Hi, what is a good entry expierimental??

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cbarrett1981
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Location: River Ridge, Louisiana

Hi, what is a good entry expierimental??

Postby cbarrett1981 » Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:04 pm

I am going to start on my license here shortly but have been waiting cause I have the urge to build. I am 31, have built half an RV12, and have 17 hours towards training. I quit cause of sheer cost to stay current. Well, I have plans for a hummelbird, I would go tri gear, I have made all the formers and spar jig for it. I am a click away from ordering aluminum. I don't need a lecture on building, I did it already, and loved it. Secondly, I have built alotta rc airplanes to, I gave that up cause it just doesn't thrill me anymore. Anyway, lets here some opinions on the hummelbird for a first airplane and possibly some others to think on too. I haven't started cause I wanna fly now but realize that owning a used plane maybe more than I can afford in the long haul. Building one, I could at least do my own inspections and repairs. I am a very good mechanic and machinist so doing the work or understanding whats wrong is not an issue. Well look forward to some great feedback. By the way I really wanna fly now, hence the questions, but also I'm not sure if this is a good first plane or not.
Thanks
Chris Barrett

jnmeade
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Postby jnmeade » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:35 pm

Chris,
Much depends on how much you want to spend, what performance you desire, what you conceive your mission to be and how this fits in with your long term goals.
Do you want an LSA coimpliant airplane? That will limit your selection. Here is one list of LSA compliant aircraft.
http://www.sportpilot.org/learn/aircraft.html
I know nothing about the Hummelbird, but it looks interesting. I see one on Barnstomers for $8,000.
Might be a cheap way to do 120mph for a single pilot.

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drseti
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Postby drseti » Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:56 pm

I'm really impressed by the RV-12. If I were going to build an E-LSA or E-AB, I'd have a hard time doing better -- for performance, ease of build, manufacturer support, and price.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
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patmike
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Postby patmike » Fri Aug 10, 2012 4:13 am

i'm in the middle of getting things together to do the same thing. i know for a fact that, unless i hit the lottery i'll never own unless i build. my choice of plane is the zenith ch 750. http://www.zenithair.com/ with this design you have more of a choice of power plants. sure i'd love to be able to plop $25,000 down for a brand new rotax but that isn't going to happen either. good luck with your build

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drseti
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Postby drseti » Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:15 am

Actually, with the weak Euro, a brand new 912ULS is around $18k in the crate.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

Jack Tyler
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Postby Jack Tyler » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:12 am

Chris, it sounds like you're eager to have two adventures simultaneously - flying and building! Both are admirable goals, so good luck to you. Here are a few thoughts I'd encourage you to consider:

-- It is very challenging for a novice pilot to choose 'the right aircraft', whether its plans, a kit or a flyable a/c that you prefer. It isn't that you aren't 'smart enough' yet, but rather that Step 1 in the choice of an a/c is insuring the a/c fits the mission(s) for which you intend it. And without a lot of flying experience, it's very difficult for the newcomer to be certain about the kind of flying that will ultimately satisfy. E.g. you might think a single-seat a/c is just right for you now...but who knows if you will feel the same way by the time you are licensed, or a year from now? Another example is that a good portion of the year, you will find such a small a/c (no matter how 'strong' its construction) to struggle with the hot/humid/convective conditions common to LA. Like the owners of small LSAs at my rural airport, you might find you are restricted to early morning flights in stable weather simply because that's the only time its comfortable and feels safe. How will that suit you? Hard to say. And have you thought about how you'd use this single-seat a/c for instruction? Seems to me the Hummelbird fails in its first assigned mission, which is to get you the training that allows you fly it. For these reasons, I think anyone in your circumstances should consider that there's a significant chance you will want to soon sell what you built only a short time before...and that makes the a/c choice even more complex because thinking 'resale' is an entirely new dimension. (And BTW forget about selling almost any Experimental you build for much more than what it cost you - in $$, not time - to build).

-- You cautioned us about making comments about 'building' but I would point out that it's very difficult to be certain about the costs and time associated with a 'plans' build unless you are totally wedded to the design 'as is'. E.g. you may find, like other Hummelbird builders, that you just aren't comfortable with the fuel tank being an arm's distance in front of you...or the limited fuel quantity. Opting for the option of putting the fuel in the wings' leading edges, as some Hummelbird builders have done, immediately adds to the complexity of the build as well as the complexity of the fuel system. That's pretty typical of how a 'plans-based build' proceeds.

