Night, acro, and IFR options?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by compjtc, Nov 1, 2018.

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  1. Nov 1, 2018 #1

    compjtc

    compjtc

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    Hey all,

    For the last several years I've been doing casual research into a build project and have amassed a small collection of plans. For a variety of reasons, I'm getting more antsy to get a project going.

    I'm looking for suggestions on a design that meets my most typical flight, which is flying <100 miles with my wife for dinner somewhere. This mission brings some characteristics:
    • 2 people
    • Ability to fly at night, as it's often dark by the time we return.
    • A canopy or enclosed cockpit. I'm not motivated to do open cockpit in Iowa.
    • I've enjoyed learning some basic acro and would want something acro capable.
    • It'd be great to have something IFR legal. I'm not talking hours of hard IMC, but the ability to legally pop through a layer of overcast if needed.
    I've had my heart set on a biplane. I'm not sure why, I'm just always attracted to them. But now that I've pinpointed the mission a little more I'm second guessing.

    Which models would you guys be looking at for this mission?
     
  2. Nov 1, 2018 #2

    NDTOO

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    RV-8..............just saying............hold the flames! Not gonna catch me after dark in my Starduster. Yep, I'm a chicken!
     
  3. Nov 1, 2018 #3

    smizo

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    RV7 , she’s gonna want to sit next to you, not stuck in a hole by herself........
     
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  4. Nov 1, 2018 #4

    grassroots

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    Spoken like a true VAF convert....they all let their wives decide which airplanes they fly and which end the little wheel is on. ;)
     
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  5. Nov 1, 2018 #5

    smizo

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    Yes! Looking to trade an ASIIS for RV-7A.........
     
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  6. Nov 1, 2018 #6

    Knight Twister

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    Night single engine is a much higher level of managed risk. If you're going that route buy or build something with one seat, it gives the wife a chance to manage your estate.
     
  7. Nov 1, 2018 #7

    CapnWolfe

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    Cesna 140... Oh wait. You don't have to build that... BUT...
     
  8. Nov 1, 2018 #8

    bneub

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    I don’t have much biplane time yet but the lack of visibility over the nose seems like it would make night landings interesting. The visual cues will be a lot different at night. I’m sure it could be learned but may take a while.

    The RV line is worth considering. I’ve flown 2 that are IFR equipped and they do well. Also have done some light acro in one of them. It could be a decent compromise.

    Perhaps having 2 airplanes would be a good solution. Or more, more can be good...
     
  9. Nov 1, 2018 #9

    jetsareforkids

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    Hiperbipe, this is a biplane forum not VAF. Hiperbipe or AN-2, so probably a Hiperbipe.
     
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  10. Nov 1, 2018 #10

    ndlakesdreamer

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    Pitts Model 12?
    Seems like most of them have more "creature comforts" than other biplanes
     
  11. Nov 1, 2018 #11

    TFF1

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    Any homebuilt can be made night and IFR. There have been a few biplanes in Sport Aviation that were IFR. Biplanes are not good hard IFR and are generally slow. That's why you don't see it done. With the new electronics is pretty easy.
     
  12. Nov 1, 2018 #12

    IanJ

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    Hiperbipe sounds like the right choice to me. Really, you could pick any biplane design and adapt it with a canopy, some lights, and some instruments. However, the traditional biplane designs with all the wires and struts causing drag means that your engine-off glide performance rivals that of a manhole cover, which is a bad situation to be in at night. All that said, I'm planning to outfit my Charger with nav and strobe lights, so that returning slightly after dark is still a legal option. I'm unlikely to fly in full darkness, though, between the glide ratio and the night landing sight picture problems I already have in modern nosedraggers.
     
  13. Nov 1, 2018 #13

    EAABipe40FF

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    As far as night and risk single engine it is the same I guess as single engine IFR. Lots of people do both. And lots of people have operated biplanes at night. I've never operated a nose wheel aircraft at night. I don't have much night experience but have done it in both a C120 and a Starduster 2. It's interesting at first. Biplane is just another taildragger as long as you keep the speed up and don't make it too brick like.

    Type? Skybolt maybe. SD2 worked for me. Pitts M12 if you have the $. Go for it.

    Anyone who thinks they "really" need an RV maybe should spend more time on their forum?:rolleyes::D

    All that said, the issues other's have raised are all valid. A brand new biplane driver IMO shouldn't consider such things w/o gaining a bunch of experience. Of coarse I suppose one should be very familar with any aircraft they consider for beyond day VFR

    Jack
     
    Last edited: Nov 1, 2018
  14. Nov 1, 2018 #14

    EAABipe40FF

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    Engine out at night in a high drag airplane? It seems to me not much difference. In whatever case you aim for a dark spot. Don't turn on your landing light, what you see might scare you.......:rolleyes:
     
  15. Nov 1, 2018 #15

    compjtc

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    Awesome feedback. I do have a set of preview plans for the RV7. I think if I were to go that route I'd go with either the RV8 or RV14.

    There's always the option of splitting the mission into two planes if getting the combo I'm looking for is too much of a compromise for one. Any of you guys just have a day VFR fun machine and then rent for the other times?
     
  16. Nov 1, 2018 #16

    smizo

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    single seat acro biplane and a go somewhere airplane make a nice hangar...…..
     
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  17. Nov 1, 2018 #17

    compjtc

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    For how cheaply a guy can get into a single seat acro biplane now a days it is tempting to buy one and then build something with more of an IFR cross country mission.
     
  18. Nov 1, 2018 #18

    smizo

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    That C model for 20k would be the ticket!!!!
     
  19. Nov 1, 2018 #19

    EAABipe40FF

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    Amen!
     
  20. Nov 2, 2018 #20

    Yankandbank

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    Friend of mine has great luck with his RV-6.
     

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