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CptKelly
02-27-2004, 11:30 PM
Does anyone reading this have any experience with the Smith Aviation Supercub kits? His kits seem fair in price, only the wing ribs seem kinda puny when one compares them to the stamped Dakota ribs? You guys just jump on in and let it go. I am considering one of his kits, and need advice.

Mike in NC

Torch
02-27-2004, 11:34 PM
I will stick with certified aircraft. Home builts are okay but not for me. Good luck.

labdad32
02-27-2004, 11:45 PM
I have looked over the kit that Stan Bearup has in North Pole and it looks quite good. It does look heavy and if you don't like MIG welding it's not for you, but MIG does not scare me. I'm not a big powder coat fan either. I thought the improvements to the fuselage structure were well thought out. The wings are a little different, again appear to be heavy. There are no wires for trammeling, you just bolt it together and it's supposed to be square. The spring gear looks good, I ordered a set of the legs from Wag-Aero yesterday. They tell me each leg is good for 1450 pounds. I thought the nice aluminum brake cylinders were very cool. You should give Stan a call or e-mail him, he's a great guy.

Hey Torch, they all started-out homebuilt!

Steve Pierce
02-27-2004, 11:51 PM
There are a couple of threads on the Smith Kits on this site.

Alaska Cubs
02-28-2004, 12:24 AM
Mike,
I am building one of the Smith wide body PA-18 kits right now. As I have stated on this site in the past, the kits are first class quality, well constructed and thought out and the Smith's support is excellent. I think you would be a happy man if you end up deciding to purchase and build one of their kits. If you would like more information, please let me know. I also have many photos of the construction progression of my kit that I could e-mail you if you would like. As for the wing ribs, they seem plenty strong to me. The wings are already built in jigs and come ready to cover and require no trammeling as stated by "labdad32" in his post above. Simply install the desired systems in the wings, and then cover them. The flaps and ailerons are also pre-assembled and require no riveting. All of the wings, flaps and ailerons are built by very experienced personnel in the Smith's wing shop and are of very high quality. The fuselages are built by Nick Smith Jr. and Nick Smith Sr. who between them have more than 57 years of welding experience. Anyway, enough said on that. If anyone on this site would like any further first hand knowledge on the Smith Kits, please let me know and I would be happy to share any information and experience that I have gained so far with you.
Stan Bearup

Alaska Cubs
02-28-2004, 12:49 AM
For anyone interested in a list of all of the mods that are incorporated into the Smith Aviation cub kits, you should check out their latest newsletter on their web site at http://www.supercubkits.ca/feb04NL.htm . You will also find the latest KITPLANES magazine write up and test flight of their PA-18 kits there.
Stan

Cub junkie
02-28-2004, 01:15 AM
Does anyone reading this have any experience with the Smith Aviation Supercub kits? His kits seem fair in price, only the wing ribs seem kinda puny when one compares them to the stamped Dakota ribs? You guys just jump on in and let it go. I am considering one of his kits, and need advice.

Mike in NC Although similar to Dakota Cubs ribs Smiths ribs look like Carlson aircraft's ribs. I wouldnt call Smith's ribs puny, they are of extruded material just as the favored Dakota cub ribs are.

cobblemaster
02-28-2004, 01:17 AM
I will stick with certified aircraft. Home builts are okay but not for me

Why is that?

Frank T
02-28-2004, 01:58 AM
When I talked to Nic Smith I was told their kits are TIG welded not MIG as stated above. MIG is NOT a good process for any airplane not specifically designed for it. If anyone has any solid info that the Smith Cubs are MIG welded please post it.

Frank

CptKelly
02-28-2004, 08:41 AM
I'd never put my butt in any aircraft that was MIG welded. MIG just doesn't penetrate consistently, and that would scare the dickens out of me, and I could never trust it. I just emailed Nick Smith and asked him that specific question. I'll report what he says.

Mike in NC

Bill Rusk
02-28-2004, 09:04 AM
I don't think the Smith Kit is heavy given the mods it has. At least one has been built at 1050 pds. This is not a J-3 or PA-11. Those are lighter than the SC but you don't get the useful load. Most Smith kits are pushing 1200 pds but they have 180hp and all the bells and whistles, same as a like configured SC and Husky. I'm sure you could scratch build a lighter Cub but it would be a LOT of work.
If you don't want powder coating, just tell Nick Smith when you order the kit and he will do whatever you want. They are very flexible at building your kit however you want. Don't want a certain mod or do want a certain mod, just let him know and he will do it however you want.

