Dave's CX4 In The Air

Dave's CX5 In The Air

News | Completed/Flying CX4's | Completed/Flying CX5's | Pilot Reports | Builder Lists | Builder Map | Builder Web Links

Specifications | Plans, Parts, Kits & Engines | 3-View Drawings | General Links | For Sale | Accessories | Prototype Updates

The following news items were posted through December 12, 2012

Date Description
NOTE: You must be subscribed to the respective information source
(CX4 Yahoo group, EAA Experimenter, Oshkosh 365, etc.)  to view certain stories linked below.

#35 has taken to the air! Richard Payne, Friendswood, Texas, USA reported the first flight of SN 478; N95RP yesterday.
He will pass on a few photos and more information soon and it will be posted here.

Congratulations Rich on a remarkable milestone!

CX5 Tri-Gear Prototype Update

Dave posted two new photo's on the CX5 in the Yahoo "Advisories" photo album on Thursday, showing the preliminary engine and cowl installation. He also sent them to us for posting here.

We apologize for the delay, but we're still running on a generator since Thursday after a blizzard-induced power outage here in Wisconsin.


CX5 Tri-Gear Prototype Update

Dave has been very busy with work on the prototype. It's been a couple of months since the last update, so he sent us several new photo's showing the latest developments.

As a reminder, Dave cannot provide further information (specifications, plans release, parts availability, cost, etc.) at this time for this beautiful aircraft. An enormous amount of work remains to be done, followed by eventual flight testing, design work required to eliminate any "bugs" discovered and the actual efforts required to make the changes to the prototype.
He will continue to keep us informed.



Mick Wright, Gawler, Australia sent us a video of a recent flight of CX4 #235, 19-7872. He reports that his bird is now approaching 25 hrs with no significant problems. He did mention that he needs more pitch on the prop - At half throttle he's indicating 3000 rpm at 85 - 90 knots (98 - 104 MPH). We have put the video on YouTube, but you can view it below:



George May, Brentwood, NH, USA (N13CX, S/N 232) recently completed the Tri-Gear modification to his bird. He has provided us with a PIREP providing an inside look at the process and his initial flight experiences once the conversion was complete. Read all the details and see all of George's photo's on the Pilot Reports page.



Looks like another bird is just about ready to make her first flight!  Allan Pixley, Niceville, FL, USA just posted several photo's of N347CX (#347) on his Yahoo group photo page. We've taken the opportunity to add one here. This is another example of a very good looking CX4!

OK Allan, we're ready for the details whenever you're ready to share...

Editor Note: In a follow-up email 11/18, Allan sent us the following:
"The picture was taken after completing transport and final assembly to Baker, FL.  I've completed the 30 minute break-in on my GP 2180 engine and currently am going through a long list of items to get her ready for the DAR and first flight!"

He'll keep us informed and let us know when that happens.
Thanks for the update Allan!


Wade Jones (N725WJ, #152) just reached the 50 hour milestone on the eve of his 79th birthday. Here's his post to the CX4 Yahoo group:

"Hello group, Today I reached the 50 hour mark on CX4 #152 .It has been a pleasure to step out my back door to my hanger 20 feet away, open up the hanger, pull out the CX4 and after a good preflight, hit the starter and fly about 1 hour each time."

"My strip is about 40 miles south of Galveston, Texas and 12 miles inland from the Gulf of Mexico. There are three other owners but I am almost the only one that flies. Tomorrow I will be 79 years old and the CX4 fits my needs very nicely. For the builders on this list my advice is to keep building, the finished product is very rewarding."

Editor Note: Wade, you're an inspiration to us all!  Thanks for the report and the best of wishes for your Birthday tomorrow!

In response to a couple of questions asked, Wade added the following the next day:

"Thanks for the kind replies about my 50 hr mark and my birthday. As to the questions asked by Kenneth:

  • My engine is 1915cc by Scott Casler and prop is a 54X40 from Ed Sterba.

  • I change the oil at 25 hrs and set the valves - both as recommended by Scott.

  • I use 100LL fuel.

  • At 2900 rpm I indicate 100 mph and have enough rpm left to indicate 125 at full power.

  • This is a tough little plane. I fly off a 2900' grass strip that gets pretty rough at times. I have landed so hard at times that I thought I may damaged the plane. I have found some of the 1/8" rivets with the heads popped off on the vertical seam above the gear .I drilled them out and replaced with 5/32" rivets. I did not bother Dave with this minor change. New builders may want to consider this upgrade if flying off rough strips (with Dave's approval}.

  • This is with bigger tires and no wheel pants installed.

Not much else to add at this time -
Wade Jones"


Glen Bradley (Pensacola, FL) has the opportunity to fly Dave's Tri-Gear CX4 on most any occasion. He's written another pilot report detailing his experiences after ~50 hours of flight. This is a must read for everyone!

You can find Glen's PIREP on Herb's CX4 Yahoo group website, or the Pilot Reports page here!


