Homebuilt Roundup — Products and Kits Every Homebuilder Should Keep an Eye Out For

This piece is the full, extended version of the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 homebuilts product roundup that is included in the October 2021 issue of EAA Sport Aviation magazine.

From simple tools to engines and avionics, all the way to full-blown kits, we are giving you the lowdown on the latest for homebuilders. There are several products and designs out there, and not enough space or time to cover it all, but here are just a few of the products and kits that we’ve come across and think builders should know about. (Pricing and other details included below were provided by the manufacturer and were current as of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021. Please contact the manufacturer for the most up-to-date information.)

Sling Aircraft Sling HW

Category: Aircraft Kits

For the first time in company history, Sling has announced the production of its first high-wing aircraft (pictured above). The Sling HW features a center fuselage that is composed completely of carbon fiber material, seats and doors that can be easily removed, and a strutless high-wing for an unobstructed view. It is available for purchase in tricycle gear and taildragger variants, as a kit, or as a completed aircraft.

Sling HW Preliminary Specifications:

Length: 23 feet, 7 inches

Wingspan: 31 feet, 4 inches

Height: 8 feet, 7 inches

Cabin Width: 46 inches

Empty Weight: 1,256 pounds

Seats: 4

Powerplant Make & Model: Rotax 915 iS

Horsepower: 141

Propeller: Airmaster 3-blade, constant-speed

Cruise Speed: 145 knots (TAS)

Maximum Range: 1,000 nm

Climb Rate: 700 fpm

Van’s Aircraft: RV-15

Category: Aircraft Kits

For the first time, Van’s Aircraft will be manufacturing a high-wing, total-performance aircraft, the RV-15. 

“We’re pretty excited that here at AirVenture, we’ve opened the curtain to the Van’s skunkworks, and let the community know that the RV-15 will be a high-wing, backcountry-capable, total-performance, all-metal airplane,” Van’s Aircraft Vice President and Chief Operations Officer Greg Hughes said.

While there currently aren’t any more details available on the highly anticipated aircraft, Greg said the community is welcome to share their input with the team.

“While the design is fairly well along its way, there’s still a few decisions that we might be able to make, and just hearing people’s input is very valuable to us,” Greg said. “We still have design refinements that our engineering team is working on, and when you change one thing on an airplane, a lot of other things can change, so we don’t want to promise anything to the public. The Van’s engineering methodology is total performance, and takes the time that it takes to get it just right. So when people ask, ‘When is it going to be done?’ When it’s done.”

Javron Aviation Four-Place Super Cub

Category: Aircraft Kits

Javron Aviation introduced a new Super Cub kit this year that features four seats — side-by-side seating for the pilot and co-pilot/passenger in the front and seats for two passengers in the back. The kit will include split Cub-style doors on both sides, an extended baggage compartment, a completely welded and powder-coated fuselage, and an optional fuel capacity of 48 gallons.

Other items included in the kit:

  • Assembled square tip wings with flaps and ailerons
  • Carbon floorboards
  • Titanium firewall
  • Acme Aero suspension struts

Base Kit Price: $69,500

ScaleBirds LiteFighter

Category: Aircraft Kits

The LiteFighter is ScaleBirds’ prototype inspired by the legendary Hawk fighters from the late ’30s, and designed to re-create the look of either a P-36 or P-40 in a light-sport aircraft. The LiteFighter is the first built, half-scale aircraft in what will eventually be the company’s series of replica warbird sport plane kits.

The company announced that after the first flight takes place, it intends to take applications for “beta builders” to refine the kits, and improve documentation.

“We are looking for a small group of experienced pilot-builders who love WWII aviation as much as we do in order to build the second generation of the LiteFighter. While we have documented extensive notes and lessons learned from the alpha build, we are hoping the beta builds will help us further refine our product and be able to provide future customers with through guidance. The hope is that a LiteFighter can be a lot of things for a lot of pilots, be it your first homebuilt or your 20th, we aim to make the LiteFighter build as accessible yet challenging; the flying as safe as possible, and still exhilarating.”