BIll

Steve Pierce
02-28-2004, 09:12 AM
Stinsons were MIG welded.

CptKelly
02-28-2004, 11:24 AM
Steve,
I restored a 108-3 a few years ago, and the welded tubing did not appear to be MIG welded, it looked like it was gas welded. I never even thought about this question before, since it appeared to be gas welded. Are you sure about that?

Mike in NC

Steve Pierce
02-28-2004, 12:09 PM
I have a 108-3 project in the shop and it appears to me and my two friends that weld at Air Tractor to be MIG. Lots of splatter all over.

CptKelly
02-28-2004, 12:31 PM
Are you sure that weld isn't something done way after it was built? I don't think they had MIG in the late 1940's to early 1950's. Surely no aircraft manufacturer could get a fuselage certified with the MIG welding anyway. If I were you, I'd check out this fuselage real good to be sure that something doesn't come apart (after you sign it off). Your liability insurance would triple.
Comments?

Mike

Alaska Cubs
02-28-2004, 12:33 PM
All Smith Aviation kit fuselages are tig welded.
Stan

Steve Pierce
02-28-2004, 12:47 PM
All the welding is the same all over the fuselage. All looks factory. It looks good there is just splatter. Liability insurance? They won't even talk to me for less than $10,000.

Frank T
02-28-2004, 12:50 PM
I seem to recall reading that all Maule's and new Champs are MIG welded.

Frank

diggler
02-28-2004, 01:15 PM
delete

Frank T
02-28-2004, 03:29 PM
The Smith ribs look to me like a "clone" of the Carlson ribs. Carlson has an STC for those.

diggler
02-28-2004, 04:36 PM
delete

Wingie
02-28-2004, 06:07 PM
Ernie Carlson was a friend of mine and was trajically killed almost 3 years ago testflying a Storch he was preparing to start manufacturing kits for. No reflection on the airframe design, but the Czech engine has giving them "fits" for months. The factory had just FINALLY supplied a new one to replace the "Lemon" they'd first sent him, and on the first takeoff at his own strip, the new engine faltered, failed, and Ernie was killed when he tried to "zoom" over the tree line at the West end of his 4000' or so strip. He missed making the open field on the other side of the treeline by a couple inches, the aircraft landed snagged in the trees and on it's back and burned. Ernie was heard to still be alive and kicking when eyewitnesses where on the way to the wreck, but he was trapped upsidedown and died in the fire.

Mary, his Darling wife, continues to operate Carlson aircraft in his rememberance. Last I knew, all the same "crew" is still there and they are keeping the Wolf from the Door quite nicely building and selling the Sparrow Kits, etc. About a year ago, their ribs were selling for somewhere around $45 US apiece on the average, but are probably slightly more by now. They're good looking pieces.

They're a five-day business, so call Carlson Aircraft (S.R. 14, East Palestine, Ohio) at 1-330-426-3934 9:00 to 5:00 Eastern any weekday and talk to Mary. They have several ribsets available and will sell singles if you want. Mary probably won't need to put you on hold to look something up. She's "sharp".

diggler
02-28-2004, 06:20 PM
delete

Cub junkie
02-28-2004, 07:38 PM
Are you sure that weld isn't something done way after it was built? I don't think they had MIG in the late 1940's to early 1950's. Surely no aircraft manufacturer could get a fuselage certified with the MIG welding anyway. If I were you, I'd check out this fuselage real good to be sure that something doesn't come apart (after you sign it off). Your liability insurance would triple.
Comments?

MikeI think Stinsons were stick welded. I worked on one before and replaced some tubes I remember finding slag under some what appeared to be orginal primer.

don d
02-28-2004, 08:38 PM
I have some old Stinson airframe stuff around and it looks to certainly not be gas welded. Their welds look alot like mig. Who knows what Maule is doing but you can bet it is the cheapest method. Most of the toy kit planes like Rands, Avids and Kitfoxs are mig welded. In my opinion both mig and tig have cracking tendences adjacent to the welds unless the metal is normilized. Both consentrate the heat and do not allow chromoly to cool normally. Cool metal nest to the weld pulls the heat away too fast. Tig provides a more consistant or at least prettier weld .

