1970s home-builts

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by Matthew, Apr 25, 2017.

  1. Matthew

    Matthew Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Don't know why this popped into my head, but in the mid-70s I seemed to always know someone who knew someone whose dad or neighbor was building an airplane in his garage. What were the popular models back then?
     
  2. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Variviggen, Varieze, RV-3, Sonerai, Midget Mustang, KR-1, Thorp, Whitman W-8 / V-Whitt, Fly Baby, BD-5, Starduster Two, Glasair I TD & Longeze...barely.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2017
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  3. Dan Thomas

    Dan Thomas En-Route

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    Jodels. Pietenpols. Baby Aces. Various Pitts. Early RVs.
     
  4. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    I don't recall what Leroy built in the eighties but it was a small amphibian. Every time he flew the ARFF crew was on standby pending his landing.
     
  5. TFulwider

    TFulwider Pre-Flight

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    I'm getting ready to build a LongEZ and have been reading all of the back issues of Burt Rutan's newsletter. It's fascinating to read about how homebuilts were "back in the day." Homebuilts seemed like they really thrived in the 70's, especially the VariEze. I can't imagine what it was like seeing that thing roll out on the flight line for the first time!
     
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  6. Anymouse

    Anymouse En-Route

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    First time I saw one was in flight coming out of College Park (CGS) I swear, it looked like it was flying backwards. I hadn't started flying then, but I had recently seen a picture of one on the cover of some magazine (Popular Mechanics??). My first thought was, that crap really does exist!!

    I eventually got a ride in it. :D
     
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  7. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

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    There was a lot of people building homebuilts in the 70's but the completion rate was nowhere near what it is today with all the nice kits on the market.
     
  8. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    Might have been a George Pereira Osprey 2 or one of Moulton Taylor's Coots

    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    Back in the late 1970s I knew someone who was building a Christen Eagle. I'm pretty sure he never finished it.
     
  10. unsafervguy

    unsafervguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    the eagle was really a breakthrough in what defined a kit airplane. even with that, it was still a lot more involved than building most kits today.

    bob
     
  11. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    The photos look right. I think you got it. It was a long time ago, and what I had for breakfast yesterday is now a mystery.
     
  12. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

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    I helped a friend build his Eagle in the early 80's. The first kits came with the ribs already built up and ready to assemble on the wing. This was before the 51% rule and the FAA stipulated that the builder had to build all the ribs. It took almost as much time to build the ribs as to assemble the rest of the airplane. The instructions were the best I've ever seen and Frank Christen designed the building process after the famous Heathkit electronic kits. Every single nut and bolt and every part was included in the kit. I got to fly that airplane a lot over the next 15 years.
     
  13. Norman

    Norman En-Route Gone West

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    BTW, Leroy survived those landings and lived to a ripe old age. Much ado about nothing.
     
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  14. GRG55

    GRG55 En-Route

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    I heard a rumour at the time that the kits were so complete they even included the razor blade to open the blister packed parts. Can you recall if there is any truth to that?
    I also heard, but do not know if its true, that the year before the kits were released Christensen's booth at Oshkosh had a big sign saying "The Eagles are Coming"...and that was it. No staff. No pictures. No brochures. No tee-shirts for sale. None of that. Pretty interesting marketing.
     
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  15. yakdriver

    yakdriver Cleared for Takeoff

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    Each box had a razor blade taped to the top so you could open the box and also all the bubble packs. The first manual also had instructions for opening the box. There were 12 or so manuals and you started with the first manual and box #1 and you followed it in order until you got to the bottom of the last box and the end of the last manual. I kept the manual on fabric covering because it is the best one out there if you are going to do any Ceconite and Dope. Great kit and that's why so many have been completed and you rarely see a ratty looking one.
     
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  16. swingwing

    swingwing Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Don't forget the Rotorway Scorpions and early Exec. BJ did a great job selling them back in the 70's and 80's
     
  17. saddletramp

    saddletramp Pre-takeoff checklist

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    How about the BD-5/ I knew several people that bought & started the building process. If I recall Bede was never able to find an engine that worked.

    There were a few finished with jet engines.
     
  18. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach

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    The late Leeon Davis [that's how he spelled it] had a whole line of popular homebuilts back in the day. http://www.angelfire.com/ks2/janowski/other_aircraft/Davis/

    There was also the EAA Biplane, plans marketed by EAA itself:

    Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 7.25.09 PM.png

    The odd Dyke Delta generated a lot of interest, but only about 50 were built:

    Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 7.24.56 PM.png



    And lest we forget, the first "Heathkit" was an airplane -- the Heath Parasol. Hundreds of 'em were built in the late 1920s and early 1930s, before the Heath company got going in home electronics in the '40s. Ed Heath himself was killed in a test flight.

    Screen Shot 2017-07-25 at 7.36.31 PM.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2017
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  19. FlyingElvii

    FlyingElvii Pre-takeoff checklist

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  20. Shopshirt

    Shopshirt Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The WAR 1/2 scale warbird plans were popular don't know that many were ever completed. My dad had a buddy building the 1/2 scale corsair.
     
  21. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This one was at Osh yesterday
     
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  22. aftCG

    aftCG Pre-Flight

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    John Monnett's Sonerai designs were flying back then. The Thorp T-18, the Bushby Mustang, Ken Rand's KR designs
     
  23. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    Saw this one at Indy Metro recently. So tempting.
    upload_2017-8-2_19-49-56.png