Looking for Builders/Owners of Express 2000 Airplanes

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curttaylor
Posts: 1
Joined: Tue Aug 04, 2015 12:06 am

Looking for Builders/Owners of Express 2000 Airplanes

Postby curttaylor » Wed Aug 05, 2015 11:25 pm

HI All,

I am looking for builders/owners of Express airplanes, particularly here on the West Coast, or more specifically the SFO Bay Area. My partners and I are looking for a 4 seat composite aircraft and have narrowed the search down to the Express and the Revolution Aircraft Foxtrot (in FL). I would appreciate being able to learn about the building experience and dealing with the company, now Composite Aircraft Technologies.

We are novices at building, but have been doing lots of research. One of us has an A&P, and a couple of us have owned legacy aircraft.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Regards,

Curt Taylor

kevin
Site Admin
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Location: KCRG
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Re: Looking for Builders/Owners of Express 2000 Airplanes

Postby kevin » Wed Aug 12, 2015 3:59 pm

Curt,
1. The aircraft is a fine one. I have one that is complete and one that is about 85% or so. The building takes about 1500 man hours but is not overall difficult. There is a board member that is selling 2 on here. Search Barnstormers for two Wheelers and you will see the ad. One of the aircraft is complete but has the wings off for storage. Not to difficult to reassemble. I am in Florida but could offer assistance in getting this aircraft back flying. I am also an A&P so the work could be signed off on and make it all legal. The aircraft was the original factory demonstrator, has an IO-540 with 0 hours since rebuild.

2. The Company is, in my experience, not much help. That overall doesn't matter so much since composite parts can be made easily, bearings and such are standard, and the landing gear parts are available from Grove.

I really like my Wheeler. It weighs in at 1700 lbs, max is 3350, holds 92 gals of fuel. I have the IO360 200 HP engine, I cruise at 145kts indicated at 8.2 GPH. If I get up to 8000 or higher, my true AS gets to 160 and my fuel burn is around 7.7, and I dont run LOP. Long range, comfortable seating, cheap to operate and if you can shut the door you can leave. My plane is an IFR bird with glass panel, steam backups, and coupled autopilot. A fully capable aircraft.

I have visited the Team Tango guys in Williston and they have a nice airplane. I even flew one. The wings are almost hershey bar straight, the Express is tapered. The Express has two separate wings, the Foxtrot has a single wing spar. The Tango kit costs just over 53K, plus the engine, avionics, etc. The Express I am referring to is 65K with an extra plane and is built just needs the wings put back on and everything hooked up. If you want a good plane that can be flying in a couple of weeks, The Wheeler is the way to go. When I was looking, I wanted to build as much as I could in my garage to avoid long drives to the airport and excessive hangar rent. The single spar 33 feet long didn't work for that.

For someone with Wheeler experience, putting this one back together is not a difficult project. The aircraft is located up the coast from you in the Southern Washington/Oregon area.

He is asking 65K for one complete aircraft and one kit partially assembled. The engine is worth 30K or so and it comes with 2 props. Not a bad price.
https://www.barnstormers.com/cat.php?mode=search

If you need more information about the planes or want to discuss it call me at 239-896-7576. My name is Kevin.

Sorry it took so long to get it approved, I am almost finished with my CFI and along with my maintenance business I haven't checked the board in a few days. Boards like this are constant targets for spam, so I have to approve most things until you are a member and have made a few posts.

Kevin Alderman

Express1587b
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:06 pm

Re: Looking for Builders/Owners of Express 2000 Airplanes

Postby Express1587b » Sun Oct 04, 2015 2:50 pm

My Express 2000FT is the last one to come out of builder assist at Composite aircraft tech at the end of 2013. I can say nothing but good things about the company. I have a state of the art aircraft that was totally done at builder assist until I flew it back home to South Dakota. I don't know why anyone would say that the company isnt much help. Also there have been multiple changes in the last few years that are a must in my opinion. Its a great airplane and fun to fly, worth a look. Or better yet call Darrell and I am sure he would love to take you up in the FT or RG, both are beautiful planes. My Express has an IO540,mt14 prop with FLYEFII elec. ign. and electonic fuel injection. I get 185 knots @ 10000msl 11.5 gals. at 2300rpm and 19 in.mp.I feel the Express is worth promoting and would love to see more get built. Here is a pic of mine from today.
IMG_1587b .jpg
(3.53 MiB) Not downloaded yet
.

kevin
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Re: Looking for Builders/Owners of Express 2000 Airplanes

Postby kevin » Thu Oct 15, 2015 7:45 pm

Since the last update some notifications and some attachments aren't coming through. I found it in the que file, but I didn't get a notification when you put it up. Sorry about that. Email me the pic and I will attach it through the backend so it will be there for people to see.

kevin
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Re: Looking for Builders/Owners of Express 2000 Airplanes

Postby kevin » Thu Oct 15, 2015 8:14 pm

I wasn't intending to put down the factory, just stating facts. I last spoke to Darrell in 2013. After this he hasn't returned any emails or calls. I get a good many calls from owners and potential builders that say the same thing. As you are likely aware there are a good many kits out there that aren't built and are available for a good price. I get calls almost weekly where a person has found a kit, tried to contact the factory, never gotten a response and then they call me. I understand that Darrell might not have been the one that sold the kit, but he bought the company. Chrysler was sold to FIAT, and FIAT still provides parts and service for my Dodge truck through the dealer network. The latest airbag recall was handled by the new owner where I was notified of the issue and instructed to bring in my 2003 truck for repair for free. My experience with the Express factory is that if you are willing to do what you did and fork out the $$ for a new kit and pay them to help you build it they are all in, but if you have legacy aircraft they wont take your call. It's sad because it gives the brand a bad name.

