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New "member"

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 5:54 pm
by TD1
Hi all. Just joined a week or two ago…. first post. “Long time listener, first time caller…”

Rather than jumping right into blurting out questions on individual threads, I figured it best to introduce myself first. I’ve been following this Just Aircraft Forum for some time now…. Yes, a lurker. Over many months I have gone back and read nearly every thread going back to 2010 now and still reading. Searched out specific topics through hundreds of posts. You folks don’t know me, but I feel like I’ve met a good many of you. =D

I am 61 years old. I have lived in HI the last 40 years but was born and raised on a farm in northern CA in the Shasta Valley. Before my time my Grandfather had owned what he called that #%*&@ ground loopin’ Stearman. My Father owned a Piper Pacer, then moved to a C170, then a C180, his last plane was a C185. Grew up around planes on the farm. Always had our private dirt strip. Even had an underground tank and pump for avgas. I held a PPL many years ago when I was 18-19 years old but let it lapse when I moved to HI. My plans are to semi-retire soon and move back to the mainland, not back to CA as I don’t care for the state anymore, how it has changed, but in the west…. NV, ID, AZ etc. hopefully on some property that we can carve out a short private strip with a barn….. and build a plane.

I am at least 2-3 years from building right now, but doing a great deal of very enjoyable research and have gotten a great insight and info on what and how I would like to build my plane. This forum holds an incredible amount of very valuable information. I’ve read things everyone should know before they even think about ordering their plane IMO. I have so many questions I figured I’d better introduce myself and get started on some of them. Now is a good a time as any….. I’ll try not to be a pest. =D

Re: New "member"

PostPosted: Sat Jun 10, 2017 6:29 pm
by gkremers
Glad to hear you'll begin building in a couple of years. There are some very smart creative people on the forum. I asked many questions along the way and most were very helpful with suggestions and ideas. You'll find the kits are pretty straightforward, manuals could definitely be better but thats where this forum come in.

250+ hours

Re: New "member"

PostPosted: Sun Jun 11, 2017 10:31 pm
by av8rps
Welcome to the group Tom!

I found you're aviation background interesting. You certainly come from a long line of aviators. So how is it that you found the Just Aircraft design? What are you planning to build? Escapade, Highlander, or Super STOL? Do you have an engine preference? I'm curious as I love hearing how it is that new people found the design, and why they prefer it over all the other wide variety of choices? We're always happy having new people joining our ranks. The more the merrier. So by all means, feel free to ask away. We all want you to ultimately enjoy a Just Aircraft product like we all do. These are truly incredible, fun aircraft.

Paul Seehafer
912ULS Highlander, skis and amphib floats.

Re: New "member"

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 6:13 pm
by SuperFly
Welcome Tom!

Glad you introduced yourself. This is a group of great people, and mostly great information. ;) The Just Aircraft group, builders, flyers, factory folks, and fans is a group of people willing to help in anyway they can. Or at least thats been my experience.

Once again, Welcome.

Re: New "member"

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 7:29 pm
by TD1
Thanks much! I have read and followed most of your builds here, familiar with them.Just great information!

Reading here for so long….. I've gotten the message it's very important to determine the mission and purpose of the plane you own. Very much agree. Basically I am an obsessed bowhunter. I live for it. We have year round “seasons” here for axis deer, feral goat, sheep, mouflon sheep and pigs, I hunt year round. Plus I try to travel to the mainland at least once a year for DIY hunts..... elk, black bear, mule deer….. have done many pack in hunts for game in many western states. Anyway that is my obsession. Coach quite calling it a hobby some time ago.

The mission for any plane I own will be to fly in the west for a year or two into the backcountry on hunts (my dad used to fly us into the Selway Wilderness in ID elk hunting in the 70's) hauling in ultralight gear and hauling out loads of meat. After a year or two of mountain time under my belt, take it up to AK and fly/hunt from the late summer through early fall most every year for as long as I physically can.

