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Old February 29th, 2012, 10:15 PM
Posted in reply to fgcason's post "Re: Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

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Originally Posted by fgcason View Post
Ron,

Do you know anyone who's done the biplane version?
I like biplanes and I don't care how slow I go as long as it's safe. (the slower I go the more flying time I get anyway)

This looks like a fun project plane to build over a few years in my spare time.
I know a few online friends who have one, but haven't been around one much.

The additional wing improves takeoff and climb, but cost in cruise speed. On the plus side, it lets the builder install shock-absorbing gear and avoids the issues related to monoplane wing bracing.

Looks pretty good, too....


With THAT said...there are a lot of rather nice little single-seat biplane designs out there. If I wanted a biplane, I think I'd build a Hatz and get a two-seater out of it.

The Fly Baby is one of the few designs that can be built as either a monoplane or biplane, and is one of the even fewer that can be converted back and forth within an hour or so. That was Bowers' main target; he wasn't just trying to produce yet another biplane.

One thing about the biplane is that Bowers lost his illustrator about 3/4 the way through writing the plans. The biplane plane aren't really as complete as the monoplane version...the written text peters out and the last batch of illustrations are just sketches.

My advice for builders is to make the monoplane version, since there's two wings and a center section less to build. Build the biplane mods into the fuselage (they can be added after completion, but it's easier during construction), get flying in a monoplane version, and if you're still hankering for a biplane, you can be flying while building the new wings.

I have the biplane addendum available for free download on the Fly Baby web page:

http://www.bowersflybaby.com/#Free_B...Plans_Download

I've also got the first 50 pages of the main plans available for free:

http://www.bowersflybaby.com/plans_sample.pdf

Ron Wanttaja
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Old February 29th, 2012, 10:25 PM
Posted in reply to wanttaja's post "Re: Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

Ron I figured you might be familiar with the fly baby that was my CFI's first plane. It was N2288C. He said it was destroyed beyond repair from wind damage, but I do believe it is in the first few pages of the build manual where all of the different pictures of the fly baby's are.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 10:44 PM
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Re: Fly Baby

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Ron I figured you might be familiar with the fly baby that was my CFI's first plane. It was N2288C. He said it was destroyed beyond repair from wind damage, but I do believe it is in the first few pages of the build manual where all of the different pictures of the fly baby's are.
That was the Frank Londo airplane...


Last edited by wanttaja; March 1st, 2012 at 01:35 AM.
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Old February 29th, 2012, 10:51 PM
Posted in reply to wanttaja's post "Re: Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

That fits the description he has given me. He said he was very fortunate to get such a well built airplane as his first owned plane.

He said it had a C85-12 if I remember correctly.
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Old March 3rd, 2012, 01:56 PM
Posted in reply to jssaylor2007's post "Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

Thanks Ron.

I'm a few years out from doing anything however the longer term plan is to build a fun plane. I am currently poking around at different designs that I can build when the time comes. Inexpensive to build and fly, fun, fly off grass, do it right, enjoy the build process then fly it when it's ready to fly is the plan.

I agree about the monoplane first with the biplane modifications during the initial build. And who knows, the monoplane may be too much fun to add the second set of wings to but the option and plans is nice to have without invasive modifications later.

I didn't know about the Hatz. I'll have to look into that now.
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Old August 26th, 2012, 12:36 AM
Posted in reply to fgcason's post "Re: Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

And for those interested in the Fly Baby, around the St. Louis area, we're having a Fly Baby 50th Anniversary Fly-In at Sparta Mount Vernon IL on the 8th of September:


Gonna be real laid-back, with the emphasis on fun.

Ron Wanttaja

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Old August 26th, 2012, 02:32 AM
Posted in reply to jssaylor2007's post "Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

No promises but I hope to be able to make an appearance in N48ML. Any idea how many FlyBaby's will be there?
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Old August 26th, 2012, 08:08 AM
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Re: Fly Baby

That's only 50NM from here...I might come over for grins.
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Old August 26th, 2012, 11:31 AM
Posted in reply to jesse's post "Re: Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

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No promises but I hope to be able to make an appearance in N48ML. Any idea how many FlyBaby's will be there?
Sparta is the home base for Brian "Brain" Kissenger, who is doing all the organizing. He bases his Fly Baby there. The Flying Monkeys Squadron is from the area, and Brian's a member.

His plane is on the far right. I think at least one of these has sold since this picture was taken, but don't know whether it stayed local.

So...we're looking at probably two, plus (hopefully) yours. That would be more than were at Oshkosh.

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Old August 26th, 2012, 01:22 PM
Posted in reply to jssaylor2007's post "Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

I have a Fly Baby with a starter, but no electrical 'system.' Instead, it has a battery on board that powers only the starter. The battery needs charged periodically, but not that often. I'm looking into putting a solar charger somewhere to keep it topped off.
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Old August 26th, 2012, 03:43 PM
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Re: Fly Baby

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I have a Fly Baby with a starter, but no electrical 'system.' Instead, it has a battery on board that powers only the starter. The battery needs charged periodically, but not that often. I'm looking into putting a solar charger somewhere to keep it topped off.
That's the best approach, with a small sport aircraft. You aren't required to have a transponder within a Mode C veil, only if you actually want to enter the airspace. A fully charged battery will do a number of starts. I ran about a whole year on my airplane with a bum generator, just plugging the battery into charge every once in a while.