There are some really ugly homebuilts out there with some really ugly welds that have not failed.. You don't hear of alot of structural failures even in homebuilts.

You guys flying those certified airplanes thinking they can't have structural problems are kidding yourselves. A friend of mine was killed in his Pacer when a wing attach fitting failed. I looked at the fittings and they looked like they were overstressed and just pulled apart. I expected evidence of a crack leading to failure but by the way the metal was stretched across the wideth of the fitting, it didn't look like it. Funny thing the wing came off on climbout at about 300ft. Speed was low and there couldn't have been alot of stress then, Some how must have been damaged before.

I use a mig welder to tack weld my asemblies and finish up with gas to be sure. I'm old fashion and like to see the metal flow together in that puddle..

Don

Frank T
02-28-2004, 10:36 PM
Diggler

The link to the Carlson ribs is.....

www.sky-tek.com

Frank

Frank T
02-28-2004, 10:37 PM
Diggler

The link to the Carlson ribs is.....

www.sky-tek.com

Frank

diggler
02-28-2004, 11:20 PM
delete

Wayne Mackey
02-28-2004, 11:37 PM
Hi Steve, so is the maule i'm working on. Wayne

labdad32
02-28-2004, 11:53 PM
Sorry for the report that the Smith fuselage is MIG welded, I was sucked-in by the article in the Feb. Kitplanes issue, page 57. Everything I saw of the kit looked fine to me.

CptKelly
02-29-2004, 08:49 AM
Guys,
I just received email from Nick Smith (Smith Aviation) in regard to the type of welding they use. Here is his response:

Mike

All of our fuselages are tig welded, it's unfortunate the fellow that wrote the kit planes article didn't take the time to find out all the fact's. It also said you have to install your flaps, ailerons, gas tanks and gas tank lids which we actually do all those. If you would like a reference for our welding I could have someone contact you, a customer from Wisconsin was just in to get his wings and he was very impressed with the welding and he has some experience with welding. If you have any further questions please let me know.

Thanks Nick

irishfield
02-29-2004, 01:10 PM
Guess I should have jumped in here earlier.... before people started bad mouthing the Smith Kit construction :bad-words: . I've been in their shop, touched it and watched it being welded! It's TIG'd and not MIG'd. However all the wive's tails about needing to normalize after TIG or MIG that have come up here are just that, according to any of the major welding websites. Also someone with as much welding experience as Nick Sr and Nick Jr could do a sufficient job with an old farm Lincoln Arc welder and some 1/16" tack rods!

Wayne

Steve Pierce
02-29-2004, 02:26 PM
Air Tractor has the front section of their Ag planes stress relieved before welding the rest of the fuselage together. They also use a rose bud to normalize the area where the stabilzer attaches due to previous experience with cracks in that area. They do a lot of refurbs so they see where the problem areas are. I don't think there are a whole lot of highly stressed areas on the Super Cub airframe that would justify stress reieving everything. I can see it on the Pitts where they have had problems. Has anybody seen weld failures on the later model TIG welded Super Cubs or the Airframes, Inc. frames?

Cub junkie
02-29-2004, 04:01 PM
Their is certinately nothing wrong with stress relieving a TIG welded structure if done correctly, I have only seen cracking on structures that had undercut welds. I have repaired the upper longerons of production Pitts at the rear cabane and I think this was one of the causes. TIG welding is easily learned with practice but there are many variables that lead to safe TIG welding, setting up the machine, proper rod and tungsten choice. A lot of the current crop of kit mfr's MIG and If it wasent for their pretty powdercoat option the end result looks awful. I see where some guys like to light tack with MIG and then finish up with either ox/acet. or TIG, my take on this is I dont like it as the MIG tack trashes the tungsten when passing through the tack, I suspect it would be a little easier passing through a MIG tack with a gas torch. I love my MIG welder in my shop, I use it all the time for jigs and general repair but it welds nothing in my shop that leaves the ground.

supercubc37
02-29-2004, 07:39 PM
As far as MIG welding goes American Champion Aircraft has used MIG since the first aircraft rolled out the door. They just continued using what Bellanca has done since the mid 60's. No problem with the certification of their aircraft.

