The Mighty Micro Mong Rocket Floats Again

Although Knapp trailered the plane to AirVenture (“Would you want to fly in that tight space all the way from North Carolina to Oshkosh,” he asked me when I inquired), the plane can be flown open cockpit or closed.
Although Knapp trailered the plane to AirVenture (“Would you want to fly in that tight space all the way from North Carolina to Oshkosh,” he asked me when I inquired), the plane can be flown open cockpit or closed.

The first plane my homebuilder's eye noticed when I entered the AirVenture Seaplane Base today was John "Snaps" Knapp's Micro Mong Rocket tied up along the shoreline. The diminutive (empty weight of 344 pounds) biplane was the first of its model to be fitted with floats, which Knapp designed. Designed for a 50-hp Rotax 503 engine, the "Rocket" sports a 65-hp Rotax 582 with the C gearbox (3:1 ratio) and an RK 400 clutch. It swings a Warp Drive 72-inch, three-blade prop with a polished aluminum spinner, and carries a smoke system. Knapp says the 400+ hour plane rotates at 50 mph and has been timed jumping off the water after only two-and-a-half seconds. He reports that it cruises at 90 mph and has a Vne of 110 mph. I asked him about the plane's ceiling and he replied "I've had it to about 500 feet." Clearly, he hasn't flown it around the body of water near my home – Lake Tahoe.

Knapp’s Mighty Micro Mong Rocket tied up along the shoreline.
Knapp’s Mighty Micro Mong Rocket tied up along the shoreline.
The simple panel in Micro Mong Rocket
The simple panel in Micro Mong Rocket
Several years ago, the fabricator of aircraft guns for the movie Flyboys put one of his props on the Micro Mong Rocket. Knapp liked the look so much that he mocked up his own gun with a PVC pipe, a strobe, and a Rustoleum spray can grip handle.
Several years ago, the fabricator of aircraft guns for the movie Flyboys put one of his props on the Micro Mong Rocket. Knapp liked the look so much that he mocked up his own gun with a PVC pipe, a strobe, and a Rustoleum spray can grip handle.
A permanent reminder after a pinhole fuel leak onto the coil caused an engine fire (fortunately on the ground).
A permanent reminder after a pinhole fuel leak onto the coil caused an engine fire (fortunately on the ground).

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Louise Hose

Louise Hose is an instrument-rated, commercial pilot who regularly flies her RV-6, her husband’s RV-8, and an RV-3B and a Dream Tundra, which they built together. They live in Dayton Valley Airpark in Nevada. She also edits the monthly, free digital newsletter, The Homebuilder’s Portal by KITPLANES®.

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