# simplest/easiest two place?

Discussion in 'General Experimental Aviation Questions' started by lr27, Feb 24, 2010.

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1. Feb 24, 2010

### lr27

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Mostly as a hypothetical matter of curiousity, what's the simplest/easiest to build design that:
-has 500 lbs useful load plus fuel (or maybe 475 min.) with two seats
-engine not too expensive, materials not too expensive
-relatively low stall speed and good handling, and generally relatively safe
-enclosed, i.e. not open cockpit
-doesn't look like everything else To clarify, and I realize this is subjective: not like other high wing planes, not like the usual ultralights with gobs of draggy stuff in the breeze, not gobs of wires, usually prefer no struts. Exemplars of simple airplanes I like the looks of are the stock Volksplane and the Facetmobile. But one design is not available, and the other is single place and I could put it over gross by myself, maybe. I realize this probably means I'm eccentric, and I do admire some pretty airplanes if someone else builds them. Like, say, the DeHavilland Puss Moth (ok, struts, I know), Miles M.3A Falcon, Ercoupe, or the CX-4

Aesthetics could be sacrificed somewhat.

Although this is pretty hypothetical for me, I don't feel too bad because, other than the aesthetics, I bet a lot of other people would be interested in the same thing.

Hopefully the site/browser/computer really did eat the first attempt and this isn't the second instance of this question.

2. Feb 24, 2010

### Cy V

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CH 750

3. Feb 24, 2010

### bmcj

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But CyV said "I do admire some pretty airplanes " :gig:

Just kidding... I guess beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.

Bruce

P.S. - I'd like to see a CH750 without the glass and doors. Just maybe a small wind screen to make it into a parasol!

4. Feb 24, 2010

### lr27

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I'm aware of that design, but it would be expensive for me. I'd have to rent enclosed hangar space, because our local airport has a restaurant with big windows. Or perhaps I could find a space BEHIND one of the hangars. ;-)

Even I have standards, though I admit this aircraft would be pretty high on the wtfit? scale if it wasn't so common.

Was this design implicated in any of the recent problems? (I'm guessing not.)

I've been thinking and maybe 550 lbs useful load is better. Leaves 90 lbs for gas and junk. Also thinking maybe geared VW or similar. Seems like direct drive would not be good enough at low speed.

Too bad Leeon Davis didn't offer plans for a lighter loading DA-2. The Jodel stuff is pretty cool but I bet more work than, say, a Volksplane. Seems like a slightly enlarged VP-2 with canopy would fit the bill or a 2 place facetmobile or smoothmobile, but both involve quite a bit of design work. The latter much more, of course.

5. Feb 24, 2010

### Cy V

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Hehehe...you don't find this to be a thing of beauty?

6. Feb 24, 2010

### mcjon77

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Sonex should do what you want. Guys are scratch building them with the Aerovee engine for $18K and less. Making the parts is fairly easy (I had ZERO power tool experience and I'm doing it). Going lower than$15K for an easy to build two place aircraft is going to be a challenge. I know guys that have done it, but all of them had previous building experience, and a network that allowed them to scrounge for materials at absolute rock bottom prices.

Some folks don't like the looks of the Sonex, but I do.

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7. Feb 24, 2010

### bmcj

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OK, here I go (again) with my favorite recommendation for this type of request.... (wait for it).... (wait).... (wait).... (almost there).... THE AVID FLYER!

WHY? Well let's see. You can use a multitude of (sometimes) inexpensive engines; unfinished or unstarted kits are plentiful and CHEAP; most of your requirements are met or nearly so (see the spec chart below); they go together quickly... prewelded... mostly assembly (glue the ribs, drill the holes, bolt together), cover (fabric), and paint; excellent flying; cheap to fly and maintain; performs well; safe. Also, there is a large network of owners for support and the wings fold quickly for trailering and storage.

On the downside: It violates your "no high wing / no conventional appearance" rule.