Step back in time to August 2011 and AirVenture. Those wandering the rows of flight line parking took notice of the first CX4 to actually fly into Oshkosh. Tom Stallings bird (S/N 0200; N949DC) flew "under everyone's radar" from Garden City, Kansas and took the title of being the first CX4 to fly into an EAA AirVenture convention. At that time, a check of Tom's hourmeter revealed that he had flown 217 hours since his maiden flight in August 2009.


Fast forward to early 2012. Tom had been busy flying his bird but became increasingly interested in Dave's Tri-gear modification. Dave and Glen both mentioned that it would become a whole different airplane... Tom finally decided it was time to make the conversion and see for himself!

About three months later, the hanger door went up, and 949DC was rolled out on it's new gear, and sporting new position lights and landing lights in the main wheel fairings as well.

Tom reports that the Tri-gear conversion by itself wouldn't have taken so long, but the light installations added to the total down-time. Following his initial flights, he said that Dave and Glen were right. It is a whole different airplane. Cross winds where he lives have been known to be a challenge, but the Tri-gear modification makes them easy to deal with. After he got over his crushed ego with his bird no longer being a tail dragger, he does admit it's more fun to fly now.

Editor Note: Thanks for sharing your updates Tom. Your bird was looking great to begin with, but she's looking even better now. We're certain everyone will agree!  Please keep us updated with pireps of your flight experiences with the new gear configuration.


Len Nyenes, Cape Town, South Africa just sent us an email with fantastic news! "Tin Lizzy" is the 34th CX4 (S/N 342, ZU-FML) to take to the air for the first time. Len reports that the first flight (this past Friday) with the Tri-gear mod was very successful. Check out the photos on the Completed & Flying page!

Congratulations Len!


CX5 Tri-Gear Prototype Update

Dave sent us a couple of photo's showing the on-going development of the CX5 prototype. Although the manufacture and shipment of orders for CX4 components takes top priority every day, Dave continues to make solid progress on the prototype with the help of a good friend.

As a reminder, Dave cannot comment on availability of plans for this beautiful aircraft. An enormous amount of work remains to be done, followed by eventual flight testing, design work required to eliminate any "bugs" discovered and the actual efforts required to make the changes to the prototype. He will continue to keep us informed.



Jon Ward (CX4 #222), Cornwall, UK sent this to Dave today:

"Just thought you might like a picture of my CX4 at the UK's biggest gathering of homebuilts last weekend. The little plane attracted a huge amount of interest, and has become a bit of a star! All the LAA senior engineering folk that have been bugging you had a really good look and declared the design a little cracker!  I hope to make good progress this coming year. Best wishes, Jon"

Editor Note: The LAA (Light Aircraft Association) is the UK’s principal representative body for amateur-built and vintage light aircraft. With history dating back to 1946, originally known as the Ultralight Aircraft Association and more latterly the Popular Flying Association, the LAA is proud to have His Royal Highness, Prince Michael of Kent as patron.

The LAA is a not-for-profit association, owned by it's members, providing airworthiness services under direct delegation from the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority. They represent the aviation interests of over 8,000 pilots, amateur builders, vintage aircraft owners and enthusiast members, providing sector-leading consultation and lobbying on UK and European aviation regulatory matters. With over 2,500 operational aircraft, including 500 microlights and 100 autogyros, and another 1,700 aircraft under construction, they report their technical competence is second to none, worldwide.

There are 13 CX4 builders (plan holders) currently in the UK (England & Scotland). The LAA has cleared the building of CX4's and is monitoring their progress closely, but has not yet issued the type permit to fly. Here's a link to the their website: LAA Website

Reminder: Our friends in the UK need a constantly updated list of CX4 fleet flight hours. This has been requested because it has become necessary for eventual type certification by the LAA for them (the magic number is 2500 hours). We felt it was a good idea to add this info to the "Complete & Flying" page. So far, 20 builders/owners have responded.

Your help is still needed. Of the 33 planes flying, 13 owners have not yet responded. If the MIA owners could email their planes current hours directly to us (using the link at the top of this page), we'll get them listed on the "Completed & Flying page immediately. If you know the owners/builders, could you take a few minutes to contact them and ask them for their help with getting this info to us so our list can be 100% accurate? Thanks!


Ernest Martin (Ardin, NC USA) has announced the availability of a CX4 fiberglass wing fairing set. You can get all the details and see some additional photo's on Ernie's Parts page.

Ernie has also announced that the price for wheel fairings has increased to $100.00 (USD) per wheel fairing. Contact him directly for additional information.


Derek Dikstaal, Walwera, Auckland, New Zealand just announced that the 33rd CX4 (S/N 189, ZK-CXY) has taken to the air for the first time. His bird climbed happily to 2500' and all controls were good (except slightly heavy to left).
The canopy was off and empty weight is 546 lbs. 
Check the photos out on the Completed & Flying page!

Congratulations Derek!