I live in NE Florida just about 30 mins flight time from Williston home of Team Tango. While I prefer the Express, the Tango guys are all about customer service. The company has a similar story to the Express- original owner sold several kits, went out of business leaving many owners in a bad place, a group of owners bought the assets and began to sell the planes again. Sound familiar? That's how Darrell ended up with the company. The difference is that the Tango guys still help the original kit owners that are just now, 10 years later, finishing their kits. You call, they will answer. I called Darrell and emailed him to make the offer to assist the builders that are on the East Coast that otherwise would find it too costly to deal with a supplier 2500 miles away, and still no answer. A builder in FL that wants a kit may be open to building it here as opposed to flying to WA and staying away from home and business. Would likely lead to more kit sales. No reply at all. Nothing. I inquired about new landing gear brackets for my plane- left a message and sent an email. Nothing. No reply. I made new brackets. I fly my plane. Without Factory support.

I am an A&P, and a good bit of my day is spent answering questions for local Vans RV builders, Glassair builders, etc. At my airport I am kind of the Experimental Aircraft guru. These people buy a kit and then have to learn how to build the aircraft. Why is the factory not helping to teach them? If you want to see more Express aircraft out there, there has to be a dependable viable solid support system that can answer their questions and provide help when it is needed. No one in their right mind will drop 67K for a kit if the factory is hard to get in touch with. Last year an S90 flew for the first time not too far away from here in Central Florida. The plane had been under construction for almost 10 years. After the first flight the builder cut the wings off with a chain saw and said that the airplane design was unsafe. He is wrong- he likely had an incidence problem or other relatively simple issue. But he had no guidance and was scared of it. So instead of another beautiful plane flying, he tells everybody how bad the design is. I keep hearing how unsafe these planes are from people that heard about the incident and have read some old internet stuff. I have heard for 3 years, since I bought an older kit, that the CT is unsafe and can't be slipped in for a landing without crashing. BS. I often am asked by the tower to expedite my landings for traffic, and turn base to final at 150 knots or more and slide it in sideways to a 70 knot landing- flying a normal pattern. The planes are stable, safe and fun to fly. I get 150 knots indicated at 7.9 gph ROP at 8500 feet, with a ground speed of 165. You cant fly that fast any cheaper or safer. Yet I still hear that these planes are not safe. I can't change peoples attitudes toward the Express, and I cant be the factory support system. You noticed that when you called I answered? I can't get Darrell to do that for me. I am glad that you had a positive experience and that you like the plane. And if you need anything from me, let me know. It takes me a few days to get back to the board but I answer emails and the phone and will do what I can to help keep your plane flying. And most of the time I don't get paid for it.

Express1587b
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2015 10:06 pm

Re: Looking for Builders/Owners of Express 2000 Airplanes

Postby Express1587b » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:45 pm

IMG_20150703_134131159.jpg
Hi Kevin, I don't understand why people are having trouble contacting Darrell, I speak with him quite often. I am going to email him about this and send this link to him. I agree we need support to keep our planes flying. I have always gotten it on mine. By the way I did not buy a new kit from Darrell I bought it from a private party for 2500.00 and hauled it to WA, they were more than happy to help. I will do what I can to help also. Have a great day.

Bill Eastwood
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:32 am

Re: Looking for Builders/Owners of Express 2000 Airplanes

Postby Bill Eastwood » Mon Nov 14, 2016 10:55 am

Hi Kevin, I just purchased an Express 2000. It was built at the factory in 2004. I have had good luck with Darrell, he returns my calls, sent me POH, and answers my questions in a timely manner. I am the third owner, the seller list his medical years ago and couldn't answer many of my questions so I probably have as many questions as you do. I'd be happy to answer any questions you have if I can.

jchisolm
Posts: 23
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:56 pm

Re: Looking for Builders/Owners of Express 2000 Airplanes

Postby jchisolm » Wed Nov 30, 2016 5:18 pm

Kevin,
I have had the same type of response from comp air. I asked if I could get the saddle templates for the original wing. Nothing, notta. No "we dont have them" or "here is a dfx file you will need to print them out". Nothing back. I'd also like to get the beefed up nose gear or see if there is any way to retro fit the new LE/TE fuselage attach brackets to the old wings. When Larry was running things it was much different. Even though I did not purchase the kits from him I bought a LOT of parts ($$$$) from him. Engine mount, exhaust, cowling - the list goes on. And a prop he had available.

How hard is it to send a email or spend a hour a week reading this forum and helping folks out. Nothing sells new kits like completed planes.
Joe Chisolm
Express CT builder
Marble Falls, Texas

282ex
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Aug 10, 2016 12:59 am

Re: Looking for Builders/Owners of Express 2000 Airplanes

Postby 282ex » Thu Feb 02, 2017 1:01 pm

Bought an in-progress project (90% done, 90% to go) from a guy in Colorado about 1.5 years ago, that bought it from a guy in Alabama before he got married and when he got married, his wife was not keen on the project... love over building I guess. It's a Series 90 with Auriga tail, essentially the 2000FT. Darrell and Marshall have been pretty helpful, had it stored with them for a while to get some parts made (KTDO). I had to get a custom engine mount as the one it came with had some pretty bad welds and has a slightly different hole pattern from the 2000. This last weekend we moved the plane to my home in Everett, Wa and I know of one other Express builder from EAA chapter 84, are there any others around me?

FYI: I also told Darrell about this forum, he didn't seem to know about it and I recommended he might want to check it out. He is admittedly not a guy that spends very much time on the computer so I offered to assist him in this area.


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