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2 Questions about 2 seat Kolbs

 
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jaydub



Joined: 07 Jan 2020
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sat Jan 11, 2020 7:45 pm    Post subject: 2 Questions about 2 seat Kolbs Reply with quote

I have 2 questions for those of you that have flown various Kolb models. I'm looking into many different brands/types of planes but the Kolb folding wing/tail is genius and the thought of keeping it at home without hangar rent is ideal. I'm looking to buy a used Kolb but not sure on the model so I have 2 questions:

1. Which 2 seater with the air cooled smaller rotaxs (447 or 503) work best for low and slow flying with 2 people? I'm not looking at the Kolbra, Markiii series because their powerplants make them a lot more money in the used market and are bit costlier to run and maintain (at least in my mind).

2. I've owned a 2 seat Piper Colt and I found I mostly flew alone 90% of the time. If you have a 2 seat Kolb, how often do you fly with another person?

I may be wrong but it seems the Firestar II would be cramped with 2 people. The Twinstar Mkii might work better. I would like to enclose whichever I go with. I might just forget 2 seats and go with a used Firefly and keep it part 103 legal. I'm just looking for thoughts. I do live in windy WY and it looks like all the Kolbs handle wind pretty well.

About me, I have over 400 hours experience in a CGS Hawk taildragger with a 447 I built in 91 and sold in 97. I also have about 2400 hours in different GA planes. My Hawk "UL" weighed in fat at 305lbs but was a rocketship with the 447 and loads of fun because it was fairly lightly loaded. I have flown very heavy CGS Hawks (503 and 582 powered) and didn't care for them as they didn't flit and float well and just felt sluggish due to the added weight. I don't mind the aircooled Rotaxs other than they are noisy (and parts will get harder to find now that they stopped making them) but my 447 with a 60x40 Culver wood prop burned 1.5 gph at a slow 55mph cruise. Been too many years to remember the RPMs. I'm looking to regain that type of flying of low, slow, flitting around barely sipping gas, but with the folding wings/tail of the Kolb.

Any thoughts are welcome for those of you that have flown many models of the Kolbs. Also, if you know of any project planes (not finished or need refurbished) I'm all ears.


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Richard Pike



Joined: 09 Jan 2006
Posts: 1557
Location: Blountville, Tennessee

PostPosted: Fri Jan 17, 2020 9:25 pm    Post subject: Re: 2 Questions about 2 seat Kolbs Reply with quote

I am thinking that you are not getting any response because you are coming across as already knowing too many of your own many answers for the questions you are asking. But just trying to be a nice guy here...
Yes, the FSII is cramped with two people.
Yes, the open original Twinstar flies good with a 503 and two people. If you can figure out a way to enclose it and not add much weight, it will still fly good.
A used Firefly would make anyone a fine airplane. So would a used Firestar.
I have a MKIII (and a Firefly/Original Firestar mashup) and being almost 74 years old, if I can't take someone with me, I probably won't go fly. After all my years of flying, I want to share it. If I can't share it, I have other hobbies. If you are younger, your results may vary.
A FSII with a 582 uses less fuel than if it had a 447 or 503 because the 582 is loafing at 4800 rpm, (and flying fine at that rpm) whereas the 503 is busy keeping it flying, and the 447 would be VERY busy.
A well trimmed and setup MKIII is more agile than a poorly rigged/stock FSII or Firefly/Original Firestar. Guess how I know this? Many hours in all three. (The year before his death, Norm Labhart took my MKIII up for a half hour and upon landing, told me that it was the best flying MKIII he had ever flown) Not bragging, but just so you know that I am not blowing fairy dust... I know how to rig & trim a Kolb.

Regardless of whether it is a Hawk, or a Firefly, or an Original Firestar - the lighter it is, the better if flies. Years ago, back when if you wanted to record a flying video, you needed a separate VHS camera as big as your arm, and a separate VHS recorder that weighed 10 pounds to hook it to, and then a12V battery on your airplane to make it all work. I did that on a Maxair Hummer and shot videos all fall, and made a fun video out of it. I say that to say that there was a huge difference in how the Hummer flew with all that junk on it compared to how it flew without that stuff. 20 pounds on a genuine ultralight airplane makes a HUGE difference in how it handles.


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Richard Pike
Kolb MKIII N420P (420ldPoops)
Kolb Firefly Part 103 legal
Kingsport, TN 3TN0

Forgiving is tough, being forgiven is wonderful, and God's grace really is amazing.
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