what makes our planes unique)
(or how NOT to KIS)
Unless we are capable aircraft designers ourselves, we are probably going to be building an airplane from a set of plans or assembling it from a kit. It doesn't seem to matter if we are building from plans or even a totally complete kit, it is our nature to want to make some modifications to the completed aircraft. The range of modifications is as wide as the experience level of the builders. They may range from the relatively minor addition of required lighting for night operation to major design changes. It is only limited by the abilities of the builder to understand the dynamics of the changes. After all, we are experimental aircraft builders...Right?
Not being an aeronautical engineer, I will be limiting my modifications to those items which will not alter the aerodynamics of the airplane. I will be making most of my changes to the interior of the KIS Cruiser but, there will be a few minor exterior modifications as well. This page will detail the modifications which I am making and those of other builders who have provided me the details and photos.
If you have made a special modification to the KIS Cruiser or TR-1 which you would like to share with other builders, please forward photos and details to me and I will try to get them included here.
Custom Modifications include:
Pilot & Co-Pilot - Adjustable Seats using bucket seats from a sports utility vehicle. These are fully adjustable and recline.
Rear Seat - Fold Down Back and Lockable Storage under Bottoms of the rear seats provide additional storage as well as protecting those valuables you would like to be able to leave in the airplane. Also shown is a neat little cup holder to occupy that space over the control channel.
Self-retracting Tiedowns which provide a can not be forgotten or lost solution to those overnight tiedowns. Easily fabricated from flat stock and U-channel aluminum, these tiedowns do not require any springs to help them retract. They retract flush with the bottom of the wing or fuselage and will not cause additional drag. The fuselage installation also doubles as a water drain.
Rudder Pedals were fabricated
using aluminum angle stock and provide a much larger pedal with increased
leverage on the toe brakes.
Electric Rudder Trim has been included for those long trips when just a little rudder trim would help with holding that course. I know it's not necessary but I have appreciated it on those planes which have had it.
(that are not far enough along for publication include:)
Vertical Stabilizer Air Scoop and Overhead Console using parts
supplied by one of our South African builders. This modification will
provide fresh air from overhead vents as well as overhead lighting. It's
a great looking modification as well as useful. Check it out in the
Construction Photos Section.
External Lighting - Recognition and Landing Lights will be included for those occasional trips that don't quite go as planned and you arrive well after the sun has gone down. The basic light structure will be a combination Driving and Fog light using 55 watt quartz halogen speciality car lights. The recognition lights will be inside clear plastic covers embedded in the wing tips.
Center Control Stick for control of the ailerons and elevator. The control will be mounted in the center console with an arm rest to provide a comfortable position for flight operations. I will also attempt to put in dual controls for the engine and prop but this will depend on finding the right controls.
Electric Flaps are both a personally desired item and sort of required
because the center control stick will occupy the area reserved for the manual
So much for the KIS (Keep It Simple) factor.
John Petrie - Overhead
Console for supplying fresh air to the interior as well as interior
Wing Tip Lenses for containing the recognition lights.
Electric Flap motor mount and control system.
Alfred Rosa - Instr. Panel, Wing Tip, Stall Warning, Other changes include a neat little diedown.
Wing Walk Mod to Wing Flaps to allow stepping up from the rear of the wing.
Dave Tate - Firewall Backward
- Inside and Panel has a very neat center console
Windscreen & Doors shows how to pre-mount the windshield to ease final installation.
Bill Schertz -Wing Construction
Photos gives some great tips on making a great wing
Grounded Fuel Filler Cap to help ease the worry over static sparks and fire.
Access Cover Construction for when you need to retrofit the access panel.
Sanding Vacuum Table that should clear the air and save many hours of cleanup.
PAUL Lamar - Drawings - Rotary Engine Mount / Side Stick Control / Panel
I am sure that there are many more builders with some great ideas to share. Please send me your photos with a description and I will be happy to include them here for the benefit of all builder. I will be happy to return all photos if desired. You can also scan and e-mail them to be if that would be easier. It sure would be for me.