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Builder Spotlight

May 2019 Issue




Completions

Builders share their successes.

Stephen Port’s RV-8

Here is my RV-8 that I completed in June 2017. I didn’t have enough time to fly off my Phase One in time for Oshkosh, but I did get there in 2018. I started with a quickbuild kit (if you call four and a half years quickbuild) and then added the Show Planes fastback conversion. That I believe was well worth the extra time and effort. I have a 180-hp Lycoming IO-360 and a WhirlWind constant-speed prop. Ground speed is typically around 200 mph at 75% power. It’s a great flying airplane that gives me the RV grin every time I fly.

Nashville, Tennessee

Chris Brammer’s Zenith CH 750

I recently completed my Zenith CH 750 after the original was nearly destroyed due to engine failure and a subsequent off-airport landing. Performance is pretty good with the Lycoming O-320. Paint scheme is not actually paint but 3M-1080 vinyl wrap.

Crowley, Louisiana

Alan Arthur, Doug Harrington, and Avon Furphy’s Bearhawk Patrol

Bearhawk Patrol VH-TUC made its first flight in Perth, Australia, in September 2018. The aircraft was built from a quickbuild kit and is powered by a Mazda rotary engine turning an Ivoprop propeller.

According to Alan, one of his friends who likes to name everything looked at the plane during the early stages of the build and said, “She looks like a Lucy.” The three partners said OK, but it has to have a subtitle. Reminded of the Beatles hit, they all agreed to call the plane Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.

Lucy has an extended exhaust system that is very effective. According to Alan, “All the noise now comes from the prop and gearbox, and not much of that. Mazda rotary engines have a reputation for being very noisy, and it certainly was when we first ran it up with only a small, homemade muffler. Desperate action was called for, so we ordered a custom 3-inch racing exhaust system for a Mazda RX-7 from Racing Beat in the U.S.”

The Mazda engine is water cooled with a large radiator on each side of the engine and an oil cooler in the top scoop. Rotomotion Engineering of Perth did the engine build and provided lots of advice. It is a bit different than the work they do for their usual street-racer customer. Target horsepower is 210–240, which the builders are working on by more tuning. The Ivoprop is a three-blade, 76-inch Magnum propeller that is ground adjustable.

Perth, Australia

Vince and Jen Santorelly’s Cubby

N724JV is a Wag-Aero Sport Trainer acro version with a Continental C85-12F engine. It was a 16-year build and was completed in July 2017. The color scheme was inspired by a clipped wing Cub that was based at Warwick Airport in Upstate New York back in the ’70s. The wings are all-wood construction, with a steel-tube fuselage that includes some actual Cub parts.

New Smyrna, Florida

Scott French’s Bearhawk Patrol

Bearhawk Patrol N862SC flew for the first time in September 2018. The plane was mostly built from scratch, following the plans from designer Bob Barrows, but also used finished wing spars and ribs ordered through AviPro. It is powered by a Superior O-360 engine and is easily flown off a 1500-foot grass strip. Scott has previously finished a plansbuilt Storch replica, which he describes as difficult to build in comparison to the Patrol.

Central City, Iowa

Marc Friesen’s Glasair Sportsman

Finally, after over three years Sportsman kit #7091 left the ground. It flew really well and only needed minor trim adjustment. The airplane is fitted with 31-inch Alaskan Bushwheels on the Glasair Cub-style landing gear and a T3 tailwheel. The big wheels make a great setup for my type of flying, and it still manages 133 mph at 25/25. Not bad! The engine is a Lycoming 210-hp IO-360 with 10:1 pistons.

This year’s moose is already in the freezer, and the fishing never stops. I’m looking forward to putting many hours on the plane.

Northern Sunrise Outfitters
Sioux Lookout, Ontario

 

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.

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Homebuilder's Portal by KITPLANES
Photo by Richard VanderMeulen
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 …
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 …

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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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