-- Like Paul, I think the RV-12 is the 'premium' LSA build option once one considers performance, quality of design, integrity of the kit & build plans, and desirability of resale (for any RV properly assembled). Having said that, I opted not to build a -12 simply because I didn't find the value equation was there. For the payload and payload space available when put alongside my mission - and after I did a careful cost analysis that included painting, sales tax, tools cost, additional avionics, etc. - it was simply a lot of money for a marginal (for the mission) plane, even tho' it might be 1/2 the cost of a comparable S-LSA. My impression is that you're working with a different budget anyway...but I mention this to point out the importance of looking at the whole picture, financially speaking. Which leads me to my final point:

-- You need to fish or cut bait, I'm afraid. Do you want to fly now (you mention the importance of this several times) or do you want to build first (which is all but mutually exclusive with building re: $$, time and focus). If you really want to do both - soon! - then IMO the most logical option is to purchase a used 2-place Experimental that fits your budget. You can still take the courses that allow you to do your own maintenance, and you can do most of the Condition Inspection under an A&P's guidance, so there's little difference in being owner #2 of an E-AB when it comes to ownership costs. This choice gives you an a/c you can begin instruction in, which in turn will earn some of its cost immediately. You'll have forced yourself into a corner WRT finding an instructor who's qualified to instruct in it (no matter what your a/c choice might be) vs. going to a flight school but, if you keep that issue in mind, it might also influence your a/c choice.

Like I said, yours is a complex puzzle to solve. But best wishes, even so.
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

Jim Stewart
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Postby Jim Stewart » Fri Aug 10, 2012 9:51 am

I have no personal experience, but I've known a couple of pilots that owned the Titan Tornado and got a lot of enjoyable flying from it.

http://www.titanaircraft.com/tornado_i.php

If I didn't have the CT, I'd seriously consider one.
PP-ASEL, Flight Design CTSW owner.

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drseti
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Postby drseti » Fri Aug 10, 2012 10:01 am

As has been noted previously, aircraft choice should be mission-driven. My mission was flight training, so obviously I was restricted to factory-built (which is why I'm not building an RV-12).

Another consideration is how soon you want to be flying. Building will take you twice as long (and probably cost you twice as much) as you're anticipating! So, buying a pre-owned experimental makes sense for someone who wants to build hours now, not years from now.

OTOH, if you have another plane available to fly in (or train in) while you're building, the construction project can be extremely rewarding. I have two new students (husband and wife) who are building an RV-12 right now. They decided to get their ratings in my SportStar, because they figure it's going to take them another year to finish their plane. (Since the two fly similarly, it will be an easy transition for them once theirs is ready to fly.) Basically, they got tired of waiting (but not of building). They had options. Do you?

Of course you do! Good luck in choosing the best one.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
PhD CFII DPE LSRM-A/GL/WS/PPC iRMT
AvSport LLC, KLHV
fly@AvSport.org
AvSport.org
facebook.com/SportFlying
SportPilotExaminer.US

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MrMorden
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Postby MrMorden » Tue Aug 21, 2012 7:59 am

Hey Chris...

Have you looked at a Sonex? There are LOTS of options...trigear, taildragger, VW conversion engine, Jabiru 2200, Jabiru 3300, etc. You can build from plans, or in kit form, and Sonex recently added a bunch of match-drilled parts to the kits to make it build faster. The plans are about the best in the industry, and factory support is outstanding.

The airplane is built like a tank, and is fully aerobatic, +6/-3g. It's got a factory gross weight of 1100-1150lb (many builders test and fly up to 1200lb with no problem), and typical useful load of 500-550lb, depending on how light you build it. Baggage capacity is 40lb.

Folks have flown a Sonex thousands of miles at a time, they are decent cross-country planes if you don't mind stopping for fuel every 400 miles or so.

Jack Tyler
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Fly before buy...

Postby Jack Tyler » Tue Aug 21, 2012 2:17 pm

One suggestion I would make to anyone considering a Sonex is to fly in it for at least one hour before choosing it. There can be a number of 'fit' issues, physically speaking
Jack
Flying in/out KBZN, Bozeman MT in a Grumman Tiger
Do you fly for recreational purposes? Please visit http://www.theraf.org

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MrMorden
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Re: Fly before buy...

Postby MrMorden » Thu Aug 30, 2012 1:42 pm

Jack Tyler wrote:One suggestion I would make to anyone considering a Sonex is to fly in it for at least one hour before choosing it. There can be a number of 'fit' issues, physically speaking


Good point Jack. The cockpit is 40" wide, but that's a little deceiving. Two broad-shouldered men in a Sonex is a tight fit.
Andy Walker
Athens, GA
Sport Pilot ASEL, LSRI
2007 Flight Design CTSW E-LSA


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