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The Sasquatch Flying Club

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crusty old aviator

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Feb 17, 2014
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238
Location
Grantham, NH
A friend of mine who is 6’ 8” and 300+ pounds built an RV4 in the late 80’s (N2TT). He modified the front seat & rollbar so he could slide it back a d drop it down enough to fit in her cockpit comfortably, but slide it forward for smaller pilots. When there’s a will...
 

perrysplus

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Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
6
Speaking of Model A, my thoughts come to the Ford type or maybe a Willys Jeep. If you have ever put up with one of those, you can put up with a tight cockpit.
Completely agree! But if I dont fit I dont fit. If I can fit and fly it safely, Ill do it. Those of us at this stature know there is nothing really comfortable, it is all about reducing the suck factor. But right now it is just safely being able to physically fly.
 

TFF

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Apr 28, 2010
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13,989
Location
Memphis, TN
I agree, but today there is a lot more room to back out because there are options. My take is if it was 1970 or earlier most would have pretzeled in no matter how cramped it is.

I’m Just a little more than 5-10 so height is not my problem but I am broad at the shoulders. I had to move the pedals forward in my plane because of hip. I should have laid the seat back to aft a couple of inches when I had my chance. I understand tight but the previous owner was taller than me and did not blink about being tight. Mainly because he had been stuck flying tighter. I had the option to get a Spezio. It was rigged for someone 5-5. Flyable but strange. Front pit had much more room once you got your legs under the tank which was not easy.

There is always just being left field. I know of a pro basketball player that flys a Cessna 210 because the seat slides back. 6-6 flying stock single seat Pitts. I also know someone 6-8 that flys a Bonanza because he fits. He is actually known by the factory because they lowered the interior panel one year and he returned the new plane for his old one. They revised the ceiling design for him.
I get it. What I don’t get is why complain about a homebuilt? Why not cut out the plane to fit instead of wishing someone else did. The whole point is legal customization.
 

perrysplus

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Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
6
I get it. What I don’t get is why complain about a homebuilt? Why not cut out the plane to fit instead of wishing someone else did. The whole point is legal customization.
I get what you are saying here too, and it is a valid point. I am a pilot vs builder. I have no problem modifying a plane so I can fit, but within reason. IE, I cannot move the seat if a spar is in the way, cannot move the rudder peddles if there is no where to move them to, etc.
If I can buy a plane that is CLOSE, that would be ideal, then I can tweak as necessary.
 

TFF

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Apr 28, 2010
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13,989
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Memphis, TN
I think first, you don’t get everything. My top 50 airplanes I will never get to own or build. Have accepted that fate. But if you pick something reasonable, I see no reason to push a firewall forward and a seat backwards for balance as long as you not going 3 ft. That’s also why I like 4130 fuselages, you can just do it. Aluminum, you have to plan more and composite you have to plan more again. You could easily do it to a RV7, you just have to accept most of the fuselage sheet metal is just a mentor, but you will be scrapping a good chunk. But doable.
 

perrysplus

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Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
6
Update to the club, I sat in a CX4 today and I fit! (I am 6ft 5in tall and 240lbs) BUT, (always a catch) my legs were bunched up pretty bad and while my knees were not hitting anything I was not able to extend my legs much and immediately got a cramp in my hip area as soon as I sat down as a result. We looked at the possibility of moving the rudder pedals forward and yes there is probably about 3-4 inches they could be moved. This would require drilling out the plate the pedals sit on and reriveting them to the plane. Then we would have to reengineer how they would work (due to them being moved) along with extending the rudder cable. Consideration would have to be given to how far they could be moved forward due to the "stuff" that is forward of them as you don't want to be hitting anything if you need to go full rudder deflection.
Also, my head didn't contact the canopy when it closed, (cushion removed) and I think I could wear my Bose headset, otherwise an over-the-ear headset would definitely work. I was a bit disappointed as the Thatcher is a definite answer to my wanting to be able to afford flying a little everyday. Perhaps another plane will fit a little different? Maybe, but the gentleman that owned the plane (one of the nicest CX4s I have seen if not the nicest btw) is probably 6ft-6ft2in tall so I am thinking this airplane is probably a decent representative of most CX4s fitment wise.
 

perrysplus

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Jun 6, 2020
Messages
6
Another update, sat in a standard Sonex today, I fit in that plane too, this time pretty comfortable. My left knee does contact the underside of the dash slightly and my head hits the canopy a little, workable but I definitely need the seat lowered mod for sure. I could also sit in the center of the plane (which is what the owner suggest I do with a Sonex should I buy one) If I had the seat lowered I could sit to one side with a passenger and could for sure fly the Sonex. On to the next to see what I fit in. :)
 

Marc W

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Joined
Mar 31, 2017
Messages
578
Location
Colorado
Your fit in the CX4 sounds about right per our previous conversation. I moved my rudder pedals forward a couple inches and I still have 4" long pedal stops ahead of them. That is they are 4" long from the structure behind the firewall. Still plenty of room to move the pedals forward. There really shouldn't be anything in the way to move them forward. There was a fuel pump on the floor ahead of the right pedal in the first CX4's. That turned out to be a bad layout because the exhaust pipe was under the floor and the heat on the fuel pump caused vapor lock. The plans were revised to move the fuel pumps to the centerline. I did not move the plate on the floor under the pedals. Instead I added more plate ahead of the original plate.

