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Discussion:
I am looking at going fixed wing does anyone have any suggestions as to whats the best a can get for around 8k. Im currently in a flash 2 alpha and just want comfort and speed ! Any and all advice recieved if appreciated.
Started by: Paul Finch
        Thread Born: 08-02-2012 20:54

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My advice is don't do it
Simon Worthington        Reply: 04-04-2012 19:33:50


G-MGEC looks like it could be a bit of you RANS for sale on AFORS today, 6 1/2 k only got a 503 at present but in line for update,according to the write up, it is permitted to 10/12 so you get most of the summer to play,says cruise at 70 all day (well till it runs dry) 60 litre tank so a fair range most likely about 4 hours endurance have a look
David Broughall        Reply: 27-02-2012 13:16:51


Think i have short listed it to the following (see my album) http://www.totheclouds.co.uk/images1/finchpaul/27022012101235/index.php I like the looks of the Rans S12 (like a shadow, think it just looks a little better), though i believe its only a single seater a defo need a double. i want to carry 34stone of passenger (2 up) and a hands off of 65mph plus.
Paul Finch        Reply: 27-02-2012 11:12:05


Problem is, I'm an only child and was never really needed to share :) think I would prefer one of my very own. With all the great advice everyone has given here, I'm getting the idea I need to save more money up before taking the plung. Trouble is I think I'm am wanting too much plane for not enough money. Maybe if I save up 12-15k I'll probably find something much better and one I'd keep for much much longer. Money is the root of all evil, but it certainly makes life fun :)
Paul Finch        Reply: 25-02-2012 21:30:23


If you are thinking share,you could do worse than a jabiru good cruise speed good fuel consumption cabin heat,not as twitchy as a CT , also you can get a good one for around 20k all good if there are three of you,check for the bigger cooling fins on the heads,the latest thing is changing the crankshaft case nuts,takes a couple of hours but if it has a new permit it will be done already,they fly real nice cruise 70,80 knotts about 10 litres mogas,(one of the guys has his down to 7 litres ph on a calypso 2200) his one is the earlier model with the high tail and no flip ups on the wings,I helped him change the nuts,it was not hard,two are a bit awkward to get at,behind the top mounting rubbers but we took those off =no prob.
David Broughall        Reply: 25-02-2012 08:41:13


Sounds like you need a Skyranger or C42 :) You'll need 2 others at 8k for a Skyranger and 3 other for the C-42 but it's worth it. I would avoid anything thirsty like the plauge with the way fuel prices are going. Your flash 2 sounds like a very good one, maybe worth hanging onto a bit longer....
Katie Denham        Reply: 24-02-2012 19:51:53


I get what you mean, but it surely will be difficult for you to get speed & good fuel burn without going 4 stroke on a more expensive machine ? But I know where you're coming from, that the exact reason I changed my std Xair for an Xair Hawk, comfy, fast, good fuel burn, but higher price tag. Wasn't yer budget around £8K ?
Bruce Tibenham        Reply: 22-02-2012 21:56:09


I did concider the xair Bruce, but ( I don't know much about fixed wing) and I noticed the one for sale on here and it says it does 60mph 14lph, I'd want to be travelling more, my alpha does 57mph @ 8lph, I know it's more comfortable but I want more speed and grunt I think. Unless there are different models etc, please feel free to educate me :) as I truly don't know much...
Paul Finch        Reply: 22-02-2012 21:41:15


So you don't fancy an x-air then Paul ?
Bruce Tibenham        Reply: 22-02-2012 21:15:24


A Rans may be a better bet. It's built for Americans. Andrew
Andrew Armstrong        Reply: 22-02-2012 17:12:50


Unfortunately the only way to lower the seat is to remove the cushion! I have even thought of doing that. Andrew
Andrew Armstrong        Reply: 22-02-2012 15:31:27


Ah, maybe not the one for me then, I'm 6' 4" and 16st 7lb, possibly a touch cramped :( I guess I will have to try it (or lower the seat!)
Paul Finch        Reply: 22-02-2012 12:57:00


Hi Paul The VNE of the Shadow CD is 94kts. You can get close to this with the taps wide open in level flight, but I'm not sure how long the engine would put up with it. I think you should try sitting in a Shadow though. I am 6'1'' and around 14 stone with all my gear on and it is snug! Andrew Andrew
Andrew Armstrong        Reply: 22-02-2012 12:16:11


What's the top speed of a shadow dale, I'm only looking for more speed and power thn my flash 2 alpha. I need to be able to take more weight (passengers and pilot), as im 16s 8lb so I can only take skinny passengers flying. So instead of dieting I'll get something with more grunt. :) what's your thoughts dale ?
Paul Finch        Reply: 21-02-2012 22:27:20


Hi I'm a flex pilot but converted to the Shadow a couple of years ago, I still fly both and for me the Shadows handling, glide ratio and view from the front seat are exceptional. Mine is a BD and cruises at 60MPH all day at about 10L/h solo. If you want to do a lot of two seat touring though its probably not the machine for you. The back seat is more of a +1 OK for my young lad and to take my dad out for the odd hour, but not really ideal for a UK tour.
Dale Coupland        Reply: 21-02-2012 20:31:53


That particular Kitfox Andrew refers to has quite a checkered accident history ;) In fact I would say it has had more hits than the Beatles ;)
        Reply: 18-02-2012 23:30:07


I have a 503 Shadow CD. The CD is said to be the best all round Shadow. I fly it solo almost all the time and it burns around 8 litres an hour. They just don't bite but have very good all round performance. 70mph cruise, fantastic visability but not so good in the back seat if you are over 6ft, although I have done it a couple of times. Last week I cruised gently to 12,000 ft and took forever to come down. My arm froze to the inside of the screen! David Cook designed a real classic.
Andrew Armstrong        Reply: 18-02-2012 22:34:06


