Take a Ride In a Thorp T-18


Join Phil Mandel for a walkaround description and a brief flight in his Thorp T-18 homebuilt, one of the most affordable high-performance homebuilts on the market. Designer John Thorp was part of the Piper Cherokee design team but this was among his favorite projects.

Be sure to read about Les Krumel’s Thorp T-18 in One Piece at a Time.

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Marc Cook
KITPLANES Editor in Chief Marc Cook has been in aviation journalism for more than 30 years. He is a 4000-hour instrument-rated, multi-engine pilot with experience in nearly 150 types. He’s completed two kit aircraft, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Sportsman 2+2, and currently flies a 2002 GlaStar.


  1. Marc, thanks for featuring me and my bird! It was a fun interview and flight.
    Philip Mandel, CFI-I, MEI, AGI, IGI
    FAA Safety Team (FAASTeam) Lead Representative and “WINGS Pro”
    2020 Portland (OR) FSDO: FAASTeam Representative of the Year
    Member AOPA, EAA, NAFI, SAFE

  2. What a great job you did with the video. It would be fun to see you do a cross country video in that beautiful airplane.

  3. This is a great video that brings back memories. My uncle was one in a group of men who built several Thorp T18s in Michigan back in the early to mid ’70s. He and his wife flew his T18 to Utah for a visit, and I was introduced to flying small aircraft for the first time. In spite of a probable wind shear that caused both our heads to hit the canopy while I was in control of the aircraft, I fell in love with flying! Thank you for stirring a great memory.


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