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Builder Spotlight

June 2016 Issue


Builders share their successes.

Geoff van Asch’s Murphy Rebel

After nine years and many, many hours, Murphy Rebel ZK-VAN (kit #798) flew on Saturday, October 24, 2015 at Omaka, New Zealand. Powered by an Aero Sport O-320 with dual Light Speed Plasma II Plus electronic ignitions, she purrs like a pussycat. The instrumentation is a 10-inch Dynon SkyView, mainly for the EMS system. The first flight was made by Alister Yeoman. ZK-VAN was his sixth Rebel maiden flight. The airplane is very much part of the family—our two boys were 1 and 3 when the kit arrived, now 10 and 12, and proud of Dad’s achievement. Wife Rachael is happy and has an ever-growing to-do list around the home now that the other woman is flying.

Omaka, New Zealand

Larry Saupe’s Kitfox

My wife Shelli and I started our Kitfox III kit October 19, 2014. Thanks to the generous help of our local EAA Chapter (602) technical counselors and flight advisor, our Kitfox made its first taxi on October 18, 2015. The first flight was conducted a few days later on October 21 by an EAA 602 flight advisor, and it flew beautifully right out of the gate.

Galway, New York

Roger Tracy’s Sonex

Sonex N1579C made its first flight on April 8, 2013. The project was started at the end of June 2012. It was certified on April 1, 2013. The engine is an AeroVee 2180. I added hydraulic brakes from Great Plains and axles from Tracy O’Brien. The com radio is a Flightline 760 and the transponder is a Sandia STX 165. The Sonex is a great-flying plane.

Lake Placid, Florida

Bill Rusk’s Super Cub

The genesis for the airplane was in June 2011, and it first flew in May 2015. Actual building time was about 31/2 years. This is my second Experimental Super Cub. The kit was produced by Javron in Brainerd, Minnesota. It has a full complement of “Alaska Mods” to meet its primary mission of travel, exploration, and wilderness camping up north. Significant attention to the issue of weight was paid throughout the build, and it resulted in a lightweight “Bush ready” Cub. Empty weight came in at 1052 on Bushwheels with an O-360, square wings, and all the mods. Empty weight is 1325 on Wipline 2100A amphibious floats. A huge, detailed “how to” thread was kept on the web site. Google “Building a Javron Cub” to find the thread.

Poplar Grove, Illinois

Joe Friend’s Searey LSX

My Searey LSX was completed in August 2015. It is painted to honor the Greatest Generation and styled like the PBY Catalina in Jim Slattery’s Greatest Generation Naval Museum. It’s powered by a Rotax 912 ULS and equipped with Advanced Flight Systems avionics, including ADS-B In and Out. The Searey has Friese ailerons, which make it incredibly responsive, even at low speeds. The wing design with washout and vortex generators allows a 38-mph stall with flaps. The stall is very timid, more like a mush, and can actually be heard when the airstream breaks free of the wing at the root and goes through the prop.

Port Orange, Florida

Eric Marenyi’s Sonex

On March 23, 2013, the kit that was originally sentenced to a life on the shelf in the back of a carpet store became an airplane! The airplane and VW engine performed perfectly, and I was finally able to feel the rewarding sensation that comes when you see something you built with your own two hands take to the skies. I found a basically new kit that had been sitting for a few years, bought it, and spent the next 15 months building furiously to complete it. To anyone who is dreaming or working toward it, keep going and you will find your reward, too!

Jacksonville, North Carolina

Bob Meyer’s SuperSport Kitfox

I got my SuperSport Kitfox kit in 2011 and spent 27 months to complete it. I finished on December 17, 2014, the 111th anniversary of the Wright brothers’ first successful powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. N43KF is powered by a Rotax 912 ULS with 3-blade WhirlWind propeller. The instruments are a single Dynon 10-inch SkyView EFIS with com, transponder, and intercom.

Phoenix, Arizona

John Drane’s Arion Lightning

I finished my Arion Lightning in June 2011. It is equipped with a Dynon EFIS-D60, Garmin radio and transponder, and Grand Rapids EIS. The engine is a Jabiru 3300 with a Sensenich ground-adjustable prop. Thanks to Greg and Crystal Hobbs and their builder's assistance program.

Laveen, Arizona


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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Untitled Document Homebuilder's Portal by KITPLANES
Photo by Richard VanderMeulen
Pulsar-XP-HB-YIVPulsar XP, serial# 404, made it's maiden flight on May 18, 2013 after quite a long period of building. Since then, the log book contains more than 350 trouble-free flight hours, many flown outside Switzerland throughout Europe. --Andreas Meisser, Basel, Switzerland
My USCG-themed RV-9A was completed this weekend. I built it using a slow build kit, although I did get a jump-start, buying 90% completed wings from Ravi Thakker, another RV-9A owner. The plane is all Garmin, all-glass, IFR, with a Lycoming IO-320 and a 3-blade-fixed pitch Catto prop with oxygen. From delivery of the first …
marc-friesen-glasair-sportsman-c-fmhfFinally, after over 3 years Sportsman kit #7091 left the ground. It flew really well and only needed minor trim adjustment. The airplane is fitted with 31" Bushwheels on the Glasair Cub-style landing gear and a T3 tailwheel.¬† The big wheels¬†make a great set up for my type of flying and it still manages 133mph …

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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