4 seat kits. What's out there?

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by genna, Aug 7, 2019.

  1. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    In an interesting twist of fate, I may potentially be building something in a somewhat distant future. Or buying something already built. In any case, an EAB is looking like a viable option for ownership. I am now in a research phase. And a finding partners phase as well.

    So what is out there in a 4 seat land? Looking for performance similar to SR22. Something that can be built with IFR/Glass for under 200K. BRS is a bonus. Something that is well established, well supported, and easy to build for a newbie.

    • RV10 is the obvious choice. It's a current leader from the few choices I am aware of. Although it is likely more than $200K.
    • Velocity(or any canard) was shutdown by my wife. Evidently she's not a fan of "spaceship" look and prefers conventional design
    • Sling TSi is another possibility. Less performance, but a lot less $$ as well
    • Lancair is too much plane and money
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
  2. Andrew Morris

    Andrew Morris Filing Flight Plan

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    I’m biased towards the TSi as the performance was quite impressive with three adults on board and full fuel when I flew it. I’m also a big fan of Rotax and in particular the 915 iS.
     

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  3. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Whatever you choose, congrats on reaching escape velocity from certified land.
     
  4. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

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    The Murphy Moose and Bearhawk 4-Place are a couple more options.
     
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  5. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC En-Route PoA Supporter

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  6. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Zenith 801
     
  7. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's quite impressive. This is why i'm considering it. But you gotta get it up there in the oxygen alts to get most of that performance. For the time being i'm not looking for flights long enough for that. Things may change however since this is probably 5-7 years down the road.
     
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  8. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    At this point it might be tough to keep an RV10 under $200K. Not impossible but certain tough. A $200k budget should get a Sling TSI built pretty easily. The build on a TSI will go faster than an RV10 build as well.

    And those are pretty much your only choices if you're going to take Velocity and Lancair out of the running. There are Bearhawk and a few other minor players but I don't think any of them will get you near SR22 speed.
     
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  9. CJones

    CJones En-Route

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    It'll be hard to beat the RV-10 once you fly it. Acquisition cost should come down some if you're looking 5 years out - more new planes being flown every day. Lots of them being built and tons of support for them these days.
     
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  10. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yep. I expect RV to be closer to 250K. Especially with BRS.

    I guess TSI is faster at altitude, but I’d think RV has more performance below 10000. What do you mean “build on TSi “?
     
  11. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    They seem to go together quicker than the RV10's. At least from looking at various build blogs, that seems to be the case.

    The RV10 has been around a while and there are lots of build blogs that are 5-6 years old and still building. There are far fewer TSI blogs obviously, but the few I've looked at have builds that seem to be progressing at a very fast pace. The plane came out a year ago and I expect several builds will be flying by this time next year. I don't think many RV10's get built that fast without paying a pro to build it for you.
     
  12. Datadriver

    Datadriver Line Up and Wait

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    Can you build an RV-10 with glass for less than 200k?
     
  13. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ah, gotcha. Yeah, I notice that too. Another plus for building TSi is it is smaller. One of the reasons this is not possible for me now is I have no space in which to build the plane.
     
  14. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    Likely, no. Probably closer to $250K. But I used it as a benchmark so to speak.
     
  15. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    or maybe. Kit(slow) is $50K, engine + prop - $60K. Then we have tools, paint, avionics. Is $90K enough for that? Is there anything i'm missing? Adding BRS is probably another $30K which will almost certainly push it over $200
     
  16. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

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    It can be done. I've got about between $160K-$170K in mine (2 Screen Legacy G3X, TruTrak A/P, TruTrak back-up PFD, SL 30, GTN 650, PS Eng Audio Panel), re-built zero-timed Barrett Precision Engine IO-540, PPG paint job, off-the-shelf interior, etc. But no BRS.
     

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  17. kyleb

    kyleb En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Yep. Mine will be $155k painted. Single G3x, single comm, IFR GPS. Adding a second comm and G3X might cost another $10k.