CX5 Tri-Gear Prototype Update

Dave was asked on the Yahoo site how things are going with the CX5 development. He reported the following:

"Progress is moving now. We have the fuselage and controls ready except it is not on the gear yet, The tail is finished, the instrument are in and the radios are going in now. I have the engine but it is not installed. We are starting on the wings now. Work on the ribs-to-spar installation was done today.

With over 500 sets of plans out for the CX4, making parts for people keeps me real busy. This seems to be the big problem with getting time to work on the 5. I have a real nice gentlemen helping me now, and this has given me a real boost on the CX5.

Best regards,

Editor Note: We've asked Dave for a few photo's to share...


It may not have the thrills of a first flight, but the first taxi of a new bird must be the next best thing!  Glen Wilcox (CX4 #404,  N404CX), Oak Park, CA, USA posted this short clip of the event Wednesday on YouTube:

Way to go Glen! Your bird sounds as good as she's looking!


Dave announced today that a complete CX4 rib and bulkhead package is now in stock and available for immediate shipment. The price is $725.00 (USD), and can be ordered through Thatcher Aircraft, Inc.

Details of all items currently available for the CX4 can be reviewed on the
Plans, Parts & Engine page of this website.

Watch for further kit announcements:  Development of the following kits continues and will be made available soon:

  • Complete wing kits

  • Fuselage kits

  • Tail kits


Joel Williams, Capistrano Beach, CA, USA hosted this gathering of five other active CX4 builders recently, getting together to compare notes and share their building experiences.

Pictured from the left are: Charles Chappell #425, Glen Wilcox #404, Joel Williams #252, Allen Cooper #442 and David Reser #441. Charles Wieland #260 was not pictured. (Thanks for sharing this Glen!)


Wade Jones (N725WJ, #152), having reached the 40 hour milestone, just submitted a new PIREP. Read the details on the "Pilot Reports" page.


Thomas Balazs, Maplewood, New Jersey just sent us an email with the news that the 32nd CX4 has taken to the air for the first time this past Saturday (7\21).

Tom made the first flight of CX4 SN 371, N262TB from Perl Acres airport (46NJ) in central New Jersey. It was about 20 minutes in length. Tom is flying behind a Great Plains 2276 cc engine.  He will pass on a few photos and more information soon and it will be posted here.

Our congratulations to Tom on his remarkable milestone!


Unable to attend Oshkosh 2012?
Here are a couple of video & audio links that may help ease the pain:

(NOTE: These links should be active for the duration of the convention.
They may take a short time to load due to the large volume of web traffic they create!)

Live Streaming Video:

Warbirds - North Webcam
Vintage - Central Webcam
Ultralights - South Webcam
Airshow Webcam (Active during airshows only)
Theater in the Woods Webcam (Active during scheduled evening programs only)
AirVenture Museum (4 Interactive Webcams)

Live Streaming Audio:

EAA Radio

LiveATC.net - LiveATC.net is the original source for streaming audio from Oshkosh 2012. Use the link to go directly to their website, then choose the stream of your choice:

- Tower 9/27 (North)
- Tower 18L/36R (South)
- Tower 18R/36L (South)
- AirVenture Air Boss
- Arrival ATIS
- Fisk VFR Approach
- Milwaukee Approach


With Oshkosh less than one month away and the Thatcher Community members wanting to show their involvement, Patrick Panzera has stepped up and made Thatcher hats available by mail or for pickup at his booth at the airshow.

He has all the details listed on the Contact magazine website. Here's the link:

If you have any other questions, you can email him directly:



Dave just announced that he has entered an agreement with a new supplier (Westberry Manufacturing LLC.) to make available complete spar assemblies (both wing and center section spars) for the CX4.

These spar assemblies are available immediately, being stocked and feature the following:

  • All components are high quality, CNC cut and punched.

  • The riveting process leaves no bow or bend in the assembled spars.

  • The dihedral is set and the wing to center spar fitting bolts are properly fit.

  • The spars are complete and ready for the ribs to be attached. No other assembly required except for attaching the provided wing tip spars, which are also CNC drilled and ready for the rivets.

The price of $1995.00 (USD) includes packaging, but freight is additional. Orders through Thatcher Aircraft, Inc. are being taken now.

Details of all items currently available for the CX4 can be reviewed on the Plans, Parts & Engine page of this website.

Watch for further kit announcements  Additional kits are in development. The following kits will be stocked and made available soon:

  • Complete wing kits

  • Ribs and bulkheads package

  • Fuselage kits

  • Tail kits

Dave recently announced that a new supplier has been selected for CX4 engine mounts. A name we're all familiar with, Scott Casler (Hummel Engines) has agreed to supply fully fabricated engine mounts from this point forward. Pricing has been established at $305.00 (USD). Contact Scott for complete information or ordering.

Dave also recently announced that CX4 Seat cushions matching the cushions in his plane are available through Thatcher Aircraft, Inc. The seat back has a plywood aft side which allows you to lean the seat forward to gain access to the aft fuselage.

Light gray cushion sets are in stock and available now. Other colors can be ordered by first sending Dave a color sample.

