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HomeAviationWhat Our Members Are Constructing/Restoring — Michigan Bowers Fly Child – Hangar...

What Our Members Are Constructing/Restoring — Michigan Bowers Fly Child – Hangar Flying

By William Rotenberry, EAA 669408

This piece initially ran within the Might 2022 difficulty of EAA Sport Aviation journal.

I began contemplating constructing my airplane within the late Nineteen Nineties after rising bored with rental airplanes. I discovered the Fly Child and favored that there have been so many made and efficiently flown (500-plus), it appeared comparatively simple to construct, and most flight evaluations raved over its wonderful controls and enjoyable demeanor. I referred to as Pete Bowers, the designer of the Fly Child that received EAA’s nationwide design competitors in 1962, in the summertime of 2001 and reduce my first piece on September 8, 2001. Regardless that it’s a plansbuilt airplane, I by no means thought it could take this lengthy, however like many, life typically acquired in the way in which. I moved 4 instances, after which the mission would sit for months. Typically I hit some extent the place I couldn’t stand the considered engaged on it, and it could sit for a number of months till the hearth was rekindled. I by no means thought-about stopping, although.

I constructed the airplane following the plans intently. Costs for wooden have undoubtedly gone up, and I believe I’d now have looked for lower-priced choices like Douglas fir as an alternative of Sitka spruce. The Fly Child makes use of quite a lot of turnbuckles, and they’re the most important price of the mission after the engine. Nonetheless, it’s a mission that may be constructed at an inexpensive price.



A Corvair engine supplies thrust. It’s a commonplace 2.7-liters and generates 100 hp utilizing a Tennessee 64-by-38 wood propeller. It took about two hours of floor run time to get the engine timing and the throttle physique combination settings good, and it runs very easily. Calling it a Corvair is a little bit of a misnomer. Solely the cylinders and the case are authentic and never considerably reworked. The crankshaft was reground and nitrided for added power. Their camshaft is new, however the heads have been reworked with new stainless-steel valves with rotators. Different new gadgets embody pistons, rings and rods, oil pan, oil system, prime cowl, starter, exhaust pipes, consumption manifold, harmonic balancer, and twin factors distributor.

I used the 35-mm Sonex AeroInjector for gas supply. The gas tank within the Fly Child is excessive sufficient that it makes gravity feed into the AeroInjector ideally suited. I put in the AeroInjector precisely as outlined in its handbook, and with minimal adjustment, it operates extraordinarily properly. My combination management journey from full wealthy to lean cutoff is 3 inches and appears very linear, in order that leaning the engine is simple and doesn’t require minute motion to get it good. William Wynne at FlyCorvair.web was an incredible supply of elements, steerage, and inspiration.

The airplane has no engine-driven electrical system (no alternator). As a substitute, I’ve mounted a Fundamental Plane Merchandise BPE-14 wind turbo alternator. It places out 10 amps at 12 volts, which is greater than sufficient for my little electrical necessities.

I used the Stewart Methods overlaying. I discovered the system simple to study and forgiving to early errors. The various YouTube movies outlining the method made it simple to comply with, and the outcomes have been excellent. For paint I used exterior latex. This has been used for a number of a long time, and there’s a lot of fine data on the web on greatest strategies and sturdiness. The white was sprayed with an airless sprayer and has a pleasant satin end. The purple accent was rolled on after which brushed to clean the feel of the paint. Contact-ups are simple with latex paint.

Instrumentation is primarily steam gauges with an iFly 740b GPS and a handheld Icom radio. That is a lot for rural northern Michigan flying.



I recognize the help of my EAA Technical Counselor Stuart Hyde and Ron Wanttaja, EAA 275698, a Fly Child proprietor and flyer and the creator and host of The Unofficial Fly Child House Web page at

Consideration — Plane Builders and Restorers

We might like to share your story together with your fellow EAA members within the pages of EAA Sport Aviation journal, even when it’s a mission that’s been accomplished for some time. Readers constantly price the “What Our Members are Constructing/Restoring” part of the journal as considered one of their favorites, so don’t miss the prospect to indicate off your handiwork and encourage your friends to begin or full initiatives of their very own. Be taught extra ->

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