View attachment Avid3view.pdf

View attachment avid_aircraft_spec_sheet.doc

Bruce

8. Feb 24, 2010

### lr27

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The Sonex certainly looks like a nice aircraft. Useful load is a bit low for large people. Waiex is better but kit only and more expensive. Plus I wonder about 4.4 g with such long wings. I'm a bit skeptical of that climb rate with a VW engine without a reduction unit. I was surprised, though, at how low the stall speed was on either. Come to think of it, I'm a bit skeptical there too. If I'm not mistaken, the listed Sonex stall speed implies a Cl of 2 clean and 2.8 dirty, more or less. The Xenos is a bit more believable at around 1.7 or so.

Is it really simple?

9. Feb 24, 2010

### bmcj

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I think McJon's suggestion (Sonex) might fit well into your requirements if the concerns you voiced can be answered satisfactorily. My biggest question about the Sonex is how thick are the skins and how resistant are they to mis-handling. I've flown some sailplanes with aluminum skins that were so light (for weight savings) that a light push in the wrong place results in a permanent dent.

10. Feb 24, 2010

### piperpilot1363

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Um, sounds like a sonerai may be in order....

They are a sleek, fast, vw powered, aerobatic two seater with a muiltitude of configurations. You can buy a rough flying one for $5k (nice one about$10-12). They can be built from scratch for $12-15k. They are going up in popularity, and there are about 1000+ flying Sonerai.net Sonerai.com Others you might want to check out are the spezio tuholer, the KR-2s, The viking Dragonfly, Cygnet and the double eagle. Andrew 11. Feb 24, 2010 ### lr27 ### lr27 #### Well-Known Member Joined: Nov 3, 2007 Messages: 3,542 Likes Received: 536 It certainly does. Probably more satisfying to flip burgers to pay for a used spam can. High wing is ok if it looks good. You'll note that I like, for instance, the Puss Moth. I sort of like the looks of the Jodel, but it doesn't seem like it would be a quick build. I sort of hate to make looks I can stand a criterion at all. I probably won't get it together to build something in this life*, but it's fun to think about. And maybe someday... *I haven't worked all the way through a recession in many years. And there are other reasons. Thanks for the suggestions, though. This could turn out to be a good discussion. It would be cool, for instance, to unearth a hitherto unknown LSA Dyke Delta equivalent. 12. Feb 25, 2010 ### mcjon77 ### mcjon77 #### Well-Known Member Joined: Aug 5, 2008 Messages: 205 Likes Received: 0 The skins are .025" aluminum. That is about as thick as light airplane skins get, while still being light enough, and flexible enough to skin an airplane. In comparison, the STOL 701 and early 601s use .016". IIRC, the 750 and 650 have upgraded to 0.20" . 13. Feb 25, 2010 ### mcjon77 ### mcjon77 #### Well-Known Member Joined: Aug 5, 2008 Messages: 205 Likes Received: 0 Most of the folks I know have upped their gross to 1200lb in the normal catagory. Yes, I like the looks of the Waiex more. However, I can only afford to go the plans built route now, so I am more than happy to build a Sonex. The wings were tested thoroughly and the results (with photos) are published in one of the first articles about the Sonex in Sport Aviation magazine. Sonex is VERY proud of the strength of their wings. So much so, that the wings they tested are hanging on the wall in the factory for all to see. In fact, according to my calculations and their testing data, their numbers are conservative. So was I. Talking with many builders, it seems that the climb rate at gross for an Aerovee powered Sonex is somewhere between the climb rate of a Cessna 150 at gross and a Cherokee 140 at gross. Builders/owners tend to back up these numbers. The worst I have heard from a person is that the numbers are more accurate if you converted miles to knots, but only one person has told me that. Some folks are reporting stall numbers lower than Sonex published numbers. I don't know anything about that. What I do know is that almost all of the reports from builders are in line with, or better than, the Sonex numbers Yes, it is. The hardest parts (in terms of complexity and difficulty) to manufacture are the tail spars. They are a PITA. However, if