There have been several revisions in the plans to improve safety. If you buy a CX4 you should make sure it conforms to the most recent plans.
 

Tiger Tim

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Apr 26, 2013
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3,484
Location
Thunder Bay
I hopped in an Isaacs Fury the other day and was pleasantly surprised at how roomy it was. Space-wise it felt a lot like a Tiger Moth inside, to the point that I kind of suspect the interior measurements were borrowed from one.
 

D_limiter

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Jul 13, 2018
Messages
134
Location
Norcal
I'm 6'3" and slightly over 200lbs. I fit in the piper cub well enough, but have long legs and the heel brakes are a bit hard to actuate. I have a special pair of narrow shoes if flying with someone in the forward seat. I have flown with big guys up there, and they can jam my feet between their hips and the sides of the fuselage. I regularly fly a light sport with a big bubble canopy, so lots of shoulder room and plenty of space to fold/unfold a map, but the leg box is so narrow that the throttle quadrant cuts into my leg and is pretty painful after a while.

Did try to get into a volksplane once. Could be done. But could be doesn't mean should be.
 

flitzerpilot

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Joined
Apr 19, 2017
Messages
107
Location
Hirwaun, Aberdare, S.Wales, UK.
if any Sasquatch pilots want to put the time in to build a Flitzer there's a variant for you. There's a lot of work in a plans-built wooden biplane, such as the Isaacs Fury, and here the Flitzer is no exception, although the A-frame cabane and 'I' interplane struts simplify things somewhat and reduce drag.

Starting with the basic Z-21 at 22" cockpit width and 97 sq.' of wing area, this is available as the Z-21A with a 24" cockpit and the Z-21B with deeper decking, the latter having been built by a 6'3" pilot weighing about 230 lbs. This a/c, the sole example so far of the B, climbed well on an AeroVee indicating 97 mph in level flight.

The Z-4 is a'big wing' version of the Z-21 while the Z-3 Falke moves up a notch to a bigger all-round aeroplane, suitable for A-65 or C-90, Corvairs etc. All these types have rudder pedal options for long-legged individuals. The F.2 Tiger is similar in size to the Z-3 while the slightly smaller Jung Tiger follows the same basic style having a split axle undercarriage with other detail refinements. These feature a separate upper c'section, and 'N' struts in the case of the bigger F.2 and are intended ideally for inverted in-line engine configurations.

The Z-2 Schwalbe two-seater prototype features more confined cockpits at present, but this is being addressed. However access to the front 'pit is facilitated by a large drop-down door hinged to a false longeron on a substantially reinforced LHS fuselage, and the splayed cabane struts provide excellent hand holds for ingress - this is the antithesis of the Piet - the extended lower wing centre-section being a convenient walkway and resulting in upper and lower wing panels being identical span-wise, overall span being 20'.

Later variants of the basic single-seaters include the Stormcock and Flitzer-Laird LC-1W which are compact with higher aerobatic reserves, similar to the dedicated Stummelflitzer Z-1S and R, which are fully aerobatic, four-aileron types, and are probably not suited to bigger pilots generally. The smallest of the Flitzer family is the Goblin, spanning only 16'10" and about 13' in length. This is not part of the bigger pilot discussion however, but included here for completion. Three are currently being built or are planned in North America.

The original Z-1 flew for the first time, officially, in 1995, so it's effectively a vintage type now, based on the criteria of the UK's Vintage and Classic Aircraft Club. In terms of its construction, appearance and flying qualities it is a true vintage type, simply built 'out of time'. A time machine if you like, and a super teaching tool for the pilot who delights in honing the traditional skills.

Best regards, Lynn
 

perrysplus

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Joined
Jun 6, 2020
Messages
6
Anyone here tried out the Hummel H5? Their site says it accommodates a 6ft 5in/300lb pilot. Another video I saw they claim a 6ft 8in guy got in the plane and had extra room.
I am intrigued.
 

Tiger Tim

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Apr 26, 2013
Messages
3,484
Location
Thunder Bay
This week I was shocked to discover a Pitts S-1S with a 3” stretch in the cockpit was not just bearable but actually roomy for my nearly six and a half feet. Less shocking was the comically roomy cockpit of the PT-26 (it’s a PT-19 with a canopy). I don’t know what compelled them to make that airplane so big but I appreciate it.
 

Twmaster

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Joined
Dec 4, 2020
Messages
9
Location
Texas
A Sasquatch wanna-be pilot here. 6.5, 14 shoes, wide as a wall. Looking for options.

Any of you big guys own or fly a Fisher Horizon 2?
 

Pops

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Jan 1, 2013
Messages
8,706
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USA.
A Sasquatch wanna-be pilot here. 6.5, 14 shoes, wide as a wall. Looking for options.

Any of you big guys own or fly a Fisher Horizon 2?
That is an idea, build it as a single place and widen the fuselage an inch or 2 if needed. Cont-0-200 engine.
 
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