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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
N958PD first flightSubSonex Serial #21 (N958PD) made its first flight out of the Dayton Valley Airpark in Nevada on the 24th of March, 2019. Winter kept trying to hang on in the Sierra Nevada mountains, but the weather smiled on us, I had a great crew that made themselves available on short notice, and we got "Loki" …
RANS S-6 N646GTN646GT started with six members in an LLC, and currently has four left, 10 years after we bought the kit. One of our team is Richard Hogan, the designer of the new Commutercraft. Our RANS S-6 started construction at a hangar at the now defunct Mathis Airport in Suwannee, Georgia, then moved to another hangar …
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 …

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.
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