Is there a High Wing Tricycle Home Built

Discussion in 'Home Builders and Sport Pilots' started by TimRF79, Feb 14, 2021.

  1. TimRF79

    TimRF79 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I think for my next plane i want high wing, fixed gear and front wheel.
    Since I am 6'6" and 280lbs, I also want room and 4 seats..
    Is there a home built kit for such a plane?
     
  2. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Sportsman 2+2?
     
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  3. donjohnston

    donjohnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    Zenith and Sportsman to name a couple.
     
  4. TimRF79

    TimRF79 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Zenith has 540lbs useful load.
    Doesn't work for 4 people, when i clock in at 280...
     
  5. nowright

    nowright Filing Flight Plan

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    Bearhawk 4 place - bearhawkaircraft.com
     
  6. Sinistar

    Sinistar En-Route

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    I am pretty sure there are Bede (BD-4???) in tricyle gear as there is one at our airport. I think its a 4-seater. Nice plane.
     
  7. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    There's a glassair for sale in the classifieds.
     
  8. kkoran

    kkoran Pattern Altitude

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    Doesn't have tricycle gear.
     
  9. SoCalPilot88

    SoCalPilot88 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you wait a few months the Sling High Wing will be available. It’s basically like their TSi 4 seater but has a high wing and carbon fiber. Can be tricycle or tail dragger - builder’s option.
     
  10. OneCharlieTango

    OneCharlieTango Pre-takeoff checklist

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    High wing, homebuilt, 4 real seats.

    Pick two.
     
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  11. GRG55

    GRG55 Final Approach Gone West

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    The Zenith 801 does a bit better than that at about 900# useful. But if you are at 280lbs there aren't going to be too many homebuilts that will carry you and 3 other typical adults + baggage + enough fuel to go very far. I'm 6'4"/235# and have trouble fitting comfortably into a lot of small airplanes, or finding sufficient useful load.

    It's pretty rare to find a homebuilt with even a 1000 lb useful load. One of the bigger 4 seaters is the RV-10, but it will only have 1000 lb useful load IF it is built light; and it does not meet your high wing criteria.

    Capture 2.PNG
     
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2021
  12. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    Learn to fly tailwheel.
     
  13. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach

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    Why no taildragger? It’s not rocket surgery.
     
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  14. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Just change it.
     
  15. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Really? How many Bearhawks do you know of that were converted to tricycle?
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
  16. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Could be you would be the first. How many people can lay claim to that???

    For example: January 09 Sport Aviation has an article on the one and only HiperBipe that was converted to tricycle gear...
    Capture.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
  17. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel En-Route

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    BD-4

    https://www.jimbede.com/

    Honestly though, if you're at 280 and you want to haul 3 similar sized folks and/or bags, you're probably going to need to look for six seats. Cessna 206 maybe?
     
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  18. bfmetcalf

    bfmetcalf Filing Flight Plan

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    The bearhawk model 5 is a 6 place experimental. I would guess during the build you could convert it to a tri-gear. Looks to have about a 1400lb useful load as well.
     
  19. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not me, that’s for sure. Not saying it can’t be done. However, IMO it’s a daunting proposition involving redesigning the airframe, the main gear locations, and possibly the engine mount. Not something that the average builder is realistically gonna take on. Personally I have neither the engineering education or welding skills to accomplish such a task. Way easier, less time consuming, cheaper and perhaps safer just to get a tail wheel endorsement. YMMV......

    PS— I have been looking at the Bearhawk 5 very hard as a replacement for my RV-10 since it’s introduction last May. The decision will ultimately be my wife’s as she’s the one wanting more useful load. Just waiting for an opportunity to get some quality time with some nearby BH builders when the weather warms up for her to see a BH up close for herself.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2021
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  20. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    The BD-4, and a few Comp Air models will be about your only option unless you want to become your own airplane designer and turn a Bearhawk or other cub type design into a tricycle.
     
  21. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    No personal experience with either one, but from what I've read about Comp Air, I'd think long and hard before I chose a Comp Air plane, and I used to be a fanboy of them. A quick internet search, including POA will get you lots of things to consider.
     
  22. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel En-Route

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    You've piqued my interest. But a forum search for 'Comp Air' returns just a handful of threads which each contain a mention that Comp Air is something that exists and not much more info that I could see. A search of the googles on the same term returned about the same result, just links to indications that Comp Air exists. Care to provide some search terms which might lead to discussions of some of the lots of things to consider?
     
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  23. farangutan

    farangutan Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Murphy Moose with the big radial engine
     
  24. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    The Moose, whether IO-540 or M-14P powered, is offered as a taildragger only (well and floats too). The Murphy Yukon, IO-360/390 powered, on the other hand does have a tri-cycle option.
     
  25. German guy

    German guy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Check out the new Sling HW: Sling 4 HW - Sling Aircraft
    I understand that the fuselage is the main difference to their proven Sling TSi
     
  26. Crashnburn

    Crashnburn Cleared for Takeoff

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    Looks like they might be out of business:
    http://www.aerocompinc.com/
    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...on-compair-turbine-planes.68425/#post-2767849
    http://www.aerocompinc.com/prices/cabin_engine_prop.htm
    http://www.aerocompinc.com/prices/index.htm
    http://www.aerocompinc.com/prices/gear_lights_oxygen.htm
    https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...wing-tricycle-home-built.130805/#post-3048645
     
  27. SoCalPilot88

    SoCalPilot88 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The Bede designed BD-4 seems to check a lot of boxes. I wonder why it’s not more popular. Maybe someone with direct experience can chime in.

