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Thread: Intro / kit plane question

  1. #11

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia,PA
    Posts
    8
    Thanks for your input Carl!

    I'll go through the old posts. Just looking for some current info since both models seem to new on their respective product list

  2. #12
    Eric Witherspoon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Tucson, AZ
    Posts
    195
    Not to open the debate on where the fuel goes again (though that may be a result), but J3 Cubs have been around for quite a while with fuselage tanks. It is not as uncommon of a design configuration as you might think, especially as you are now looking into "smaller" aircraft than it sounds like you are familiar with. In the RV-12, the fuselage tank was specifically done to NOT have fuel in the wings to facilitate quick wing removal. That design also incorporates quite a few other compromises to help with the "quick removability" of the wings. You might look into what these are and see how that factors into the "bang for your buck" - as in, everything costs money; are you willing to accept paying for features you don't use / don't need.

    As you research the LSA class, at least what I've found is most of them are designed around a payload of 500 lbs, more or less. This translates to 2 "good sized" people + enough gas to sightsee for an hour + comfortable reserve. Or, solo, all the bags/gear you would need to camp out for a week + full fuel. There are a few LSA's out there with larger payloads, but everything costs money (higher performance airframe materials, bigger engines, etc.). So though you may look at LSA's with 20-25 gallons of fuel tank, don't think of that in terms of 2-people plus bathroom stops limiting range. If you adjust your expectation to 2-people + an hour of sightseeing, or solo if you really want to take it anywhere, this will keep you in the mainstream of LSA design capabilities.

    To follow Kyle's "things to consider" - what's the budget? I hate to say it, but best "bang for the buck" right now is already-flying, just-a-little-heavier-than-LSA homebuilts. You can get a low-time, nicely painted, very well built example for low $20's. If you know you have reasonable chance of hanging onto the medical for a few years, that might be the way to go. You get 1000+ hours of build time "for free", you can do all your own maintenance, and FAA-approved parts are not required. Only "catch" to an already-flying homebuilt is an A&P has to sign for the condition inspection each year. It seems to me like a lot of people have the idea that the Repairman Certificate is a highly-valued and needed prerequisite to owning/operating a homebuilt. It isn't. The ONLY thing that cert lets the original builder do is sign for the annual condition inspection. All other work - maintenance, mods, repairs - is open to anyone.

    What this means is, you have to build because you want to build - with the end goal of having an airplane after many hundreds of hours in the "building" hobby. (I also call this hobby "tool collecting".)

    Also, the airplanes you mention have quite different missions. If you want/need the STOL of the CH-750, this is going to make X-C's either short in distance or long in time. If you want to go fast on a budget, Sonex has the best trade in that direction. If you want to go fast, get it built fast, and still have an LSA, the Arion Lightning has a customer completion program that takes 6 weeks from build start to first flight (at only $105k or so, Jabiru 3300 engine only). For higher payload / lower empty weight, you might also want to look at tube-and-fabric designs.
    Murphy's 13th: Every solution breeds new problems...

    http://www.spoonworld.com

  3. #13

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia,PA
    Posts
    8
    Eric,

    Thanks so much for the reply. You make some valid points that I will seriously consider.

    Thanks again,
    rob
    Last edited by rlonghitano; 04-26-2012 at 09:25 AM. Reason: typo

  4. #14

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Independence OR 7S5
    Posts
    1

    Intro/Kit Plane Question

    Hi;
    Do two things.

    1) Fly in the airplane you are considering. This is very important. There are a couple of RV-12s on our field and Vans offers demo rides.


    2) Call an aviation insurance agent and get a quote for the airplane your considering with your experience. A large number of aircraft often changes insurance costs.

  5. #15

    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Philadelphia,PA
    Posts
    8
    Thanks. I'm planing factory tours this fall. I'm also going to look at a couple of builds near me

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