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Old August 27th, 2012, 11:45 PM
Posted in reply to jssaylor2007's post "Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

Anybody ever put a Fly Baby on floats?
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Old August 27th, 2012, 11:50 PM
Posted in reply to Henning's post "Re: Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

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Originally Posted by Henning View Post
Anybody ever put a Fly Baby on floats?
Yes
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Old August 27th, 2012, 11:55 PM
Posted in reply to jssaylor2007's post "Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

They're a very capable machine - here I am high and slow:

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Last edited by jesse; August 27th, 2012 at 11:59 PM.
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Old August 27th, 2012, 11:59 PM
Posted in reply to jssaylor2007's post "Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

What is your lap tank made of?
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Old August 28th, 2012, 12:02 AM
Posted in reply to Henning's post "Re: Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

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What is your lap tank made of?
The tank itself is made out of aluminum.
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Old August 28th, 2012, 12:11 AM
Posted in reply to jesse's post "Re: Fly Baby"
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Re: Fly Baby

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The tank itself is made out of aluminum.
Welds in aluminum crystallize after 15 years and become very brittle. If you ever replace it I'd give a lot of consideration to a racing grade fuel cell or at least weld the next one up out do 90/10 Copper Nickle.
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Old August 28th, 2012, 12:13 AM
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Re: Fly Baby

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Welds in aluminum crystallize after 15 years and become very brittle. If you ever replace it I'd give a lot of consideration to a racing grade fuel cell or at least weld the next one up out do 90/10 Copper Nickle.
I think it's only a few years old.
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Old August 28th, 2012, 12:14 AM
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Re: Fly Baby

I hate lap tanks...
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Old August 28th, 2012, 12:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jesse View Post
They're a very capable machine - here I am high and slow:

Hopefully you've spoken privately with the ghost of your grandpa and told him you'll keep an eye out for Doctors in Bonanzas up there, reading the newspaper.

Otherwise, you're going to be haunted.
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Old August 28th, 2012, 07:50 AM
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Re: Fly Baby

I got a close look at Jesse's new bird. Very nice. Looks great in the air and in the pattern. Fun to see these homebuilts being maintained, and in the air, knowing the people who fly them and the passion they bring to the sport. I love it!

Jesse's has an enclosed cabin and the open pit option! It's a convertible!
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Old August 28th, 2012, 12:00 PM
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Re: Fly Baby

I got up early this morning and rode the motorcycle out to the airport to do a little flying. I climbed up to a safe altitude and played with slow flight and stalls.

Below about 45 mph indicated things start to get pretty mushy. Around 35 mph the stick and airplane start to shake. At around 25 mph indicated it hovers on the brink of the stall. It wouldn't actually break into the stall for me unless I gave the stick a brisk pop for the last inch or two of it's travel. The break was pretty much the same as a C150. It didn't favor either wing, level throughout the break. Recovery was no big deal.

After that I descended down low and just flew around the country side looking at the farms and tractors.

Before long, it was time to get the airplane put away so that I could head into the office. I am pretty fortunate indeed.
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Old August 28th, 2012, 12:17 PM
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Re: Fly Baby

At MERFI this weekend I saw the neatest thing. Looked like a two-seat Flybaby sans wires. Can't remember what the guy called it, some very old experimental design. Sorry, didn't bring the camera, so I can't post up a photo. Still, really near airplane.

And I believe there was a fly baby in attendance. And three Midget Mustangs, two more than there were at Oshkosh.
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Old August 28th, 2012, 12:34 PM
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Re: Fly Baby

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Originally Posted by jesse View Post
I got up early this morning and rode the motorcycle out to the airport to do a little flying. I climbed up to a safe altitude and played with slow flight and stalls.

Below about 45 mph indicated things start to get pretty mushy. Around 35 mph the stick and airplane start to shake. At around 25 mph indicated it hovers on the brink of the stall. It wouldn't actually break into the stall for me unless I gave the stick a brisk pop for the last inch or two of it's travel. The break was pretty much the same as a C150. It didn't favor either wing, level throughout the break. Recovery was no big deal.

After that I descended down low and just flew around the country side looking at the farms and tractors.

Before long, it was time to get the airplane put away so that I could head into the office. I am pretty fortunate indeed.
Motorcycle and fly baby.. I bet you had all that fun on less than 15 bucks of gas
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Old August 28th, 2012, 12:38 PM
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Re: Fly Baby

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At MERFI this weekend I saw the neatest thing. Looked like a two-seat Flybaby sans wires. Can't remember what the guy called it, some very old experimental design. Sorry, didn't bring the camera, so I can't post up a photo. Still, really near airplane.
If it was indeed an older design, it's probably a Spezio Tuholer:


The Spezio was another entrant in the 1962 EAA Design Contest (the one the Fly Baby won). Don't have any insight as to why the Fly Baby over the Spezio, but I believe the Tuholer has a welded-steel fuselage. This might have scored the plane lower for buildability.

Another similar design, but much, much newer, is the Warner Revolution:

http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/photo/430447.html

It's got a cantilever wing, and has no struts or wires. Which means it doesn't make that cool sound....

And Jesse, if you *really* want to have fun on those early-morning flights, take off the canopy and put the open-cockpit assembly back on....

Ron Wanttaja

Last edited by wanttaja; August 28th, 2012 at 12:43 PM.
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