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Total newbie...Square One

Posted By:
Greg Davis
Homebuilder or Craftsman
10
Posts
1
#1 Posted: 1/25/2010 18:25:23

Hello, I am currently going to school to get my A&P license. Aviation has been in my blood for three generations (my grandfather was a pilot and flew choppers in Vietnam; dad was an amateur pilot). I have an incredible interest in designing my own plane. I'm not going from the ground up, I'm basing off of some previous biplane designs. Maybe combining my favorite features from a few other designs.

 

I'm just curious about what I need to get in order. How to figure out what dimensions, airfoil, wing size, engine, etc. I should use. I'm using a Stampe SV.4 or de Havilland Tiger Moth (the Stampe has the speed, the Tiger Moth is about the size) as a starting point, but don't know what I can/should change to make it more my own design, or how to combine the two designs.

 

I've bought a couple books, but maybe there's some additional info from practical experts that I may not find in a book.



Greg Davis
Homebuilder or Craftsman
10
Posts
1
#2 Posted: 1/27/2010 15:22:26 Modified: 1/27/2010 16:45:58


 
Here are the must haves:

<$20,000
2-Seats
Bi-Plane
Long range (not sure how long, but I'd like to go a distance without refueling...I wanna take it cross country maybe)
Good fuel efficiency
Low ceiling (doesn't matter to me)
Wood/Fabric
Single Engine (Auto engine conversion capability)
Max Speed of 130 MPH
Cruising Speed of 100-120 MPH



Matthew Long
Homebuilder or Craftsman
122
Posts
12
#3 Posted: 1/28/2010 03:27:52

I certainly don't want to put a damper on your dreams of designing your own plane (I have that dream myself) but you should certainly consider whether or not there are some existing designs that meet your needs, at least as a first project.  With your A&P training, especially if you are in a program that teaches welding and woodwork as well as sheet metal, you have the skills to tackle many tried and true steel-tube fuselage, wood wing designs.  I wouldn't get too caught up on range or speed, especially if you go with an open cockpit, as I think you'll find your bladder or comfort level in general will give out before the fuel supply.  Cost may be an issue, however, as $20,000 doesn't go as far as it used too, but again your A&P training should let you tap into skills and opportunities for inexpensive engine rebuilding, for example, that the rest of us don't always have.

Off the top of my head, here are a few ideas for two-seat biplanes that might fit the bill in no particular order:

  • Hatz CB-1 (including the newer Bantam model for the Jabiru 6-cylinder engine)
  • Steen Skybolt
  • EAA Acrosport II
  • Stolp Starduster Too
  • Fisher DH Tiger Moth replica
  • Ragwing DH Tiger Moth replica

Any would provide a fun aircraft, and all have a successful track record, but it will depend on your likes, budget and especially engine options.

Cheers,

Matthew

 



******* Matthew Long www.cluttonfred.info
Eric Peterson
Homebuilder or Craftsman
49
Posts
6
#4 Posted: 1/28/2010 09:10:39


Hi Greg,

       The 2 dream planes that I contemplated on building were the Fisher Tiger Moth and the Wittman Tailwind.  I just purchased the Tailwind plans.

       It had to an "old design", the TW came out in '53, good visibility and I have a lyc. O320 in the shop so the TW it is. But most important is that it can be 100% scratch built.

        I have a tubular steel fuse. construction book from Steen Aerolabs. Pollifiber puts out a good manual on their product.  Well worth the money. As well as the Bingellis book set should be part of your library.

       Like Matthew wrote, it would most likely be better in the long run to built something close to what you want. If not for the experience, then the factory and customer (forum) support.

                                                                                         EricPicture 228.jpg



Greg Davis
Homebuilder or Craftsman
10
Posts
1
#5 Posted: 1/28/2010 16:28:54 Modified: 1/28/2010 17:18:19

Cool! I'm looking at some planes that were posted....the Steen Skybolt and the AcroSport II seem cool. But what would happen (what would be lost...or gained) if I went with a wood frame fuselage instead of the steel tube type. But still used the same general dimensions (of one of them). It'd be fine if I lost some range and/or speed of the Skybolt or AcroSport because those are well over my desired specs. anyway.

 

I just wanna work with wood just because it'd be easier to work with. I will have my A&P by the time I even get to starting this thing, but I like the old school wood thing.

 

 



Steve Rice
Homebuilder or Craftsman
25
Posts
2
#6 Posted: 1/28/2010 16:32:43

When i saw your little pic, I first thought youwatned to design a small scale F4U...Now that would be cool Welcome, and never give  up your dream of flying  your dream machine



Greg Davis
Homebuilder or Craftsman
10
Posts
1
#7 Posted: 1/28/2010 19:54:12
Steve Rice wrote:

 

When i saw your little pic, I first thought youwatned to design a small scale F4U...Now that would be cool Welcome, and never give  up your dream of flying  your dream machine

It''s odd you mention that because I DID come up with that idea today! Me and my girlfriend were just talking about it!

 

Thanks for the kind words sir!



Steve Rice
Homebuilder or Craftsman
25
Posts
2
#8 Posted: 1/30/2010 19:37:54

If you should decide to go that route, I can throw the CAD drawings that I have your way. I started the design of a F4U (2 seat version) about 1 1/2 years ago. Now my brother and I have decided to go the P-38 route. Wings even fold up for storage or trailering a short distance. Thoguth it would be cool with the Rodec 110 HP radial engine in it



David Spinnett
6
Posts
0
#9 Posted: 2/13/2010 10:23:36 Modified: 2/13/2010 10:24:32
Greg Davis wrote:

 

Steve Rice wrote:

 

When i saw your little pic, I first thought youwatned to design a small scale F4U...Now that would be cool  Welcome, and never give  up your dream of flying  your dream machine

It''s odd you mention that because I DID come up with that idea today! Me and my girlfriend were just talking about it!

 

Thanks for the kind words sir!

 

 

Have a look at the W.A.R. plans built 50% scale. They are cute, but small and single seat. I want to do a 80% FW190 myself..

 



Steve Rice
Homebuilder or Craftsman
25
Posts
2
#10 Posted: 2/15/2010 12:47:10

I looked at the W.A.R. Site. but didnt want a wood airplane, and wanted to take a second person with me. I have had a single seater before. Its a lot of fun to fly, but difficult to share with others