The seat cushion sets, manufactured in Pensacola, FL are $175.00 (USD) plus freight.  Contact Dave for additional information.


Glen Bradley posted this on the Yahoo group site today:

I was talking to Dave the other day and he mentioned that Pensacola would be a good vacation destination for CX-4 guys because they could see the CX-4 (and see it fly) as well as visit other attractions of our city. Depending on the time of your visit I could also provide a room for a person or two to stay overnight. Otherwise, rooms are reasonable here.

Pensacola is in Florida BUT.....it is NW Florida and Florida is a very long state.  Pensacola is roughly the same distance from Key West as it is from Chicago. We are only ten miles from Alabama and very different (much better in my opinion) than central Florida.  We have a superb NAVAL AVIATION MUSEUM; it is of Smithsonian quality and has extensive indoor and outdoor displays. Check out this link:

Also, the BLUE ANGELS practice at that same field two days a week most weeks- and admission is free. See schedule at. http://www.visitpensacola.com/articles/blue-angels-schedule

Our BEACHES are the best I've ever seen and have extremely white sand with little tacky tourism stuff and lots of National Seashore forts and parks.  These are not usually crowded and offer some very nice visits with nature and hikes and walks on the beaches.  Ranger talks vary depending on the season but are very well done.  See this link>>http://www.nps.gov/guis/index.htm

Our main airport is an International airport with long runways and a very friendly FBO - Pensacola Aviation --  http://www.pensacolaaviation.com/  There are a couple of grass fields nearby with Ferguson Field being only about ten minutes from town.  Check airport info for how to fly in the notch provided in the military field area- easy.     http://www.fergusonairport.com/ 

There is also a private airport, Coastal Airport, that is private but here is the info on it:
http://www.airnav.com/airport/83J/ Probably ought to call first.

A short flight away- 25 miles - is Jack Edwards Airport in Gulf Shores, AL. 
http://www.jka.us.com/   You may have read about them in one of the aviation mags..they have free food for pilots that fly in.  It is for real--  sausage dogs, pizza, drinks etc Nice place to visit and only ten min from the beaches at Gulf Shores.

We also have things like canoe trips down the local rivers and various festivals throughout the year.

I mention all of this only because I love the CX-4 and would like to do my small part.  I have zero economic interest in anyone visiting. I am a retired college professor and have flown since I was 15. Dave and I have breakfast at ChikFilet most mornings about 8 and would look forward to having company any time anyone wants to visit. So--- if you want to see the CX-4 (or the progress on the CX-5) consider killing two birds at once: a nice vacation in NW Florida and the CX-4.  We'd be glad to have ya!!

Glen Bradley
3316 Raines St.
Pensacola, FL 32514

Kevin Osborne (Brisbane, Australia; Reg. No. 19-7983, S/N 322) reported to Dave that he put a video of the first flight on May 8th on YouTube. You can view the video here:


#31 has spread its wings and taken to the air. Thanks once again to Glen for uncovering the details!

In an email to Glen, John Marples (Sonoma, CA) mentioned that N327CX flew its first flight on May 12, 2012 and weighs 563 lbs. dry. John shaped his own carbon fiber cowling with hinges holding the halves together.

For those that may be interested, John has posted his bird on Barnstormers. It is outfitted with a 2011 Revmaster 2100 VW, Sterba prop, Becker com, Garmin xpndr
& Cal-trans encoder. Check out his ad for complete details.


Dave just announced that the 30th bird has flown the nest. He got word that Kevin Osborne (Brisbane, Australia) has flown his very nice looking CX4 (Reg. No. 19-7983, S/N 322) for the first time today. He had a very high time test pilot fly it and he was very pleased with the way it flew.

The Brisbane Valley Sport Aviation Club featured an article in their February 2012 newsletter giving a short biography of Kevin and his beautiful CX4. A copy of the article is available here "Kevin_Osborne_CX4_322.pdf".

Check out the photo on the "Completed & Flying" page.


Virgil Thovson, Ellensburg, WA, USA, posted this on the Yahoo group site today:

N24CX was test flown at 10:30 AM on May 6, 2012. No Problems, except a little right wing heavy (About a 1/4 inch of stick travel to correct). Needed some left rudder.


A new vendor, Motorav, caught our attention at Sun n' Fun and Oshkosh last year, and was at Sun n' Fun again this year.

RIMA Industrial S/A, Brasil, employees 5000+ people in its various Brazil operations, and is a global leader in the production of Silicon Metal, Ferro-alloys and Magnesium. Since 1981, Rima had been the exclusive supplier of magnesium used in engine cases to Volkswagen Brazil. In 1999, Rima purchased Volkswagen’s Brazilian foundry and began the direct manufacturing and distribution of Volkswagen engine cases in many global markets (1500 cases were sold in 2011 in the US market alone).

Volkswagen never expressed an interest in developing a higher horsepower engine. RIMA was repeatedly contacted by several companies about such a development once it acquired VW’s foundry. In 2006, Rima president Ricardo Vicintin, himself a pilot, launched a program within the company to begin R&D to redesign the engine for these higher horsepower aeronautical applications.

