Choosing a project of this magnitude is invariably a very personal choice. Initially, I intended to build something much more powerful. For a while, I flirted with Van's RV-3 and RV-8. I actually went so far as to purchase plans for the RV-3, so perhaps one day I will take that on as a succesor to my current IBIS project.
- Checking my tools inventory, I realised that I don't have the tools to rivet, dimple, shear and bend alloy sheets. Therefore, building a sheet metal aircraft would require an additional cash outlay of at least some € 1.500 for additional tools. All that stuff adds up. By the time I'm ready to finally equip my panel, € 1.500 will probably buy me an EFIS, so go figure...
- Continuing with counting beans, it also dawned on me that a high performance job will need a bigger and much more expensive engine. This larger engine will be more expensive to purchase, will consume a lot more gas (remember, this is Europe calling...) and will be more expensive to maintain. VW to the rescue!
- My tools and prior experience sort of pointed the way to go: wood, composite or a mix thereof. I'm still a bit weary about glueing, which, compared to riveting, seems like a blind process to me. Quality control isn't as easy as with a sheet metal project. Just need to be very careful...
- So there you have it: something out of wood, composites or a combination of the two. Also, it needed to be based on using a VW derivative for an engine. Also, I prefer to build from scratch, rather than assembling a kit.
- My current preference for a wood-based structure combined with my general interest for non-conventional aircraft configurations caused me to consider IBIS. After I learned that a Belgium project was stopped, I contacted the owner and struck a deal to take over everything he hadn't sold already: construction drawings, a transferrable license and some parts for the main gear.
- Since the IBIS should be piloted by someone putting no more than 95 kgs / 200 lbs on the scales, this is a nice incentive to keep working on my BMI... ;)
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