Cheers Bruce, I do already use the knowledgable Kelsey for advice :) think I should take your advice though and try to get a few test flights first before deciding. Yeah I don't want something too tricky in my novice years ! Andy you seem to be looking at the same two as me :) tell me about your shadow ?
Paul Finch        Reply: 18-02-2012 21:13:46


I was thinking of either a Shadow or a Kitfox. In fact the chap I bought my Shadow off bought the Kitfox I was thinking about buying. They can bite hard and he wrote it off on his first takeoff! If my wife would let me I would buy 2 Shadows Andy
Andrew Armstrong        Reply: 18-02-2012 09:52:14


Paul, have you not tried to get a flight in the aircraft on your short list ? Probably the best thing to do before you make up your mind. Various basic factors will have a bearing, such as side by side or tandem seating, pusher or tractor config, nosewheel / tailwheel, easy to fly or very tricky, crosswind capability etc. If its your first fixed wing & you've not got a lot of hours, best advice is dont bite off more than you can chew initially. i would reccommend having a chat with Peter Kelsey (below). Hugely experienced on a wide variety of types. TTFN, Bruce.
Bruce Tibenham        Reply: 18-02-2012 09:07:25


Did you get more detail on the kitfox ? (the one on the for sale page) I know its high hours,but the 912 is a good engine,depending on maintainance ect.Proper little plane tho,if I were ready I would be having a look, at that price,be a good learning curve flying it home.like the look of it, mind you thats nothing to go by,I like the look of the Rans,most likely a age thing
David Broughall        Reply: 18-02-2012 07:40:22


I'm thinking it's one of two, a shadow or a kitfox... Hmm decisions, guess it would help if I knew a thing or two about aircraft... :(
Paul Finch        Reply: 17-02-2012 22:52:07


Just get a Shadow. You will not regret it
Andrew Armstrong        Reply: 16-02-2012 21:45:27


Trouble is,although 2T are higher reving,they need more maintanance,which is ok for the likes of myself being a mechanic,but if you have to pay for everything it can outweigh the cost of a fourstroke at the end of the day,the 2T nowadays is a lot easier to manage with its oil injection and carb heat ect and gasket sets are not prohibitive,but its the labo ur that will be a pain for the average person.The jab is not bad now with the bigger fin heads ect but max revs is 3000 as oposed to the rotax 912 which makes around 5000,be nice to have a 912 in a jab ul tho,they are very forgiving and easy to fly not as twitchy as a CT,and this from a novice flyer,but a long time mechanic who is still struggling with his circuits been in a few planes tho and noticed whats what,( flew a SE 5 in the 50s) I remember it was cold and got off the ground at about 40 mph and threw lots of oil over whoever was unfortunate enough to get the front seat.
David Broughall        Reply: 09-02-2012 20:56:35


I think a lot of people advise against 2 strokes, but realistically a 2 stroke X-Air/Thruster/Shadow/Rans are perfect microlights for 1st timers into 3 axis microlight flying, yes they do use more fuel than a 4 stroke and are usually a tad slower than 4 stroke variants but still very useful flying machines. I am lucky to have the pick of what I fly and I get as much enjoyment flying a 582 X-Air as I do from the top of the range microlights. Main point is : Buy whatever you can afford and be contented that it is yours ;-)
        Reply: 09-02-2012 18:37:38


Well Paul,getting together with one or two other pilots is got to be the best bet,Which is what I am going to do soon as I qualify,A jab UL is a good buy,(one on afors today for £16500)with three of you in that it is well affordable,cruise at 90 knotts,cabin heat (essential at my age) between 8 and 12 litres a hour,one on our field has got it down to 7 on mogas at 70/80 knotts,also the exes are being shared so it doesnt hurt so much,with three of you there is plenty of flying time for all,I'm fortunate that I can fly midweek and are not restricted to weekends,that is when they dig out the runway,It is quite expensive in london area,£120 a month for tie down and rising,but a Jab is ok out in the weather being all grp,recomend a solar panel to keep the battery trickled tho.
David Broughall        Reply: 09-02-2012 16:07:45


Hi Paul, it might be a bit of a challenge to get something relatively speedy for around £8K, I would think. That kind of price bracket would generally encompass the 2-stroke machines, it would take a few grand more to get you into 4-stroke, which is probably what you would need for a machine with decent legs & a frugal fuel burn. I recently moved from a £6K 2-stroke ( X-air 582) to a £23K X-air Hawk (Jabiru 2200), which moved me from 50 Knts @ 17 L/PH to 95 Knts @ 14 L/PH. 'Course, you could always syndicate.....
Bruce Tibenham        Reply: 09-02-2012 14:01:34


My alpha flies at about 60mph hands off, though this is faster than norm (normally about 50-55mph). Top speed with a bar pulled in over my head is about 75-80mph :)
Paul Finch        Reply: 09-02-2012 12:09:21


hey paul can you tell me please. what sort of speed does the flash 2 alpha fly at please
Paul Forster        Reply: 09-02-2012 12:00:35


forget a thruster,582 shadow or rans se6 is my choice,altho I fly a quad city challenger
Alan Clift        Reply: 09-02-2012 11:33:53


Im undecided, thinking either Shadow, Thruster or Rans. Anyone any better suggestions ?
Paul Finch        Reply: 08-02-2012 23:08:06


Something like your picture is perfect ;-)
        Reply: 08-02-2012 22:23:50



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