Finite element analysis tests were conducted on the original cases by the Brazilian Institute of Aeronautical Technology (ITA). The stress tests confirmed the need to redesign the engine block (at the casting die level) to strengthen key areas, including increasing the size of the front crankshaft bearing area. In on-going dyno cell testing, these modifications have proven to be very effective.

After six years of R&D and the feedback received during these efforts, Rima decided that they had a viable product to bring to the global experimental aircraft market, and began structuring a new division (MOTORAV Industria e Comercio Ltda) to support the effort.

It is clear to us that this company has made a commitment to this project which warrants further attention to its developments. We have created a Motorav Community website, similar to our efforts with this CX Community site, to keep the global LSA builder community informed of RIMA's Motorav activities and developments.

On a related note, a CX4 has been flying with a Motorav engine since last year. The 22nd CX4 flying (S/N 151) took its maiden flight in May of 2011. Owner/Builder partners José Morgon & Paulo Kessler have posted several video's on YouTube - Direct links can be found on the Motorav Community website. Paulo Kessler has also been flying a second plane fitted with a Motorav engine. His video's are linked on the Motorav Community website as well.

What will the future hold? RIMA has several other projects currently undergoing R&D. Cylinder heads with more fins for increased cooling, IGNIFLEX electronic ignition, electronic fuel injection for increased fuel efficiency & reduced emissions and turbo charging for more power. This company is serious, and its people are focused and committed. We're keeping our eyes on this, and will keep you informed.

Editor Note:  RIMA has just launched a dedicated Motorav website (http://www.motorav.com), It is in an early development stage, but I'm certain it will be made current in short order. Keep an eye on it as well! Thanks!


Our friends in the UK need an updated list of CX4 fleet flight hours. This has been requested because it has become necessary for eventual type certification for them (the magic number is 2500 hours). We felt it was a good idea to add this info to the "Complete & Flying" page. So far, 9 builders/owners responded to Dave's recent request, and our research has added 9 more to the list (1230.1 total fleet hours for 18 of 28 aircraft reporting).

Now your help is needed! Of the 28 planes flying, 10 owners have not yet responded. If the MIA owners could email their planes current hours directly to us (using the link at the top of this page), we'll get them listed on the "Completed & Flying page immediately.

If you know the owners/builders, could you take a few minutes to contact them and ask them for their help with getting this info to us so our list can be 100% accurate? Thanks!


Sylvain Bélanger, Montreal QC Canada, posted this on the Yahoo group site today:

"My bird left the ground today for its first flight. I wish I could have the pride to say it was me flying but I got an offer from a 10,000 hrs + experienced test pilot and 23 times builder... The Thatcher was also the134th type of plane he flew. I just could not say no! The 15 minutes flight was uneventful. The flight testing, trimming, adjusting will continue but soon with me as the pilot."

Sylvain added the next day:

"This morning was the moment for me. I just had my first 15 minutes flight. To be confirmed: more than 125 mph at 3000 rpm. Fast, slippery, pleasingly nervous and responding. At first sight, I did not feel the plane pulling on one side or the other (needs to be confirmed by more flying). Keep on building, it is worth it...

I need to go now to do something to get rid of some adrenalin...

Editor Note:  Sylvain, the next time your bird heads for the sky, could you have someone take a few photo's and pass them along to us for posting? Thanks!


Dave Thatcher made an announcement to the Yahoo group this evening, letting everyone know that he had just received the 500th order for a set of CX4 plans. That's quite an accomplishment for one man just wanting to share a dream with a few friends.   Dave, on behalf on everyone that is a member of this community, we just want to say Thanks!

Now please get back to work on the CX5!  ;)


Since the CX Community site was created, we've received many requests from builders and others to add products they have developed to the "Plans, Parts & Engine" webpage. We have resisted adding the wide variety of offered parts and kits because we have not had an opportunity to actually review the items offered, review the vendors offering them or inquire with Thatcher Aircraft, Inc. regarding their endorsement or approval.

Technology, and the popularity of this website, have evolved. Feedback on its value and content is received daily from around the world. With that in mind, the decision was made to create a new page where builders and others can announce their custom products to the entire CX community (http://www.cx4community.com/accessories.htm). A "Accessories" link has been added to the list at the top of every page.

We value all visitors to this site, and our constant goal is the integrity of all content this site contains. It is our opinion that the community will advise us if any listing on this page results in a negative experience with either the product or the vendor, ultimately resulting in our removal of the listing from the webpage.

Boiler plate language aside, our first listing on the page was a result of an experience shared with us by a CX4 builder in Maine, USA. He contacted a gentleman in Michigan that has been making parts and kits for other model types for years. A turtle deck access door kit was developed that achieved all the builders needs, and through word-of-mouth advertising, has become very popular with others. In our humble opinion, sharing this type of information is what our community is all about.

Check out the new page and our first listing. If you'd like to see a product added, or have any comment on a current listing, use the email link at the top of the "Accessories" page to notify us.    


