Am I getting excited by another project?... nah
The first kit plane that got my attention when I entered the
site was the Thorp-211. I really liked the look of the plane and its
construction simplicity. As my Zodiac, this is a low-wing, side by side,
two-place aircraft. It was originally designed to be a certified
aircraft, but that did not happen. There are fewer ribs than the Zociac
(can you imagine?), thanks to the ribbed skins (the supplier also offers a
smooth skin version which includes more ribs). Controls are push-rod (in
reality, push-tube) activated and the brakes are hand activated (no toe
brakes). The canopy is a sliding one. Advertised performance is
similar to the Zodiac's. The landing gear is more conventional
than the Zodiac one. The kit is delivered with all finally drilled and
primed parts! The builder only needs to cleco and rivet the parts
A few things made me become a bit calmer about this offering.
The fuel cell is located behind the head (on top of the baggage compartment).
The baggage compartment, while it has a very good weight capacity is of a very
small volume. I got the impression that some factory drilled holes are
not aligned... the parts are jig-drilled, not match-drilled as we do
with our plane. The representative assured me that if more clecoes were
installed, I would see the holes fit correctly... but I don't know. The
designer of the plane is not accessible for technical support as he died about
10 years ago... unless we can find a very good medium.
I did learn a bit about advertised speeds during my discussion
with the representative. The plane is specified to 120mph TAS (true
airspeed). When I asked about how realistic this is, the rep. honestly
(I believe) reminded me that this is TAS, not IAS (Indicated Airspeed).
He said that the IAS for the plane with its engine configuration is about
Anyway, these are the pictures: