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Builder Spotlight

March 2016 Issue


Builders share their successes.

Fernando Courreges’ Sonex

My Sonex took to the air for the first time on July 23, 2014. I completed the project after almost four years of building and learning time. It has a Jabiru 3300 engine driving a Sensenich propeller. It has wonderful handling characterists and the performance I expected. The panel is fitted with a Stratomaster electronic flight instrument system and portables: Garmin aera 500, Flightcom intercom, and Icom radio. Thanks to all the people at Sonex, and many thanks to my wife and kids for their patience and support. I highly recommend a Sonex. The plans are great and easy to use. You are welcome to contact me with any questions.

General Villegas, Argentina

Mark Banus’ Glasair SIIS FT

After 13 years of construction, Glasair II-S-FT, N600, launched from Chesapeake Regional Airport on her maiden voyage the morning of Wednesday, June 4, 2014, piloted by Major Justin Lewis of FLS Microjet fame. Dale Fowler in his Glasair, N264DD, was the chase plane providing external eyes on and confirming airspeed and altitude readings for Justin.

I am a low-time pilot and had not flown for the last five years during the final assembly of my Glasair. The transition plan worked out with EAA 339 flight advisor, John Andre, called for 5–10 hours additional flight time to include some Glasair time. I received 7.7 hours dual instruction in a C-182 and was fortunate to also get two hops in Dale Fowler’s Glasair II-FT. But I was still a bit uneasy about being N600’s test pilot.

Fortunately, my friend Justin volunteered to fly the first few flights. I jumped at the offer. Justin is a U.S. Navy-trained pilot, flew F-14s, E-6s, instructed in T-45s, and now flies A-10s for the Air National Guard. Previously he owned a Glasair, N68DJ, which he flew for 400+ hours. He is now an airshow pilot flying the FLS Microjet in airshows such as Sun 'n Fun and Oshkosh.

This was the most complete and professional testing I have seen. Knowing N600 had proved to be a stable, predictable aircraft gave me confidence to launch my first flight June 14, 2014. I was able to concentrate on flying the new aircraft instead of worrying if and how it would fly. Priceless. I would highly recommend bringing in a “hired gun” like Major Lewis for your initial flights. You will be very glad you did (and so will your spouse).

Norfolk, Virginia

Byron Poppenhagen’s Corbin Baby Ace

This is my Corbin Baby Ace. It took about three years of fun to build it. I was inspired by the Baby Ace in the EAA museum, so I went home and built this one. It is powered by a Continental A-75 with a Sterba prop. Several pilots have flown it, and they all say it's a very nice flying, docile bird.

Grafton, North Dakota



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 with a subject line of "Completions." Photos must be high-resolution—300 dpi at a 3 x 5 print size is the minimum requirement.

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Homebuilder's Portal by KITPLANES
Photo by Richard VanderMeulen
Phillabaum-HelicycleFirst flight of my Helicycle helicopter was on January 31, 2019 after two years of part-time building. Previously, before I retired, I built an RV-8 and a Zenith 750. The Helicycle was my first post- retirement project. I discovered I had more building time when I was working. Now trips, lake time, skiing, etc. interfere …
I always wanted something to do in retirement that that would be both challenging and fun. I couldn't envision myself playing golf only during the summer months so I decided to build and fly my own airplane. Looked around at all of the offerings from the kit manufacturers and finally decided on a Zenith CH …
Pappas Waiex B TurboThis is my second Waiex build. My first appeared in a Kitplanes article in 2007. This one took 24 months of part time work and uses the Aerovee Turbo and an all-Dynon avionics HDX panel. Thanks to my friends Randy Krueger for the Corvette Torch Red paint and James Butler, pilot and A&P mechanic extraordinaire …

lycoming-thunderbolt-o-360-redAt Sun 'n Fun 2018 we interviewed Jeff Schans, Lycoming's Sales manager and we asked about the popular Thunderbolt Engines. Watch the short Product Minute video as Jeff describes the benefits of the Thunderbolt product line and what it means for the aircraft homebuilder.
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.
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