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2 Questions about 2 seat Kolbs

 
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jaydub



Joined: 07 Jan 2020
Posts: 2

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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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 8:16 am    Post subject: 2 Questions about 2 seat Kolbs Reply with quote

I've held off answering the questions because I have not flown anything but my mkiii.

When trying to decide what engine, a larger 2 stroke or the 912,  i was told by Dennis Souder,  that the 912 burned less fuel than the 2 stroke, had better reliability, less maintenance, and more power.   At 1500 hours the cost of ownership for both engines would be the same. Down side is a bit heavier.
Boyd Young
Kolb mkiii 912


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jaydub



Joined: 07 Jan 2020
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:06 am    Post subject: Re: 2 Questions about 2 seat Kolbs Reply with quote

Richard Pike wrote:
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...


Hi Richard, Thanks for replying. I hate written words as there is no way to know the tone of the writer nor what perspective they are coming from. This is often misread.

I have some presuppositions with my 2 questions but I am old enough to know my conclusion may just be MY conclusion and others may have way different experiences. So while I THINK something is one way, those that have flown Kolbs may be able to tell me my presuppositions are wrong. Perhaps my experiences with both light and heavy CGS Hawks in various configurations don't transfer over to the Kolbs even though they look similar.

If you knew me you'd know I'm not arrogant and am very teachable. I have some experiences that I could be arrogant about but that accomplishes nothing. I came here because I want to learn what does and doesn't work within the realm of Kolbs.

Sorry if the written words didn't convey that.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:14 am    Post subject: 2 Questions about 2 seat Kolbs Reply with quote

Bookmark this, and take the time to read carefully. Jack Hart has given everybody a very valuable resource.

http://www.jackbhart.com/firefly/firefly.html

Bill Sullivan


On Saturday, January 18, 2020, 2:06:39 PM EST, jaydub <bearhawk(at)gmx.com> wrote:
--> Kolb-List message posted by: "jaydub" <bearhawk(at)gmx.com>

[quote="Richard Pike"]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.../quote]

Hi Richard, Thanks for replying. I hate written words as there is no way to know the tone of the writer nor what perspective they are coming from. This is often misread.

I have some presuppositions with my 2 questions but I am old enough to know my conclusion may just be MY conclusion and others may have way different experiences. So while I THINK something is one way, those that have flown Kolbs may be able to tell me my presuppositions are wrong. Perhaps my experiences with both light and heavy CGS Hawks in various configurations don't transfer over to the Kolbs even though they look similar.

If you knew me you'd know I'm not arrogant and am very teachable. I have some experiences that I could be arrogant about but that accomplishes nothing. I came here because I want to learn what does and doesn't work within the realm of Kolbs.

Sorry if the written words didn't convey that.


Read this topic online here:

http://forums.matronics.com/viewtopic.php?p=494340#494340
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rlaird



Joined: 10 Jan 2006
Posts: 366
Location: Houston

PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 11:54 am    Post subject: 2 Questions about 2 seat Kolbs Reply with quote

Just as background, I've flown a Firefly, a Firestar 2, and owned a MkIIIC for 10+ years (recently sold).
Re: question #1:  Although I never flew a Twinstar, based on your question I'd have to say it would be the best of all your options... when answering just this question.

Re: question #2:  I flew with someone in my MkIIIC about 5% of the time, the rest of it was by myself.
If you will only be flying 2-up on rare occasions, the Firestar 2 -- while a bit uncomfortable for the passenger -- would be IMO the best option for you, using a 503 or 582.

However, if you really want something that will go the distance in terms of fun to fly, will handle 2-up easily, and last many, many years, I'd say a MkIII with an 80hp Rotax 4-cycle engine would be the best combination.
  -- Robert

On Sat, Jan 11, 2020 at 9:47 PM jaydub <bearhawk(at)gmx.com (bearhawk(at)gmx.com)> wrote:

Quote:
--> Kolb-List message posted by: "jaydub" <bearhawk(at)gmx.com (bearhawk(at)gmx.com)>

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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lcottrell



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 18, 2020 12:58 pm    Post subject: 2 Questions about 2 seat Kolbs Reply with quote

