Our Rans S7S was completed in August 2011 after a January 2011 start. Nearly a year of research went into our choice for a kit, and the different opinions shared by my wife and myself were like apples and turnips. I was looking for a tandem taildragger and she wanted a trigear with side-by-side seating. We spent the entire week of Airventure 2010 sitting in nearly every LSA eligible aircraft on the field. We both came to the conclusion that side-by-side seating with elbows jabbing each other was not a comfortable way to fly.
We selected the Rans S7S months after our week at Oshkosh. Having a chance to fly one and learning about the world of modifications pioneered by Joel Milloway, legend in the S7 community, we were sold. Equipped with a Warp Drive three-blade prop, and a panel centered on a single 10-inch Dynon Skyview, the project weighed in at a feathery 725 pounds.
It seems that the build was the easy part because the real challenges started when test flying began. After about an hour of initial flight testing, the Rotax 912 started running hot and making unnatural grinding sounds. A look at the oil filter revealed it was making metal. After an engine replacement by Rotax, we were back in business for flight testing and now at the end of 2011, we have accumulated nearly 70 hours.
Michael Gallagher, Peoria, IL
e-mail address: [email protected]