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Builder Spotlight

February 2014 Issue




Completions

Builders share their successes.

Don Herbel's Zenith CH 701 STOL

I completed my Zenith CH 701 STOL on June 30, 2012, 71/2 years after starting construction. Dubbed "Blue," her colors and name were inspired by my favorite flight demonstration team, the Blue Angels. I read Ron Alexander's book and painted her myself (except for the fuselage). I also upholstered the seats after reading three how-to articles in KITPLANES®. Phase I flight testing was completed on November 21. N848DH is powered by a Rotax 912 ULS.

Claremore, Oklahoma
drherbel@atlasok.com

Warner Owens' GlaStar GS-1

Building my GlaStar N5556W kit aircraft has been a great experience. I had several of the guys help me with the how and when to do things, and the friendships and time spent with each and every one of them has made it wonderful. Being a member of EAA Chapter 1160 since I arrived in Pahrump, NV allowed me to participate in the Young Eagles program and meet members of other EAA Chapters who flew in to attend this once-a-year event, have breakfast, and take the young folks for rides. Building my kit has been two years and three months of work, in both blazing hot temperatures and winter cold nights in the desert. Although I did the color scheme, I send Warrior Wraps of Las Vegas a great big thank you for making and installing their product on my airplane.  It is so much easier than trying to paint all of that. 

Pahrump, Nevada
WarnerOwens@sbcglobal.net 

Richard Schaller's RV-12

I completed this RV-12 in March 2012 and had it painted in Navy T-34 colors in July. The plane is a joy to fly, and I found all the Van's performance numbers to be right on the money. This is my fourth homebuilt, and if I had known how great the Van's kits are, I never would have built the other three! I have about 50 hours on the airframe with no problems to date. Operating costs are about $18 an hour for premium auto gas. 

Phoenix, Arizona
RFSchaller@hotmail.com

Wade Kincaid's Dakota Hawk

The Dakota Hawk was my second homebuilt. I've been a carpenter for many years, so I thought it only right to build a wood-and-fabric plane. It turned out very nice and is a great flyer. I used the Stewart Systems covering and found that fabric covering is not nearly as difficult as I had anticipated. In fact, it was rather a fun part of the project. A Continental O-200 drives a Warp-Drive prop. The plans, for the most part, were faithfully adhered to except for a few areas where I felt a desire for a little more strength. The center stick is my own design and makes it easier getting my size 14s in the plane. Special thanks go to Jerry Breeyear, George Hana, and Barry Mockabee for their help with the engine preparation. I also want to express appreciation to my wife, Betty, who was always ready to lend a hand.

Salome, Arizona
flight544@tds.net

Colin Jordan's RV-8

I am very pleased to announce the first flight of my RV-8 C-FCRJ, on September 13, 2012, after a long 12-year build.

It has an Aero Sport IO-360, Hartzell scimitar prop, Chelton Sport EFIS, GRT 4000, EZ Autopilot, TruTrak ADI, Garmin 327, Garmin SL30, and a NAT AMS50 audio box.

The airplane has exceeded my expectations and is a joy to fly.

I could not have completed this project without a lot of help along the way, and I would like to pass on my sincere thanks to the following: Don Bentley; Ted French; John Horton; Courtney Hunter; Jim Jewel; my wife, Barb; and, of course, Van's.

Vernon, British Columbia, Canada
colinrjordan@hotmail.com

Rick Richardson's Lancair Legacy FG

After starting with three weeks of Lancair's factory-assist builders program, my plane received its airworthiness certificate exactly three years later in July 2010. This was my first time to do such a project and it was quite a learning experience! I delayed submitting my completion article until the plane was finished, but I now understand that it will never be completely finished.

This Legacy is different from most in that it has the carbon fiber body, but with fixed gear. The best thing about this plane is the great visibility. It feels like you are just sitting out on the wing. Cross-country trips are a real pleasure. The Continental IO-550 engine, operating LOP, runs cool and only burns around 12 gph while cruising at 210 knots.

Thanks for help and support goes to many people. First my wife, Donna, for her patience and continued support. Then all my Spicewood Airport friends who were always available with help and advice. Special thanks to Ernie Sutter for doing the initial test flights! And finally to Carey Day, of Day Aircraft Refinishers in Brady Texas, for all his work to bring my paint scheme to life.

Lakeway, Texas
rrsoffice@sbcglobal.net

Bob Peck's RV-7A

My first flight in the RV-7A was on July 16, 2012. The engine is an Aero Sport Power IO-375 with the Precision Eagle EMS (electronic ignition and injection) and a Catto three-blade propeller. Other features include a dual GRT HX panel backed up through a Vertical Power VP-X Pro, electronic circuit breakers, Garmin SL30 radio, Garmin 327 transponder, and GRT autopilot servos.

The aircraft took about two years to build (retired with a quickbuild kit from Van's). I was extremely pleased with the quality of the kit and recommend it highly. The airplane flies and performs great. I wish I had built one of Van's aircraft years ago.

Dayton, Nevada
bobpeck2000@yahoo.com

 

BUILDERS SHARE THEIR SUCCESSES

CompletionsSubmissions to "Completions" should include a description (a few paragraphs only—250 words maximum) of the project and the finished aircraft. Also include a good color photograph of the aircraft. Please include a daytime phone number where we can contact you if necessary. Also indicate whether we may publish your address in case other builders would like to contact you. Send submissions to editorial@kitplanes.com with a subject line of "Completions." Photos must be high-resolution—300 dpi at a 3 x 5 print size is the minimum requirement. You can also submit your aircraft through our online form.

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Homebuilder's Portal by KITPLANES
Dynon Avionics' latest-generation SkyView integrated avionics called the SkyView HDX has a newly designed bezel and user controls for easier use while flying in turbulence, plus brighter displays and a reworked touch interface. Larry Anglisano takes a product tour of the HDX with Dynon's Michael Schoefield in this video.
At Sun 'n Fun 2016, Dynon continued to push into the world of non-certified avionics with its SkyView SE, a less expensive version of its popular SkyView EFIS system. Paul Bertorelli prepared this video report.
The G5 is a self-contained electronic flight instrument, which can be interfaced with Garmin's G3X/Touch avionics and autopilot for backup and flight instrument redundancy. The GMA245 and remote GMA245R Bluetooth audio panels have advanced entertainment input functions and onscreen programming.
At Sun 'n Fun 2016, Just Aircraft is showing off its new Titan-powered SuperSTOL XL. Harrison Smith took Paul Bertorelli for a half-day demo flight in the new airplane, and here's his video report.
Kit manufacturer Zenith Aircraft Company has released a new 360-degree VR short video to showcase its kit aircraft and to promote the rewarding hobby of kit aircraft building and flying light-sport aircraft.
Whether you are upgrading the audio system in an older LSA or experimental or building a new project, PS Engineering and Garmin have non-certified audio panels equipped with advanced features better suited for smaller cabins.
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