Panther Builder and Pilot Progress


We now have 14 Panthers that have been completed, since we started offering the kits to customers 4 years ago.  We are happy to say that we have a very active builders group – meaning we know these guys are actively working on their Panthers on a regular basis.  We wholeheartedly believe this is because the Panther is an enjoyable project to build.  Here are some things that make this build so satisfying:

  • You quickly see progress when you are building.
    • With a welded steel frame the fuselage is 40% complete when you receive it
    • 60% match tooled parts go together quickly
    • Simply de-burr, updrill and then rivet
  • You can easily pickup where you left off the last time you were building.
    • The all aluminum construction doesn’t require setup and dry times like fiberglass
    • Welded parts are all powder-coated and ready to fit together.
    • Assembly does not require two people
  • The documentation has come a long way
    • Simple step by step instructions, with photos to show you how to assemble every step of the way
    • Detailed full size plans sheets to accompany the builders manual
    • A searchable online builders manual that you can access from any device, including your phone or tablet, makes it easy to read ahead when you are not in the shop working on your project.
  • Prebuilt options are allowing builders to speed up the build time.  We offer:
    • Pre-built Fuel Tanks
    • Pre-Built Main Wing Spars
    • Pre-Bonded Canopy
  • We have builders who finished their projects in less than 12 calendar months.  And the more that take flight are confirming that this little airplane fits many pilot sizes as well as their various missions – minimizing the compromises normally required by other aircraft.  Some key points are:
    • Ease of build
    • Multiple engine options
    • Adjustable seat back
    • Roomy cockpit
    • Rollover bar for pilot protection
    • Welded steel fuselage frame
    • LS or Sport configuration
    • Tail Dragger or Tri-Gear
    • Reasonable cost

Not only do we have builders actively building – we have guys flying their Panthers – a lot!  Every pilot is pleasantly surprised by how the Panther flies.  And we have many configurations up and running.

Here is the engine/airframe combo that has flown to date (in no particular order):

Panther LS w/ Jabiru 3300 = 2

Panther LS w/ Corvair 3.0L = 3

Panther LS w/ Corvair 3.3L = 1

Panther LS w/ Lycoming O-320 = 3

Panther LS TriGear w/ Lycoming O-320 = 1

Panther S w/ Lycoming O-320 = 1

Panther LS w/ Titan O-340 = 1

Panther LS w/ O-235 = 1

Here are some quick notes from various builders/pilots on their experiences.

Bill Mosher of Greenville, SC sent a quick note in yesterday.  Bill is a quick witted funny guy who always enjoys building in his garage.  Here is what he said:

” I spent Saturday  and Sunday  trimming cowl. After a lot of hesitation I got tools out and started. I found that using my die grinder with a 2 inch disk worked great, then run over edges with a flat file to dress it up.

  Bottom has holes drilled to locate mounts and nutplates. I will get them on before I drill top half and trim sides.

  When I set top cover on it drops in place, and it fits almost perfect!

  Once again, SPA exceeds all pessimism!

   Thanks again to all,

         Bill Mosher  #46″

“What was the oncoming pilots last word?……CRAP!” – Bill Mosher

 

Jimmy Miller from Wilmington, NC has been working on his project and is almost done.  Here is his latest post on the PantherCave forum:

 

“Just started up the 0-320 in the Panther this afternoon. It is a E2D 150 hp with 412. HSMO, turned 2 blades and fired up befour I was ready. Good mag check, now on to finishing up.”

Mark Dean in in New Zealand has been busy on his Panther project.  He recently sent me this note:

“Hi Rachel

Hope you guys are well

Here are some updated pics of my kiwi panther build, like Brent Mayo I chose to paint myself in the garage at home it’s a bit of a mission but can be done, need a bigger garage!. I used imron 700 paint and clean air, gotta have it! The spray booth is made from 4×2 and greenhouse plastic, lots of light is a must if you don’t want dry spots I got a few but overall came out ok.”

 

Steve Pedano of Jacksonville, FL sent a few flight photos of his Panther LS over.

 

 

Don’t forget to come by our booth at OSH Airventure 2017 to see us, and to join us on Wednesday July 26th for our 6th Annual Gathering at the booth N615.  We expect to have builders Sean Sullivan, Ben Krotje, Paul Salter and Buddy Henson’s TriGear Panthers all scheduled to be at the booth and in the Panther Parking Row directly behind the booth.  We would love to see you, and have you try a Panther on for size.

Share your thoughts