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Old 11-23-2017, 06:11 PM   #1
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Default Lionheart Staggerwing

Whatever happened to the Lionheart? Other than the obvious that it would be a large construction project with a somewhat limited market, it looked awesome. I remember when it showed up on the homebuilt market in the late nineties, it seemed too good to be true.

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Old 11-23-2017, 07:41 PM   #2
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Looks like there’s more money manufacturing UAVs.

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Old 11-23-2017, 09:32 PM   #3
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That's true. There is more money in UAV's than nearly anything aviation related. The DoD is literally pumping more money into the programs than the managers know what to do with.

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Old 11-24-2017, 01:23 PM   #4
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I always liked that airplane I really thought it was going to take off and do really well. Unfortunately it never seem to and like you I always wondered what happened to that airplane I never saw it at Oshkosh again after three or four years or so. And I never saw another one finished except that yellow one. I thought it was perfect for 6 seats and a heavy hauler.
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Old 11-24-2017, 02:02 PM   #5
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Beautiful plane. I wonder what the kit price would have been?
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Old 11-24-2017, 02:36 PM   #6
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It was expensive at the time in 1997. Searching the faa registry and the ntsb, there were at least 7 kits plus the prototype for a total of 7. If there were some overseas, that number could be higher. There have been 3-4 destroyed. There is one on display at the staggerwing Museum. One ntsb reports points to bad design for gear failure and post crash fire.
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Old 11-24-2017, 03:06 PM   #7
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Chris is a great guy, the plane is at Moontown airport. The Thing HAULS...
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Old 11-24-2017, 04:14 PM   #8
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I think I read somewhere the molds and tooling still exists. It was a pretty sophisticated operation I terms of the molds and tooling etc etc. someone spent a incredible amount of money but Iím assuming the buyers just werenít there for it at the price point they had to have to make it all work. I dunno...but I did hear the molds exist so maybe one day they can figure out how to make it cheaper and sell more. Hope so as it was a heck of a lot cooler than anything else in that composite world to me. But that in itself may be the biggest issue. The composite, carbon fiber, fancy instrument panel crowd probably doesnít like the tailwheel, the Antique radial or old style. I personally know of a guy who has over $250k in a composite plane but talks about the cost of a T-6 as out of his range. Perception is a odd thing to keep level with everyone.
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Old 11-24-2017, 08:09 PM   #9
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I suspect the Lionheart was labor intensive to build. Having all the molds for the outer skins is just a start. All the ribs, spars and bulkheads, floor risers, seat platforms, door opening frames, fitting windows and such requires a lot of time fitting and laminating. Then, unless you have a very complete machine shop all the metal fittings, brackets and landing gear have to be outsourced. The effort and cost to get the airplane kit developed to the point where a first time builder had a chance to complete one is likely more than could ever be recovered by selling kits.

OOPS you can fix with a paper towel. UH OH is going to require more money.
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