ScaleBirds LiteFighter Preliminary Specifications:

Length: 18 feet, 4 inches

Wingspan: 23 feet, 8 inches

Cockpit Width: 23 inches

Maximum Gross Weight: 1,050 pounds

Empty Weight: 750 pounds

Fuel Capacity: 24 gallons

Seats: 1

Powerplant Make & Model: Builder’s choice, including optional radials

Horsepower: 65-140 (124-hp designed)

Cruise Speed: 113 knots

Climb Rate: 1,680 fpm

Power Loading: 7.5-16 pounds/hp

Wing Loading: 11.7 pounds/square foot

VSO: 48 knots

Veloce 400

Category: Aircraft Kits

This year, for the first time, the Volato 400 aircraft is available for purchase in the United States through the American company Veloce, which is also new this year. Previously, the 400 was only available in Brazil.

“Volato manufactures the composite parts in Brazil, and Veloce is my company in the U.S. that I formed to sell their kits,” Jamie Fettio, owner of Veloce said. “The kit first became available for purchase in Brazil in about 2015, and I am the first person to offer it for sale in the U.S.”

Jamie said he hopes to have two more kits available in the United States in the near future; the Veloce 600 Pressurized Twin, and the Veloce 200 which Jamie said will be comparable to a Lancair Legacy.

“Mark from AeroMomentum, worked with Volato to design the 200, and in a month or two that will be flying,” Jamie said. “The 600 is my baby, that’s the one that everybody wants but doesn’t exist. I had a Turbo Cirrus and the thing just didn’t go fast enough, and I wanted something faster… but there are no planes under 2.5 million that are pressurized that will do any decent 250, 270, 300 knots. I plan to have a completed 600 at Oshkosh next year.”

Each airplane will be available in two different kit options: fast and ultra fast. Fast kits are designed to be built in approximately 800-1,200 hours. Ultra fast kits are designed to be built in 600-1,000 hours. The pricing for the Veloce 400 is $39,700 for the fast kit and $59,700 for the ultra fast.

Veloce 400 Specifications:

Length: 24 feet, 6 inches

Wingspan: 29 feet, 2 inches

Height: 7 feet, 3 inches

Maximum Gross Weight: 2,633 pounds

Empty Weight: 1,480 pounds

Fuel Capacity: 58 gallons

Seats: 4

Powerplant Make & Model: Various

Horsepower: 210-260

Propeller: Fixed or constant-speed

Cruise Speed: 130-203 knots at 18,000 feet

VSO: 60 knots

Timber Tiger Aircraft ST-L

Category: Aircraft Kits

The ST-L kit by Timber Tiger is now in production. The ST-L kit is a 95-percent scale replica of the classic Ryan ST series. Kits can be purchased complete or as individual sub-kits, including flying surfaces, fuselage and landing gear, and a finishing kit. In addition, customers can opt for some components to be partially or fully riveted, and can choose aluminum fairings instead of the standard fiberglass.

Timber Tiger Aircraft ST-L Preliminary Specifications:

Length: 20 feet, 5 inches

Wingspan: 28 feet, 6 inches

Height: 6 feet, 7 inches

Maximum Gross Weight: 1,420 pounds (1,350 pounds as tested)

Empty Weight: 815 pounds

Fuel Capacity: 17.2 gallons

Seats: 2

Powerplant Make & Model: Rotax 912 ULS

Horsepower: 100-140

Propeller: Performance Propellers 76-by-55

Cruise Speed/Fuel Consumption: 90 knots/5 gph

Power Loading: 13.5 pounds/hp

Wing Loading: 11.16 pounds/square foot

VNE: 150 mph

VSO: 46 mph

VX: 48 knots

VY: 55 knots

G1 Aviation G1 STOL Kit

Category: Aircraft Kits

The G1 STOL kit has been available in Europe for 40 years, although this is the first year that it is available in the United States. The G1 is a French-built aircraft that features two seats, is all aluminum, and is STOL capable. The G1 is available as an experimental amateur-built or experimental light-sport aircraft, and it’s intended to be powered by a 100-hp Rotax engine or equivalent. According to G1 Aviation, 100 percent of all G1 customers have completed their builds in less than 200 hours. Described as a “bolt together” kit, the fuselage and wings come largely preassembled.

