Dave's CX4 In The Air

Dave's CX5 In The Air

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The following news items were posted in 2013.

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.

Here are two brief videos of Glen Bradleys take-off and landing of Dave's CX5 earlier today: 



The CX5 was flown for the first time today!

Glen posted the following PIREP on the Yahoo group:

"The day dawned bright and cool, but the cool in the 40s was destined to move to the mid 60s by mid day. Dave and I met at Chick-fil-A as usual and headed out for the 1 hour plus drive to Jack Edwards Airport to begin the process of putting the CX5 together. We were hoping we had all the various screws, nuts, wrenches and what ever that we needed to assemble the plane. I was hoping we would at least get it assembled in time to run some high speed taxi tests before flying but wasn't at all sure how long it would all take.

We put the wings on first....didn't take long. The big bolts are easy ....Then hooked up the gas lines, fuel tank drains, ailerons, put the aileron balance weights back on and, of course, the wing gap strips. Then to the tail feathers>> same deal. Four bolts for the stab, elevator pins through the hinges, etc etc. Then the wheel pants and various panels and trim.

We got most of it done by noon and headed to lunch after having 4 gallons per tank put in so we could see if any leaks appeared during lunch. We ate gourmet>>> McDonalds- FAST food. Dave mentioned how we would have plenty of time to fly it some today. Wow, I was 100% ready to hear it put quite so casually but knew he was right.

Heading back to the airport the wind picked up a little...about 8 knots and a few gusts out of the West, but not too bad. Beautiful blue sky. No leaks so 5 more gallons per tank- no need to top them off. A few more panels and it was done. Checked the tanks for water etc and it was time to FLY.

I had told Dave I planned on doing an land-back or two and then take off if all was well. I planned on flying off runway heading about 30 degrees once climb was established so as to make a turn back to the runway easier if one was needed- after I had sufficient altitude. If a problem occurred while I still had sufficient runway ahead (but now off center) the two turns required to get back on runway centerline would help me lose altitude. I try to stack the cards in my favor in situations like that.

So....crank her up, checked controls free, tuned Unicom, set 1200 in the transponder, taxi and announce that I would be in an Experimental airplane, first flight, and would be taking off down the runway 27 and landing back, NOT departing. It was a long 7000 feet to the end....a few little gusts but no problem. Did the mag checks (4) on the roll and checked all gauges green. As I neared the end of the taxiway the traffic taking off turned crosswind so I WAS GO.

I didn't even slow down at the end but announced again and rolled some throttle in as I turned onto the runway. Smooth, slow power up to full power-- no significant extra rudder needed (or if it was I am used to it from the CX4). At 45 I take the weight off the nose wheel, acceleration was FAST....soon I was at 55 and levitating rapidly. The plane lifted off in a flatter attitude than the CX4 does and climbs like mad. I soon was 30 feet in the air and accelerating so I eased back on the throttle and eased down to about 2 feet and let the speed bleed off. Chirp, chirp, at about 45 or 50. I wasn't looking at the gauges until after touchdown. Let the nose ease itself down at about 40 or so and taxied off the runway.

I was soon at the end again and traffic was clear so I announced...."First flight, Experimental aircraft 14GB, departing runway 27 Jack Edwards, will stay in the pattern." Second time same as the first--- ease nose up a smidge at 50 or so and hold it. Soon I was at 65 and off and running.

Got my planned 80 (for first flight only) almost immediately and noticed I had to push a smidge forward to maintain so I pushed trim about half way forward and all was trimmed for 80. Turned my 30 degrees L an by now I was at 500 feet and climbing at well over 800 fpm....even at 80. Climbed to 800 feet before I knew it , my decision point for going on around the field, and flew back toward centerline about the time the end of the runway passed beneath me 1000 feet below.

A nice 25 degree bank to begin a 180 to downwind and level off at about 110mph. I was going to let the speed build and fly around the field but noticed I didn't have any fuel pressure even with both pumps running (one mechanical, one electric) so I figured it must be the sending unit or gauge but decided not to bank on that during a first flight. Oil temp 180. All other gauges green. The engine ran GREAT!! The plane flew great.

