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Tundra Aircraft

Posted By:
Michael Bielick
8
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#1 Posted: 1/4/2011 10:09:55

My son and I looked at them last year (2010) at Oshkosh, and though that it would make a good father/son project. This past week my son seemed to be more serious about it. Has anyone here built one? is it pretty much straight forward like the reps said it is? I'd appreciate any info about building one/engines to use and of course pictures.

Thank you,

Mike



Mike
Doug Carter
Homebuilder or Craftsman
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#2 Posted: 1/5/2011 11:36:55

The tundra is a nice looking aircraft but building any kit is not as straight forward as a rep says it is.  If you are in the market for that style of aircraft I would look at  Bearhawk.  wwww.bearhawkaircraft.com  I am scratch building one and I am in no way associated to the kit manufacture but I also looked at the Tundra before I started building and ultimately found that the support of the many other bearhawk builders and the overall performance numbers were better for the bearhawk.  Tundra was in my top 5 in the end but the Bearhawk just seemed to be better performance for the same dollars and work.

Good luck.  I am scratch building with my two sons, and it has been wonderful so far.


Doug





Michael Bielick
8
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0
#3 Posted: 1/5/2011 12:54:03

Doug,

Thanks for your input. We to were looking very hard at the Bearhawk. However, my son (who is the pilot) after many months of looking decided that he really wants an all metal plane. He is also impressed that all the parts of the Tundra can only go together one way. Supposed to make it murphy proof. When we were at Oshkosh he sat in the Tundra and was impressed by how much room there was in it. He said it was more roomy than the 172 he learned in.

That's the one thing that worries me is that there doesn't seem to be a following for the Tundra like there is for the Bearhawk. We did happen to see a 2-place and a 4-place Bearhawk at Oshkosh, but the didn't see the owners. Both aircraft were very nicely built.

 

Mike

 

 



Mike
Jeff Page
Homebuilder or Craftsman
1
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0
#4 Posted: 1/7/2011 08:57:31

I have been working periodically on my Dream Aircraft Tundra kit for five years.  I own the whole kit, but did not buy any quickbuild options.

I am very impressed with the quality of the kit.  All of the holes are pre-punched.  Only about 40% of the holes need to be drilled to a larger size.  Each rib has slightly different hole positions, to ensure every part goes in the correct location.  I have recommended to many people, that if they want to build a kit, to create an aircraft with the Tundra's specifications, that the Dream Aircraft offering is excellent, and a choice they will not regret.

For my purposes, I wanted an all aluminium, solid rivet aircraft, rather than a rag and tube design, such as the Bearhawk.  In pretty much all respects, the two aircraft have identical specifications and performance.

I have flown the Dream Aircraft demo for 25 hours (Seattle->Toronto) and can vouch that it flies as advertised; the same as you experience on a demo flight.

In my experience, the Dream Aircraft people tell it straight without exaggeration.

The Tundra kit is newer in the marketplace than the Bearhawk.  Some of the early purchasers, like me (#10), have been quietly working away on their airplanes for a while.  There is not a strong forum presence, I believe because there is little need for builder helping builder style discussions.  Few things are unexplained in the manuals and a quick call to Dream Aircraft solves them.  I have met many of the other kit purchasers, but have never discussed building issues with them because there was no need for me to do so.

If you are of a mind to build such an airplane, then I suggest you visit the Dream Aircraft factory for a tour and a demo flight.  You will be pleased with what you see and experience.

Then buy a kit and get started.  I am finding constructing my aircraft to be tremendously rewarding.  Before I started, I agonized over how long it might take.  Now I realize that the time is not an issue, because the time spent is very enjoyable.  Who tries to minimize their hobby time ?  By the way, the estimated 1000 hour build time is realistic.  Then you add engine, avionics etc. on top of that.

Some pictures of my Tundra building experience:  http://www.qenesis.com/tundra

Jeff Page



Bill Evans
6
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0
#5 Posted: 1/7/2011 12:25:49

I visited the Dream Aircraft factory in Granby on the way to see the Epervier on display at U Sherbrooke that day. I live say 90 minutes west of the factory.

Jack Dueck and I visited together and he wrote an article on the Tundra aircraft which appeared in one of the EAA newsletters, probably Bits and Pieces.

Dream had 7 aircraft on the line. I believe that all were being built by Dream's version of quick build, and all by Americans.

I spent say 2 hours (I'm an A&P) studing the structures and plans and liked what I saw. I think they look rugged. The price for this option was around $47K.

This is how it was working. Dream is on the second floor with  a metal and welding business on the first floor. The day I was there the fabrication company was making heat pump bases.

The metal fabrication company setup the CNC equipment with G-code for aircraft parts when time permits, or evenings.

They have state of the art CNC bending, cutting and punching equipment. Thus the kits fit exactly. And the quality of the kits is what we've come to expect from CNC: Perfect.The Tundra aircraft are all stressed-skin aluminum structure.

Here's the deal I looked at. Dream receive an order, get all the components on the line and start fabricating. At some point the builder (and son) arrive for 2 weeks (vacation). Dream leave out one wire, rivet, bolt, spar plug from every assembly. The builder does these items. Dream have an agreement with the FAA. The owner must install one say rivet in every part of the aircraft, connect one wire, control cable etc. Thus he performs one operation on 51% of the parts. The FAA accept that and issue the CofR and other pertinent flight documents. So when it's completed the owner flies the aircraft out of Granby, all the paperwork is done. The aircraft is flying and ready to go home.

This version of quickbuild surprised me.The standard fuselage can be constructed in 2 or 4 seats, wheels, skiis or floats. The floats option has 2 seats but lots of cargo space.

I don't know what other build options there are, but this was the option for the 7 aircraft I saw.

I find that the assembly line was fairly mature and thus efficient.

The standard engine is an I0-520 or 540 series, nominally at 285 hp. Some builders have installed 0-470's overhauled to zero time.The CEO may have mentioned one customer with an IO-360 that was over 200 hp but I'm fuzzy on this point.  Engines are at extra cost.

I don't remember for certain but I think that VFR instruments were included. I visited Tundra 2 years ago.

The Tundra aircraft are Bush Planes. Dream get the customer in the air quickly, say typically in 3 months.

My mission requirement is for a racer and aerobat. Thus I fly a Sonerai. I'm also on the lookout for a retractable with long legs like a Bonanza.

Dream build a Bushplane on Skiis, floats or wheels. It doesn't come near to my mission requirement.

Bill Evans

 

 

 

 

 



Michael Bielick
8
Posts
0
#6 Posted: 1/7/2011 16:06:42

Thanks for the updates.



Mike