Rolfe Bensons Zodiac XL
My Zodiac 601XL kit was built to plans and step-by-step instructions. Its powered by an 80-hp Rotax 912 with a Czech firewall-forward kit. Weight matched the Zenith specs at 680 pounds, and balance was 374.7mm or 24.9% mean aerodynamic chord This seemed too far aft, so I contacted Zenith and asked for a copy of the prototype weight and balance sheet. They declined and said to add weight. I added 48 pounds to the motor mounts to get the loaded CG to 29.2% MAC. Flight testing then showed a nose-heavy condition requiring almost full up-trim at cruise speed. The aircraft could not be trimmed for flaps, so I landed without them. Further flight testing with 30 pounds of ballast removed allowed the aircraft to be trimmed for flap use.The kit was very complete and a pleasure to build. It took me two years, but Im sure that it could be done in 10 months. Ill try to correct the heavy rudder pedals next. I have also added a cross brace to the canopy rear loop just above the side frames to prevent the canopy from belling out when I close it. This allows it to latch properly every time.
Land O Lakes, Florida
Jon Dembs Cozy
After 4428 hours of build time encompassing seven years and two months, my plansbuilt Cozy MK IV flew for the first time on January 13, 2009, with me doing the honors. As of April 24, 2009, I have flown off the 40-hour Phase I time with no major issues. The plane performs to book figures with a recorded three-way GPS speed of 187 knots. The engine is an Aerosport Power 180-hp IO360-B2B. It swings a Catto three-blade composite prop. The SteinAir IFR panel is made up of a two-screen GRT EFIS with Garmin SL30, GTX 327 and 496 along with TruTrak VSGV autopilot. Interior is custom two-tone gray leather. The paint scheme was influenced by the Honda Jet. N333VM is a graphical design. Thanks to my patient wife, Vaunda Michelle, for enduring the long build and the mountains of sanding dust. A special thanks to Jorgen Jay Skovbjerg, who was my tech counselor and flight advisor, and provided my transition training in his Cozy.
Wayne Wilsons Skyranger Swift
My Skyranger Swift is powered by an AeroVee engine and Brent Thompson two-blade wood prop. The first flight was on April 19, 2009. The aircraft is the fifth and last one Ill build, as age is getting to be a barrier along with three aircraft, a hangar, a six-berth
This is my second Skyranger. I went back to it as I really missed the lovely handling, first class materials and fit, and the strong feel of the first. Phillipe Prevot, principal of the company BestOff, located in France, and designer of the series, is understandably thrilled with the aircraft, as it has scored many world titles in ultralight/microlight competitions. Well over 1200 of these are still in the air and are used by many training facilities. The aircraft will be completed with installation of locally manufactured wheel covers and an 8-inch aluminum spinner by Cummins of Australia. Full flight testing is in progress and will be added to my web site.
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