    From information I gathered online, here are the pros and cons:

    Pros:
    • Long history (since 1968)
    • Inexpensive: $30k for airframe kit (no engine or avionics)
    • Very easy construction techniques. Mostly bolted together aluminum frame. Lots of gluing.
    • 700 hour build time.
    • Cruise (advertised) at 191 mph at 75% with 200 hp.
    • 1700 fpm climb
    • Useful Load (advertised) of 1150 lbs
    • 46 inch wide fuselage
    • 4 seats
    • Stout construction with a tubular spar. No reports of in-flight breakups. They claim to exceed standards of aerobatic category aircraft.

    Cons:
    • Kind of ugly (if you’re into aesthetics). Looks like a flying boxcar.
    • Ergonomics: That stout tubular wing spar sits right above the pilot’s forehead. I don’t know if you must duck to reach forward. The tubular spar may survive an accident, but I’m not sure about your forehead.
    • High wing loading: May be good for turbulence, but I don’t know what the stall/spin characteristics are.
    • Sparse finishing touches? One of the videos I saw shows daylight coming through the closed door. Lots of items look Home Depot-ish. However, most of these can be addressed with some attention to detail.
    • Bad history of Jim Bede offering poor support on other models.
     
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  28. farangutan

    farangutan Pre-takeoff checklist

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  29. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Mostly because of your last cons comment. He also has a history of exaggerating the performance numbers.
     
  30. MarkH

    MarkH Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Are you looking for a Cessna 172 4 seater or a Cessna 182 4 seater? Are you looking for 4 seats so you can fly as 2+luggage or are you looking to fly 4 people?

    If a 172 fits your 4 seater mission, check out the Zenith 750 SD, it’s a 3 seat plane with 800lbs of advertised useful load (more than early 172s)
     
  31. PredragVasic

    PredragVasic Filing Flight Plan

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    That may be true, but BD-4 has been in existence for over 50 years now, and hundreds (possibly, over a thousand) have been built and flown, so the numbers have been long ago verified.

    It seems to be a very good airplane. You can achieve the useful load numbers if you're careful with the equipment you install (thankfully, avionics have been getting lighter over the years), and the maximum (and cruise) speed numbers if you clean it up (wheel pants, gear strut fairings, cleanup around wing roots, gaps, etc).
     
  32. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    I would be surprised if even 100 have been completed and I don’t think any of those ever came close to matching his performance numbers.
     
  33. Daleandee

    Daleandee Pattern Altitude

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    Interesting stuff in this new video about the different rib construction that was implemented a few years ago:

     
  34. PredragVasic

    PredragVasic Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm not sure why you'd think that. On Airliners.net, there are photos of probably close to a hundred different BD-4 planes (finished, apparently flying). After over fifty years, I can't imagine the company staying in business with only 100 completions (on average fewer than two per year).

    As for numbers, I don't think I've seen comments online disputing them, or claiming wildly different ones. I'm not saying it isn't true, I just haven't seen anyone claim either way.
     
  35. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    While FAA inquiry is difficult on experimental airplanes it looks as if there are 257 registered in the database although some of them look to be duplicates. So admittedly I was wrong, I based my assumption on the fact that I've never seen one in person. Neat design, wouldn't mind looking into a tailwheel one my self but as with anything holding the Bede name you never know when you will be left with an unsupported airplane.
     
  36. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    My January 2021 US Aircraft Registry shows 89 BD-4s with valid registrations. In addition, there are an additional 190 BD-4s listed as being de-registered. So in the US, at least, there have been almost 300.

    Ah, but that's why a lot of folks don't like the Bede line. It's *not* one company over fifty years. It's a string of them, with a number of buyers left holding the bag (BD-5, B-10, BD-12/14). I haven't heard of similar shenanigans over the BD-4, but the Bede name got a well-deserved bad reputation from these other programs.

    Friend of mine was kind of the main source of support (non-Bede) for the BD-4 line. He had one, and was very positive about it. However, there were some quirks of the design that builders needed to address.

    Ron Wanttaja
     
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  37. farangutan

    farangutan Pre-takeoff checklist

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    For real world numbers, the link I posted earlier of a recently completed Bede-4C (2019) has the build pictures, and testing and his performance numbers. Seems like a pretty good plane but I'm sure that wing spar on my forehead would make me want to scrap the plane.
     
  38. SoCalPilot88

    SoCalPilot88 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi Ron,

    Are the BD-4 numbers high enough to have meaningful accident statistics? I know high wings are generally pretty good since they have structure above and below the occupants, but in this case, that stout structure (the 6 inch diameter wing spar) is right at the forehead. Also, the high wing loading may have some bad stall characteristics. There was one accident where he crashed into a parked SUV, the pilot (sole front seat occupant) died, but the two in the back survived. I wonder if that was a function of the impact at the wing spar. There was also at least one stall/spin on the base-to-final turn. I thought I read there was minimal spin testing done by Jim Bede.
     
  39. Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe

    Capt. Geoffrey Thorpe Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Spencer Air Car (it has, however, retractable gear).
    [​IMG]
     
  40. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Not enough data. I've got only 12 BD-4 accidents in my 1998-2019 database, and usually prefer at least 50 accidents to make an assessment. Stall events aren't standing out, about the same rate of occurrence as the overall homebuilt fleet.

    Five of the twelve accident resulted in a fatality. It's higher than the average homebuilt type, but, again, the sample size is too small. It's not far out of family when compared to other high-performance homebuilts like the Harmon Rocket, the T-18, or the Lancair. Or even low-performance homebuilts like the Fly Baby. :)

    NTSB accident reports typically say only, "The cause of death was reported as the effect of blunt force trauma" without stating what was the specific impact points. So we can't tell if the spar is a factor.

    For what it's worth (and it ain't worth much, due to the small sample set) the fleet accident rate for the BD-4 seems to be about average.

    Ron Wanttaja