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One Design (also known as a DR-107)

Introduction

Rebuild Starts, New Panel

Fuel System etc

New Engine

Finishing re-build

The Cowling

Wing

Rigging

Completion

 

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Ever since Dan Rihn designed the One Design in the mid 90s I had wanted one. In 1996 I bought a wrecked Extra 300 (see story elsewhere on these pages) and learnt to fly aerobatics, but the fuel bill was always the limiting factor. A One Design is like a mini Extra, but burning about half the fuel. I was considering building a 1D at around the turn of the century, but it was going to be a labour of love as (in the UK at least) the finished aeroplane was likely to be worth less than it cost to build.

The other problem was that the PFA had yet to fully approve the design, I still had the RV-4 as a project and did not really have anywhere large enough to build in with my wife’s car in the garage.

 

Fast forward a few years, and now living in the US (and without an Extra) I wanted to get back into some serious aeros. The RV-6A was great for most recreational stuff, but I wanted to get back into competitions, and also wanted to bring something back to England when we eventually returned. I considered a Pitts, and a part built One Design (right, very nicely built but a long way off flying).

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Eventually I found a flying One Design for sale at the right price. The aeroplane was for sale in Savannah, Georgia – about 800 miles from Texas. Once the sale had been completed the interesting bit was flying back. I had intended to leave Savannah mid afternoon on Sunday, after finalizing everything and having a test flight, but as always things got delayed. It was always going to be a long trip because of the limited fuel capacity – 18 gal. I planned on 1h30min legs at 120 kt, so minimum 3 stops, probably 4. As I had been up early to get to Savannah at a reasonable time, and the weather for Monday looked reasonable I decided to stay the night and try to get back in one day. In the end I left early on a Monday morning, with a route planned on AirNav. 

This is the first stop at a deserted airport somewhere in Alabama. Most of the stops were like this – I really like visiting out of the way airfields in rural America. If you meet anyone they are almost invariably friendly and courteous. I never cease to be amazed at the relatively undiscovered jewels that these airfields are. For those of you in Europe, I don’t believe “landing fee” is in their vocabulary. The only problem was that the fuel prices on AirNav don’t always get updated as often as they might. While it looked like some of these airfields had great gas prices, the reality was somewhat different.

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As always happens, shortly after getting the One Design (still with out a name by the way), we found out that we would be returning to the UK in late 2006. I managed to get a few more flights in the 1D, enough to realize that the aerobatic potential is way more than my somewhat rusty skills. Even with only 150hp the aeroplane went very well. Too soon it was time to start dismantling all the aeroplanes in preparation for the big move.

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This is 4 aeroplanes in a 40’ container. It took us 4 days to pack and after 1 ½ days we thought we weren’t going to make it! There are a Cessna 152, RV-7 (QB kit), RV-6A and the One Design. The 1D is on the left with it wheels tied on the wall and the wing on the 2nd shelf – RV-7 wings on the top shelf. I would never put 4 aeroplanes in a container again, 3 is a much more sensible number!

Once back in England the priority was getting Casper flying again, so the 1D went into the garage for a new panel – old panel here with everything removed. After a while I decided to swap the engine as well. Details on the engine change are. More details here.

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Introduction

Rebuild Starts, New Panel

Fuel System etc

New Engine

Finishing re-build

The Cowling

Wing

Rigging

Completion

 

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