Matt

leon tallman
02-29-2004, 08:41 PM
the reason the feds want gas welding is that most people can not tig or mig well when they don't do it alot and thats most aircaft people

jnorris
03-16-2004, 12:35 PM
Does anyone reading this have any experience with the Smith Aviation Supercub kits?....I am considering one of his kits, and need advice.

Hello Mike and all,

One thing to keep in mind when considering many of the (what I'll call) new-generation Cub clone kits (Smith, Daytona, etc.) is that there is some question as to whether these kits actually do meet the requirements for certification as amateur-built (aka "homebuilt") aircraft. Here's why....

In order for an aircraft to qualify for amateur-built certification, the FAA requires that amateur builders do the major portion of the fabrication and assembly tasks. This "major portion" requirement is commonly referred to as the "51% rule". There are two important issues to consider here.

First, the FAA's determination of the major portion of the project is task-based, not time-based. The FAA does not consider how much time is spent working on a particular task, or the entire project for that matter. They only consider what tasks the amateur builder(s) perform as compared to what tasks were done by the kit vendor.

Second, you'll note that the major portion requirements specifically call out fabrication as well as assembly. FAA guidance on certification of amateur-built aircraft is found primarily in FAA Order 8130.2. In the current version of that order, 8130.2E, the following statement appears:


"Based on the criteria set forth in paragraphs 127a and b of this order, it is obvious that an aircraft assembled from a kit composed of completely finished prefabricated components, parts, and precut/predrilled materials is not eligible for the issuance of an experimental airworthiness certificate as an amateur-built aircraft."


In view of the above, you can see that it's important that the kit being considered meets the major portion requirements in two ways. First, it must leave the major portion of the fabrication and assembly tasks to the amateur builder(s). And second, some of those tasks must indeed be fabrication of components by the amateur builder(s).

The FAA has a checklist of applicable tasks, which they use when evaluating whether a kit meets the major portion criteria or not. A potential builder can use this same checklist in order to determine whether a kit that has not been evaluated by the FAA does indeed meet the requirements for certification as an amateur-built aircraft. This checklist is FAA Form 8000-38, the Fabrication And Assembly Operations Checklist. You can find a copy of the checklist in several FAA documents, including FAA Order 8130.2E and advisory circulars AC 20-27F and AC 20-139. You can view these documents, along with others that relate to amateur-built aircraft certification, at the FAA's amateur-built info web site:

http://www.faa.gov/certification/aircraft/av-info/dst/amateur/default.htm

You may wish to start out by simply asking the folks at Smith Aviation (or Daytona Cub, or whomever) whether or not they have compared their kits to the FAA checklist (Form 8000-38 ), and if they say that they have, ask to see the completed form for the kit your are interested in. Remember that, when you built an amateur-built aircraft from a kit that is not on the FAA's kit list, it is up to you as the applicant to document for the FAA inspector that your project meets the major portion requirements.

Thus, regardless of what the kit vendor tells you, you are the one who needs to show (and the FAA inspector or DAR must find, based on your documentation) that the project meets the requirements for amateur-built certification. If you cannot show that the aircraft meets the major portion requirements (using Form 8000-38 or whatever other evidence you can provide), the FAA inspector or DAR will not issue an amateur-built airworthiness certificate. You will then be tasked with getting the aircraft certificated in a different experimental category, probably experimental/exhibition.

The bottom line is, make sure you know what you're getting yourself into before you spend a bunch of money and time on the project. As with all things in the amateur-built world, a strong dose of "buyer beware" is a good thing.

Joe Norris

labdad32
03-16-2004, 01:36 PM
It could be that the FAA is "loosening" a bit on this considering what I just read about the Bearhawk kits.

Frank T
03-16-2004, 03:19 PM
The Bearhawk kits passed the 51% rule with room to spare, and the wing (metal covered) is almost totally closed out. I read it was the fabric work that keeps it in compliance with the 51% rule.

Frank

cruiser
03-16-2004, 04:30 PM
I have been looking at the Smith kit option but am concerned about the 51% rule. According to my local FSDO they are not listed as meeting it, Smith claims to me that the only place they had a problem was in Alaska of all places. I would like to know how others are being treated by the FAA before i jump in. Jim

jnorris
03-16-2004, 05:32 PM
It could be that the FAA is "loosening" a bit on this considering what I just read about the Bearhawk kits.