My first “question” I guess, or confirmation may be a better term, these Just Aircraft planes from all my research are exactly what I am looking for. I’m looking at Light Sport. Mechanically I know I can build, being the builder gives me the option to do my own annuals, repairs, etc. And I enjoy building things. The JA planes have many of the features I would be looking for, from off airport backcountry performance, good size cargo area, etc. I like the side by side seating rather than tandem for the Sport Light as the cargo is easier to balance out IMO and duel controls. From my research I’m pretty settled on the JA for a variety of reasons.

I am looking mostly at the Highlander over the Super Stol and would welcome any opinions on my reasoning.

From all I’ve seen, while builds vary the SS normally gives up 100lbs or more payload at Sport Light limits to the lighter Highlander. It will be flying near full gross a good deal, a 100 lb difference is huge. (I want a bare bones light build as well) Highlander seems a bit higher cruise thus a bit more range. Not the greatest "cross country" planes but my impression is the Highlander is less of a handful in those types of trips. And less approach angle for better pilot visibility, something I’ve heard a few SS pilots talk about. Highlander no doubt gives up some short field capability to the SS, but with 26-29” “light” AK tires and a little suspension work I think it would have more than enough backcountry capability. Something along many of the cub variations that fly the back country. I have no plans to enter any STOL events….. =D. Plus I’ve read of many modifications (Steve Henry is a wealth of info) that get the Highlander closer yet to the SS performance.

Anyway, didn’t mean to write a novel, but so far those are my thoughts on the "mission"..... and really value any input and advice I can get. I have a long way to go yet, but am slowly getting myself pointed in the right direction. The planning is not only very important but also a good deal of fun to me.

Thanks again to all for the warm welcome!

Re: New "member"

PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 9:43 pm
by marl59
Hi Tom, welcome to the forum. Thought I'd give a word of encouragement to you on your mission and flying goals. I too love to bowhunt and that's the main reason I bought my Highlander about a year and half ago. I live in Oakland but I've trailered it to Idaho and back and it was very useful on our elk hunt. Didn't get to haul any meat on account of the wolf problem in the unit we hunted. I don't know of any airstrip in Idaho that the Highlander couldn't handle at full gross but that's a guess. I considered building one too but couldn't wait that long to start flying it so I bought one. Great airplane!! Feel free to PM me anytime.

Re: New "member"

PostPosted: Fri Jun 16, 2017 4:32 pm
by av8rps
I love the Super STOL as it truly is one of the coolest, most unique aircraft a guy could own.

But for me, the Highlander is a better choice. I'm ok going anywhere a Super Cub or Helio Courier can go (actually the Highlander will go more places imho). And I agree, a little extra cruise along with a lot more load capability works better for me.

And because my aviation passion leads me to flying off water on amphib floats, the Highlander is just a better choice for seaplane operations. Not only because of more load carrying capacity, but also because the lighter aircraft of the two is always the better performer, especially when you add the extra weight of a set of amphibious floats. Gary Kremer and Dan (Flyerchief) on this forum have their Highlanders on amphibs and if you research their performance results and videos you will find their Highlander amphibs perform very well off the water, and yet can cruise quite reasonably around 100 mph. That is impressive when it comes to a 100 hp amphib. And frankly, that really proves just how good of an airplane the Highlander is. Putting heavy and draggy amphib floats on an any airplane without completely destroying its performance is about the best testimonial you can get, as most aircraft suffer significantly when you turn it into a seaplane. The Highlander suffers the least of any aircraft I've experienced. And running the largest seaplane fly in in the world for the last 14 years, I've experienced a lot.

But again, if you desire the ultimate STOL aircraft, go for the Super STOL. It kicks butt big time in that environment. However, the Highlander is still way more of a STOL plane than most would need, or for that matter know what to do with. Overall I just find the Highlander more practical, and more versatile. So I can understand completely why you are leaning in favor of a Highlander.

The cool thing is that whatever Just Aircraft product you choose, you really can't go wrong.