I would look at the Epic as well, not sure if they are pure certified
or still offer kits but the performance numbers are impressive. Its pricey but
they have a lot of good ideas in this bird.
If you are committed to Designing an aircraft I would get a hold
of every major book you can Raymer, Bruhn, Niu, Bingles, Rutan etc. Here is a
list I created for my old chapter
I would also attend Oshkosh
or Sun N Fun with a digital camera and get pics of everything you can. I went
to these shows for a full decade before diving into what I’m in now, not to
mention a BSAE from Embry-Riddle, working for Piper & Pratt & Whitney.
After working on a couple aircraft builds I’ve designed and
am building an all composite single seater. The biggest challenge you are going
to face in designing an aircraft is getting it done, every extra you add to it
makes that goal harder to reach. Also higher complexity equals greater design
time. Engine selection, weight & balance, stability & control can all
be real bad “got yas” if its not done right.
Also if you plan on having aircraft insurance your pilot qualifications
will need to match the aircraft. i.e. expect a ridiculous quote if you just got
your private rating and you would like to be an owner operator on a P-51. They
want to see significant comparable time in type.
Before coping a design or aspects of a design make sure to
get some air time in what you would like to fly and make sure its really right
for you. My aircraft is some where between a 601 & a RV-8 in terms of
general performance, I made sure to get flight hours in both of these aircraft
before getting to deep into this project.
Hope this helps,
EAA Technical Counselor 5426