Builders share their successes.


William Bennetts Vans RV-8A

My RV-8A flew for the first time on October 17, 2007, after six and a half years and some 2000+ hours. The fuselage was quickbuilt by the factory. The engine is a rebuilt Lycoming O-360-A4M, turning a Sensenich prop. A Dynon EFIS-D100 with round backup and engine gauges, a Garmin GPSMAP196, SL40 and GTX 327 make up the instrument panel. Builder help came from members of EAA Chapter 187, which led to a great first flight.

Austin, Texas
[email protected]

Aaron Knights Sonex

My copper color-changing Sonex, serial number 1024, had its first flight on June 6, 2008. The flawlessly running Jabiru 3300 engine and an all-glass panel with Dynon FlightDek-D180, AvMap GPS with XM Weather, Xcom radio and Becker transponder coupled with the super-solid, aerobatic-rated Sonex airframe have provided an extremely enjoyable flying machine and adventure-mobile with the kids. What a delight to build! It all flew together in a blisteringly fast 850 hours over a short 1.5 years. Thanks to Sonex for such a first-rate kit and plans.

Norwell, Massachusetts
[email protected]

Michael Sproats RV-9A

On July 24, 2008, after five years and 2182 hours of work, I test-flew C-FHMS. It performed according to the specifications outlined by Vans Aircraft. The aircraft incorporates an Aero Sport Power O-320 engine, Sensenich fixed-pitch propeller, Vetterman exhaust, Dynon EFIS, Icom IC-A200 transceiver, Garmin transponder, Vans engine instruments and three Garmin GPSes. Thanks to Phil Kite of Kite Air, in Edmonton, who did a masterful paint job and allowed me the use of his hangar for final assembly. Thanks also to Scott and Gus at Vans Aircraft for answering my questions during construction. A very special thanks to my co-pilot and wife, Jeannine, (who nicknamed C-FHMS The Mistress) for her patience, support and help during those times when two people were required. I have logged 40 hours and am finished with the certification process.

Edmonton, Canada
[email protected]

Mark Navratils RV-8A

My RV-8A has been flying since February 15, 2006, providing almost 300 hours of great fun so far. I built and painted it in the garage of my condo over a 6-year period. The paint scheme is taken from the USAFs new primary trainer, the T-6A Texan II. I will email details of the paint scheme layout and color specs to anyone interested. Power comes from an overhauled Lycoming O-360-A1A, driving a Hartzell constant-speed prop. Empty weight is 1087 pounds, and performance is per Vans specs, which is to say, superb! The panel and ignition are all-electric with no magnetos or vacuum system. N2D has numerous custom touches, and I was honored to win a Bronze Lindy at Oshkosh in 2006.

Marion, Iowa
[email protected]

George Powers Pipistrel Sinus

At 11 a.m. on November 17, 2008, N6717P broke ground for its first 22-minute flight. Performance met and exceeded the already impressive specs (available at This was the last step in a leisurely year of construction for a first-time builder. The workmanship, quality and completeness of this kit are phenomenal! The aircraft is, to my mind, the best combination of the two worlds of soaring and cross country. Construction was accomplished in our garage with the assistance of my best friend, Pat Cannon, and my son David. Grateful thanks to my wife, Barbara, for the gift of a lifetime. Thanks also to the FAAs Bill Kunder for making the paperwork and inspection process painless. The aircraft, registered as an Experimental/Amateur-Built motorglider, is currently residing in its mobile hangar (a 27-foot Haulmark trailer), awaiting reduced snow levels before completing its 40-hour Phase I limitations.

Truckee, California
[email protected]

Eric Parkers Helicycle

Eagle R&D of Nampa, Idaho, manufactures the Helicycle helicopter. I sent in my deposit in August 2005, and on November 12, 2008, N7062U made its first flight. The company support is great, and it has a program where upon completion, the company test pilot comes to you and spends four days checking out your construction, balances and tracks the blades, and performs the test flight. A big thanks to test pilot Doug Schwochert for a great job. The Helicycle is powered by a Solar T-62 turbine and has plenty of power. The paint is a one-part epoxy from Top Secret Coatings of Arlington, Washington, and it is top quality. My thanks to Carolyn and Blake, and to the crew at Eagle R&D for a truly remarkable flying machine. One flight in the Helicycle, and you realize what a master designer the late B.J. Schramm really was. This ship is a fitting tribute to his career. I would highly recommend the Helicycle to anyone dreaming of building his own helicopter.

Oxford, Maine
[email protected]


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 [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.


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