N646GT started with six members in an LLC, and currently has four left, 10 years after we bought the kit. One of our team is Richard Hogan, the designer of the new Commutercraft. Our RANS S-6 started construction at a hangar at the now defunct Mathis Airport in Suwannee, Georgia, then moved to another hangar at Air Acres in Woodstock where it was first flown.
It flies with the 100 hp Rotax and the 116 wing, and is currently hangared at the Jackson County Airport, in Jefferson, Georgia. It has a Garmin SL40 radio and transponder, and an MGL Odyssey II glass panel.
Empty weight is 655 pounds. The wives demanded a BRS parachute which we hope never to use. With two 200-pounders and full fuel the plane has a 600 fpm climb rate!
Paint is Polytone, with the Stits process for covering.
The only real problems during construction came from an initial attempt to use automotive fuel line from Advanced Auto. When we first fueled up and drained the gasocolator, the fuel came out red. It was dissolving in the gasoline, and some of it then deposited on the idle primary jet, which took two separate carburetor rebuilds to finally fix.
We could also have avoided a couple of early, short field deadstick landings had we used good fuel line! The substitute fuel line from Aircraft Spruce now works fine, with no problems. Biggest plus of the whole time has been the camaraderie of the like-minded group talking around the coffee pot on Saturday mornings, for many years!
We call ourselves the Mathis Sport Aviators and we are:
- Richard Hogan, current owner and designer of the Commutercraft
- Joe Armao
- Ed Brown
- Charles Churchman
- Bill Klug
- Gary Thompson