Hapkido Online

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Aviation: The Bowers Flybaby!

The Bowers Flybaby is a Plans Built, all wood, low wing monoplane.  It was designed by famed Boeing aircraft designer Peter Bowers for a Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) design competition.

 The Flybaby has clean, beautiful, timeless lines that harkens back to the golden age of flight.  Some attractive features of the Flybaby is its low cost to build and own, its versatility as an aircraft, and the large supportive Flybaby builder/pilot community.  It can fly with a multitude of aircraft or automobile engine options.

 Though the Flybaby is a single seater it is not a small aircraft and is comparable to a Piper J-3 cub in size.  This gives it a solid feel and a comfortable cockpit for larger pilots.  Most flybabies are open cockpit mono-planes but Peter Bowers includes a biplane version of the plans.  Interestingly you can build the monoplane and then later 'upgrade' to biplane using the same fuselage and can even switch back and forth between the two in an afternoon.  Builders that fly all year or live in colder climes often enclose the cockpit with a canopy making it an all weather machine.

 Can't afford a kitplane?  Build a Flybaby from plans.  Even in this day and age the Flybaby is still considered one of the easiest aircraft to build and has one of the highest completion rates of any homebuilt aircraft.  This is due in large part to the simplicity and robustness of Pete's design and the active Flybaby community that is always willing to offer assistance.  Many parts of the Flybaby can be built from materials found at a your local lumberyard, Home Depot, or Lowes as opposed to the more costly aircraft suppliers.  This also makes the inevitable upkeep and repair more affordable as well.

 By far the best resource on all things Flybaby is Ron Wanttaja's Flybaby website.

 I have watched this website and followed the Flybaby community for years and in this authors opinion it is one of the best homebuilt aircraft communities available, hands down.


Images used with permission from Ron Wanttaja.