No, there has been no change in the FAA policy regarding major portion criteria. The quote I listed in my previous post to this list was taken directly from the most current FAA guidance on the subject - FAA Order 8130.2E. Also, I have discussed this with the FAA Directly, and we cover this in the Amateur-Built DAR training course. (I am one of the instructors of the course.)

Joe Norris

Fortysix12
03-16-2004, 10:10 PM
jnorris

Would it be possible for you to talk with the smith boys and get a clear understanding where they stand. And where everybody who is planning to go with smith stands. Would be very helpful. Just a thought.

jnorris
03-16-2004, 11:13 PM
Would it be possible for you to talk with the smith boys and get a clear understanding where they stand. And where everybody who is planning to go with smith stands. Would be very helpful. Just a thought.

Actually, the proper way to handle this is for them (or any kit vendor) to approach their area FAA office and have an inspector review their kit using FAA Form 8000-38. If the kit qualifies, it is then added to the FAA's list of kits, which removes any doubt as to where the kit stands.

So far, none of the Cub "clone" kit vendors have done this (to my knowledge). I've not looked at the Smith kits personally, but I have looked at several other similar offerings. Of the ones I've looked at, I have serious doubt that they would pass muster when compared to the FAA Checklist.

Interestingly enough, there is nothing illegal about selling a kit that doesn't meet the major portion requirement. The kit vendor is not forcing anyone to attempt to license the finished airplane in the amateur-built category. This is totally and completely up to the applicant (aka, the "builder"). If the airplane is found not to meet the major portion requirement, there is nothing FAA can or would do to the kit vendor. The applicant is the one on the hot seat.

This is why it's important to go into a purchase of this type fully armed with knowledge. Ask the right questions, and if you don't like the answers (or don't get any answers at all) don't be so head-over-heels about the airplane that you cannot make an informed decision to walk away. Most builders do not want to end up with an airplane that must be licensed in the experimental/exhibition category, which is what would most likely happen if the airplane is found not to meet the requirements for amateur-built certification.

Joe Norris

CptKelly
03-16-2004, 11:15 PM
I had email from Nick (Smith Aviation) a month ago. He stated that the FAA had looked at their kits and stated that they easily passed the 51% rule. Whom else should I ask? I have some interest in their PA-12 kit.

Mike in NC

jnorris
03-16-2004, 11:31 PM
I had email from Nick (Smith Aviation) a month ago. He stated that the FAA had looked at their kits and stated that they easily passed the 51% rule. Whom else should I ask? I have some interest in their PA-12 kit.

That could very well be, but an individual builder cannot hang their hat on an alleged verbal comment from an unnamed FAA inspector. I just checked the FAA's kits list and there is nothing listed for Smith Aviation. This being the case, the responsibility for proving that the finished airplane meets the requirements for certification as amateur-built rests squarely on the shoulders of the applicant/builder.

There is really nobody else you can ask. It's up to you (meaning any prospective customer/builder) to either convince Smith (or any vendor) that it's in their best interest to get their kits listed on the FAA's list, or to take the list yourself and go over the kit before you purchase in order to make sure you don't get an unwelcome surprise when the airplane is finished.

I don't mean to be picking on Smith or any other vendor. As I mentioned in a previous post, these vendors are perfectly welcome to offer a kit as they see fit. It's not up to them to certify the finished airplane. This is the builder's responsibility. The "buyer beware" is totally on the builder's shoulders. I only offer the info I've posted here as a "heads up" to anyone reading this forum, so as to help folks make an informed choice, or to at least know up-front what the possibilities are.

Joe Norris

CrossedControls
03-17-2004, 04:28 AM
If there are some Smith kits already flying in the US, does that mean they must have passed the FAA criteria? Is there any way they could be legally flying without this approval? If one kit has been deemed to pass then is it given all others are OK..

Regards
Pete

jnorris
03-17-2004, 09:24 AM
If one kit has been deemed to pass then is it given all others are OK..

