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Table of Contents

February 2012 Issue

Buyer's Guide

2012 Rotorcraft Buyer’s Guide

The 2012 Rotorcraft Buyer’s Guide includes 49 designs for those who may be interested in building a kit helicopter or gyroplane.

Flight Reports

Kitfox Super Sport

Marc Cook reports on the process of developing a new Lycoming O-233 engine package for the Kitfox Series 7 Super Sport and samples the result.

Builder Spotlight

Garmin aera 796: Portable Syn Vision

Garmin builds on its portable product line with two new navigators: the aera 795 and 796. Paul Bertorelli reviews these synthetic-vision capable units.

Build It Better

Paul Dye debuts his new series on the myriad considerations that go into building and flying Experimental aircraft.

Engine Update

Lycoming makes a push into the Light Sport Aircraft market with its new O-233 engine. Though similar in appearance to the venerable O-235, it’s an entirely new design poised to take on some heavy competition. By Marc Cook.

Ask the DAR

What builders need to know about Light Sport Aircraft Repairman Certificates. By Mel Asberry.


Builders share their successes.

Shop Talk


The FAA provides a wealth of user-friendly information on its web site. Jim Weir takes us on a tour of the highlights.

Designer's Notebook

Wind Tunnel

Learn how wingtip vortices are generated and how wake turbulence can affect your aircraft. By Barnaby Wainfan.


Editor’s Log

Editor Mary Bernard introduces the new “Build It Better” series by Paul Dye and praises Kitfox Aircraft for its ongoing development efforts.

What’s New

MGL Avionics announces its new XTreme EMS engine monitoring system, the RANS S-19 Venterra has joined the FAA’s official 51% eligibility list, and Wicks Aircraft Supply adds a new Dual XGPS150 universal Bluetooth Receiver to its product lineup.


Marc Cook reflects on the years of on-the-job lessons he learned while formation flying and shooting air-to-air photography.

Inside KITPLANES: How We Do Aerial Photography

Marc Cook explains the nuts-and-bolts of how we achieve the aerial photography that appears in the magazine, and offers a few pointers on how to capture your own plane in flight.

Unusual Attitude

Doug Reeves, creator of the Van’s Air Force web site, shares his personal philosophy about what it takes to fly safely and responsibly.

The Dawn Patrol

Dick and Sharon Starks mix it up with the “big boys” and draw their own crowd at Oshkosh AirVenture 2011.

Alternative Energies

Dean Sigler was on location at this year’s Green Flight Challenge in Santa Rosa, California, and he offers a report.

Light Stuff

Ready to jump into gyroplanes? Roy Beisswenger explains the options available and the regulations for this exciting segment of aviation.

Kit Bits


KITPLANES Marketplace

List of Advertisers, Builders' Marketplace and the Classified Builder.

Kit Stuff

Drawing on experience; by cartoonist Robrucha.


Download the complete February 2012 issue of KITPLANES in one PDF file.

Best of... Monthly Photo Contest Homebuilder's Portal by KITPLANES
dye-6-reasons-for-homebuilts-video-thm_2Kitplanes magazine editor-in-chief Paul Dye is a former NASA flight director, but he’s also a passionate homebuilder, currently working on a Dream Tundra. At AirVenture 2015, he gave his six top reasons for joining the homebuilt community.
gemini-video-capAt AirVenture 2015, Superior Air Parts provided a progress report on their new Gemini three-cylinder diesel, showing off an installation in an American Legend Cub.
rotax-915is-capNo one was expecting it, but at AirVenture 2015, Rotax introduced a new engine, the 135-hp turbocharged 915 iS. The company says it’s expected to be available by about 2017. Rotax/BRP’s Marc Becker gave a┬ábriefing on the new engine.
Paul_Dye_SubSonex-Jet-300x168When Kitplanes was given the opportunity to fly and review the Subsonex, we brought along Paul Bertorelli, our Editorial Director to capture the sights and sounds of the little jet for our readers. We hope you enjoy it as much as we enjoyed flying the airplane. Our full review will be found in the August […]
garmin-virb-rv12Van's Aircraft has a new VIRB action camera interface in the RV12 that works with the newly introduced Garmin G3X Touch avionics suite. Larry Anglisano took the system flying at the 2015 U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida, for a closer look.
rotax-factory-tour-snipWith the 912 iS and new iS Sport engine, Rotax is making gains with new products. Reporting for KITPLANES, Paul Bertorelli visited the factory last summer and produced this video explaining how the engines are built.
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