Glen Bradley (Pensacola, FL) had the opportunity to fly Dave's Tri-Gear CX4 on two separate occasions.  He wrote a colorful pilot report detailing each experience. You have to read them both! Head directly to the Pilot Reports page now!


Dave and Peter have commented on several occasions on their surprise with the global interest in the CX4. Out of curiosity, I looked into the CX Community web activity for the past twelve months.

15,465 people from 75 countries have visited the site, looking at a total of 36,342 individual pages. The number of visitors, outside of the United States, have dramatically increased since I included a Google translation tool on the top of every web page last March.

A PDF report of this activity, showing a global map with each visitors home country in green, as well as individual country specifics, is available for viewing by anyone that may be interested.

Here's the link: CX Community Web Activity 28Jan2012.pdf


A gentleman by the name Jon Ferguson (Active US Military; Gloucester, VA) has a personal blog featuring his many interests including science fiction, aviation, military history, and beekeeping. The blog is written to be more like a web based magazine and it is Jon's goal to provide the highest quality content.

His most recent entry, "Aviation: The New Breed, Thatcher CX4" details how he views the CX4 as earning its rightful place as one of a select few affordable personal aircraft for the next century of general aviation. I couldn't agree more!

Here's the link to Jon's blog entry "Aviation: The New Bred; Thatcher CX4"   Nice job Jon!

CX4 Pilot Report Updates

Two new reports have just been added to the Pilot Reports page:

Pirep #26)  Mick Wright, Gawler, Australia gives us some specs of a recent flight of CX4 # 235, 19-7872.
Pirep #27)  Glen Bradley, Pensacola, Fl had the recent opportunity to fly Dave's CX4 Tri-Gear, and provided a very detailed report of his thoughts and observations.


The 27th CX4 has taken to the air, and is the first to fly in 2012!  Mick Wright, Gawler, Australia posted this on the Yahoo group site today:

"Thatcher CX4 # 235 19-7872 completed a successful test flight at Gawler Airfield South Australia, 2 years & 9 months after construction started."

Mick also mentioned "The ASI is proving inaccurate (will change pitot back to what was called for on plans - DAVE KNOWS BEST). She needed positive left rudder but there was no indication of wing drop." Engine is a 2 litre Limbach, swinging an Arrow 54x46 prop.

Great News Mick - Congratulations from the Entire CX Builder Community!

CX5 Tri-Gear Prototype Update

Following the effort required to bring the CX4 Tri-gear modification to reality, Dave has resumed work once again on the CX5. He recently reported:

"The prototype I am making is a tri-gear with front seat solo. Peter Beck is working on the tail dragger. I have ordered the engine and have the canopy. The forward section of the fuselage is going together nicely back to the rear seat. I have the wheels, tires and brakes. The instrument panel has been cut."

"As soon as I get the instrument panel installed I can begin to fit the canopy, windshield and latch system. The flaperon control system has been worked out. The flaps will be electric. The plans are drawn, but until I make everything and fly it, there will be no announcement as to availability."

"I'll be 80 in January so do not get your hopes too high. I am having fun building it though."

May Gods Blessings rest on you all.
Dave Thatcher

Forward Section Mock-up
(August 10, 2010)


Prototype Forward/Center Section
(March 26, 2011)


Canopy Fitment
(December 6, 2011)


Another CX4 is getting close. Mick Wright, Gawler, Australia posted this on the Yahoo group site today:

Thatcher CX4 #235 registration 19-7872 has left its place of birth (the back shed) and is now attending finishing school (the hanger at the airfield). Its wings will be fitted tomorrow - then final certification.
Engine runs have been successful: 3000 rpm static on the 2 litre Limbach swinging an Arrow 54x46 prop.


Thanks to Bruce P. & Steve H. for providing a beautiful photo and several YouTube video links of George May's first flight of N13CX. Check them out on the Completed & Flying page!


Another CX4 has spread its wings and took to the air! George May reported that N13CX (#232) was launched today for about a 15 minute flight with a few circuits around the pattern. All went well with no major issues.

"The airspeed indicator was a little flaky. It looks like the right wing is a little heavy and the rudder will need a small trim tab. The GP 2180 kit engine went together pretty easily, and it ran smooth and strong. Once the trim tabs are installed and the airspeed indicator is fixed the real flight plan will start."

Congratulations George!


Earnest Martin has received many requests for photo's of the CX4 composite parts that he makes. To help Earnest out, I created a page where you can find photo's of the parts he has available for the CX4 community.

Here's the link: http://www.cx4community.com/emartin.htm


Today to celebrate my 85th Birthday, I went flying with Bill Yeates and Steve McDuff. The idea was to take some pics of the little bird.  Attached is one of the best.   The weather was so bouncy that it was hard to get a good shot, but Bill did.   Hope you enjoy. Johnny


The 25th CX4 has spread its wings and took to the air for the first time on October 27, 2011. Bob Marek (Cadott, WI, USA) reported to Dave that the first flight of N362CX (S/N 362) went well. He made three take-offs & landings, and looks forward to additional flight time within the next several days.


