Jukka Reikko’s RV-7A
On August 22, 2011, my RV-7A OH-XJR flew for the first time from Pori (EFPO) airport in Finland. Test pilot Ari Saarinen reported, “This is sweet,” and had no problems. Building time was 10 years from the standard kit. I want to thank Jarmo Hakala, Mika Harala and my beautiful wife, Leena, for their help.
Tom Prevost’s Rans S-19
After nearly three years and a bit more than 1,000 hours of labor, my Rans S-19 first flew on December 30, 2011. Phase I flight testing was completed in May 2012 with only a few minor issues to correct. The paint was done in August 2012 by Russell Aircraft Refinishing, Greenwood, Delaware, using the Dupont Imron AF400 process.
The engine is a Rotax 912 ULS with a ground-adjustable Sensenich prop. Avionics include a Dynon FlightDEK-D180 EFIS/EMS/autopilot, dual XCOM radios, Becker transponder, PS Engineering PMA5000EX audio panel, Garmin GPSMAP 495 and Zaon XRX. A Garmin GDL 39 ADS-B receiver will be added soon.
My S-19 is roomy, light on the controls and easy to fly and land; it performs very close to factory specs. It’s relatively easy to build with excellent support from the factory and fellow builders on the RANS CLAN web site.
Harvey Plummer’s Sonex
The first flight in my plansbuilt Sonex was September 28, 2012. There was a lot of sweating, but the flight was uneventful—like I had hoped it would be.
With help from my brother and an understanding wife, the project took six years: four years of fabricating parts and two years of assembly. N485PB is a trigear with dual controls, and it’s powered by an AeroVee 2.1 engine. My panel has a Stratomaster Enigma EFIS and V10 com radio.
Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Scott Van Artsdalen’s Coyote II
I finished building my S6ES Coyote II in February of 2011 after 23 months and 300 hours of construction. I had previously built and flown a Vans RV-4. It was a great airplane but it just didn’t fit my mission. The Rans S6ES fits my mission perfectly: an economical flyer that can land in the boonies and still take me on longer trips in comfort. I have now put 150 hours on the plane, flown it from California to Oshkosh, and down through Oklahoma and back. The plane handled wonderfully, and the Rotax 912S never skipped a beat.
Ron Lawson’s RANS S-19
I successfully flew my S-19 on February 23, 2010, after a two-year, three-month build. Those two years were some of the best times I have had, getting to know a great team at RANS Aircraft and getting help from many of my flying buddies. That experience could only be topped by the greatest two years of flying. The Rotax 912S has performed as advertised, and the Sensenich ground-adjustable prop gets me along at about 110 mph. The plane handles well. Many thanks go to my best friend, Ron Burleigh, who did all the wiring behind the panel. Avionics include the Dynon D60, a Garmin 496 and a host of steam gauges to keep an eye on things.
David Clay’s Sonex
My plansbuilt Sonex flew for the first time on August 25, 2012. Building this airplane was a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. Flying it is fun and fulfilling beyond my wildest expectations. N195SX is powered by a Hummel 2400cc engine, and it features a Todd’s canopy and Tracy O’Brien hydraulic brakes. Otherwise, the airframe is exactly per the excellent Sonex plans.
Georg Himmeroeder’s Bearhawk
After completing my buddy’s F1 EVO, we thought about building another airplane. My choice was the Bearhawk. I wanted an airplane with more utility, and the Bearhawk, with four seats and a huge payload, was the right one. Also, the choice of engines available was a point. It took us about six years to complete that airplane, and, except for the upholstery, we did everything ourselves.
With the instrument panel I went a little bit overboard, but after flying it for almost 60 hours now, I am very happy with it. The airplane is equipped with an IO-540, 260 hp and an MT three-blade CS prop. It is fully IFR-capable. Here in the New Mexico summers and high elevations, you can’t have enough power. Although my plane came out on the heavy side (empty weight 1700 pounds), compared to other Bearhawks out there, the performance is excellent. At gross weight it climbs at about 1200 feet per minute, and cruise speed is around 120 KTAS on about 10 gallons per hour. Vx is 55 knots, Vy is 72 knots, and Vso is 37 knots indicated. With the two AUX tanks, I have 72 gallons fuel capacity.
The Bearhawk is a beautiful, roomy cruiser, and you can land it almost everywhere. Overall it was a good choice, and I am very happy with the result.
Alamogordo, New Mexico