    I say this as someone with an airplane that is a month or so away from final assembly. Literally, the only unknown cost at this point is one cable for the purge valve on the fuel injection system. I estimate it'll cost $100 and that cost is figured into the $155k.
     
    Last edited: Aug 7, 2019
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  18. Andrew Morris

    Andrew Morris Filing Flight Plan

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    That’s true. You can still do 155 knots true at 9,500ft burning 7.8 GPH which is pretty great.
     
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  19. CJones

    CJones En-Route

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    To take such a sweet plane like that and put those hideous colors on it!! Sigh... :D :D

    Roll Tide!
     
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  20. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Revolution Aircraft, Inc. (RAI) has the Foxtrot which is a 4 adult seater; cruises around 200 MPH; and goes together in about 6 months with factory assist.

    There's also the Murphy Yukon. Comp Air has a 4 seater, but if you search for it on POA, you'll find the kit component quality is lacking.
     
  21. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    I actually stumbled on RAI yesterday. This is the first I had heard of this company. No idea what to make of it. Plane seems interesting, however.
     
  22. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

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    I'd get a new wife. :D;)
     
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  23. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It's cheaper to rent!;)
     
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  24. wayne

    wayne Cleared for Takeoff

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    Anymouse has a Tango (RAI-2?); two seater from the same company before the name change.



    Wayne
     
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  25. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I test flew the RAI4. Really fun to fly. I had two issues with the plane.
    1. I did not fit. I am 5'10" but a lot of my height is in my torso. My head without headset was in the canopy. The early model I test flew does have a lower canopy than the new ones.
    2. It was really loud. This would be an issue for my wife on long flights.

    Tim

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  26. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Concur on the head room in the Team Tango Foxtrot (aka Foxtrot 4 aka RAI4).

    My squadron acquaintance died in his Foxtrot 4. NTSB cited construction issues as contributory to the fatality, they never figured out the reason for the powerplant failure (aka NTSB: STANDARD). At any rate, powerplant failure of some sort on initial climbout, attempted turnback to the airport. Didn't make it. Thing turned into sugar wafer though. Glides like a greased brick (same wing loading as a Hershey Lance). Took his brother with him (ejected, as was he). Brother's widow (partially ejected, bottom belt anchored to bolts) and 2 year old (only occupant not ejected, in a car seat, it pays to be small and cocooned in a crash apparently) survived in the back seat. To be fair to the design, the anchoring choice doesn't seem to be driven by the design itself, so it could have been anchored with bolts. A distinction without difference to me as a non-builder resale market participant. I digress.

    Haven't seen many around (Team Tango I think use to be the old name). I'm personally skittish of homebuilt composite as a result of this accident, but to each their own. I'd go with a sling with a chute, knowing what I know about my inclination and interest in building LOL :D
     
  27. clear_prop

    clear_prop Pre-Flight

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    Glasair Sportsman will be hard to do under $200k, but with the Two Weeks to Taxi program, building is fast. Lots of headroom and enough elbow room for two high gross weight pilots to be comfortable sitting next to each other. BRS is an available option. Speed is less than the RV-10, but 1000 lbs useful load makes loading a breeze.

    Disclosure: I built and fly a TWTT Sportsman.
     
  28. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I concur to the above, but the Sportsman is more of a 2+2 than a true four seater.
     
  29. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    Sportsman doesn't seem to fit my specs very well.
     
  30. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    Headroom will probably not be much of an issue for me since we are quite short. Composite part in principle does not bother me, but I really don't know what's involved with building a composite plane. Foxtrot does seem like a little too much plane for my intended use, however. Also, as far as I can tell it's more $$ to build than RV10.
     
  31. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    Think hard about the ‘10, it seems to fit your needs and it’s a well proven ‘deliverer of value’.

    The biggest thing between you and a <$200k machine is option lust. Build it without any and all of the very attractive aftermarket options out there. No BRS. Standard engine and prop thru Vans unless you are resourceful enough to find a used one. The only place you must choose what to spend money on is the glass panel. Garmin is an easy choice but GRT and XYZ and ABC are equally capable and cheaper. Doing it yourself instead of farming it out will save money as well.