Wade Jones has just posted another N725WJ pilot report. You can view it on the "Pilot Reports" page.


Dave Thatcher has just announced that design and testing of the CX4 Tri-gear Modification has been completed, and that complete plans and a builder manual for the conversion are now available!

The Tri-gear plans and manual set can be ordered directly from Thatcher Aircraft, Inc. at a cost of $65.00 (USD). Standard shipping is included.

Although the plans are complete to produce all of the required parts, many have requested that individual conversion parts be made available separately. Dave is currently coordinating production of the preformed strut and nose wheel fork, and will announce availability and pricing shortly. Complete conversion kits are also in the works and will be available soon.

Ernest Martin (Ardin, NC USA) has announced the availability of CX4 wheel fairings for the CX4. Main gear fairings and the new nose gear fairing can be ordered from him now at a cost of $80.00 (USD) per individual fairing. Contact Erni directly for additional information.

Dave has appreciated the strong interest in this project, and thanks everyone for their patience with his bringing this much anticipated CX4 option to market.


The entire CX4 community was disappointed to learn that no CX4's were expected at Oshkosh this year. As it turned out, that was not to be the case. Tom Stallings of Garden City, Kansas now holds the title of having the first CX4 to fly into an EAA AirVenture convention. N949DC came in "under everyone's radar" and was spotted parked on the flightline on Wednesday July 27th.

Tom was wandering the grounds and not available for comment. He made the maiden flight of S/N 0200 on Aug 23, 2009. A check of the hourmeter revealed that he has flown 217 hours to date.

Dave passed along a photo just rec'd from Wade Jones, showcasing Wade's bird which took it's first flight on June 21st.
Sure is pretty Wade!


Wade Jones has just posted a pilot report of his initial flights in N725WJ. You can view it on the "Pilot Reports" page.


As mentioned above, David and Peter are continuing to work non-stop on the R&D of both the CX5 and Tri-gear designs. Dave has just released this photo of the Tri-gear modification installed on his bird and has reported that the flight testing portion of the project has begun.

With the prototype now flying, Dave wants it mentioned that the Tri-gear modification, although getting closer, is not yet ready for release. Further information (specifications, plans release, parts availability, cost, etc.) cannot be made available until all testing and any required design modifications have been completed.

Dave appreciates the strong interest in this project, and will provide us with additional details here as soon as they can be released.


What a week! Two more CX4's have taken to the air. Congratulations to Wade Jones, Brazorie, TX (S/N 152, N725WJ) and Roger Miller, East Bend, NC (CX4 S/N 398; N254RM).

Check out the photo & YouTube video links from Roger on the "Completed and Flying" page.


The 22nd CX4 has taken to the air!  José Marcelo Morgon (Xaxim, Curitiba, Brasil) just posted a YouTube video of the first flight of  #151. The video can be seen directly on the "Completed and Flying" page.


Another CX4 is airborne. Dave just announced that the 21st bird has flown the nest. A photo of Geno's plane can be seen on the "Completed and Flying" page.


Dave just announced that the 20th bird has flown the nest. Allen Jones emailed Dave and told him his CX4 flies great! Check out his photo on the "Completed and Flying" page.


Doug Garin has just posted a pilot report of his second flight in N52CX. You can view it on the "Pilot Reports" page and check out the resulting thread on fuel mixture on the "Yahoo" group site.


Since the launch of the CX4 Community Website over two years ago, it has been regularly visited by people in over 60 countries. In an effort to make viewing the entire website easier for those that have a native language other than English, a new feature has been added to every page.

Just underneath the header is a Google translation tool that will convert the entire page to one of 16 available languages. The automated translations may not be perfect, but they should make site and content navigation easier for those that use the tool.

If anyone would like additional languages added, or have any other comments, please email me directly at the link just above this list.


Dave Thatcher has set the LSA world on fire with the announcement of his new CX5 two-place design project. He has received many emails wondering how soon plans will become available.

In a brief summary from his latest post on the Yahoo site, Dave has reported that there is a great amount of work yet ahead for the CX5. Although most of the plans have been drawn and work on the front fuselage section has begun, proving out the plans is a long process and many changes are expected to crop up as the prototype construction continues.

As Peter Beck outlined in his recent EAA Experimenter article, Dave will "release plans only after the prototype has been flown and completely flight-tested." At this point, it's not possible for Dave to provide a firm date when this will happen.

Stay tuned for further developments...


Pat Panzera has just announced the release of the latest edition of the EAA Experimenter, which features a revolutionary story, authored by Peter Beck, on the new variations of Dave's CX family of aircraft currently in the works. As detailed specifications become available, they will be posted on the Specs page on this site.


Doug Garin just made an announcement on the Yahoo site that his bird officially became the first one to fly in 2011. You can read his "Yahoo" post or view it on the "Pilot Reports" link above.

