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Thread: Thinking about building a Fisher Horizon 2

  1. #1

    Thinking about building a Fisher Horizon 2

    Hi, I have searched, but didnt see much on Fishers. I have a friend who had a Horizon 2, but I only saw it once from across the field before he sold it. Then I sat in a Horizon 1 before the owner moved across country. I'm 6'-4", 215 lbs. I hit my head in the Horizon 1, but FFP says the Horizon 2 will accommodate a pilot much larger than me. Has anyone here built a Fisher? I've been flying a 182 mostly for a little over 5 years but I have been wanting to build a plane for some time. I actually bought some 701 plans from a man I know, but after setting in one, I dont think that's going to work for me, so I'm probably going to sell those. The only other kit I'm interested in is a Chinook, but I've never seen one.

    I may want to fly off of my farm in the future and think either of these could do that. I want to be able to take one of the children flying, so 2 seats is important. I've got a 182, which is more for travel, so this I want to be low-slow and somewhat short field, although we are at about 175' MSL here so not landing on mountaintops or anything. I do like that the fisher is supposed to be rated for some acrobatics, although I'd for sure need some training before I tried any of that.

    If anyone knows of a Horizon 2 near east GA, I'd love to go up in one or at least sit in one. I have ridden back seat in a cub, but I can't fit front seat in a citabria.

    Also, I think I like the idea of building with wood, but I'm not sold on it. I am a mechanical engineer, but not a craftsman. I am willing to learn however.

    I got a quote a year ago for a horizon 2 and he quoted an aeromomentum engine. I think I'd prefer a used O-200A or other direct drive. Maybe a Jabriu or Rotax, but I'm not sold on the auto conversions.
    Last edited by WBAEngineer; 01-12-2023 at 07:45 PM. Reason: spelling

  2. #2
    EAA Staff
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Oshkosh, WI
    I don't have any direct experience with the Horizon 2, but it looks like a very capable design for your flying mission. However, I do have many hours in a Zenith 750 STOL and 750 Cruiser, and they are considerably more roomy than the 701 - you should fit no problem in either one. Simple sheet metal with pull-rivet construction, and side-by-seating with a panoramic view. We had an 0-200 on the 750 STOL and it worked great with a Whirlwind prop.

  3. #3
    Dana's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Fisher makes a bunch of nice planes of modest performance at a modest price. I have no experience with the Horizon but had a FP-404 for awhile, it was a lot of fun until I outgrew it.

    Fisher says you can loop and roll the Horizon, but they also say +4 -2.5g for a plane they say you can loop and roll, while certificated acro ships start at +6 -3. Yes, you can no doubt loop and roll it (you can loop and roll a Cub, too), but it's really not made for it and you have to be gentle and know what you're doing.

    The VW engine conversions are quite reliable if you don't try to get too much HP out of them, and they're a LOT cheaper to buy and maintain than a Lycoming.

  4. #4
    FlyingRon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    NC26 (Catawba, NC)
    My neighbor was building one, but he moved away before he finished so I can't really tell you how it turned out.

    The design looks good because not even Bob Cringely could screw it up, and not for the want of trying. That TV series he did was certainly Cringe worthy and he's lucky he didn't wreck on the test flight.

  5. #5
    Auburntsts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Tampa, FL
    Quote Originally Posted by FlyingRon View Post
    My neighbor was building one, but he moved away before he finished so I can't really tell you how it turned out.

    The design looks good because not even Bob Cringely could screw it up, and not for the want of trying. That TV series he did was certainly Cringe worthy and he's lucky he didn't wreck on the test flight.
    Thanks for the reference! I'd never heard of Cringely, but found his 3-film PBS series on YouTube. It certainly was at the very least, entertaining, in the reality TV, watching a train wreck happen kind of way.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
    PP ASEL - IA
    RV-10 N728TT - Flying
    EAA Lifetime Member

  6. #6
    Eric Page's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Toledo, WA
    Quote Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
    ...3-film PBS series on YouTube.
    The link, in case anyone else is interested:
    Last edited by Eric Page; 01-30-2023 at 02:44 PM.
    Eric Page
    Building Kitfox Series 5
    Member: EAA Lifetime, AOPA, ALPA
    ATP: MEL | Comm: SEL, Glider | ATCS: CTO
    Map of Landings

  7. #7
    I bought the Fisher construction DVD's and have started watching them. I'm over half way through the first DVD which is on how to build the wings. It has really helped me to understand how you would actually build one and I am getting pretty interested in it as the video goes on. I cant see really how much glue he's putting on so I have a few questions, but basically, I think it's all something I could do with limited tools. He's used a hand saw and tree pruning shears so far. Levels, tape measure and chalk line. It's a little shocking how thin the wood is, but my wife says I overbuild everything and if I made a wing out of 2x6's it'd be too heavy to get off the ground (LOL). The geodetic structure of it is pretty amazing. I'm thinking of getting a wing kit or some part of it and figure out the engine selection later on. I don't see where I'd have to know at the start what engine I was going to use, unless they sell different cowlings specific to the engine.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Page View Post
    The link, in case anyone else is interested:
    I hadn't heard of that guy, but yes, he is hard to watch. They should have named the show SkyNerd.

  9. #9
    DaleB's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2015

    I started building a Fisher Celebrity several years ago. I've got the wing ribs and most of the false ribs done; I've spent much more time not working on it than working on it. I figure it will get done, maybe, after I retire and have the time and energy to devote to it. I didn't buy any parts from Fisher, just the plans, so a lot of my time has been doing things like putting my own grooves in the rib cap strips and milling the thinnest stock I could get from Aircraft Spruce down to 3/32". I figure if I ever finish the false ribs, I'll likely to the tail next just because I can do it without building a new bench... oh, wait, finding space for a new 16-20' long bench, I mean.

    Once in a while I'll see a completed one for sale and get tempted. I could have gone and bought one last year, but I do rather enjoy sleeping indoors.

    Anyway, I haven't needed anything more exotic than a nice razor saw. They're cheap. I bought a hundred little medicine cups and a gross of disposable acid brushes, and put my T-88 in 60cc syringes. That way I can very precisely mix up small batches of glue to do a rib or two at a time without wasting half of it.
    Measure twice, cut once...
    scratch head, shrug, shim to fit.

    Flying an RV-12. I may be building a Fisher Celebrity, but there's scant evidence to support that accusation.

  10. #10
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Thirty years ago my first custom-built aircraft was a Fisher Super Koala which is sorta like a 4/5 scale Taylorcraft. I bought the kit and it was nicely manufactured with good full-size drawings. The geodetic design is clever, easy to build and results in an amazingly rigid and lightweight structure. I finished the Koala a year after opening the crate and flew it for 160 hours. It was a docile airplane with the Rotax 582, basically a large two-place ultralight.

    The designs have changed hands a few times over the years so I don't have any experience with the present company. But the designs are good if you enjoy working with wood and don't require any specialized skills.

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    Sam Buchanan
    The RV Journal RV-6 build log
    Fokker D.VII semi-replica build log

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