So I called in that I was on downwind for landing. I kept it a little high on base as I retarded the throttle to idle. As I turned final I was a bit high so I tried a quick slip and it felt just like I was in the CX4. I kept 80 over the numbers, 70 down to 20 feet and then gradually slowed her down as I got to about 2 feet. I then just kept coming back and back to see when she would settle in. About 45-50 she settled and I let her. Stick was not full back but was close enough For the first flight. After all- a LOT was going on. New plane, new airport, new radios, new everything. The landing was quite smooth. I was surprised and very pleased with the landing. Let her slow down and turned off mid-field.

One can tell right away the two planes are brothers. Not only do they look alike, they fly very similarly. I felt very much at home in the 5 but some things are strikingly different. The flying behavior is VERY similar. I automatically flew the 5 just as I would the 4 and noticed no significant differences except the 5 seems to climb at a flatter attitude. This may be an illusion because the visibility in the 5 is even better than the 4 and it is already awesome in the 4. The canopy in the 5 is more rounded and higher....that, combined with the fact that the wing is about a foot or so further back in the 5 gives one a view of much more ground below. One sits more OUT in front of the wing. This, combined with higher seating position in the 5 makes one feel like they are flying a fighter. It is REALLY superb.
I did take time to glance down the beach today for a few milliseconds on downwind and it was a gorgeous day....could see clearly for many miles. I almost stayed aloft and enjoyed the view but thought the prudent thing to do on a first flight was land. As soon as we get the fuel indicator issue sorted out you can bet I'll be right back up there.....flying off the 40 hours and writing up pilot reports.

Also, the CX5 is a beautiful plane. EVERYONE comments on how great it looks in the air and on the ground. Dave said it sure looked nice flying over with the strobes going today. I'm sure it did...and it looked great from inside the airplane too.
All of us know that Dave hit a home-run with the CX4 and I told him today he has now hit TWO clean out of the park.

Congratulations, DAVE on another elegant airplane. Smiles all around.

Thanks Dave".
Dr. Glen Bradley

Editor Notes:

Dave, Builders all over the world congratulate your efforts with the CX5. Everyone has been patiently waiting for the news of her first flight today. Glens initial PIREP indicates that you've realized yet another dream. We all share in the excitement, and look forward to your future comments as the 40 hours are flown off.

Glen, Your efforts with Dave and N14GB have been appreciated by many. You've assisted Dave in bringing another dream to reality in remarkable time. The detail of your reports on the fabrication process and now flight of this bird have been incredible. Thanks for everything you've done!

Now  I have to ask... Did anyone get a photo (or two) of the flight?

CX5 Update
Glen just posted the following on the Yahoo group:

"I should not have been too impressed today. After all, I have watched Dave work "miracles" for over two years, ....
but I WAS.

As you all know we decided to build a larger elevator for the CX5 to help with rotation behavior. Dave figured out the amount of square feet to be added and came to breakfast THIS MORNING with a drawing ON notebook sized paper with all the dimensions.

He had already drawn out the measurements on 6160 yesterday afternoon and cut the patterns out. NO FULL size drawings....no computer....NOTEBOOK size paper!!!!
Here is the amazing part>>> We picked up an 8 foot break from Home Depot (35 bucks for half a day) and proceeded to bend both elevators...all 3 bends. Took about an hour - we were slow and careful but even then, we had the break back to Home Depot in time for an early lunch.
Here is what amazed me...  The pieces overlapped and fit perfectly. I don't think Dave even had to trim them. He was putting it together with cleco's when I left at 2.
NO FULL SIZE pattern was ever made... No extra metal if he goofed...  WOW!!!

I should have known....I have seen guys bring Dave the compound curve windshield retainer after 3 or 4 throwaways and Dave takes one from them and, in 15 minutes, hands it to them in perfect shape.

I should have known. But it really makes me smile to see such a craftsman at work. Craftsmen like Dave are rare indeed. Very rare. I am honored to know him and to work with him."

Glen Bradley

Editor Note:  Glen, I'm certain people the world over would gladly trade places with you if given the chance to work side by side with Dave!