G1 STOL Specifications:

Length: 22 feet

Wingspan: 32 feet, 6 inches

Height: 7 feet, 7 inches

Cabin Width: 48 inches

Maximum Gross Weight: 1,320 pounds

Empty Weight: 731 pounds

Fuel Capacity: 18.5 gallons

Seats: 2

Powerplant Make & Model: Rotax or D-Motor

Horsepower: 80-100

Propeller: DUC Hélices, E-Props, Ivoprop, etc.

Cruise Speed: 96 mph

Takeoff Distance: 60-200 feet

VNE: 125 mph

VSO: 31 mph

Sonex Aircraft High-Wing Designs

Category: Aircraft Kits

Shortly after AirVenture Oshkosh 2021, the company announced plans to offer high-wing kits after debuting the prototype at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2023. The aircraft will offer side-by-side seating for two people. Both conventional and Waiex-style Y-tails will be available, as well as a choice between tail wheel and tricycle gear configurations.

Sonex Waiex High-Wing Preliminary Specifications:

Length: 19 feet, 3 inches

Wingspan: 26 feet, 2 inches

Maximum Gross Weight: 1,320 pounds

Empty Weight: 720 pounds

Fuel Capacity: 20 gallons

Seats: 2

Powerplant Make & Model: AeroVee, ULPower, Jabiru, or Rotax

Horsepower: 100-plus

Viking Aircraft Engines Viking 150

Category: Engines

Homebuilt. Homebuilts. AV. 21. AV21. AirVenture. 2021.

New this year, the 150 has been designed to be compact, rigid, lightweight, and low friction to provide high power and high fuel efficiency. Lightweight aluminum pistons are carried by high-strength, crack-separated connecting rods that minimize rod weight and size while increasing connecting rod rigidity and long-term durability. According to Viking, this design allows for the elimination of connecting rod bolt pins, since the connecting rod bolts can be precision machined to fit the cap to the rod.

Viking 150 Specifications:

Horsepower: 150, 650 pounds of thrust

Weight: 239 pounds

Displacement: 1,799 cc

Cylinders: 4

Compression Ratio: 10.6:1

Valve system: 16-valve single overhead cam

Cooling: Liquid

Fuel Delivery: Direct fuel injection

Gearbox ratio: 2.33:1

Fuel: 100LL/89+ octane auto

Cruise: 4900 rpm

Bore x Stroke: 81 x 87.3 mm

AeroMomentum AM20T Engine

Category: Engines

Like all AeroMomentum engines, the new AM20T uses four inline cylinders, precision cast aluminum block and head, steel cylinder sleeves, four valves per cylinder, a single overhead cam, and a toothed belt cam drive. Other features include fixed valve timing, a plenum tuned intake system, a tuned tubular exhaust system, a direct crank driven oil pump, a solid cast steel crank, forged connecting rods, Bosch FADEC engine control system, dual coil ignition, sequential fuel injection, knock sensor, and a lightweight 65-amp alternator.

AeroMomentum AM20T Specifications:

Horsepower: 260 at 5800 rpm

Weight: 285 pounds

Displacement: 1,988 cc

Cylinders: 4

Compression Ratio: 10.5:1

Valve System: 16-valve double overhead cam

Cooling: Liquid

Fuel Delivery: Electronic fuel injection

Bore x Stroke: 86 x 86 mm

TBO: 1,800 hours

Price: $19,995

Rotax Product Configurator

Category: Engines

Designed in collaboration with LLS Ltd., the product configurator provides all of Rotax’s models in a 360-degree view, allowing builders to design their preferred configurations. You can choose from various configurations, save your configuration or send it to your email, or send it directly to your local distributor for more information or a quote. The product configurator is available on Rotax’s website, FlyRotax.com.

Hartzell Propeller

Category: Propellers

Hartzell Propeller has introduced six new propellers, including one that is of specific interest to homebuilders, the Talon. The Talon is a three-bladed carbon fiber composite propeller, now available for both experimental and certified aircraft. According to Hartzell, the Talon features a new enhanced aerodynamic design, and is produced using the company’s ASC-II resin transfer carbon fiber process.

