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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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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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