Builders share their successes.


Pete Fields Lancair 390

I first flew my Lancair 390 on April 28, 2009. The airplane is powered by a Mattituck Lycoming TMX-IO-390 engine driving an MT three-blade, constant-speed prop. IFR avionics include Chelton displays, backed up by a Dynon EFIS-D10A, Becker transceivers, transponder and VOR with glideslope. A great deal of thanks goes to Ken Schnurbusch and Alan Humberton of St. Louis Avionics, who got it all working well. I started the kit in 1990, but really concentrated on completing it during the past four years after retirement from McDonnell Douglas. Prior to that I had spent 27 years as a Marine aviator. Special thanks goes to my loving wife, Ann, for her patience, help and encouragement over these many years. I am also the beneficiary of help from good friends Jud Reppen, Wade Wheelington, Steve Schulte, Glen Whittaker, John Marshall and, especially, from the innovative Tom Ward, the best A&P I know.

Chesterfield, Missouri
[email protected]

Lee Bates Thatcher CX4

I built my plansbuilt Thatcher CX4 single-seat airplane in 4 years. I worked on it every day for 3 hours a day in the heated shop next to my house. It flew for the first time on November 25, 2009, in Ellensburg, Washington. I built it as Experimental/Amateur-Built, and I can do the annuals with my Repairmans Certificate. It is 6061-T6 aluminum, and is powered by the Great Plains 76-hp VW 2180cc engine-plenty of power. I painted it myself with the Stewart Systems water-based paint. I picked this plansbuilt airplane because of its simplicity and beauty. I picked aluminum because I was an MRB Engineer at Boeing building 747s before I retired. I plan to fly it a lot this summer when the weather is better. I named it Old Slip Stick because I am an aeronautical and mechanical engineer who used to use a slide rule at Boeing. I also built a one-tenth scale model of my Thatcher (visible on the wing) that I plan to fly some day. My local EAA Chapter 492 provided support. Other builders may contact me if interested.

Ellensburg, Washington
[email protected]

Michael Crowders Sonex

My Sonex construction project began in October 2003. Five years and a lot of hard work later, I got my airworthiness certificate. First flight was November 26, 2008, and I now have 75 fun hours on my airplane. It is everything the Sonex factory said it would be. What a blast! The factory support was great, and they were always willing to help when I had questions. The Jabiru 3300A engine is a real performer, and it propels my little warbird though the sky quite easily. Although I may have the heaviest Sonex around, I installed everything I wanted including a two-axis TruTrak autopilot, Blue Mountain EFIS, Garmin transponder, Grand Rapids EIS, electric flaps and APRS tracking. Id like to thank everyone who has helped over the years: Ed Bodette, Peter van Schalkwyk, Robert Frost, John Davis, the ASA and many more.

Cary, North Carolina
[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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