Completions

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Dave Dietzel and David Fortunas Jabiru J-400

This project was the first for David Dietzel and the fourth for David Fortuna, and it was well worth the effort. After about 500 hours building time (not counting paint), N342DM was sitting on the end of the runway at the downtown airport in Shreveport, Louisiana, fixing to make its maiden flight. On the panel, the Stratomaster glass cockpit was showing everything in order and ready to roll. The other equipment includes a TruTrak autopilot, transponder with encoder, Lowrance AirMap 2000C with backup altimeter and ASI steam gauges. After a “cleared for takeoff” from the tower, we rolled onto Runway 32 and shortly thereafter “committed aviation.” No real surprises, as it handled as advertised. We now have 75 hours on it and other than being a bit squirrelly on the ground, its pretty much what Jabiru advises. It cruises at 120 knots solo and will climb at 1400 fpm even in muggy Louisiana. The 3300 Jabiru runs strong and quiet, and it starts like a Japanese car. We are really enjoying the airplane. Our thanks to Jim with Jabiru Pacific, Pete with Jabiru USA and Andy with Suncoast Sportplanes, as we got helpful information from all of them along the way.

Shreveport, Louisiana
318/861-3066

Charlie and Cynthia Starrs Murphy Super Rebel SR2500

Our SR2500 kit was ordered at Oshkosh in 96 when it was still only a mockup of a Murphy design. The kit arrived at our New Jersey townhouse in a huge crate on a flatbed truck in October 1997. Construction started in the basement a few months later. In August 2000, what looked like mostly finished wings, fuselage and other assorted pieces were loaded onto a moving van for a journey to our new home in the Florida panhandle. The entire project sat in storage for over a year while our hangar was being built. Finally, in March 2006, after eight years time and nearly 30,000 rivets, N96CS took flight. In spite of the move from New Jersey to Florida, sitting more than a year in storage, a number of special mods to the design, and even with more time out for my bypass surgery in 2002, the first flight of 96CS was unremarkable and as advertised-with only a few minor things to tweak. The required test time was quickly flown, the aircraft painted and then flown to Oshkosh for AirVenture 2006. The Lycoming O-540 and Hartzell constant-speed prop produce 142-mph cruise at less than 14 gph. It will haul four adults, 100 pounds of bags and 4 hours worth of fuel.

Niceville, Florida
cws1932@cox.net

George Mendoncas Kitfox 4

In November 2004 I bought a Kitfox 4 plane (95% done and 25% to go-as the old joke goes). It took nine months, 609 hours, to complete. The first flight was on September 1, 2005. During the first six months, it was down for engine problems for three months with a plugged carburetor jet. Even so, I completed 100 hours of flight time the first year. Ive been flying to many airports that Ive heard about but haven’t flown into such as Little
River, California. Lots of fun! I went to the West Coast Piper Cub fly-in at Lompoc,
California, on December 6, 2006, and the fly-in at Boonville, California, on August 12, 2006.
What a hoot! With the glass doors its almost like an open cockpit-without the wind. The photograph was the second landing on Runway 28L at Hayward, California, after the runway resurfacing.

San Mateo, California
george737@comcast.net

Submissions 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, 203 Argonne Ave., Suite B105, Long Beach, CA 90803. Digital submissions are also acceptable. Send text and photos 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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