Cool airplane-based 3-wheel vehicle build on Hemmings

Stumbled on a cool airplane-based 3-wheeled vehicle build on the Hemmings blog tonight, and it’s for sale.

This thing is really friggin cool. Execution of the nose is a bit weak, but… I really like the layout.

Now I want to find a damaged four-place single-engine low-wing plane and do that myself. Two ways to get reverse, really – use the GL1500 drivetrain like that guy did as-is (I’d want Megasquirt and taller gearing, though), or do a through-the-road hybrid system with the hybrid system on the front wheels, and implementing reverse. That allows one to use the GL1200 fuel injected driveline instead – less displacement, lower cylinder count, etc., etc.

With a GL1500 megasquirted, I’m thinking it’d get around 70-75 highway, 40-50 city.

With a GL1200 FI and a hybrid system, 75-85 mpg highway, 60-90 city depending on how well the hybrid system is tuned.

Weight would be in the 1200-1500 pound ballpark I think, both engines are in the 90-100 hp ballpark (the GL1500 was all about more torque), so you’d be looking at 0-60 times in the 5-7 second ballpark, top speeds probably 140-150 mph (quite low drag), although you won’t want to go that fast.

And, it’d be a more practical layout than my main 3-wheeler project idea if executed properly – 4 seats plus some (not much) cargo room, instead of 1 normal seat, 1 barely usable seat, and less cargo room. Downside is, production would be less practical – it ain’t cheap to build things this light new. Piper wants $301,500 for an Archer TX – even if you go with the “half of the plane price goes to the lawyers” rule, and even if you knock $100k off for not needing all the FAA certs and the Lycoming engine and all, you’re still looking at $50k.


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