Faster to build and with the larger engine the latest incarnation of the Vans line the RV14 was a highpoint of the 40th anniversary of the company`s contributions to homebuilding. With an anticipated maximum cruise speed of 195 mph and a top speed of 205 mph, and empty weight projected to be 1,240 pounds, with a useful load of 810 pounds. The fuel capacity is 50 gallons.
Build time is expected to be less than previous Van's models if explained in terms of percentages, not hours. Build time for an RV-7 might vary 100 percent from one builder to another. In the standard kit version [for the RV-14], they are estimating it should be around 70 percent of how long an RV-7 would take."
A quick-build option is planned, but will not be available until complete standard kits are available. A tailwheel version is also coming.
Prices are not yet set but a complete airplane should cost somewhere between $75,000 and $80,000 for most builders.
SkyCraft Launches Short-Build SD-1 Kit Plane
The SD-1 Mini Sport kit plane when complete weighs approximately 245 pounds and uses only 1.8 gph at 118 mph. Broken down, the operational cost of this kit plane comes to about $10-$12 per hour, according to SkyCraft CEO Tyler Ives.
"Not only is it an affordable kit, but it's also affordable to fly," Ives said.
The Mini Sport kit can be built in a relatively short amount of time, approximately 400-700 work hours, he claims.
Manufactured in the Czech Republic, the kit is available in trike or taildragger configuration. XL models are also available, adding several inches to the cockpit for taller pilots.
The cost for the kit without the engine, which is sold separately for about $7,000, comes to $13,995. Several options are available, but the standard SD-1 Mini Sport engine is the F-23 with fuel injection and duel ignition.
There are currently 17 SD-1 Mini Sport kit planes flying worldwide, and by April 2013, SkyCraft hopes to also have a tandem version as well as a ready-to-fly model available for approximately $55,000.
Velocity V-Twin Prototype
Duane Swing owner of Velocity Aircraft rolled out the prototype of the V-Twin a new offering from the kit company out of Sebastian, Florida. The small twin-engine pusher with canards and delta wings looks somewhat like baby Avanti Piaggio, said Duane Swing ``I've been wanting to build a twin-engine version of our airplane for many, many years``
With their propensity to enter a stall spin in the event of an engine loss in high-power, low-airspeed operations such as during takeoff, twin engines lost favor because of the high rate of death with engine failure. Swing noted. "The idea was to build a Velocity twin with no VMC (minimum controllable airspeed), where you couldn't slow to the point where you could stall, and therefore there's no way to spin.
In theory, a canard aircraft such as the Velocity can't spin because the canard stalls before the wing, lowering the nose, and keeping sufficient airflow over the wing to keep it flying. Engineers Swing consulted agreed the same principal would apply to a twin-engine canard aircraft, convincing him to pursue his longstanding goal.
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One of the more unique offerings is the Honda Jet though not yet certified and in production its configuration draws lots and lots of attention, and causing many who see the light business to ask themselves, "Why did Honda do that?"
Building an airplane was a long-held dream of company founder Soichiro Honda, and Honda found a bright young aerodynamicist, Michimasas Fujino, to bring the aviation dream to life, it was Fujino who asked himself the questions. And he has spent at least two decades researching jet aerodynamics in wind tunnels and using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) computer programs to prove his ideas work.
Fujino had the relatively rare opportunity of creating a new jet from scratch. Most airplanes are evolutions of an original successful design, and choices made by the people who created the original live on for decades as the airplane morphs into new versions.
Honda set its sights on the light end of the business jet market for its first airplane. Honda is really an engine company at its core, so it designed a brand new small turbofan, the HF120, rated in the 2,000-pound thrust class to power its first airplane. Honda has teamed with GE to certify and produce the engine. In-flight testing shows the airplane can meet its goals of top cruise speed of 420 knots and an IFR range with four occupants of 1,180 nm.
Though not yet certified there are as with any airplane development program challenges ahead. But when you go by and look at the airplane, and inevitably ask yourself "why did they do that," you can see that every design choice has a very good reason behind it, and represents the vision of a young aerodynamicist who is not afraid to break with convention.
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