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New type of LSA kit now available

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  • New type of LSA kit now available

    Several months ago Bob Barrows called me and urged us to manufacture and offer a different kind of kit to builders. As it often is with Bob, his interest was trying to help builders with lower cost options to get a plane done. Bob suggested a "materials package" that would contain all the materials cut to shape and bent, but nothing welded or no holes drilled in anything. Bob was hoping this package would be about 1/2 or slightly more than 1/2 of the cost of a QB kit.

    I will describe the package better in a minute. But after Bob called, a South African emailed inquiring about lower cost options for building an LSA. Something less expensive than a Quick Build kit, but more done than just raw materials. We talked on the phone, and I described to the South African man the package Bob had suggested we make and offer. He said it was exactly what he was looking for. So we made this materials package as kind of a test to see what labor was involved in making it. The materials cost is the same as our QB kit - more or less.No paint and no hardware so there is a slight savings on material. And a few other things were not included as well.

    We recently got the package here on our last truck, and the South African is not able to purchase right now. The SA Rand is quite low, and for other personal reasons he has to pass at this time. So I have this package sitting here at our warehouse that is available for purchase. I guess we are going to see if there are builders interested in a package like this as Bob thought.

    Let me describe the package better. Fuselage - all the tubing is fish mouthed and ready to be jigged and tack welded. Longerons are full length. Every part of the fuselage is in the package with all its parts cut to shape and bent up. In essence - this is all the parts included in the QB kit but loose. The South African requested we make the long side windows for the fuselage which we did.

    On the wings - it includes all the ribs/spar webs, cap strips cut to length. Bob wanted us to provide the spars as finished parts, but the South African only wanted the parts of the spars so he could do the spar assembly. So that is what we did. There are no wing skins in this package because the South African said 2024T3 was readily available in SA. The sheet metal parts like the aluminum floors, cowling, boot cowl materials and also the firewall - they are hard to ship without damage. So we provided cardboard templates. Every part of the wing is included like the aileron support frames and bellcranks etc - but in pieces that need to be welded up.

    So that is a description of the package I have available. Not every detail but enough detail for someone to figure out if you might be interested. If you are interested in more specifics and perhaps working something out to buy this package - please get in touch with me to discuss., or call at 512/626-7886.

    We intend to do a press release announcing the availability of this kind of package for all the different models. But I thought I would offer to the forum members first this package that we have in hand. Thanks. Mark Goldberg. Bearhawk Aircraft.

  • #2
    Mark, I am an RV builder looking at Bearhawk for my next project. When I finished my RV I realized there was was much more to learn in airplane building and decided I wanted to scratch build a Bearhawk. This type of kit has some appeal to me.


    • #3
      Mark, this is a great idea. I am primarily scratch building for financial purposes, and this type of kit would be more interesting to me if I could buy it in sub parts. For example, sell the fuselage tubing kit, fuselage fittings kit, elevator kit, etc. For the wings, i would have liked to purchase the wing spar plates, stiffener/attach angles, and the parts requiring a lathe. The money i would have paid for your labor couldnt be much more than the value of the wasted metal i have laying around. Unfortunately I have already cut out most my structural parts, but if you sold cardboard cutouts of floorboards and cowling for the 4 place I would buy it in a heartbeat.


      • #4
        Airplane builders (and pilots) are dreamers. The first step of turning any dream into reality requires barriers to be overcome. Those who make the barriers small, and destroy the fear doubt and uncertainty that every dreamer has will help a dream move ahead. The EAA, and VANS are two good examples of entities that removed barriers and destroyed fear doubt and uncertainty. The Barrier for me to start the LSA is financial, and informational in nature. Can I do it, Can I follow through, will I mess up, will I know that I messed up when I mess up, will the support be there if I have questions?

        I don't want an RV, but my perception is that they have done a great job removing barriers. Barriers can be removed by
        - Offering the less expensive kit.
        - Providing an outstanding instructional manuals specifically designed for each build.
        - This website removes barriers in ways the yahoo site could. It.
        - Offering tail kits, wing kits, fuselage kits removes a huge cost barrier that will get the dream started earlier.
        - declaring standards and best practices for construction processes that save time rather than each one of us stumbling upon them or never discovering them ourselves removes barriers.

        This is an elephant I am looking at eating. Help us to eat it one bite at a time.
        Brooks Cone
        Southeast Michigan
        Patrol #303, Kit build


        • #5
          Mark, this is a great idea. I'm currently building from a scratch, using another builder's project as a head start. I couldn't even begin to afford a quick build kit, and as a former blacksmith, I'm under no impression that your kit is over priced. It is labor intensive, and skilled labor cost money. I had planned to purchase your rib and spar materials kit, before I found the project I currently have, because it would have saved me the most hours for the least dollars. One package that I wish was available, would be a pre-cut tubing package. Most of the tubing could then be shipped by common carrier such as UPS. I would appreciate smaller packages, which would have something to offer scratch builders who are at different stages of completion. Many of us have no use for a complete kit, because we have some parts and assemblies completed already. Smaller kits give the builder more options to purchase what they need, without duplicating what they have already completed. One other thing, I have a bunch of steel parts from the project that I purchased that I believe came from your factory judging by the paint. That paint is tuff stuff. I wish I could buy your paint. Thanks for considering this option, and good luck with the business. I'm currently building 4-place, but my next plane will be a Bearhawk LSA.


          • #6
            Mark - I am sorry to hear this SA guy made an order but failed to go through with it. I am sure you'll have no problem finding a buyer.

            This kind of package sounds cheaper to ship overseas, which will make it attractive.
            Last edited by Battson; 01-29-2015, 05:19 PM.