2000 RG questions

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2000 RG questions

Post by Bad_karma » Wed Nov 21, 2018 10:50 pm

I've been reading up on the Express and I'm really impressed with the performance and handling from what I read. Don't know why anyone would buy a Cirrus for 3-5 times the completed cost and less performance. I hope someday I can build one. I have a few questions about the RG. I'd call or email the factory but this is so far into 'pie-in-the-sky' land that I don't want to waste anybody's time (they are still making RG kits, right?). But people come to internet forums for this sort of thing.

I'm looking at starting a traveling sales job, and there's a possibility I can get mileage reimbursement from my employer for flight time. So I'm trying to figure speeds and operating costs to see what airframes would fit my mission. I'll be serving all of Texas, and likely a few neighboring States. I'd guess a 500+ nm radius. Have a wife and a 9 month old. Will likely have 1-2 more kids in the next few years. Can the Express be built with seating for 3 kids in the back?

What kind of costs are you guys seeing? By my best guess, insurance would likely run about $3,000/year for a $200k hull value (assuming some pretty choice avionics). What are your insurance requirements? Instrument rating and 500tt? I know the Lancair is about impossible to insure, but the Express has much more docile handling. It isn't as well known, however. Other than hangar, it looks like the Express is just a matter of fuel and oil burn since I'd be doing my own condition inspections.

Is Vne 230 knots on the 2000 RG, i.e. the same as the other models? I'd assume so if it's control flutter that dictates this. This is KIAS, right? How fast (KTAS) can I expect to go at altitude with a turbocharged io-540 or 550? The website states 215, is that typical? Would more horsepower (i.e. a turboprop) make it cruise any faster?

What is the turboprop performance like with a Walter 601 or comparable engine? What kind of TAS is achievable at altitude? Are such installations desirable or sane?

I know this is a fast cross-country airplane, but it sounds like the soft/short field performance is pretty good. Can a competent and current pilot safely operate a moderately loaded (or even at max gross) 2000 RG with a turbocharged 540/550 out of a 3,000' grass strip (800 msl or so, but Texas heat in the summer)?

I saw from the manual that chandelles and lazy 8's were tested, but no spins. Obviously this is not an aerobatic aircraft, but it does have a reasonably high G-limit and control rod actuated flight controls. Are there any 'gentleman aerobatics' that are safe (or even remotely sane) to attempt occasionally (i.e. loops, aileron rolls, etc)?

Sorry for the 1,000 questions,

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Re: 2000 RG questions

Post by kevin » Sat Dec 15, 2018 9:43 am

Ok, here goes. I am a CFI with an express, 100 hours or so in type, and I give transition training if you buy one. I have flown several in various states of completion and condition. If you get a kit, it will be an older kit and may or may not be complete so keep that in mind. The fixed gear version with an IO 540 cruises at 160 knots on around 14-15 GPH. Like Cirrus and Cessna found out, no need for retracts. They add weight and increase your cost to insure. The IO-360 version cruises at 140-145 on 9 gph. Both take off and land the same, just more speed for more fuel on the 540 version.

The condition inspections have to be done by an A&P or the builder, not just a buyer. Even after its built, the builder would have to go to a class to be able to do the inspections.

If you get a kit, figure between 1500 and 2000 man hours to build the kit. And, things like the interior trim you have to make the molds and then make the part which takes a bit longer. Just FYI.

Kevin Alderman

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Re: 2000 RG questions

Post by Bad_karma » Fri Dec 21, 2018 11:48 am

So I take it, then, that the factory is no longer in business? I know several Express companies have gone under, but I've seen posts as recently as last year saying the current company is still in business, and the website is still up (albeit not updated recently).

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Re: 2000 RG questions

Post by 282ex » Sat Jun 01, 2019 12:16 pm

Not sure what direction you went but Composite Aircraft Technology is still in business. Just had a conversation today with someone that works there. It is a small operation, they dont really have an IT/Web development team staffed so the site is outdated. I would give Darrell a call if you're still interested in a new kit.
Erik Petersen
Wheeler Express Series 90 Auriga
Everett, Wa

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