DUC Propellers

Category: Propellers

French company DUC Hélices was showing two new propellers at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021, the Swirlblack-3 and the Flashblack-M. Both propellers feature lightweight carbon/titanium blades, carbon composite hubs, and low inertia. The Swirlblack-3 has three blades, is in-flight adjustable, and has a diameter of 64 to 75 inches. The Flashblack-M is an LSA-legal ground-adjustable prop available in both two- and three-bladed configurations. The Swirlblack-3 is priced at approximately $9,500, while the Flashblack-M ranges from $6,200-$7,500, depending on the number of blades.

Levil Aviation Wireless Autopilot

Category: Avionics and Systems

Levil Aviation released the iLevil AP, a wirelessly controlled, trim-tab-based autopilot system at AirVenture 2021. This system can be mounted to the ailerons and elevator of any experimental aircraft, adding immediate autopilot capabilities. It is controlled by a tablet or smartphone and actuated by trim tabs mounted to the control surfaces. The iLevil AP offers features such as heading hold, altitude hold, altitude climb and descend, auto-trim, trim adjustment, and navigation mode and retails for $1,895.

Garmin Smart Glide

Category: Avionics and Systems

Ahead of AirVenture, Garmin announced Smart Glide, the latest product feature in the company’s Autonomi family of autonomous technologies. Jim Alpiser, director of aviation aftermarket sales, said the primary design goal of Smart Glide is to get a pilot down as quickly and safely as possible in an emergency situation.

“The idea is you’ve lost power or you’ve manually reduced power to the aircraft by pressing one button in the cockpit,” Jim said. “We then automate all of these systems functioning together to really take the workload out of managing that emergency. So exactly what happens through that is “The navigator [software component] is going to look for the nearest, best airport to land at.,” Jim said. “If you’ve got a compatible autopilot, like our GFC 500 or 600, we instantly engage the autopilot, pitch the aircraft for best glide, and basically then start the turn via the navigator’s selection of the best airport.”

The system then automatically sets radio frequencies for the pilot, as well as providing one-touch capability to set the transponder code to 7700. The Smart Glide button is installed on the panel and retails for $129, but it requires any of a variety of Garmin systems in order to function.

Kitfox Aircraft Prewired Panels

Category: Avionics and Systems

For the Kitfox Series 7, Kitfox has introduced a prewired instrument panel built around the Garmin G3X package, including autopilot and radio stack. The instrument panel comes completely populated with every switch, connector, and piece of wire so it is ready to go into the airplane for an easy “drop-in” installation.

SA Photonics PilotVision

Category: Avionics and Systems

PilotVision is a headset-mounted augmented reality display. PilotVision interfaces wirelessly with the Adventure Pilot iFly GPS electronic flight bag, providing a head-up display that contains information on altitude, attitude, speed, terrain, traffic, airspaces, and more. The see-through prism eyepiece provides overlays of the HUD information.

Aerolithium Batteries

Category: Avionics and Systems

Aerolithium batteries have a management system that protects them from both overcharging and deep discharging if the master is left on, never allowing them to drain to less than 12.6 volts to ensure that cranking power is always available. In addition, the batteries will also go to sleep after 72 hours. The company also offers backup batteries that will power your flat-panel electronic flight instrument system in the event of alternator failure and battery drain.

Kanardia Avionics BOXI II

Category: Avionics and Systems

The BOXI II controller is used in combination with the company’s Joyu control stick, and it enables a pilot to control both horizontal and vertical electric trim systems. In addition, the controller enables push to talk for radio transmissions as well as a builder-assignable AUX button, and is connected to the stick(s) via a simple, single-wire connection.

UAvionix AV-30 EFIS

Category: Avionics and Systems

The AV-30 mounts into an existing 3-inch panel slot and is available for both experimental amateur-built and certified aircraft. The AV-30 offers a more precise attitude and directional gyro display than legacy vacuum-driven instruments, as well as 12 customized display views. Major features include an attitude indicator, directional gyro, probeless angle of attack, indicated airspeed, true airspeed, non-slaved heading, and more.

Skeeter Enterprises Stadia Laser Range Finder

Category: Avionics and Systems

Stadia is a modular high-accuracy above ground level altimeter that requires no aircraft modifications for mounting. Stadia is strapped to the strut of your aircraft and connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth to pass altimeter information either visually or audibly. Stadia features 10-plus hours of performance on a rechargeable battery and retails for $495.

