My new "baby" (airplane) breathed to life yesterday... [Archive] - Glock Talk


View Full Version : My new "baby" (airplane) breathed to life yesterday...

12-07-2007, 09:37
A little over two years in the making -- complete with occassional frustrations, smashed fingers, and srew ups requiring re-do -- N74CX, a Thatcher CX4 breathed to life yesterday for intiial ground runs to begin system tests.

Links to video clips -- click on image ( ( (

Going into paint shop next week -- with hopes of a maiden flight in January 2008.

For more information -- see


ks farmboy
12-07-2007, 14:45
thats awesome. it looks great. good luck.

12-08-2007, 01:53
That's a neat little plane. I like it.

12-16-2007, 05:45
I had an opportunity to watch the CX4 designer's aircraft fly a couple of days ago. Of course, I took a few video clips...

I'm really looking forward to the initial flights of my project! ( ( ( (

12-20-2007, 00:03
I like the work shop.

Beats working outta the garage.

12-29-2007, 22:57
Nice workshop and ship there. Congrats!

02-02-2008, 20:25
Paint in process...

Once the wings are painted -- it's time for the maiden flight!

02-06-2008, 22:32
Great job, I've always wanted to build my own experimental. The Sonex Waiex really caught my eye:

02-07-2008, 11:52
Nice :)

02-15-2008, 04:23
22 months in the making, N74CX is now finished. The data plate is being engraved and I'm simply awaiting the inspection and sign-off by the FAA prior to the maiden flight.

With David Thatcher's (the designer) smile of approval!

03-12-2008, 09:22
At 9:05 am yesterday, N74CX took to the skies for the first time.

The aircraft's designer, David Thatcher, strapped on the airplane and served as my test pilot.

He said the aircraft was trimmed well and required no added trim tabs. The engine (a 1915cc Great Plains VW conversion) pushed the little airplane to a 130mph indicated cruise at 3000 rpm flying at 1000' msl. Expected fuel burn is 3.5 gph of 93 octane auto fuel.

Take off: (

Low level fly-by: (

Landing: (

Sorry about the poor video quality. The inexpensive pocket digital camera is all I happened to have with me at the time.

I'll be headed back this afternoon after work and hope to take a few more pics -- prior to flying the thing myself for the first time.

Yes, I am a happy man! :eagle:

03-16-2008, 00:37
Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. You'll have to let me know how that VW engine works for you.

Will it run on mogas, what about TBO?


03-16-2008, 02:50

Here are a couple of better quality video clips of the second test flight:

Take-off: (

Landing: (

For more information regarding the Great Plains VW engine conversion -- see:

03-16-2008, 07:42
Thanks for the links. I guess I'll have to find a local group dedicated to the plane I want to build, Sonex Waiex. I'm really curious as to the durability of these engines over some of the other small engines such as Jabiru and Rotax with the gear reduction drive.

Sonex offers their 'AeroVee' engine which seems to be about the same type of thing as the Great Plains. The Sonex branded one seems to be quite expensive though compared to the Great Plains prices listed.

I've also investigated small diesel engines but none that I have found have the power to weight ratio of a gasoline engine. Anything rated at more than about 28HP continuous is just too big and heavy for a small experimental like a Sonex. 100LL at my base of operations (KPIE) is currently at $5.99 a gallon and going up. Jet-A is $6.11 per gallon, but I was hoping that the efficiency of a diesel would make up for it.

Right now I'm in the tire-kicker phase as I won't be in a position to build for several (many) more years; I need to finish my 68' Road Runner project first. Unfortunately, I have far more time than money these days.

It looks like you'll have some good times flying and not have to spend a fortune to do it. Most of my flying is solo or with one other passenger so I think the Sonex would be a good fit for my mission. On the occasions where I have had to take several passengers somewhere I just bite the bullet and rent a Lance II at $184.00/hr wet....ack!


03-26-2008, 19:28
This past Saturday, I took the aircraft into the air myself for the first time...

Take-off: (

Fly-by: (

Landing: (

03-28-2008, 15:50
I conducted a little more flight testing early this morning. I thought I'd share the awesome visibility available form this cockpit: (

Yes, I was having, uh...conducting Phase I flight testing... (

04-17-2008, 16:25
I'm really jealous now. 100LL is at $6.49 a gallon now at PIE and I bet your little bird really sips the fuel....*sigh*

04-19-2008, 17:43
3.5 gph or less...

I can cruise at 125-130 mph at 2900-3000 rpm and 19-20 inHg -- just sipping gas with the 1915cc VW engine.

I'm currently flying it out of 83J until the 40 hour Phase I flight testing is completed -- then it will be based at KPNS. If you are ever up this way come by and visit.