The Pensacola News Journal (Pensacola, Florida USA) published the following story, written by Kimberly Blair with photos by Ben Twingley, in their Tuesday, November 5, 2013 edition:

Do-it-yourself aviation: Up, up in the air in a CX5
Pensacola aircraft designer offers an affordable, safe plane for amateur pilots to build

Experimental Airplane: Aircraft designer Dave Thatcher and his friend Glen Bradley are getting ready to test out Thatcher's new two seater design.Dave Thatcher reminds you of silver screen icon Jimmy Stewart with his subtle wit, lanky frame and down-to-Earth demeanor.

But Thatcher has spent his lifetime tinkering with ways to stay un-tethered from the terra firma, even if it’s only 10,000 feet above it.

At age 81, the Pensacola aircraft mechanic, designer and builder has just completed fabricating his second experimental airplane. Think of a two-seater sports car with wings, propelled by a modified Volkswagen engine and designed to be stylish, safe and affordable for amateur pilots.

Online experimental aircraft forums are buzzing about the Thatcher CX5. Already some 50 aviation buffs have lined up to pay $475 for the plans to build the plane for roughly $25,000.That’s a bargain considering the engines of many kit airplanes cost more than $100,000 alone (Glen B comment 11/6/2013 - That 100K figure is not a representative engine cost). He sold 547 plans for his first plane, the one seater CX4 he completed in 2004, to amateur plane builders all over the world. The CX5, which seats two, is a larger version of the CX4.

Thatcher derived the name of the planes from the 1940s Hop Harrigan radio show, which recounted the thrilling exploits of the aviation hero that he listened to as a child. “Hop Harrigan would start his radio program by saying, ‘CX4 to control tower. CX4 to Control Tower. This is Hop Harrigan coming in.’ ”

Thatcher created the concept for his planes, much in the same way musicians jot down lyrics when inspiration strikes — on a paper napkin. Thatcher inked his design while eating in the Bayou Boulevard McDonald’s restaurant one day in 2003.

Glen Bradley, who spent two years alongside Thatcher building the plane, recently pointed out the features that make the CX4 and CX5 special — curves where other aircraft have straight lines, customized hand-hammered canopy trim, sloped canopy and air pants (covers on the wheels).

If the new plane flies like the first one, it will be a very nice ride, he said. “Some cars have a natural feel to drive and some you just fight,” said Bradley. “This is like a sports car ... easy to fly and not overly sensitive. It’s a pilot’s plane.”

Realizing a dream
“I’ve always wanted to build my own plane, but it wasn’t until after I retired that I had the time and money to do that,” Thatcher said. He retired as the service manager at Pensacola Aviation Center in 1997.

“Also, I had a good partner to help me build this one and my first one,” he said. “If you want to build an airplane, get a good wife. Jean encouraged me and never gave me any grief about it whatsoever.”

In a hangar on the private side of Pensacola International Airport on Monday, and over the roar of a steady stream of commercial airliners taking off nearby, Thatcher and Bradley, put the finishing touches on the CX5 in preparation for an inspection later this week to deem it air-worthy, the final step before the first test flight.

Bradley, 65, a retired college professor, has logged 6,000 flight hours since earning his pilot’s license at age 16, and will conduct the test flights.

Experimental planes are not allowed to fly at Pensacola International Airport, so the wings will be taken off and the plane will be taken by trailer to Gulf Shores Jack Edwards National Airport, which allows experimental aircraft to be tested.
“We’re not going to just jump in the plane and go,” Thatcher said. “We’re going to do a lot of taxi runs.”

After they’ve flown 40 hours, expect to see the CX5 flying over the skies of Pensacola often, Thatcher said.
Bradley is confident in the plane’s flying abilities and expects few problems with the new prototype.
“It’s basically the same plane but larger than the CX4,” he said. “There’s nothing radical about it. No new design breakthrough. It’s just a very efficiently designed airplane with upturned wings and strakes (aerodynamic surface) that adds speed and smoothness.”

The plane will cruise up to 125 mph and travel about more than 300 miles on one tank of fuel. Adding to the cost-effectiveness, the plane can be designed to operate on non-ethanol automobile fuel that’s about $3 less a gallon than aircraft fuel.

It also lands at 40 mph, a speed that increases the survivability of crashes, Bradley noted.