Hello Pete,

This is not necessarily the case. In the US, each amateur-built (aka "Homebuilt") aircraft is a unique unit, and is evaluated on it's own merit during the final inspection. Yes, there are no doubt some of these Cub "clone" aircraft licensed in the amateur-built category already. This does not guarantee that the next one presented for certification will automatically be deemed to meet the certification requirements.

When an aircraft is presented for amateur-built certification, the applicant must show, and the FAA must find, that the aircraft meets the requirements for the certificate. Thus, it is up to the applicant to have whatever documentation that is necessary in order to validate the application. When a kit is already listed on the FAA's kits list, this documentation is much simpler, in that the builder must simply show that he/she started with a kit that is listed on the FAA's list, and that he/she didn't hire unacceptable commercial assistance during the construction.

When the kit is a very complete kit, but is not listed on the FAA's list, the documentation must be much more extensive. The applicant must specifically document what tasks they have completed as compared to what tasks were completed by the kit vendor, and show that they (the builder) completed the major portion of the fabrication and assembly tasks. Again, as mentioned in my earlier post, the major portion criteria is task-based, not time-based. The amateur-builder must complete the major portion of the fabrication and assembly tasks as listed on the FAA's checklist, Form 8000-38.

Have there been airplanes certificated as amateur-built that should not have been? Yes, for a variety of reasons. But my point here is that this does not guarantee that other similar aircraft will automatically be certificated. I just hate to see a potential builder go into a project with high hopes when there's a possibility that they will get a vary nasty surprise when it comes time to certificate the aircraft.

I guess the bottom line is education. A builder should go into a purchase armed with enough knowledge to make sure he/she doesn't get burned, know the right questions to ask, and be ready to walk away when the right answers aren't forthcoming. Kit vendors are in the business of selling kits, not certificating airplanes. Again, I'm not picking on Smith or any other vendor here. This is just a fact of life. It's up to the individual builders to certificate the finished product, and this usually means that amateur-built certification is desired. I don't want to see builders get into a position where they've got a bunch of money tied up in a project and then they get an unwelcome surprise when they go to certificate the airplane.

It would be really great if any or all of these Cub "clone" kit vendors would simply have their kits officially evaluated by the FAA and placed on the FAA's kits list. Then all question would be eliminated, and we could all build Cubs in confidence that amateur-built certification won't be a problem. There is no cost for this evaluation, other than the time it takes to have the inspector evaluate the kit, so why not just do it?

Joe Norris

Steve Pierce
03-17-2004, 09:44 AM
Kinda like the Field Approval debate. Some regions will approve things and others won't.

jnorris
03-17-2004, 10:48 AM
Kinda like the Field Approval debate. Some regions will approve things and others won't.

Steve,

That's not too far from the truth. But the funny thing is, the guidance on certificating amateur-built aircraft is actually much more complete and easy to understand than the guidance on issuing field approvals, and at the same time, many of the FAA inspectors (and DAR's) are far less familiar with the amateur-built guidance than they are the field approval stuff.

In both cases, the applicant can find a whole bunch of conflicting opinions on the subject when asking different FAA inspectors and/or DAR's. Very frustrating for sure!

But in both cases, the best course of action is to do your homework before you spend your money and time. The old saying applies - forewarned is forearmed!

Joe Norris

Bugs66
03-17-2004, 11:46 PM
I am too thinking about building a Bearhawk or Super Cub experimental. Having a hard time deciding. Anyway - I spoke to my local FAA inspector about experimental cubs. To him a large amount of concern was whether I would be using certified parts or experimental parts. If I put together a SC with experimental parts that satisfies the majority of it. The FAA guy said it would be hard to deny any experimental Super Cub a certificate if it was assembled from the same state as say a Kitfox is - again with experimental parts. Assembling the wings from parts seemed important to him as well.

I posted this question to Smith Aviation's builders forums. Nick said he would look into it.

So do I need to ask you guys which plane I should build? SC or Bearhawk? :wink:

joecub
03-18-2004, 09:20 AM
There have been 3 Smith Cubs by 3 different builders certified here in Idaho with no problems what so ever. I'm building one and I know of at least 4 others on my home field as well.. Joe

KelvinG
03-18-2004, 11:15 AM
Bugs,
I was having the same quandary. I was choosing a Bearhawk over a Supercub clone because of the 4 seats vs. 2 seats. But then Nick got a dealer in North Pole AK and I became aware of Smith Aviation?s Bushmaster.

