, which would more than cover the cost of the plans.

    Can't help much with the small cabin. Would make a great single place airplane.
     
  18. Sep 2, 2014 #38

    12notes

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    I'm sure the plans are worth it. I only mentioned it as a downside because they're more expensive than the other planes I was looking at. That and the small cabin I can live with.

    I've got a good & cheap local metal supply company, so shipping of most of the heavy stuff will be via my pickup truck.
     
  19. Sep 2, 2014 #39

    12notes

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