About us







Back to Homebuilts

The Acro Advanced is a one-off single seat design by aerobatic specialist Barry Smith. It first flew in September 1994 and has been a regular visitor to various fly-ins ever since. It is powered by a 65hp Acro engine, being essentially a VW modified with fuel injection and an inverted oil system.

This picture was taken at Cranfield in July 1998

The diminutive Aerosport Scamp was designed in the USA by H.L. Woods, and first flew in August 1973. It is a diminutive machine, only 14 feet long with a wing span of 17 feet 6 inches, with a gross weight of only 770lb despite being largely metal. Its 60hp VW engine gives it a top speed of 95mph, but such a tiny machine can't carry much fuel so its range is only 150 miles. Needless to say it is a single seater.

This one was at Cranfield, July 1998

The Aerotechnik EV97 Eurostar is a substantial update of the Pottier P-220, developed by Evektor in the Czech Republic (www.evektor.cz/at/en). It is an all metal machine, available either factory built or as a homebuilt kit. It can be powered by an 80hp Rotax or Jabiru engine or, optionally, by a 100hp Rotax. It is a two seater with a gross weight of 990lb. It cruises at 110mph and has a range of 460 miles. As of April 2006, over 400 had been sold.

Photograph by Ivy at Kemble, July 2005

The Air Command Gyroplane is a single seat autogyro available as a kit or factory built from Air Command in Texas (www.aircommand.com). There are many different models, the principal differences between them lying in the engine, which ranges from 40 to 70hp. The one pictured here has a 65hp Rotax 532. It is a single seater, able to cruise at 65mph and weighing a mere 615lb (all up). Limited fuel restricts the range to 100 miles.

Photograph by Ivy at Kemble, July 2005

The Alpi Pioneer 300 is an elegant Italian kit aircraft, essentially comprising a wooden frame (easy to work with) and a composite skin (for smooth finish and easy moulding of complex curves). A two seater, it can be powered by a variety of engines in the 80 to 120hp range, most usually Rotax or Jabiru; a more exotic option is the 110hp Mid-West Hawk Wankel rotary engine. Although the same gross weight as the Eurostar (990lb), the claimed performance is better: cruising speed of 155mph and range of 625 miles. It first flew around 1998 and is becoming increasingly popular. It is 20 feet 4 inches long, with a wing span of 26 feet 4 inches. More information is available from www.alpiaviation.com

Photograph by Ivy at Kemble, July 2005

The Aquila A-210 is a new generation kit available from Aquila Aviation in Germany (www.aquila-aero.com). A two seater, it is much larger and heavier than competing designs like the Eurostar and Pioneer, weighing in at 1,650lb but powered by a similar Rotax 100hp engine. It cruises at 150mph and has a range of 700 miles. It is 24 feet long with a wing span of 33 feet 10 inches. Judging by appearances (dangerous), this design has a good future ahead of it.

Photograph by Ivy at Kemble, July 2005

The Avid Speedwing is a very light (850lb gross weight) two seat kit aircraft, of mixed metal tube, wood and fabric construction. Normally powered by a 65hp Rotax 532 engine, it manages a cruising speed of up to 110mph and range of 300 miles. It is a simple little fun machine.

Photograph by Ivy at Kemble, July 2005

The Baby Great Lakes is, as its name suggests, a scaled-down homebuilt version of an original pre-war great Lakes design. It is minute: only 13 feet 9 inches long and with a wing span of 16 feet 8 inches. Obviously, it is a single seater. However, its small size confers an advantage: with a Continental A-65 engine and gross weight of 850lb, it manages a cruising speed of 120mph. Range is 250 miles (there isn't much space for petrol!). It first flew in 1954.

This one was at Old Warden, April 1981

The Bede BD-4 was one of American designer Jim Bede's more successful designs. It was marketed as a kit for home construction. Most were built in the USA, including this one, which first flew in 1974, and was imported into the UK in 1988. They can be powered by a range of engines, from 108 to 180hp, giving top speeds varying from 155 to 180mph. Wing span is 25 feet 6 inches; length, 21 feet 10 inches; empty weight, 880lb (depending on engine), maximum gross weight 1,800lb. It is a two seater. At a casual glance, it is very easily confused with the earlier Wittman Tailwind.

Photograph by Ivy at Kemble in July 2005.

The Bensen B-8 is one of the most successful models of autogyro in the world. Its main advantage is very simple construction (in so far as `simple' can ever apply to a rotary winged machine). As with all autogyros, the rotor is essentially unpowered, the thrust being provided by the pusher propeller. First flown by American designer Igor Bensen in 1955, they were originally powered by a 90hp McCulloch engine of doubtful reliability. More recent kits feature more robust engines, such as the Rotax 582 installed in this example seen at Kemble in July 2005.

Length is 11 feet 4 inches and rotor diameter 20 feet. Empty weight is 250lb and maximum gross weight 620lb. Maximum speed is 85mph. Needless to say at those weights it is a single seater.

Photograph by Ivy

The Plumb BGP-1 is a one-off homebuilt biplane, designed and built by Barry Plumb (hence the designation and the registration). It is a single seater, powered by a converted Volkswagen 1.8 litre engine. It first flew in 1986 and has been a regular visitor to rallies and fly-ins in the UK ever since.

Photograph by Ivy at Kemble, July 2005.

The Boredom Fighter  was designed by New Yorker Don Wolf. It is a wood and fabric design intended to simulate a fighter of the first world war. The name is obviously ironic! It is quite small - 15 feet 7 inches longg, with a wing span of 20 feet - and very light, grossing only 770lb. A single seater, its Continental A-65 engine manages to haul it along at 100mph.

This one (G-BNAI) was at Haverfordwest in September 2007.

The Bouvreuil P-50 is a racy little single seater designed by French designer M. Pottier. Its 90hp Continental engine manages to give it an amazing maximum speed of 190mph! Note the retractable undercarriage, very unusual in a machine weighing only 880lb. It first flew in July 1979. It is 18 feet 4 inches long and has a wing span of 20 feet 2 inches.

This one was at Leicester, May 1980

The Bowers Fly-Baby was designed by Peter bowers while he was working as an engineer for Boeing. It is purely a fine weather machine, having an open cockpit; and its Continental C-90 engine allows it to potter along at 100mph. It first flew in 1960. Construction is fairly simple, wood and fabric. Gross weight is 925lb; it is 18 feet 10 inches long, and the wing span is 28 feet.

This one was at Cranfield, July 1988

The Brugger Colibri MB2 is another diminutive single seater, in this case designed by Swiss engineer Max Brugger. It is a little wood and fabric machine, powered by a converted Volkswagen car engine, which gives it a cruising speed of 100mph. It weighs in at 727lb, is 15 feet 9 inches long, and has a wing span of 19 feet 8 inches.

This one was at Leicester, July 1980

The Bushby-Long Midget Mustang is an advanced aircraft for a homebuilt. It is all metal, and fully aerobatic. The first one was designed, built and flown in 1948 by David Long, who at the time was chief designer for Piper in the USA. The plans were bought by Robert Bushby who then sold them to private individuals who wanted to build them at home. This one was built in the UK and is fitted with a Continental O-200 engine. It first flew in 1973. Wing span is 18 feet 6 inches, Length 16 feet 5 inches. Top speed is a punchy 210mph and range 375 miles.

The photograph was taken at Cranfield in July 1983.