Builders share their successes.


Jim Smiths RV-6

This plane confirms that, You never finish a homebuilt. Since first flown, many fairings have been added including pitot tube, fuel drains, aileron hinges, rudder cables, tailwheel, reduced cooling inlet area, Vans latest wheelpants and a carb ram air box. With a 150-hp Lycoming O-320 and the Ellipse propeller, top speed is 193 mph at 4400 feet density altitude and 184.4 mph at 10,400 feet. Average rate of climb is 916 fpm from 2000 to 10,000 feet.

The latest addition of the extended wingtips is to improve high-altitude performance. They increase the wing area 6 square feet, wingspan 3 feet, aspect ratio from 4.8 to 5.8, with a 27.8% reduction in induced drag and a 5.4 % increase in wing parasite drag. Without the EXPERIMENTAL placard, I couldn’t be doing these things.

Rose Hill, Kansas
[email protected]

Byron Lees Just Escapade

Although it took me almost five years to build my Just Escapade, it required less than 5 seconds to transition from ground-bound project to flying airplane on October 12, 2009. Weighing 561 pounds, powered by a 100-hp Rotax 912ULS and pulled by a 75-inch Kiev prop, this lightly loaded plane departs earth in about 150 feet and climbs out at 1500 fpm. Flight tests using the current prop pitch show a cruise of 90 mph at 65% power and 95 mph at 75% power, with fuel burn rates between 2.5 and 3 gph of premium unleaded (including warmup and taxiing time).

As a first-time builder, Ive had the help of many friends. Stan Comer, Bill Hungelmann, Jerry Dixon and the Stewart brothers of Stewart Systems deserve special mention. When the weather allows, Im hoping to fill the large baggage area with camping gear and head to some mountain strips in Idaho and Montana.

Wenatchee, Washington
[email protected]

Jim Wrights Sonex

After my kit, S/N 1250, arrived, I went right to work. I made my own spars and angle pieces, and it went together beautifully. I was very impressed with the precision of the pre-cut sheet-metal parts. Having previously built two VW-powered aircraft (a Volksplane and a Sonerai II), I used the 2180cc AeroVee engine. I did get Steve Bennett of Great Plains Aircraft to fit the crank and case with a Force One hub and bearing. My first two did not have that modification, and I flew them 400 hours without problems, but I still think its a good idea.

The first flight was on September 15, 2009. The plane flew hands-off on the second flight, and each successive flight has only impressed me more. I am 69 years old and was flying a Quicksilver GT 400 before I jumped into the Sonex. The transition went smoothly with some coaching from other Sonex builders. At this time, I only have 6 hours on the engine, and the CHTs are a little toasty, but they are improving with each flight.

Spring Hill, Florida
[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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