The first plane my homebuilder’s eye noticed when I entered the AirVenture Seaplane Base today was John “Snaps” Knapp’s Micro Mong Rocket tied up along the shoreline. The diminutive (empty weight of 344 pounds) biplane was the first of its model to be fitted with floats, which Knapp designed. Designed for a 50-hp Rotax 503 engine, the “Rocket” sports a 65-hp Rotax 582 with the C gearbox (3:1 ratio) and an RK 400 clutch. It swings a Warp Drive 72-inch, three-blade prop with a polished aluminum spinner, and carries a smoke system. Knapp says the 400+ hour plane rotates at 50 mph and has been timed jumping off the water after only two-and-a-half seconds. He reports that it cruises at 90 mph and has a Vne of 110 mph. I asked him about the plane’s ceiling and he replied “I’ve had it to about 500 feet.” Clearly, he hasn’t flown it around the body of water near my home – Lake Tahoe.
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