:D - Looking for a Highlander - First Post - :D

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:D - Looking for a Highlander - First Post - :D

Postby cirrusjetpilot » Fri Oct 14, 2016 7:24 pm

Hi all,

First post here so flame suit is on. I am completely new to the experimental World so my questions may be completely inappropriate for this quality group. I apologize in advance.

My objective is to purchase a STOL plane and I am particularly interested at the Highlander. I have looked at several options and after talking to few people, Just Aircraft seems to be doing well and they seem to have a good reputation and quality aircraft. I am not a builder, probably won't ever be and at this time don't have the time and knowledge to build one if I could. I am looking for a ready to go Highlander where I can jump and fly.

After looking online and researching locally, I found what seems to be a really nice one build by an individual that has built 3 other aircrafts. I flew to his location and looked at the plane which seemed to be well put together. Unfortunately, not knowing much, I asked everything I thought was appropriate but this is one of those cases "you don't know what you don't know".

One specific item that seems completely different from what I've seen so far is the engine choice. Instead of the regular Rotax, he chose a Continental O-200 which sounded incredible. In order to accommodate the O-200 he had to create a new cowling and everything seemed to fit really well and tight. Seems like the engine mount had to be custom made to fit the O-200 engine. The owner is now ill and that's the reason he is selling.

So, my question is, how invasive this engine selection/modification is? I understand it is a heavier engine and it does not sound like a rotax which some people don't like I have learned.

What are some other factors and things I should be looking at the highlander before I purchase one? Any structural issues, frame issues? These planes seems to be pretty simple and robust and not much to break. However, I am just starting to learn all about experimental and looking forward to some additional guidance.

As for me, I am a 3000 IR pilot where most of my total hours has been flown in a Cirrus. I just completed my tailwheel endorsement on a Citabria and to be honest, I am discovering a new aviation world. I am looking to explore the Northern California backcountry soon and hopefully, the highlander will get me there.

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Re: :D - Looking for a Highlander - First Post - :D

Postby gkremers » Mon Oct 17, 2016 6:52 am

Glad to see your interested in a Highlander. My guess is there are very few O-200 installations out there so no one can really answer your question. The things I would be looking at carefully are the additional engine weight vs the Rotax 912/914. Really look at the CG and see it you will be able to load it the way you want for your mission. There are many talented builders out there so as long as it was well built I wouldn't be too concerned about the engine choice so long as the weight and CG are OK. You can also keep looking for a Highlander with the standard 912/914 install if that makes you more comfortable.

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Re: :D - Looking for a Highlander - First Post - :D

Postby moving2time » Mon Oct 17, 2016 9:15 am

Steve Henry, is a very active Just Aircraft supporter and representative. You can find him on this site all the time. His web site is Wild West Aircraft and he goes by "taildrgfun" on this site. He has built several Highlanders and he just announced that he is selling one of them just recently. You could not purchase a better Highlander and I think that everyone on this web site would agree. His announcement was in the Wild West thread just below your thread. Start looking from the latest post end because it was just a few days ago. Joe B
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Re: :D - Looking for a Highlander - First Post - :D

Postby cirrusjetpilot » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:39 pm

Thanks for the feedback. I have looked into the possible CG issue but I believe this could work okay for me. I weight 130 lbs and most of the time, I will have no one flying with me or my son which is less than 100lbs.

Here is the CG sheet for reference.

Yes, I have been reading Steve's posts. I have actually reached out to him via text but didn't hear back. :cry:

Thanks for the feedback so far.

Edited: File was too big. Attached here again.
Highlander CG.jpg
Last edited by cirrusjetpilot on Mon Oct 17, 2016 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: :D - Looking for a Highlander - First Post - :D

Postby cropduster1968 » Mon Oct 17, 2016 2:42 pm

Steve weighs 150
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Re: :D - Looking for a Highlander - First Post - :D

Postby Clark in AZ » Mon Oct 17, 2016 4:40 pm

Steve is probably busy getting ready for the High Sierra and Copperstate fly-ins. :)
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Re: :D - Looking for a Highlander - First Post - :D

Postby taildrgfun » Mon Oct 31, 2016 4:42 pm

Alex, I have been gone a lot lately. Please call me on my cell phone at 208-880-7887
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Re: :D - Looking for a Highlander - First Post - :D

Postby marl59 » Fri Nov 04, 2016 12:10 pm

Hi Alex,
Glad to hear you want to explore the low and slow world of flying. After owning a Bonanza and looking down over what has to be Bonanza flyover country in Northern California where I live, I got my Highlander a year and a half ago and I'm having more fun than should be allowed! I can attest to the quality of an aircraft that Steve Henry built as I own the first Highlander that he built, Yee Haw. I has the 100 HP Rotax 912ULS in it and is just over the 1600 hour TBO but still runs very well. When I re-power this plane I will be using the 140 HP Yamaha RX1 snowmobile engine. Not that the Rotax is under powered at all. I would say that it is a very good match for the Highlander airframe. If you'd like to go flying in it sometime, give me a call. I'm in Oakland. 510 774-0653. I still have the Bonanza but she's feeling a bit neglected these days! Good luck on your search.
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Re: :D - Looking for a Highlander - First Post - :D

Postby av8rps » Wed Nov 16, 2016 10:07 pm


I suspect you purchased the 0-200 Highlander you mentioned as I saw it on Barnstormers and now it's not there. So if you did buy it, please let us know how it performs once you get a few hours on it. I for one am really curious about an 0-200 in a Highlander.

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