- Where is Pro-Composites, Inc. located?
- Is builder assistance available?
- Are there any health risks regarding the epoxy system?
- Do I need a lot of special tools to build these planes?
- Are materials hard to find?
- Do I have to do any hot wiring of Styrofoam?
- Can the canopy be hinged on the front?
- What if you're not around anymore? Will I still be able to build my Vision?
- What about partial trial kits like some companies sell?
- The hours quoted seem kind of long. Is that really right?
- Can the wings be removed without damaging the exterior finish?
- How much panel space is there?
- Kitplanes Magazine stated that the Vision Vne is 200 mph, so why does Vision #2 cruise faster than that?
- Is it possible to get the construction manual in the metric system?
- Does the price of the construction manuals include shipping?
- What is the difference between the Vision SP and EX models?
- What other resources are available to help me to decide if building the Vision aircraft is right for me?
Where is Pro-Composites, Inc. located?
Pro-Composites, Inc. is an Illinois corporation and our business office is located outside of Chicago. Composites parts are manufactured in our facility currently located at Waukegan Regional Airport (KUGN) approximately 25 miles north of O'Hare airport.
Is help available?
Yes. We provide on-site assistance for a reasonable fee and provide workshops to help with the initial learning curve. Typical on-site assistance cost is $225 per day with a 3 day minimum plus room and travel expenses. We work around your schedule but expect to spend 10 hours/day on your project.
Why build a plans built composite instead of a kit?
Versatility! Make it your own. Aren't you just a little bit tired of hearing or even saying that "they" just don't make the exact plane you want. Explore and LEARN. The possibilities only end with your imagination. Here are just a few possibilities that can't be done with a kit. Get out the books and re-discover what experimental aviation was intended to be.
Are there any health risks regarding the epoxy system or composite construction?
Working with composites pose several hazards. The chemicals in the resins are both allergens and toxins and the material in the filler and ground glass can both be lung irritants. It is necessary to wear dust masks at a minimum to protect from the solids and filtering paint masks along with good ventilation for exposure to the resins. Allergic reactions, which can vary from skin irritation to respiratory, are rare but should be avoided by limiting exposure to fumes and skin contact. Good common sense care will get nearly everyone through multiple composite planes without difficulty.
Can the canopy be hinged on the front?
The prototype plane was built with a side hinged canopy for simplicity. The first customer plane is demonstrating a forward hinged canopy and I'm certain that other methods will be used as well. Remember that this plane is not a kit and is not restricted to whatever was provided in a purchased package.
Is there a material list somewhere?
Here is a Microsoft Excel spread sheet of everything you need here.
What if the Steve Rahm is not around anymore? Will I still be able to build my Vision?
While it is certainly something we hope does not happen, companies do come and go in the experimental aircraft business. This has become a valid concern to many people who have seen the results of partial or incomplete kits purchased from companies that fell upon hard times. In fact it has been one of the biggest detriments to many people joining the building force. We intend to be around but the beauty of a plane built from raw materials is that you don't need the company. You have essentially purchased a complete plane in a box when you buy these construction manuals. The landing gear and canopy plastic are available and shared by other aircraft and everything else is standard fare with the major composite suppliers. There is a knowledgeable and growing builder base and they will also be providing the bulk of pre-fabricated parts should you wish to purchase them. A person is wise to be wary of incomplete kits in these times and we want you to be assured that your Vision can come to completion.
What about partial trial kits like some companies sell?
When a kit company sells you a partial kit it does so at a smaller portion of the kit price. Part of what you are paying for is the right to call and ask questions and receive guidance. It is known that the majority of questions will come in the first sections as people become comfortable with the materials and the process. One metal kit supplier sells a tail kit as a trial at around $1000.00. This is a fair deal but you get the tail and if you decide you don't want to build the plane you have a tail for sale. If you buy a set of construction manuals for this or another plans built plane you have an entire project in your hands for far less money. We hope that starting any airplane is not a mistake but it is a far less expensive mistake to start a plans built than a kit built and then decide you don't want to build it. Over the years I have purchased at least 15 sets of aircraft plans and never regretted it once if only for the instruction in methods I received. I suggest you buy plans for any airplane before building it and that includes a kit plane. Even though you can't build a kit plane from their construction manuals without the kit, it allows you to see if you want to. I believe all the reputable kit suppliers will sell their construction manuals.
The hours quoted seem kind of long. Is that really right?
The 3000 - 3500 hours quoted for the Vision construction are realistic and based on observation of first time builders making every part. Keep in mind this is a conservative TOTAL estimate including engine, instrument, upholstery, and paint. Most home built companies mislead when they only list airframe assembly time which, in the case of the Vision, is only about 1200- 1500 hours. Certainly some pre-fabricated parts will make the construction go faster. Take a look at the segment in Sport Aviation Magazine entitled "What our members are building" and notice how many of the planes run well over their manufacturers quoted times. We would rather be straight than have you be disappointed. We have an active builders mail list (sorry, it is closed except to Vision manual holders to keep the focus) and our very innovative customers are always coming up with ways that will prove to be great time savers.
Can the wings be removed without damaging the exterior finish? I'm primarily concerned about the ability to remove the wings in order to transport the aircraft home for major maintenance and/or painting - not quick removal/folding as with the Europa.
The wings can be removed in about an hour and reinstalled in about 2 by two people without any damage to the finish. The procedure is to remove three cover panels on the bottom, disconnect all the control rods along with fuel and electrical connections and then pull the main and aft spar bolts. The wing comes directly out the bottom of the plane and is easily transported while the fuselage stays on the gear.
How much panel space is there?
A picture is worth a thousand words
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Kitplanes stated that the Vision Vne is 200 mph, so why does Vision #2 cruise faster than that?
The actual Vne (which is derived from the EX (extended) wing ) is 207 mph INDICATED while Sean cruises the 160 hp version at 204 mph TRUE at 8000 feet which is comfortably lower in indicated airspeed. Please keep in mind that this is Vne, NOT Vd which is 231 mph.
Is it possible to get the construction manual in the metric system?
At this time all instructions are in English and all dimensions are in SAE. It should be noted that this manual set has very little in the way of standard blueprints and is a "take you by the hand" approach
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What is the difference between the Vision SP and EX models?
There are currently model of Vision that are included in the plans set. The sportier SP model and the extended wing EX version. The EX is more suitable for high altitude flying, heavier loads, and lower experience pilots. The SP is built to the aerobatic category as defined by the FAA for strength though it is not designed specifically for aerobatics.
What other resources are available to help me to decide if building the Vision aircraft is right for me?
1. The T.U.B Video (DVD), which can be ordered from the "On-line Catalog" page - was developed to demonstrate many of the primary techniques used in building the Vision but can also be a useful for leaning composite techniques for other airplanes, furniture, boats, or anything else you might choose to build from composites. It demonstrates the techniques for building a shaped, formed project without molds or hot wires and without using fuel susceptible styrene foams.
2. Vision Information Pack - A 26 page booklet on the Vision including sample instructions, builder photos and frequently asked questions. Much of the information that is on this website but in printed form so you can read it at your leisure - a great gift for your a potential building partner! Order by clicking here
3. It's a great motivator to see others completing their Vision. Check the lower left section of the Vision page for builder websites or without here.
4. Get a book. The new book Advanced Composite Techniques can be ordered by directly by clicking the link. This book gets into detailed methodology and has many very good exercises which can improve and expand the techniques of aircraft builders. It isn't necessary for building the Vision but is highly recommended for anyone who wants to improve their skills or simply decide if composite homebuilt aircraft building is for them.
5. This website! Take sometime and look through all of it.