Thatcher, he said, spent a lot of time sitting in the tight cockpit perfecting the best placement for the controls. And a custom-made, wooden propeller adds a bit of panache but is critical to the plane’s performance.“

Both airplanes have converted VW engines in them. In order to get the horsepower out of that little engine you have to have a smaller propeller and a wooden one,” Thatcher said. “A metal propeller would be too heavy and put too much force on the crankshaft.”

There’s a host of retired and current military, and commercial and amateur pilots who desire small airplanes for weekend getaways or just soaring into the blue skies, Thatcher said.

John McKienan, president of the Pensacola chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, said about eight members of the chapter are working together to build one of Thatcher’s CX4s. He’s sure there will be demand for the two-seater.

“What’s nice about his plans, you really don’t need sophisticated tools to build it from scratch,” he said.

Some kits require purchasing $2,500 worth of tools just to build the plane. “If you go to Dave’s hangar, he has tin snips and band saws and drill presses and wooden forms to bend metal. And that’s the appeal,” McKienan said.

Spiritual experience
Thatcher is a bit of a legend in the world of experimental aircraft, Bradley said.

“A lot of people who offer kits hire a designer and an engineer,” he said. “Dave is a one man show, and that’s a bit unusual.”

Thatcher spent a lifetime collecting the skills he needed to follow his childhood dreams into the world of aviation.

“My first airplane was a cardboard box with a piece of wood across the top of it,” he said. “I flew that air plane through the clouds as a fighter pilot, anything my imagination could come up with. I’ve always been interested in planes.”

Upon graduating from high school in Signal Mountain, Tenn., he was drafted into the Air Force during the Korean War. He had aspirations of ­becoming a pilot but started out as an aircraft ­mechanic.

“You could be an enlisted man for two years and that would qualify you to go to the cadets if you passed the tests,” he said. “I passed all of them, except the physical requirements. I didn’t weigh enough for my height.

By that time, I had fallen in love with being a mechanic. I’ve been working with airplanes ever since.” He honed his skills at Embry-Riddle School of Aeronautics for Aircraft Mechanics, then located in Miami, and he built on that knowledge through a correspondence course on aeronautical engineering while in the Air Force.

Around age 20, he earned his private pilot’s license and purchased his first airplane, a Piper Cub, for $400.

While Bradley clocks 40 hours on the CX5, Thatcher will make final adjustments to it and its plans before offering them up for sale. And then he said he’ll move on to his next project, which he’s still pondering.

“I’m getting quite a bit of pleasure knowing that people are as interested as they are in the little airplane,” he said. “Flying is a spiritual experience. When you design it and build it and fly it yourself, there is reward in it. I never thought I’d get that much pleasure out of doing something.”

This was printed in a sidebar to the article:

David Thatcher pulls his experimental aircraft, the CX5, back into the hangar. Thatcher has been working on airplanes all his life and is close to completing his second aircraft design. More than 500 copies of his first aircraft design the CX4, seen in background, have been sold to builders all over the world. Both planes utilize a Volkswagen engine and can be run on premium automotive fuel.

About the CX5

• Length: 18 feet.
• Weight: Gross is 1,300 pounds. Empty is 721 pounds.
• Wingspan: 28 feet.
• Cruise speed: 125 mph (201 km/h).
• Fuel: Holds 10.5 gallons automobile fuel.
          (Correction Per Glen 11/6/13, CX5 fuel capacity is 20 gal usable)
• Unit cost: $25,000.
• Engine type: 85-horsepower Volkswagen air-cooled engine.
• Plans: $475. They won’t be available until after the 40-hours test flights that are expected to begin in
  about a week.

 For more details on Dave Thatcher and his planes, visit www.thatchercx4.com.

The CX5 Paint Is Complete!

We're not the only one that has been waiting for these! Dave just sent us a couple of new photo's, and asked that we get them posted right away for everyone to see. Yes, she's another beautiful bird Dave!

What's next? When can you order the plans?  We asked the boss...

He mentioned having a DAR inspection, then she'll have to be disassembled once again, and moved to a field where flight testing can begin and any required changes made. She's getting closer, and he'll keep us posted with the progress. 


Another beautiful CX4 has been completed, and her first flight could be soon!

