Builders share their successes.


Danilo Marinattos KR-2

In Argentina, the architect Danilo Marinatto from Buenos Aires has constructed this classic KR-2. With a 60-horsepower Great Plains engine. It cruises at 200 kph (125 mph). Fuel capacity of 60 litters (13.2 gal) is enough for 4:30 hours endurance at 2800 rpm. Due to the Whitcomb winglets, in landing the ground effect is significant and the airplane touches down at 35 mph. Marinattos wife, Betty, is also an architect but does not like to fly in the KR!

Buenos Aires, Argentina
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Urs Schmids RV-8

It took two years, three months and 2000 hours to complete this project, and it departed the ground in January 2010. About 80% of the plane I built at home in a single-car garage.

I am very impressed with the high quality of the kit and how well the parts fit together. At 1060 pounds empty and 180 hp, it sure is an impressive performer. Having flown mostly ultralight type aircraft in my flying career, it is really nice to get somewhere fast and do some basic aerobatics on the way. Cant wait to do a cross-country trip through the U.S. My thanks to my wife and bucking buddy, Sinikka, and sorry for the limited washer/dryer access through this time.

Jupiter, Florida
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Wolfgang Guhls RV-9A

After dreaming for more than 30 years of building my own airplane, I finally purchased a Vans Aircraft RV-9A kit and started looking for a place to build it. The place turned out to be in Griffin, Georgia (6A2).

Renting space at the facilities of Dons Dream Machines, I was able to complete the project in two years, which included 2200 hours of building time. Special thanks go to Jeff Swords for all the construction advice he gave me, and for doing the firewall-forward and avionics installations. Dons Dream Machines built the engine and Tony Dias of Aircraft Refinishers did a great job painting the aircraft. The DAR was Don Swords.

The engine is a 160-hp Lycoming O-320-D3G, powering a Catto three-blade, fixed-pitch prop. Two Advanced Flight AF-3500 monitors, plus a Garmin 300XL and 496 make up the heart of the instrument panel. One of the special features of the aircraft is the use of a center console, which I purchased as a kit and then modified. The interior is from Classic Aero.

I piloted the aircraft on its first flight on May 10, 2010, at Griffin, and confirmed that I could not have chosen a better aircraft to build. My wife, Becky, and I are looking forward to many enjoyable cross-country trips.

Griffin, Georgia
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Stan Lawrences RV-8A

First Id like to thank Vans Aircraft for such a great product, Im a third-time offender. This time I built an RV-8A. Vital statistics are, weight 1155 pounds, engine HIO-360-E2D converted to close to an A1A, a used overhauled Hartzell propeller, dual Lightspeed electronic ignition, all electric with two Odyssey 680 batteries, the Ex-bus electrical control panel, Dynon D180 EFIS with analog backup gauges and gyros. Total cost about $47,720 over a five-year period. First flight was May 30, 2010, from Sacramento Executive Airport (KSAC).

I had a lot of help from my friends. Nick Leonard was quality control and electrical wizard, Mark Zukowski was there always giving a helping hand and some cash, Kim Ioanidis helped build with cash and getting into the tight spots. Bob Cole welded my custom exhaust, engine-mount mod and towbar, and offered a lot of advice. Ray Redden always there with technical advice, Sue Wiseman was always there with the camera to record the progress. Thanks also to Bruce Walters Mr. Graphics, Tony Machado, all my DGA Aviation Club members, and the North and South hangar gang! Most of all Id like to thank my beautiful wife and life partner of 45 years Michele Ma Belle. She has endured many home projects undone. I had a blast with all my wonderful friends, and thank you all.

Sacramento, California
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Martin Himmelfarbs Hawk Arrow II

Having dreamt since my childhood of flying an airplane I built myself, I started assembling a CGS Hawk Arrow II kit in 2007 at the age of 62. With no prior experience in airplane building, I relied heavily on the encouragement and support of my wife, Jeanette, and son Dave and the information in magazines like KITPLANES, and EAA video clips and weekend courses to keep me going. Much valuable help came from my local EAA chapter, UL62, in Plymouth, Massachusetts, and its resident technical counselors Mike Butts and Chip Diggins. A great deal of technical support came from CGSs Steve Bensinger.

I completed the project in March of 2010. After a successful airworthiness inspection, the Hawk made its maiden flight shortly thereafter. It seats two in tandem, is powered by an HKS 700E, two-cylinder, four-stroke engine, which develops about 60 horsepower. At its cruising speed of about 70 mph, the craft sips 2.5 gallons of hi-test autogas per hour. My builders log is available at Kitlog Pro.

Buzzards Bay, Florida
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Stan Shannons Bush Caddy (by Norris Warner)

After building three RVs and restoring many more over 30 years, Stan was nearing completion of his retirement airplane, a Bush Caddy R-80, when he died of cancer. Now finished by friends, the Jabiru 3300-powered bushplane, N211TX, has flown off the Phase 1 test time. Many of these are found on floats in the north country, and with seaplane doors, this all-metal beauty is very versatile. The airplane was blessed by Father Don Copeland, a retired Marine aviator, on June 26, 2010, just 52 days after the first flight. The photo is of Nanette Shannon and Norris Warner.

Pipe Creek, Texas
[email protected]


CompletionsSubmissions 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. You can also submit your aircraft through our online form.


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