To continue with this line of questions, it all depends on your weight and the weight of the passenger as well as the particular Kolb as to whether it is fun or even safe.
My experience is with only the Mark three with a 582 and one with an 80 HP engine. I currently have a Firestar II with an HKS, and before that a 503- and a 447. I generally weigh around 220. I have flown passengers up to 180 lbs. The areas that I have flown these planes with passengers have all been above 4000 feet.
While my passengers might have enjoyed these flights they were not nearly as much fun for me, as they were right at the edge of safe flight, in my opinion. In other words it was a lot like having a passenger in a Cessna 150. You can do it, but you are required a lot of thought, care and planning. This is all concerning a Firestar II. The plane will do it, but it requires careful planning, and careful flight, and performance suffers with each additional pound of weight.
The Mark 3 handled another passenger OK, but it was about as much fun as driving a Bus. Just this last year I helped a fella on the list get used to his Mark 3 with an 80 HP rotax. This was a step up from the 582, but it was still a bus! A 100 HP engine would alleviate that feeling a lot. The 80 HP was like a rocket ship with just him in the plane, and with my 220 in the other seat it was a bus.
Of course one of my problems with flying two up is the weight of the aircraft, as well as the lard in my own butt. The other is the type of flying I like to do as well. If your idea of a good time is to get to altitude and go from point A to point B none of what I am writing here weighs that heavily on the problems that I have listed here. The higher you are the more time you have to deal with the problems of heavy flight. The higher I am the more bored I feel.
For whatever reason my current plane weighs in at 400 lbs. Add 60 lbs of fuel, 220  for the pilot, and you are getting close to the gross limit as listed by Kolb. Now if you have kept the weight of your craft down and you are naturally a little "wormy" and desiccated, and the cutie next to you weighs about 120, we are talking a different result. The real key is the gross weight of it all.
You mentioned wind and Wyoming I believe. I have flown mine with as much as a 30 mph tail wind and I can tell you that it isn't fun even by yourself. I have found that a 5 mph wind is about all I am capable of enjoying. The plane can handle it with just me in it, but it is not fun.
As I have gotten older I have discovered that it is best to buy exactly what it is that you want the first time and to err on the side of decadence when ever possible.
If you are looking for a recommendation as to what you should do concerning this matter, My recommendation to you is to is get a nice Mark III with at least a 100 hp. The bigger engine will give you enough power that you can pretty much carry any passenger within reason and still have enough of a safety margin that you can relax and enjoy the flight as much as your passenger. If you do get the urge to show up here at our fall fly in, that is possible as well.
Good luck!
Larry
On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 12:57 PM Robert Laird <rlaird(at)cavediver.com (rlaird(at)cavediver.com)> wrote:

Quote:
Just as background, I've flown a Firefly, a Firestar 2, and owned a MkIIIC for 10+ years (recently sold).
Re: question #1:  Although I never flew a Twinstar, based on your question I'd have to say it would be the best of all your options... when answering just this question.

Re: question #2:  I flew with someone in my MkIIIC about 5% of the time, the rest of it was by myself.
If you will only be flying 2-up on rare occasions, the Firestar 2 -- while a bit uncomfortable for the passenger -- would be IMO the best option for you, using a 503 or 582.

However, if you really want something that will go the distance in terms of fun to fly, will handle 2-up easily, and last many, many years, I'd say a MkIII with an 80hp Rotax 4-cycle engine would be the best combination.
  -- Robert

On Sat, Jan 11, 2020 at 9:47 PM jaydub <bearhawk(at)gmx.com (bearhawk(at)gmx.com)> wrote:

Quote:
--> Kolb-List message posted by: "jaydub" <bearhawk(at)gmx.com (bearhawk(at)gmx.com)>

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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PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2020 10:12 am    Post subject: 2 Questions about 2 seat Kolbs Reply with quote

I fly a MKIIIC with a redrive VW. The cost is likely less than a 2 stroke and maintenance once all sorted out has been oil changes and drive belts every 200 hours. I burn 4 gallons of auto gas per hour. Power is important My direct drive VW flew like a bus but the redrive VW like a sports car. I hit gross max weight well before the plane can't handle the weight. Build it light. Kolbs are great airplanes and the ability to fold is super. My experience has proven you fly most often if you live close to a airport and keep it ready to fly in a hanger.
Rick Neilsen
Redrive VW Powered MKIIIC 
On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 4:01 PM Larry Cottrell <lcottrell1020(at)gmail.com (lcottrell1020(at)gmail.com)> wrote:

Quote:
To continue with this line of questions, it all depends on your weight and the weight of the passenger as well as the particular Kolb as to whether it is fun or even safe.
My experience is with only the Mark three with a 582 and one with an 80 HP engine. I currently have a Firestar II with an HKS, and before that a 503- and a 447. I generally weigh around 220. I have flown passengers up to 180 lbs. The areas that I have flown these planes with passengers have all been above 4000 feet.
While my passengers might have enjoyed these flights they were not nearly as much fun for me, as they were right at the edge of safe flight, in my opinion. In other words it was a lot like having a passenger in a Cessna 150. You can do it, but you are required a lot of thought, care and planning. This is all concerning a Firestar II. The plane will do it, but it requires careful planning, and careful flight, and performance suffers with each additional pound of weight.
The Mark 3 handled another passenger OK, but it was about as much fun as driving a Bus. Just this last year I helped a fella on the list get used to his Mark 3 with an 80 HP rotax. This was a step up from the 582, but it was still a bus! A 100 HP engine would alleviate that feeling a lot. The 80 HP was like a rocket ship with just him in the plane, and with my 220 in the other seat it was a bus.
Of course one of my problems with flying two up is the weight of the aircraft, as well as the lard in my own butt. The other is the type of flying I like to do as well. If your idea of a good time is to get to altitude and go from point A to point B none of what I am writing here weighs that heavily on the problems that I have listed here. The higher you are the more time you have to deal with the problems of heavy flight. The higher I am the more bored I feel.
For whatever reason my current plane weighs in at 400 lbs. Add 60 lbs of fuel, 220  for the pilot, and you are getting close to the gross limit as listed by Kolb. Now if you have kept the weight of your craft down and you are naturally a little "wormy" and desiccated, and the cutie next to you weighs about 120, we are talking a different result. The real key is the gross weight of it all.
You mentioned wind and Wyoming I believe. I have flown mine with as much as a 30 mph tail wind and I can tell you that it isn't fun even by yourself. I have found that a 5 mph wind is about all I am capable of enjoying. The plane can handle it with just me in it, but it is not fun.
As I have gotten older I have discovered that it is best to buy exactly what it is that you want the first time and to err on the side of decadence when ever possible.
If you are looking for a recommendation as to what you should do concerning this matter, My recommendation to you is to is get a nice Mark III with at least a 100 hp. The bigger engine will give you enough power that you can pretty much carry any passenger within reason and still have enough of a safety margin that you can relax and enjoy the flight as much as your passenger. If you do get the urge to show up here at our fall fly in, that is possible as well.
Good luck!
Larry
On Sat, Jan 18, 2020 at 12:57 PM Robert Laird <rlaird(at)cavediver.com (rlaird(at)cavediver.com)> wrote:

Quote:
Just as background, I've flown a Firefly, a Firestar 2, and owned a MkIIIC for 10+ years (recently sold).
Re: question #1:  Although I never flew a Twinstar, based on your question I'd have to say it would be the best of all your options... when answering just this question.

Re: question #2:  I flew with someone in my MkIIIC about 5% of the time, the rest of it was by myself.
If you will only be flying 2-up on rare occasions, the Firestar 2 -- while a bit uncomfortable for the passenger -- would be IMO the best option for you, using a 503 or 582.

However, if you really want something that will go the distance in terms of fun to fly, will handle 2-up easily, and last many, many years, I'd say a MkIII with an 80hp Rotax 4-cycle engine would be the best combination.
  -- Robert

On Sat, Jan 11, 2020 at 9:47 PM jaydub <bearhawk(at)gmx.com (bearhawk(at)gmx.com)> wrote:

Quote:
--> Kolb-List message posted by: "jaydub" <bearhawk(at)gmx.com (bearhawk(at)gmx.com)>

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.




Read this topic online here:

http://forums.matronics.com/viewtopic.php?p=494243#494243






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eferrer" target="_blank">http://forums.matronics.com
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b Site -
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