Charlie Wieland, Huntington Beach CA USA (CX4 #260, N260CW) attached this photo with a message he recently posted on the Yahoo group site.  We contacted Charlie immediately to inquire about the status of his bird. He responded:

"I've had difficulty finding a DAR since Christmas. I finally have located one in San Diego, a hundred miles away, and have finished all the paper work. I'm waiting for him to come out and physically inspect for it's certification.

It does have foldable wings and a winch loading trailer plus other features unique by its builder. Its been years since I have flown and need some refresher instructions before it's test flight in Corona. I'll keep you posted."

Charlie N260CW

Thanks for the update Charlie!

#40 is Airborne!

Dave just notified us that #40 has spread it's wings and flew for the first time today! He received the following email from Glen Wilcox:


I am pleased to tell you that N404CX was flown for the first time today by test pilot Dan Gray of Aviation F/X from Santa Paula, CA.  He said he wished all his test flights were this easy.

No trim adjustments required. I believe mine may be the 40th plane to take to the air. As always, thanks for your design, your products, and your continuing support."

Glen Wilcox
Oak Park, CA
N404CX, S/N 404


I'd like to join the rest of the CX4 Community with wishing you congratulations on your birds first flight. You've reached a milestone many are still dreaming about. Keep us posted with the details, and we can't wait until you, as PIC, get airborne! Take plenty of photo's!.


Dave and Glen report that the CX5 wings are painted, and
the  fuselage is sporting a new coat of primer.
She sure is looking nice gentlemen!


Glen Bradley mounted a GoPro on top of Daves CX4 instrument panel and flew around Pensacola earlier today. Here's a brief video of the flight: 


The prep work is done, and Dave is personally applying the first coat of primer to the CX5!

The Wings Over Camarillo Air Show was held this weekend at CMA.

The Wings Over Camarillo Air Show (Camarillo, CA, USA) is an event run by the Camarillo Wings Association (CWA), a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation formed to support the nation's youth with aviation-related programs, educational scholarships, and endowments associated with higher education. The Air Show is known for exciting, emotional displays and flights of World War II, military and experimental aircraft.

In support of the Air Show, the CWA partners with the Commemorative Air Force (Southern California Chapter), Chapter 723 of the Experimental Aircraft Association and the Ventura County Chapter of the 99's.

Glen Wilcox (CX4 #404, N404CX) has his CX4
hangered at the EAA Chapter at CMA while he searches for a test pilot, so it was a natural opportunity to display his bird with the other aircraft for everyone to see. The stream of visitors was constant throughout the weekend, and many questions were asked.

Thanks for the photos Glen!  We all look forward to your birds first flight.

CX5 Update

On behalf of Dave, Glen Bradley posted this update on the Yahoo group today:

"The CX5 is completely done except for painting and final re-assembly. It has been completely assembled, but was disassembled for painting because Dave decided to paint it before flight testing. It WILL be a pretty sight for sure and will be painted in the same general scheme as Dave's CX4.

I spent this week scuffing up the wings and filling in rivet holes and will do the same on the fuselage and tail feathers next week. Dave has had lots of parts to make for CX4s so he has been doing that. It is also VERY hot and humid in Florida this time of year so we are working shorter days.
Some of you asked how long it will take Dave to draw up the plans. Well, Dave corrects and redraws them as we go along so as soon as the airplane's initial flight testing is done the plans will already be ready to print.
It is a VERY pretty bird."

Dr. Glen Bradley
Pensacola FL

Dave just announced that a matched hole CX4 Tail Kit is now available!

With bends already made, deburr the holes and sand the edges smooth and you're ready to rivet. The kit comes complete with all welded parts, rivets, bushings, hinges and more.

Order today at the introductory price of just $1295.00 US for orders placed by September 1, 2013.

Contact Greg at flybgair@visioncomm.org or call 423.667.9708 to place your order today!

A complete CX4 kit with the same matched hole assembly is coming soon.

The 39th bird has taken to the air!

