Builders share their successes.



Michael Gallagher’s RANS S-7S

Our Rans S-7S was completed in August 2011 after a January 2011 start. Nearly a year of research went into our choice for a kit, and the different opinions of my wife and me were like apples and turnips. I was looking for a tandem taildragger, and she wanted a trigear with side-by-side seating. We spent the entire week of AirVenture 2010 sitting in nearly every LSA-eligible aircraft on the field. We both came to the conclusion that side-by-side seating with elbows jabbing each other was not a comfortable way to fly.

We selected the RANS S-7S months after our week at Oshkosh. Having a chance to fly one and learning about the world of modifications pioneered by Joel Milloway, legend in the S-7 community, we were sold. Equipped with a Warp Drive three-blade prop and a panel centered on a single 10-inch Dynon SkyView, the project weighed in at a feathery 725 pounds.

The real challenges began when the test flying started. After about an hour of initial flight testing, the Rotax 912 started running hot and making unnatural grinding sounds. A look at the oil filter revealed it was making metal. After an engine replacement by Rotax, we were back in business for flight testing and by the end of 2011 had accumulated nearly 70 hours.

Peoria, Illinois
[email protected]

Timothy Finley’s Zenith 601XLB

I began construction of N949TF, my Jabiru-powered 601XLB at the Zenith factory on June 19, 2008. The build was completed by October 31, 2010. The FAA held up my airworthiness inspection until February 5, 2011. Tango Fox flew for the first time early on the morning of February 11, 2011, from St. Louis Downtown Airport (KCPS) with no real surprises. I want to thank my wife, Jennifer, my biggest supporter in the endeavor, along with construction advisor Gale Derosier, flight advisor Bill Jagust, AB DAR Frank Baldwin, Joe Norris and many others with the EAA who assisted and supported me with difficulties with the FAA. I never imagined when I began this project that I would gain such a wonderful new family as I have found in the EAA and other parts of the aviation community. The group photo was taken at Zenith’s 2011 fall open hangar day in Mexico, Missouri.

Marthasville, Missouri
[email protected]

Larry Wheat’s Pulsar III

I just recently completed a Pulsar III with a 2200 Jabiru coupled with a Sensenich ground-adjustable composite prop. It has the Dynon SkyView with autopilot installed with UMA backup gauges. There is also a Microair transponder, XCOM VHF radio and a full set of Aveo strobes and clearance lights. The whole project took approximately 2300 hours to complete, with the paint job done by a local artist here in Moses Lake. Love the airplane and the way it flies. I would also like to thank the folks that helped me in the project: Darrin Jackson of Jackson Flight Center, Gary Weaver and Steve Dentz for help in the glass work, Dick Orvid for his help in the cooling ducts, and last but not least, Dynon and Jabiru Jim of Jabiru Pacific.  

Moses Lake, Washington
[email protected]



CompletionsSubmissions to “Completions” should include a typed, double-spaced description (a few paragraphs only—250 words maximum) of the project and the finished aircraft. Also include a good color photograph (prints or 35mm slides are acceptable) of the aircraft that we may keep. 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: Completions, c/o KITPLANES® Magazine, P.O. Box 315, Ashland, OR 97520. Digital submissions are also acceptable. Send text and photos to [email protected] with a subject line of “Completions.” Photos must be high-resolution—300 dpi at a 3 x 5 print size is the minimum requirement. You can also submit your aircraft through our online form.


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