Experimenter

MAY 2015

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

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24 Vol.4 No.5 / May 2015 WHAT OUR MEMBERS ARE BUILDING IN JULY 1998, my plans-built experimental amateur-built AirBike, N61453, received its experimental airworthiness cer- tificate, and I began the 40-hour flight testing period. It took me 18 months to build the single-place AirBike from plans, and it cost $5,600. The first engine was a used Rotax 447 that I flew behind for about 400 hours. I then replaced it with a used Rotax 503 DCDI engine. Since then, this little 50-hp plane has opened up an entirely new world I never dreamed existed. In addition to flights all over Kansas, it has taken me on a 1,500-mile round- trip to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and back twice, as well as multiple weekend trips to Oklahoma, Texas, and Missouri. En route I have made new friends, had marvelous experiences, and became enmeshed in the EAA. The plane was displayed on the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh ultralight field one year and in the Affordable Flying hangar another. Both times, I was a forum speaker during AirVenture. One visitor said my plane looked like so much fun that I should rubber-stamp the word "fun" all over it! I have flown an average of 60 hours a year for the past 16 years. On January 27, 2015, I reached a milestone of 1,000 hours total time on the airframe! I believe this to be the high- est time for an AirBike on record; 1000 hours total time airframe (TTAF) at 50 mph is equivalent to a flight around the world—twice! The plane was built to take me places, and it has certainly done that. On multiday trips, I carry food, two-stroke oil, a AirBike achieves 1,000 hours Around the world? BY PAUL FIEBICH

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