    Another benefit of avoiding option lust is the build will go faster.

    I indulged my option lust in my 2006-11 build. The important ones are part of the kit (upgraded door latch), none of the other ones are critical, just nice (thermostatically controlled heated pitot, fancy air vents, dual bus electrical system, interior and the QB options). It’s notable that last I looked, Vans’s planes are bare bones, flown hard, and are just fine!

    There’s someone out there who will do any part of the build you want to pay for. Spiffed up engines, panels, paint, etc. A stock engine, DIY panel and DIY paint saved me a lot of $$$. I didn’t think I could do the panel but getting a wiring hub from Approach FastStack made it easy and cheap. I had no intention of painting but I ended up doing it and saved some $$$ (but made sure to pay the $$$ to do it safely) Used tools are cheaper and available though I bought new.

    Took me 5 years to the month. But I flew my Maule somewhere almost every weekend and I worked at home 5 days a week. I still miss the build process but I’m way too busy flying to even consider repeating it.

    The support was great! Parts support from Vans and building support from the community of builders that is. It’s is very mature plane now with lot’s of past and current builders and lots of flying examples. The few bugs are worked out and there is no doubt about the outcome if you can follow directions. No experimentation required, just a learning experience.

    At the end you have a solid 4 seat performer that can carry just about anything you can fit in it along with full tanks. A solid 155knots at 7,000’ LOP at 10.2 GPH. Or a good 163knots with a bit more fuel at 6,000’ and 11.5 GPH. YMMV but not by much. It gets up there fast, comes down without a concern. A 110 knot LPV approach can be flown to minimums followed by a full flap touchdown with the IAS falling thru the 70s. It’s really easy to fly and fly well.

    I wish it could hold 10-15 more gallons so I could overfly the Turks and Caicos on my way to the Virgins but that’s a nit.

    I wish it was turbocharged so I didn’t have to watch my buddy fly higher and faster in is turbo Bo’.... but I just couldn’t afford the maintenance for a certified. Oh well.



    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
     
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  32. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Maybe Tornado Alley Turbos could do a custom installation for you.
     
  33. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    aaaannnd just like that Velocity is back in the picture. We saw one from a distance take off today before us and as I pointed it out to my wife she said. It's cool. How does it handle turbulence? so @donjohnston ? How does Velocity handle turbulence? It's lighter than SR22 or RV10, but has pretty high wing loading.
     
  34. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    In the factory demo flights (tried the XL and the Twin) and joining a friend for a few flights in his.
    The plane handles turbulence really well. The item that freaked out my girlfriend at the time was the way the canard bends and you can see it bending. I figured it was something you just get used too.

    Tim

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  35. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

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    One of the best small planes I’ve flown for turbulence. The composite wings have more flex than aluminum wings which helps to smooth out the bumps.

    Where did you see the Velocity?
     
  36. genna

    genna Cleared for Takeoff

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    Ocean City, NJ. it was taking off as we were walking to the airport. Around 2:30pm

    Interestingly, while its takeoff roll was longer than others, it didn’t appear to be too long. Of course, I have no idea how loaded it was

    It was interesting because it’s not a very long runway and I watched them take a lot of runway at OSH
     
  37. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Yeah Ocean City isn't super short, but it does seem like it could be a bit of a challenge for an airplane that lands fast with no flaps.
     
  38. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

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    I could only find one Velocity flying in that area yesterday. If it's the same one, then it's a fixed gear XL with only a 260hp Lycoming. Most XL's have either a 300hp IO540 or a 310hp IO550. So that could account for a longer takeoff roll.

    And 2,974' is within my minimum runway length, but not by much (my minimum is 2,800').
     
  39. Tony R

    Tony R Filing Flight Plan

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    Both are great choices. Any chance you can find one that the owner ran out of time or money with?
     
  40. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Velocity's are hands down best bang for buck in 4 seat market. There is one on BS with glass cockpit for under 100k.
     
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