I finally chose the Bushmaster by Smith Aviation, mainly because of shipping costs. North Pole, AK is about 70 miles from me and a Bearhawk comes from Budd?s factory in Mexico.

For me picking a plane to build is a three part process. First, what best fits my intended mission, (My case a family camper). Second is quality. And third is integrity.

I don?t think you could go wrong with either Nick Smith or Budd Davidson. Just be sure you know what you truly want out of your plane. The Bearhawk isn?t a Supercub, the two have different intended missions.

If you decide to go with the Bearhawk, let?s chat. I have the original plans, Full size copies of the plans for construction, Construction photos, Builder CD?s, all the news letters, and a group buy on hard to come by rod ends.

Kelvin

cfish
03-18-2004, 03:20 PM
I believe that anyone who has questions about whether the Smith kit will pass the 51% muster should contact the function 46 DAR that they would use to inspect the plane and ask them to look at the kit and tell them if he will give it the 51% ok. I have contacted mine and he quickly agreed to research the kit and give me his ruling before I lay down my money.

X18
03-18-2004, 10:49 PM
cfish,

Have your DAR look at the Skystar Kitfox Classic quick build kit that is on the 51% list, and compare the projects. The Smith Supercub kit appears to me to have more to fabricate and install than the Kitfox. Your suggestion about getting your DAR involved early is an excellent one, that way there shouldn't be any nasty surprises about this issue on inspection day. A friend here in N E Texas is in the process of building a Smith Supercub. Earlier today I convinced him to go ahead and find the DAR that he will use and get him involved from this point forward, because of this issue. Anybody know of a good tube and fabric type DAR near the N E Texas area?

Jim

jnorris
03-19-2004, 09:42 AM
Anybody know of a good tube and fabric type DAR near the N E Texas area?

Hi Jim,

Give Melvin Asberry a call. He's in Farmersville, TX. His number is (972) 784-7544.

Getting the DAR involved early is a great idea. This way, you can get a feel early on for what it's going to take to get your project certificated.

Joe Norris

KelvinG
03-19-2004, 10:17 AM
Anyone know who the DAR is for the Fairbanks region?


Thanks,
Kelvin

X18
03-19-2004, 10:37 AM
jnorris,

Mel is my first choice for a DAR, I have a RV4 and Mel is a fixture here in the Texas RV community. I didn't know that he also did tube and fabric. I'll try to get with him today. Thanks.

Jim

jon
03-19-2004, 11:35 AM
Joe, Thanks for the advice, I just started on a Smith Cub kit.
After completing form 8000-38 checklist it appears to me
that it will just meet the 51% rule, but Im not the one that
will be checking the list at inspection time. Can you
recommend a DAR person for central WI. I would feel better
with him or her involved at the beganing.

Thanks, Jon

AkPA/18
03-19-2004, 12:55 PM
Check this link for DAR directory
http://www.faa.gov/certification/aircraft/av-info/dst/DARDirectory.pdf

Mark

cfish
03-19-2004, 05:53 PM
The DAR I talked with lives close to me in Farmersville Tx. just north of Dallas. His E-mail is M-asberry@ti.com. He is currently inspecting a Northstar kit and feels that the Smith kit will not have a problem making 51%

cfish
03-19-2004, 06:03 PM
Jungle Jim,I am strongl cosidering buying a Smith is there any way that I can visit with your friend and look at his kit and get his impression of both the kit and the manufacturer. I live N.E. of Dallas. This would be a tremendous help

KelvinG
03-23-2004, 11:23 AM
Well I phoned my local FAA inspector yesterday about Smith Aviation's kits and the 51% rule. He told me I'd have to buy the kit so they could see all the bits and pieces before they could determine if I had an airplane or $31,000 dollar pile of tubing.

I?m going to talk to them some more to make sure I didn?t misunderstand what I was being told.

Kelvin

jnorris
03-23-2004, 12:28 PM
After completing form 8000-38 checklist it appears to me
that [the Smith Cub] will just meet the 51% rule...

I just finished going over the Smith Cub kit with Jon, and according to what I've seen it appears that the kit does indeed just barely meet the major portion requirements for certification as an amateur-built aircraft. Just barely is good enough though, so it looks like Smith has done a good job with leaving just enough tasks for the amateur builder to complete.

