|Frequently Asked Questions
(Things I get asked about at airshows)
|Below are some of the typlical questions people ask about my plane when it is on static display at air
shows. The asnwers are mostly true but laced with a bit of humor. These questions are some you might
This page was updated 07-12-08
1. When are you going to finish it? It IS finished. It just LOOKS unfinished but that is how it
should look. Actually, I covered some of the fuselage parts that usually don't get covered: aft cockpit, and
2. How much did it cost to build your plane? $5,600.00 is what I spent on materials to get it to the
way it is now. This does not include the $1,700.00 for the parachute.
3. Why do you have a rear view mirror? It's a confidence builder. I like to look in the mirror to
check and see if those parts that are supposed to be following me still are. I also check to see if anything
has fallen off
4. How long did it take you to build it? 650 hours over 16 months (three months of this time
building was inactive). It was a fun building project, I enjoyed it so much I really didn't want the building
part to end.
5. Why did it take so long, there isn't much to it? This is a scratch-built plane, not a kit. About
half of the time was spent scrounging for material. I even cut my own construction sticks from 2 X 6 X 16'
Douglas Fir lumber. If I had more time I would have planted tree seeds instead.
5a. Why do you call it "scratch built"? Because when building it I spent a lot of time looking at the
blueprints and scratching my head trying to figure them out.
6. Where do you put your feet? They go on those little pedals outside the fuselage up by the
firewall. Put them on the ground if you want dual emergency brakes. Put down one foot to turn sharply
7. How heavy is it? Is this an ultralight airplane? It weighs 362# dry including the 20#
parachute. It is a FAA registered and N-numbered airplane, not an ultralight. I built it that way by intent.
8. How fast does it go? Cruises between 55 & 60 MPH Indicated Air Speed, and will go 80 MPH
(no wind, full power) other speeds vary according to wind speed; I have hit 108 MPH and 36 MPH
ground speed with tail and headwinds. If I was in a hurry I would drive my car.
9. How far can you go without stopping? Usually my bladder dictates flying duration, however two
hours is my typical range which is about 110 miles. Fuel burn is 4.2 gallons per hour. On long flights, I
estimate 4.5 gph for planning purposes.
10. Is this plane good only for local flights?
This ain't no hangar queen! I have made two flights of 1500 miles round trip (Oshkosh). Often I make
flights of 200 miles round trip, I make a lot of trips of 50 miles. Most of the time I fly within 25 miles of
11. How many hours do you have on your Airbike?
703 on the airframe and 400+ on my replacement Rotax 503 engine (bought it used), this translates
into about 39,000 miles on the airframe in 10 years. The critical factor here is having a good seat cushion
because there certainly isn't much padding in my tusch! Many thanks to Marty Fisher, my upholsterer.
12. Those wheels look like they belonged to a wheel barrow, why is that?
Well, that's because that's where they came from. Do you know anyone who wants to buy two good
wheelbarrows without wheels?
13. Do you have brakes? Yes. A single brake lever mounted on the stick pulls a cable which
operates both expanding drum type wheel brakes simultaneously. The brakes cannot be operated
14. How do you keep warm in the winter? I don't. The warmest I will ever be is when I get out of
my truck to go to thehangar.. The colder the weather the shorter my flights. My plane has a "biological
Stick Shaker" that signals me to land when I get cold, my body shakes so badly from the cold that I have to
15. Why do you wear a helmet? It makes it easier to scrape the bugs off ---the back of my head.
16. How do you keep dry when it rains? Generally I don't fly in the rain because I am only
equipped for VFR. However, I do wear a "Dry Rider" motorcycle suit which acts as a wind barrier as well
as a rainsuit.
17. Do you need a pilot's license to fly your Airbike? Yes, my plane is registered as
EXPERIMENTAL and a pilot's license is required to fly it. However, one could build it as an ultralight then
a license is not needed.
18. What would you have to do make it an ultralight? I exceeded three rules that otherwise
would have made my plane an ultralight, they are: 1) maximum weight of 254#, maximum speed of 60 mph,
and maximum fuel capacity of 5 gallons. My plane weighs 342#, will go 80 mph and carries 12.5 gallons of
19. What type of fuel do you burn? Mostly auto gas from any service station. However, I can also
burn 100 LL aviation gas. My wife says everything I eat turns to gas, that's why she gives me Beano at
20. Your plane seems to generate a lot of interest doesn't it? Yes it certainly does, I think it is
because it looks neat, isn't intimidating, is low-budget and looks easy to build. Plus I enjoy talking to
people about it and their interests in aviation. Thanks for asking, I enjoyed talking with you!