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Rare, one of a kind aircraft found in Algonquin
By John Grosse
Like most of you, I’ve had a life-long interest in aviation. It wasn’t until the age of 40 that I had the time and resources to pursue that interest. I learned to fly at Galt and bought a 1968 Piper Arrow. I have flown that aircraft to every state in the CONUS, Canada, and the Bahamas. Nevertheless, I always wanted to go just a little bit faster and a little bit farther on a tank of gas.
With the announcement of my retirement from teaching fifth grade, friends and family asked what I would do next. “Build an airplane” was the quick answer. Thus began a 10 year odyssey.
I settled on the Glasair Super IIS-RG. It is the fourth generation of the design first introduced at Oshkosh in 1979 and has been awarded “Grand Champion Kit Built Aircraft” at Oshkosh 13 times in the years since. The Glasair is a two-place, side-by-side, composite aircraft. The airframe consists of a one-piece wing and monocoque fuselage rated at +6, -4 g’s. Equipped with a Lycoming IO-360 engine, a Hartzel constant speed prop and 81 gallon tanks, a cruise speed of 180 knots, a range of 1500nm and a useful load of 800 lbs are expected.
I designed and installed an all-electric IFR panel with twin AFS EFIS’s, two GPS’s, two COM’s, satellite weather, traffic, and smart phone linked blue tooth audio panel. The panel also includes analog backups for altitude, heading, airspeed, and attitude. Twin alternators and independent battery backups on major components provide redundancy.
After estimating that I’d take three years to complete this 10 year project, I’ve learned to be careful about making predictions. The build is nearing completion and I expect to make the initial flights this spring. I’d be honored to have you visit my project at my home in Algonquin, before moving it to Rockford where final assembly and testing will take place.