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Push me over the edge!

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Active Member
Apr 15, 2008
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I've been looking at different projects for a first-time builder for a while, and working on my pilot's license. I've looked at everything: Vans (who doesn't want to go fast?), Harmon Rocket (if fast is good, faster is better), Zodiac (I don't actually have MONEY), CH701 (because I like Jeeps too), Sonex (even cheaper)....well, everything.

I've come to the conclusion that what I really want is a biplane. Am I going to actually fly cross-country? I doubt it. Am I going to fly in weather? Not if I can avoid it. Do I really need to be WAY up in the sky breathing bottled oxygen? No, I could just buy an airline ticket for that, and they'd provide the air for free. Do I have the money for a Vans or a Rocket? No in this lifetime.

Besides, biplanes romantically depicted in movies can make me tear up. Cessnas don't do that.

My criteria:

1. CHEAP! (Relatively.)
2. Not vastly complicated. I can figure anything out, but I'd like to actually fly while I'm still young enough to remember where I took off.
3. Easy to fly. (So I can remain above ground, if possible.)
4. Two-place.
5. Sport Pilot eligible. (So I can keep flying when I CAN'T remember where I took off.)
6. RADIAL ENGINE! (If I don't have a plane, I'll at least buy the engine and run it in the yard.)

I've looked at the Murphy Rebel, which has a Rotec Radial option, but the plane seems a bit too tiny and gawky to me. I'm really attracted to the Hatz, but most of them are too heavy for Sport Pilot.

Tell me about the Hatz Bantam, please. That is looking like the answer. I'm 6'3" tall (and relatively short-legged.) Will I fit comfortably? Does such a project sound realistic for a first-timer? (Like I said: I can figure anything out, but I don't want to take 20 years to do it.)

Talk me into it. Talk me out of it. Whatever. Thanks!


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