Doug, I'd like to add my congratulations to the constantly expanding list of those you've already received.


I've learned the upcoming issue of "The EAA Experimenter" will feature an article on the latest CX4 & CX5 variations currently in the works. Watch for Pats announcement when it becomes available!


The best just keeps getting better! Dave just posted this announcement on the Yahoo group site:


Requests from many of you who are building, or thinking about building the CX4 have been heard. Although I like the looks of tail wheel aircraft, the last large volume tail wheel aircraft of any kind was about 50 years ago. The cost of getting a tail wheel endorsement and the cost of insurance, and other factors have led me to offer the CX4 as a tri-gear or tail wheel. The CX5 will also be offered as a tri-gear as well as tail wheel.

I appreciate and respect your advice and comments about this subject. I hear you. I'll get to work on this right now.

Dave Thatcher

Editor Note: CX4 & CX5 Tri-gear illustrations have been added to this site. Click on the "3-View Drawings" link at the top of this page. Additional information will be added here as it becomes available.


David has placed a CX5 side view illustration and a 3-view drawing in the Yahoo photo gallery. Click here for a direct link.

Editor Note:  The CX5 side view is shown on the top right corner on every page of this website. The CX5 3-view drawing can be viewed here as well. Click on the "3-View Drawings" link at the top of this page.


In response to a question posted on the CX4 Yahoo group site, Dave replied:

There is a two place CX4, called the CX5, in the mock up and drawing stage. Some construction is under way. It will look like the CX4, only with tandem seating. Availability is unknown at this time. Its a real beautiful looker on paper. It will have a Revmaster 80 or 90 HP VW engine.
Thank you for your interest. Dave Thatcher


The presentation of Dave's N3058W in the Homebuilder's Hanger was a well attended success! Hosted by Peter Beck, with the assistance of Joe Norris, Scott Casler and Ted Beck, 96 people received a thorough briefing on the CX4.

6 AM
Wet grounds continue to hamper aircraft arrivals. As parking and camping areas begin to dry, it is anticipated that certain type arrivals may be permitted throughout the course of today.

Fond du Lac (FLD) has reached it's capacity and is now closed to new arrivals. As of last night, Appleton (ATW) was still accepting parking aircraft; although camping is not allowed. Aircraft seeking camping or parking are being accepted at Manitowoc (MTW).

The EAA is updating Airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp several times a day or you can call and listen to a recorded message at 920-230-7820.

8 PM

Three days of torrential rains have left much of Wittman Fields grass parking areas at Oshkosh in seriously soggy condition just as the mass of AirVenture arrivals were beginning. As of Saturday evening (8 PM CDT), aircraft parking and camping areas have been closed, and aircraft are being diverted to land at other airports in the area.

EAA's Dick Knapinski has advised that anyone planning to fly into Wittman should check the latest EAA AirVenture parking status at Airventure.org/aircraft/parking_status.asp before departing on their final leg into Oshkosh.

While the weather has been generally improving, field conditions will be continually evaluated to determine what areas can be opened. EAA will update their website (linked above) with additional information as it becomes available.

2010/07/11 The latest issue of Sport Aviation (July 2010, Pg 112) contains an article titled "The ULPower Family of Engines." A list of flying airframes in that article included the CX4...

Turns out the story is not entirely true. Harold Pritchard, Genesco, IL, USA (#021- N21CU) is currently completing a UL 260i engine installation but is not flying yet.

Here's the link to the ULPower website (Scroll down to the bottom of the page).

Editor Note:  Harold - A lot of builders would be interested in photo's of your progress. Do you have any you'd be interested in sharing?
2010/07/08 Dave, with Peter Becks assistance, has coordinated getting N3058W to Oshkosh once again. Peter will host a presentation with the CX4 taking center stage in the new Homebuilders Hanger (former home of NASA) on Thursday 7/29 1:00-2:15 PM. The plane will be on the flightline for the balance of the week.

Click here for the details...
2010/06/17 So what does a CX4 fuel tank assembly really weigh?

As always, Dave provides the answer we can chisel into stone...
2010/06/14 Another bird has left the nest! Dennis Hackbarth of Bremen, IN (N938DH, S/N 241) is not a member of the Yahoo group, but has reported to Dave that his bird sure is fun to fly!

Click here for the details...

6/27/10 3:50 PM Editor Note: Dennis has just joined the group. I'm sure we'll all look
forward to his PIREP's

2010/06/13 The PIREP posted yesterday resulted in some questions about the CX4's gear length on the Yahoo group.

Read Dave's response to the questions...
2010/06/12 Check out the CX4 PIREP from Rich Davidson, Owner of Lee Bottom Flying Field on his NORDO NEWS blog.

Read all  PIREPS reported to date.

2010/06/05 Dave has announced the availability of a new strap-supported 10.5 gal fuel tank assembly (riveted & sealed) complete with all the fittings, filler cap and a fuel quantity transmitter installed (Made from 0.040 5052H-32).

Plans are included in S/N 418 and later. A new drawing is available for earlier builders.