What is it?

Request for Identification

One of our readers asked us an interesting question today, and being completely puzzled, we thought we'd throw it out there for the community and see if anyone knows what this airplane might be.

The reader recently purchased it at an auction, with no paperwork or plans and is curious if this is a one-off design, or if someone can point him in the right direction with a design or kit name.

We're curious too! If you know something about this mystery aircraft, send an email to editorial@kitplanes.com.



Paul Dye

Paul Dye, Kitplanes® Editor in Chief, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the space shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen, and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and a Subsonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor, and Flight Advisor, as well as a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

13 Replies to “What is it?”

  1. Could it be the prototype SNARK HA1 ZK-FOU (now deregistered)
    New Zealand Single seat, all composite, mid engine, shaft driven prop behind the tail group, Rotax 503 powered.
    This aircraft was never flown, except for a few short "hops", due to an attack of extreme cowardice on the part of the builder. It has been deregistered, but will be revisited sometime.

    More Info
    (Unfortunately does not include an image of the Single Seat prototype and I have been unable to locate any other images).

  2. Similar but this has a twin tail vertical stabs and stub wings at the gear. It would be a cool looking little bird if the guy got it flying as a one off.

  3. This kit appears to be a BD-5J that overtook a skyarrow at high speed.

    Depending on the conditions the owner found it in and the overall soundness of the airframe (x-ray testing/ultrasound the composites) I would only use this for bragging rights in my living room or hangar ceiling. After completion of the paint job and installing a phone, remote, and HUD sim display this plane would make for a really neat movie chair or flight sim command seat.

  4. Aside from the possibility of the builders believing these aircraft might fly someday; what similarities does the one in the links provided share with this unknown craft? This example is a single seat with a longshaft pusher configuration, while the link is a multiseat tractor configuration.

  5. copied the wrong links....

    grrr... I searched out pictures of pusher composites and came up with a match. copied the wrong tab window address... sorry. Will try to locate it again. the only difference i found was the landing gear, it was oriented forwards in the picture similar to a sky arrow. There are a couple ultralight models that are extremely similar to this aircraft but it looks more and more like a one-off of an existing design.

    How's things around Dayton/Carson these days? I used to base out of MEV and got my private there with flying start aero. Nice litte restaurant called flight near the airport there, has a few RC planes hanging from the rafters.

  6. Ok, i've exhausted all my creative results. Good luck to my fellow builder and keep the greasy side down. That looks like a very nice plane and a great reaspn for the FAA to devolve into obsolescence. Pilots should always be the last and final call of how our planes and ourselves perform; anything less is an insuot to our predecessors- Orvile and Wilbur, homebuilt all the way.

  7. Thanks to all those Kit Planes readers that have commented on the "What Is It" plane that I purchased at an auction not long ago. The builder of it passed away and they sold the contents of his barn. Besides the "What Is It", I also bought an Aerol-lite 103 that has been altered... He did an enclusre of the lower part of the plane and put a floor into it. In cleaning out the barn, I also got a lot of wood sheets for building wings, some molds for creating parts that I have no idea what they are for and other parts. There were also wood wings that he built, as well as some other pieces. If anyone reading this that is familiar with building their own wings, I would like to have their thoughts on these pieces. As I can not post pictures here, anyone that is knowlegable on the making of wings, can drop me a line and I will send pictures. hiram253@embarqmail.com For the "What Is It" plane I also have several props... some two blade and one metal three bladed prop that looks like he made it himself.

    Trevor, I fully agree with you that the "What Is It" is a super nice piece for bragging rights. In my "Man Cave" office I have a Harley and an unfinished hard tail chopper. So the plane would fit right into my barn next the the 1941 BMW with side car, the chopped and louvered 60's Riviera street rod, the Maverick with the 302 V-8, and the other modified cars.

    Since the auction, I was able to meet the the builders wife to see if I could get any more information on the wings as well as the "What Is It". She has no idea if he was going to build yet another plane to fit the wings that he built. But as far as the "What Is It", this was a plane of his own design. Besides building the plane, in his spare time, he also had a job as an engineer at Lockheed Martin. john

  8. The aircraft above is called Golden Dart. It was first designed in the late 70's by a man in Arizona. It first appeared in Plane and Pilot with a Shroud around the pusher Prop and had the control surfaces on the trailing edge of the shroud. It was composite and was painted Gold.

    Later when the Shroud tail proved to be to unstable, he changed it to this twin tail design. The aircraft design never made it much passed the proto-type and that is about all I know about the Golden Dart.

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  10. Is that a German Shorthair Pointer with a lllloooonnnnggg tail? Beautiful dog.......

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