Whelen Parmetheus G3 Landing and Taxi Light

Category: Avionics and Systems

New to Whelen’s Parmetheus product family is the G3; it’s 2.5 times brighter than the previous version yet maintains the same form, fit, and functionality. The dual-voltage G3 is a drop-in LED replacement for PAR36-style legacy landing and taxi lights.

AeroLEDs SunSpot 36-LT Equinox Landing and Taxi Light

Category: Avionics and Systems

Introduced in July, the SunSpot Equinox dual-function landing and taxi light is replacement for both PAR36 and PAR46 applications and is available for both 12-volt and 24-volt systems. The SunSpot Equinox LED lights consume less power, output more lumens, and are not affected by vibrations compared to incandescent bulbs.

B&C Specialty Products AVC1 Advanced Voltage Controller

Category: Avionics and Systems

The AVC1 is a plug-and-play regulator designed for Rotax 912 and 914 ULS engines. It features microprocessor-controlled over-voltage protection and charging system fault/low-voltage warning output, all in a single compact enclosure. The AVC1 is solid-state and purpose-designed for aviation with field-adjustable charging voltage. The AVC1 is available as part of three different kits, from a basic wire terminal setup to a full deluxe wiring harness.

McFarlane Vernier-Assist Throttle Controls

Category: Avionics and Systems

While not necessarily new, according to McFarlane sales and marketing associate Autumn Eckman, the MCVA throttle series has recently been redesigned to fit in more experimental aircraft.

One Mile Up Panel Planner

Category: Avionics and Systems

Version 5.02 of Panel Planner, a software package that enables users to create photorealistic instrument panel layouts, was introduced in March 2021 by One Mile Up. Owner Gene Velazquez said in this new version the quality of the graphics has been improved, as well as the overall quality of the CAD.

“The CAD is now in the version of 2014, versus we use to run the ’95 version of CAD,” Gene said. “It’s much cleaner. It’s much smoother, full-circle imagery for the CAD which allows people to get a cleaner cut. The other things that were really important were the visuals. We took all the instruments and upped the DPI, which is the resolution of the image.”

Gene also said one of the most exciting things to come with the new software is the ability for users to select a metallic finish. 

Dynon Avionics SkyView and AF-5000 Updates

Category: Avionics and Systems

In the newest version of SkyView and AF-5000 software, pilots can wirelessly transfer charts, plates, and airport diagrams to their avionics displays using the Slingshot capabilities in Seattle Avionics’ FlyQ electronic flight bag app, rather than requiring a wired connection to a PC. In addition, version 16.2 of SkyView adds improvements to the system’s twin-engine monitoring capability, enabling users to view data from both engines on a single display page.

Aircraft Tool Supply Magneto Synchronizer E50A

Category: Tools and Maintenance

Aircraft Tool Supply acquired the rights to the Buzz-Box model E50 in 2020 to make some electronic improvements and address some shortcomings in the old design.

“The form is pretty similar to the old one,” Desmond Lynch, Aircraft Tool Supply president, said. “The minute you turned on the old E50, it made a beeping sound which was annoying for most people. The new model remains quiet until it indicates the points opening. The old one would also give you false readings under certain circumstances; the new one is designed to eliminate those false readings.”

Knoweasy Electrical Co. Automatic Wire Stripper and Cutter

Category: Tools and Maintenance

Knoweasy’s Automatic Wire Stripper and Cutter, which was on display at AirVenture this year, does just what the name implies. When stripping wire, a set of clamping jaws holds the wire firmly in place, and the wire is stripped to the selected size. In addition, the length of the strip can be specified, from 0.25 to 0.75 inch.

McFarlane DAM Exhaust Lube

Category: Tools and Maintenance

New this year, DAM Exhaust Lube is designed specifically for aircraft exhaust ball joints, clamps, slip joints, and hardware. A low viscosity liquid is blended with molybdenum-disulfide and other special micro-lubricants to produce a protective dry lubricant film.

Christina Basken, EAA 1299943, is EAA’s multimedia journalist and an active sport pilot. When she is not taking photos or writing for various publications, you can find her outside enjoying nature.

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