you want to buy them pre-made, they are$100 each (you need two). The raw stock cost about 18 each. I screwed up my first attempt, so I will try one more time. If it doesn't work, then I'll just buy them from Sonex. All of the other parts are VERY easy to make. 14. Feb 25, 2010 ### lr27 ### lr27 #### Well-Known Member Joined: Nov 3, 2007 Messages: 3,542 Likes Received: 536 I think that the INDICATED stall speeds probably are what the company says. However, at high angles of attack, the numbers won't be real. The Facetmobile gets to such an angle that Wainfan reports an airspeed reading of ZERO! I'd be curious what stall speed is reported in two way tests in still air by GPS. Or with a calibrated pitot that is aligned with the aiflow at stall. I have a feeling that most of the stall speeds reported are indicated, and the KR site even says so. I meant to say that the Xenos looked good but was kit only and I was concerned about that long wing. It's traditional for sailplanes to have high G ratings. (The glass ones are absurdly high, but that's another story.) A long wing responds more to angle of attack excursions unless it flexes. Plus if you're looking for thermals and doing tight turns you probably stress it more. Thanks for all those suggested airplanes to look at. Fun to check them out. -I'm aware of the Sonerai, but it seems too complicated, and kind of fast. I'm not concerned so much on the top end, but stall speed would be nice to have low. -Spezio Tuholer is pretty, but not my kind of pretty, it's open cockpit, it looks complicated, and the gross is not so much. I seem to vaguely recall reading about it many years ago. Kind of amazing the guy is still around or at least still has a web site. -If the Dragonfly mentioned is the composite tandem wing job, that seems like it would be too much of a project and a bit hot. If not, I'm not sure where to look it up. -KR2S seems a bit hot and I bet it's not simple -The Cygnet looks really nice but a guy who built a Sonerai in 2 1/2 years says that the wing is tedious to build. He was very fussy and reported 5,000 hours! -I hadn't heard of the Double Eagle before, although I knew about the Legal Eagle. Although it is a high wing with struts, it has a certain "in your face" quality to its style that I like, though if I made one it would need to have an enclosed cockpit. It does look kind of simple, and it might be fun to learn to weld. The thing reminds me of the Piet, but I bet that one takes a long time to build. I'm a bit concerned that he says the "wing" is stressed to 4 g's, rather than the complete airframe. Still, it's moving in the right direction. 15. Feb 25, 2010 ### lr27 ### lr27 #### Well-Known Member Joined: Nov 3, 2007 Messages: 3,542 Likes Received: 536 Another thing with the Double Eagle might be that if enclosed the drag would be low enough that it would go faster than it was designed for. 16. Feb 25, 2010 ### mcjon77 ### mcjon77 #### Well-Known Member Joined: Aug 5, 2008 Messages: 205 Likes Received: 0 The double eagle is a nice project. What I especially like about it is that not only does it come with plans, but there are also DVDs, all for200. If you don't have any woodworking or welding experience, it would be a good idea to go to Oshkosh or Sun n Fun and learn those skills at the workshop. I have had several folks recomend that I show up early and spend several hours, over the course of the week, at the welding tent to learn the skills needed. In fact, several people have learned to weld fuselages from doing just that.

17. Feb 25, 2010

### bmcj

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18. Feb 25, 2010

### lr27

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Um, original response eaten by computer.

That is NOT what I mean when I say "Where's the flying cars? We were promised flying cars...". The first is ugly and somewhat expensive, and slow. The other is way cool unless you're a kayaker or an otter, but it costs millions and can't even fly.

There must be some other really simple airplanes out there.

19. Feb 25, 2010

### bmcj

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???Are you talking about the boat on the left side of the picture, or the car flying under the parasail on the right side of the photo???

Before we go further, tell us, what is your definition of "simple"?

20. Feb 25, 2010

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