Wittman Buttercup - Anyone bought the plans and started it?

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tysonb

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Jun 19, 2006
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Ok, I've been reading everything I can find on Earl Luce's take on the Buttercup - not a whole lot out there... I've emailed Earl and Aircraft Spruce so I know the plans and the kits are availiable, but it concerns me that there is only one (Earl's) actually flying.

I like the design, moderate low cost, and I think the construction is within my talents (I've refurbished 3 old fords and rebuilt one from the ground up) but it would still be a great learning experience. If the numbers are accurate its quite the performer with 100hp... I think it would be a good platform for a Corvair...

Anyone out there building one? I can't find a single builders log online, so I can only assume the 100+ plans Earl told me he's sold are either gathering dust or all the builders are sooo dedicated to the build they're sleeping in they're garage. My biggest concern is lack of a "builders network" like some of the more popular (and even some of the unknowns) have.

I'm also open to suggestions for other planes I should look at. I'm lusting after an RV-10 (who isn't), but I'm looking for a "starter" design - kit or plans built. Here's what I'd like to find:

2 seat - side-by-side (four would be nice, but HP = $$$)
low or high wing
110kt cruse (that may be a pipe dream, but the buttercup claims it can do 130mph)
Simple construction - I don't want to be bucking rivets for weeks (months... YEARS?) thats what is drawing me to rag & tube - but I may be off in left field on that one...
Moderate construction time - 500~700 hours
I don't have a machine shop full of tools, but I have the basics - 36" brake, small mig w/gas, drill press, etc... so some kit/prefab parts would be nice, but I can make simple stuff.
Here's the biggest limiting factor - all of it for 18-20k, airframe, instruments, avionics, and engine. (night vfr)

Is it impossible? I have the time and I know how much time this can absorb - old cars can burn weekends for years...

Thanks for any advice/comments/complaints in advance...

Tyson
 

Topaz

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I don't know too much about the Luce Buttercup, other than the original Wittman version is supposed to be a very nice airplane. Wittman's version was designed and 'active' in the marketplace far enough back that it was before the internet, so there wouldn't be too many online references by actual builders.

I think you're justifiably concerned about the lack of an existing builder's network or forum, although that may be no reflection at all on the quality of the airframe or kit. If you haven't already, you might check the Yahoo groups for a user group - seems like most designs have at least one group there. A good builder's group is a godsend for asking questions when you get stuck. Aircraft Spruce is a good bunch of people, by and large, and you might ask them if they know of any support groups for the design if Luce isn't getting you what you need.

As for your requirements, it sounds like you've got a good fit of talents, tools, and expectations. The only part that might be a problem is the build time and overall cost - 'quick build' kits tend to be expensive and plans-built airplanes are cheap, but take longer. But really, I'm sure you could build an airplane of the kind you seek for that kind of money, even if it takes longer than 500-700h to do.

Kitplanes magazine puts out an annual listing (at least, I think they're still doing it) of kits on the market, with prices, specs, and a brief description. I'm sure you'd find several airplanes that suit your needs there.
 
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Davefl42

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Jun 2, 2003
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Fl
Have a look at Jodels, The D150 Mascaret looks like it might fit the bill. And the basic design has been around for 50 years with lots of builder support.


http://www.jodel.com/
 

tysonb

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Jun 19, 2006
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Well, I should search yahoo groups more - there is an active buttercup builders list... I had found the tailwind group, but it wasn't what I was looking for. Looks like people are actually building (and perhaps flying) the design - I'll have to spend some time reading the messages to know for sure.

I know 500-700h is probably not enough, and I couldn't even begin to count the hours I have in cars (I don't log it :D) so its not a big issue, I just don't want something that averages 2000~2500...

The D150 definately looks like it would be a great plane, but a cursory google just turns up plans available in french... I'll do some more looking, its definately worth some research. (yahoo maybe?:whistle:)

Thanks!

Tyson
 

tysonb

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Slow day - computer upgrade so I'm mostly out of commission... I've read the buttercup builders yahoo group (yes, all of it 220 or so messages) and I'm pretty confident I can build it... It seems generally the group is supportive of a corvair conversion, but I'm sure engine choices are 1~2 years down the road... I'm gonna email Earl tonight (once my email is transfered to the new comp) about getting a set of plans... Worst case I can always just get an RV-4 kit :D
 

buttercupairplane

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Aug 8, 2006
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trenton, ga
BUttercup builder here!

The buttercup is an awesome plane and shoud be a great performer on a C-85.

I am building one. I have two sides of the fuselage built, started the tail feathers and have built a wing rib jig. The plans are easy enough to follow, although there are some real head scratchers because not all of the measurements add up like they should...A quick call or email to Earl straightens them out however. 700 hrs is no where near what it will take to build unless you are a good welder. (I am not, so things are taking a lot longer than they should.)

I too am considering the corvair, but would like to find a nice cheap C-85 as this is what it was designed around.

Wittman used the BC for a test bed for a lot of what went into the Tailwind and was certified to be built commercially if I am not mistaken. But plans for that were cancelled by WWII. Apparently all who flew it were impressed...the original flew for 50 ish years without a problem. For this reason alone, and the fact the tailwind was based on it is reason enough for me to build one...besides, I think it looks pretty darn neat too! (or ugly depending on who you are).

I am shooting for the LSA category and will eliminate the LE flaps and use a climb prop to keep it within LSA limitations. If you have any questions about it, please let me know.
 
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planecrazzzy

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Aug 16, 2003
Messages
330
I have a Buttercup site... and also have a building log with LOTS of detail
I can't just paste the address's... I'm on a different computer...
The buttercup "Group" ( Yahoo ) is Buttercup/STOL

I have a lot of pictures and details at "Wings Forum" in the Wittman section

But at that forum, you must register...Or the picture just don't show

I don't know why....

Gotta Fly...
Mike & "Jaz" in MN
.
.
.Oooooops... Just saw this was an OLD POST...
 
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Merlin_FAC

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Sep 28, 2009
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Melbourne, FL
William Wynne (the Corvair guru) is working on a Corvair-powered Buttercup right now. His website is www.FlyCorvair.com - Home of the Recognized Authority on Corvair Powered Flight - last I looked (5 mins ago) the bottom said "Buttercup coming soon" but no webpage on it just yet. He's said a few things in various "Hangar" pages... check out March 2009 At The www.FlyCorvair.com Hangar - scroll about halfway down, or August 2008 At The www.FlyCorvair.com Hangar (2/3 down), March 2008 At The www.FlyCorvair.com Hangar (it's the "mystery project" 1/3 down the page). Hope this helps...
 

planecrazzzy

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Aug 16, 2003
Messages
330
I heard William bought a Buttercup that was Half way built...

So it shouldn't take him too long.... I saw that same post

at his website a LOOONG time ago.... Guess he doesn't keep it up.

Gotta Fly...
Mike & "Jaz" in MN ( Building BC )
 

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