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Thread: The best hombuilt ?

  1. #11
    steveinindy's Avatar
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    What is the homebuilt airplane, actually flying other than on Steve's computer that you think is better than a RV and why?
    I don't think there is a "better" one out there for what it is intended to do. I'm just saying that it's not right for me because of the factors I listed.

    Steve says a pressuized plane?
    Anyone who doesn't want to fly below 10,000 feet all the time but also doesn't want to risk a nosebleed from wearing a nasal cannula?

    Honestly, I don't care what anyone else wants so far as my pressurized designs are concerned. I design this stuff for myself with the exception of the LSA which is just an academic exercise turned into something that might help fund building more practical aircraft. It's also been a good chance to learn and get experience designing in multiple construction techniques (wood and fabric, metal and fabric, all metal and composite; I basically designed the "same" aircraft in each technique just for the experience. I am debating which version to actually build to test).
    Unfortunately in science what you believe is irrelevant.

    "I'm an old-fashioned Southern Gentleman. Which means I can be a cast-iron son-of-a-***** when I want to be."- Robert A. Heinlein.



  2. #12

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    I would have thought there were more Cub clones than RV's....especially since folks have been building them since the 1950's.

    @ Steve - anyone who pilots their plane to where they can't see the ground really deserves the view.
    Last edited by Frank Giger; 03-29-2012 at 05:15 PM.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  3. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    But if we accept sort of a general category for judging homebuilts:
    .....then you'll never come up with a clear-cut winner.

  4. #14
    seagull's Avatar
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    Bill,

    You might have had a possibly easier answer if you had asked the question "What is the meaning of life?". I think light aircraft (for that read the ones that people can own for their recreation and enjoyment) are of such a variety that it all comes down to personal taste and preferred mission or speciality you intend to use the aircraft for. Similarly when you look at the vast list of factory-builts (including antique and warbirds) the answer is like solving a riddle. A riddle where the goalposts keep moving as the discussion audience widens.

    Look at the huge variety of different homebuilt designs, and try to come up with an all-time-best "Champion" of homebuilts you run into exactly the same problems - that of personal taste, opinion and judging criteria. To select the 'best' objectively you would need to get everyone to agree on these criteria and as it is difficult to try and "please all of the people all of the time", you will likely end up with a very long list of points to judge the designs on.

    As you probably know a frequent question on 'Warbirds' sites is "What is the best WWII fighter of all time"?. Most people might nominate the P51, but this would be challenged by the English who would then add 'defensive fighter' to the criteria and choose the Spitfire (taking the spotlight away from its lack of effective range while trying to manage a 'hurt national pride emotion'). My point is you need to really nail down your judging or selection criteria or you will continue moving in ever decreasing circles (with the obvious conclusion to this manoeuvre).

    Many of us are fans of wood as the preferred construction medium so why can't we include Claude Piel's delightful designs which number in the many thousands that are still flying worldwide since the 1950's? Sure the RV's and Burt Rutan's creations have an impressive track record - but so does the Emeraude and all of its wooden brothers and cousins. Perhaps more so because a couple of Claude Piel's designs have been given full type certification for factory built examples which adds many hundred more to the list produced.

    Maybe you should split your "Champion" award into three categories - Best Wood, Best Metal and Best Composite. And maybe you should use only one judging criteria as a common-ground that might be accepted by all of us (Yeah - Pigs might fly too!). If we accept that the EAA and the worldwide homebuilding movement should never lose sight of its 'grass-roots', and accept that an organisation has to remain focussed on the basics and HAS to keep attracting new members, - then a simple statement is probably all you need to decide the answer to this Grand Question. "What proven type of homebuilt aircraft attracts more budding builders/pilots as a safe and easy entry to the pleasures of the sport"?

    That's my ten cents worth,

    Barry - EAA #144680
    Last edited by seagull; 03-29-2012 at 05:23 PM.

  5. #15

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    Barry, I think some of the other folks on this site most like to argue about minutia. They can barely install a roll of toilet paper without stopping to debate whether it should go clockwise or counterclockwise. They remind me of a lawyer without much of a case, but who is billing for his time.
    I think the general criteria I gave is reasonable. Your idea that some might like to work in wood, or as Dana said a quieter rivet is a point. So maybe how easy or pleasant the mode of consruction is should be a factor; however if the end result is not a pretty good all around plane, then I think an R V probably beats it.
    I was hoping that guys might come up with some types that are 2, 3, 4 after the RV rather than just debating the idea.
    As for the best fighter, see my next post.

  6. #16
    BushCaddy's Avatar
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    RV's are the best. Not what I wanted or built but they're the best. I've seen several of the kits, have friends who have built them and are flying them, extreme high quality and also great support. The numbers prove it...no other homebuilt kit is even close.
    Don...
    BushCaddy N2C
    http://www.donsbushcaddy.com

  7. #17

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    Barry, as to your post about best WW II fighter, I don't think it is that hard. First question, do you mean the whole war, or just the last year and a half, after the Nazi advance and offense had been limited by RAF fighters? The Mustang, superb as they were, did not arrive at combat zone until Dec. 1943. And it wasn't until they got the Rolls engine like a Spitfire that the 51 could hold its own above 16,000 feet against the 109 or 190. They weren't part of the Battle of Britain or Malta or the Western Desert, nor of the early island fighting in the Pacific. The Spitfire, for a number of reasons( climb, ceiling, turning, max dive speed, cannons), was the best air to air defensive interceptor and fighter., AS LONG AS THE MISSION WAS ONLY ABOUT 300 MILES OR SO.

    Now to decide what was the best fighter of the last part of the war, when the allies whet on the offensive, you only have to ask how long or far the mission was. If range was a big factor or the factor, like the long escort missions in the Pacific, then the P-51 was in a class on it's own, although the unarmed photo recon Spits were very long range planes themselves. The P-38 was probably a pretty good long range escort, but as an air to air fighter had gotten mauled by 109s in Europe.
    Last edited by Bill Greenwood; 03-29-2012 at 06:53 PM.

  8. #18

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    I'll throw in with the RV's. I just said to my wife the other day as I was lamenting the lack of a flying airplane (3 projects now) and I told her " If I had known starting out what I have learned I would have ordered an RV kit and would be done and have everything I wanted in one plane that I'm trying to get with 2 or three." I would have saved money and it would be worth more than it cost to build. I can't say that about my current projects. RV's are still inovating with the 12 model and I bet there's more to come. My rag and tube buddies disagree but they never fly their airplanes anyway.

  9. #19

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    If you leave popularity out of the contest, an Eagle II (both Christen and Aviat) meets all the criteria and certainly is in the running for "the best homebuilt."

    There is no argument which brand is more popular but I think in a contest for which is best that shouldn't matter.

  10. #20
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    If we are talking about actual building, and homebuilts that have stood the test of time, you can't ignore the good ol no frills Pietenpol Air Camper. With a solid 83 year track record the Air Camper continues to be a popular choice among scratch builders... there are currently over one hundred active builders and fliers on the Pietenpol forum, and I'm sure there are others out there that don't frequent the web forums. The numbers may not be comparable to the RV series (I have no idea how many of either have been built), but again, when debating what is the "best" there are many factors to consider. I know several Pietenpol builders that say if they could only keep one airplane, it would be the Piet. One of those has also built an RV-4 and is currently building an RV-10.

    Fast? No. A great x-country machine? No. A joy to fly? From what I hear, Yes! People talk of the RV grin... I've seen many wearing the Pietenpol grin.

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