News and commentary about homebuilt/experimental aviation from the editors of Kitplanes Magazine.
Author: Amy Laboda
Contributing Editor Amy Laboda is a freelance writer and editor of Aviation for Women magazine. She's an ATP-rated pilot and instrument and multi-engine Flight Instructor with a passion for teaching and flying in light aircraft. Her steady rides these days are a 18-year old Kitfox IV and a fresh Van's RV-10.
One of the things all of us love to do at any air show where there are a lot of vendors with aircraft parts, avionics and pilot supplies is to browse. Yep, face it guys. You go to shows like Sun 'n Fun as dreamers; and a few of us actually warm up the plastic. I once accused my husband of melting the numbers off one card (in the days before chips). He's more of a doer, less of a dreamer. But even he is guilty of the occasional air show impulse buy.
I am his devil's advocate in that realm. I look at the newest and the coolest and secretly want it all—don’t get me wrong. I just have this annoying practical streak that gets in the way of actual purchases. Continue reading "But Do I Need It?"
Rotax introduced its souped up 915iS, a 135 hp turbocharged, intercooled four stroke, fuel injected engine last summer at EAA AirVenture. Yesterday at Sun 'n Fun 2016 Rotax Business Manager Marc Becker provided a window into the development schedule for the engine. Continue reading "Rotax 915iS is Coming"
When I come to big shows such as Sun 'n Fun I feel like there's a whole bunch of learning to be done. To that end, I make a point of attending the forums in the Homebuilt Area. You can learn about fabric covering, or riveting aluminum, bending aluminum, or even welding.
This year at Sun 'n Fun former NASA Space Shuttle engineer and I-A mechanic Marcia Buckingham gave great advice in her engine troubleshooting forum. Essentially, her advice can be summarized in three words, "Go to ground." Continue reading "Go to Ground!"
Hartzell Propeller announced that it has developed a new three-blade ASC-II composite propeller for Van's Aircraft RV-10. The new prop is four pounds lighter than Hartzell's previous model, with most of the weight reduction attributed to its lighter-weight hub. A weight savings of four pounds so far forward of the center of gravity is significant for the RV-10, which tends to be a tad nose-heavy when being flown with just the pilot and no bags, passengers or ballast aft of its center of gravity.
Hartzell says its 3-bladed composite propeller noticeably improves the smoothness of flight on the RV-10 when compared to the 2-bladed aluminium propeller. The ASC-II's proprietary blade design features a carbon fibre monocoque construction with co-moulded leading edges of electroformed nickel for erosion resistance. Continue reading "New, Lighter Hartzell Prop for RV-10"
Italian engine-maker MW brought its wares to booth NE50 at Sun 'n Fun 2013 for the first time this year. The company partners with a heady crowd, including companies such as Ducati, Lamborghini, Peugeot, Marzocchi and Pirelli for research and development of motorsports engines, and has been around since the mid-1990s.
At Sun 'n Fun MW is displaying its B22, 95hp engine and its B25, 150 hp engine. Both are liquid-cooled. The B22 is direct drive, producing 95hp at 3300 rpm, while the B25 is a geared engine, turning 4550rpm at full horsepower.
It was a busy day for announcements at Sun 'n Fun and Lancair was not to be left out of the fun. The company is repricing and, in a sense repackaging its Legacy aircraft kits for builders. "All-inclusive" is the term the company used to describe its repackaging. What that means is that for your money(that's $249,975 for the RG-550, $244,995 for the FGC-550, and $202,795 for the FG390) you get, in addition to the complete airframe and engine, a dual screen, G3X Garmin panel with the G3X autopilot, GTN650 and GNC255 NavComs, Engine Information System, ADS-B, XM weather, SAM two screen Electronic backup instruments, a “plug and play” wire harness, Wing Cuff Kit and more. Also included in this pricing is two weeks at the Lancair factory for an intensive builder assist session.