This is great news for all of us. (Or at least for those who want to build Smith Cubs!) The Smith kit looks to be top-notch quality, and I'm sure a Cub built using one of these kits will be a fine airplane. Now we know that it will also be a legal amateur-built airplane!

Hopefully, the folks at Smith will get together with an FAA inspector and go though this process officially, so that the kits can be added to the FAA's list. This would help individual builders streamline the process of getting their aircraft certificated.

Joe Norris

X18
03-24-2004, 08:05 AM
cfish,
I don't know how I missed your post, sorry for not replying sooner. Yep, the Smith Super Cub replica is being built here in Sulphur Springs. I'll be at the airport most of the day working on my RV. Call the airport at 903-885-4911 and tell them that you are looking for me, or send me an e-mail at webmaster@sulphurspringsairport.com with your phone number and I'll get with you.

Jim

Jim Scarborough
12-14-2011, 04:04 PM
A few years ago I decided to get on with my Pacer project, the new rule came out and I contacted the FAA. One point here that makes the difference, you will be asked to sign an affidavit stating that you have done XYZ. At this point you are either going to lie and hence perjure yourself or not. If you take the position that you are going to tell a lie, at that point if you have not convinced the FAA inspector he may, at his or her descretion take you and your craft to task. You may be prepared to answer that call, I would rather be on the other side of the argument. Take photos, make notes, show your work, have invoices for 4130, parts, ect. It is a ponderous of evidence at this point. The FAA rule that is mentioned should be a good working document but it will be a person that will make the decision, be prepared to make your case.

D.A.
12-14-2011, 07:55 PM
...The FAA rule that is mentioned should be a good working document...

I worried about the 51% rule until I really looked at Appendix 8 of the FAA rule. Correct me if I've mis-read the reg, but a Bushmaster/Javelin/Producer/Stretched Pacer shouldn't be an issue from the standpoint of re-using parts of a factory fuselage as long as you build the wings and tail feathers. If I remember the numbers correctly, the fuselage is only worth 20 points or so. The wings and tail feathers are both close to 60 points each. The total points are only around 180 for the entire airplane. You'll get almost 120 points just from the wings and tail. I love the new FAA guidance on the 51% rule. You can now read the form directly to the FAA and easily show compliance with the 51% rule - using their form.

Input invited.

King Brown
12-15-2011, 10:34 AM
Just looking at it, I'd take a Smith wing before SC wing any day. It is heavier but no burden considering what it's for.

qsmx440
12-15-2011, 01:45 PM
I worried about the 51% rule until I really looked at Appendix 8 of the FAA rule. Correct me if I've mis-read the reg, but a Bushmaster/Javelin/Producer/Stretched Pacer shouldn't be an issue from the standpoint of re-using parts of a factory fuselage as long as you build the wings and tail feathers. If I remember the numbers correctly, the fuselage is only worth 20 points or so. The wings and tail feathers are both close to 60 points each. The total points are only around 180 for the entire airplane. You'll get almost 120 points just from the wings and tail. I love the new FAA guidance on the 51% rule. You can now read the form directly to the FAA and easily show compliance with the 51% rule - using their form.

Input invited.

That's my take and that of my DAR and others but ?? Anyway one thing to remember there is an important difference between new commercial parts (certificated or otherwise) and used (salvage) parts. If you use salvage parts you loose the whole section: ie if you use a salvaged fuselage you lose the whole 20 or so points for that "fuselage" section no matter how much work you do on the fuselage yourself. Which points out if your going to use a section you might as well get the whole thing since you lose all the points anyway. It's kind of neat in that you can choose your poison or cherrypick based on available salvage parts. It would be perfectly possible (it appears) to have eight experimental cubs lined up representing each section of appendix 8, one with factory salvage wings, one with factory fuselage, one with factory tail feathers etc. and all be legal. In other words you could dismantle a perfectly good supercub and spread the "sections" over 8 experimental aircraft and be fine. There is a statement that leaves interpretation to the examiner and that is the warning not to use "excessive salvaged parts" which my Dar felt that using more than two complete sections get into the gray area regardless of points count. This leaves the question can you use some (limited number) of salvage parts in other "amateur built" sections? For instance salvage legs in the landing gear section?? Check first or hope?