Jim Terry, Franklin, LA, USA notified Dave today that his CX4, N446CX, S/N's 143 & 446, completed it's maiden flight on Wednesday, July 17 at Patterson, LA.  Jim just posted this on the Yahoo Group:

"I made the first flight in my Thatcher CX4 built from plans #143 on Wed. July 17 at Patterson, La. Flew with canopy off and it was WINDY in the cockpit. Only did a takeoff and landing to check for leaks etc. No problems.

This plane was mostly built by Thomas Swearingen in Normal, Illinois. I bought the project after he passed away and I finished it.

Thanks to all who provided advice when I got stuck. I'll be looking for a way to reduce the wind in the cockpit since I would like to fly mostly open cockpit."

Jim Terry

Congratulations Jim!


Unable to attend Oshkosh 2013?
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


Jack Ference (N443, #355) of Pickerington, Ohio, USA just sent us this CX4 update with a couple of photo's:

"Just wanted to share my build status. My CX4A (tri-gear) is on the gear and I’m starting to wire the Revmaster 2300 that will be pulling it around. Hope to have it done sometime this summer."



Jon Middleton (N117JM, #430) of Overgaard, AZ, USA just sent us this CX4 update with a couple of photo's:

"First flight was March 19, 2013. I've flown it 3 times, 5.4 hours, but have been replacing rudder cables, adjusting wheel alignment and adding trim tabs since. Also changing axles, I'm the guy that had the broken axle. Coupled with traveling and other distractions, I have not flown since. Also the eastern AZ high desert and Mogollon Rim country is very windy in the spring and not the best for flight testing a light aircraft. I have wheel pants but decided to do initial testing without them.

Check out Jon's photos on the "Completed & Flying" page.

Editor Note: In a follow-up email 6/13, Jon sent us the following:

"I forgot to point out the cowl mod. I read that some had an issue with heat from the engine compartment coming into the cockpit through the NACA vent on the side. I decided to extend the cheek cowl aft in a conical shape to dump the hot engine air below the NACA vent. It works well, no heat inside, just cool air."

Thanks for the update Jon!


Wade Jones (N725WJ, #152) posted an interesting pilot report on the Yahoo group today.

You can read Wade's PIREP on the Pilot Reports page!


Do you remember how you felt when you received your CX4 plans, purchased your first order of aluminum, and made your first parts? Were you wondering how big of a project you've started, and how long it would take for these pieces to eventually become an actual plane?

These parts, made in June 2007, were the first of many to follow for Ray Gignac, Lothian, MD, USA  (Plans #251).  

Step forward many parts and 6 years later. Ray's project has evolved into a completed airplane (N251CX). He had the DAR inspection on May 10, and was issued a Special Airworthiness Certificate to fly. Ray says the first flight will be soon.

Ray, our congratulations to you on your commitment, determination, years of sweat equity and the beautiful  plane that has been the result. The entire CX4 Community looks forward to your first flight. Keep us posted!


And the fleet hours continue to grow (now at 2683.7)...  A copy of an email sent by Anton Tallie, St Helena Bay, South Africa (#92, ZU-FBE) to another enthusiast was sent to us.    In it, Anton reports the following:

"Yellow 2 has done 117 hrs. I have made some changes to the fuel system. If you are interested, I changed the fuel tank to 55 liters (14.5 gallons) and moved the rudder pedals to the floor to make space for the tank. I have also changed to stainless steel rudder cables. I also have the molds for the engine cowls and the spats. I really enjoy my CX4.

Anton T"



CX4 Fleet Hours have reached the 2500 milestone!

Our friends in the UK have requested this information be tracked because it will assist with the eventual type certification for them and avoid the need to undergo a full structural analysis. We began tracking this information 1 year ago, and have been keeping the total number updated on top of this page and the individual numbers for each aircraft on the "Completed & Flying" page.

Glen Wilcox, Oak Park, CA, USA; N404CX, has been separately tracking fleet hours, and keeping his results in the "Files" section of the CX4 Yahoo group. Glen has spearheaded the recent push to update the fleet numbers, contacting many owners directly by phone to get the most accurate numbers possible. We have updated our records to align with his. (Click here for a PDF copy of Glen's May 21, 2013 update.)

On behalf of our UK friends, we want to thank Glen for all his efforts tracking this information and bringing it to the attention of everyone here.

Editor Note: We will continue to track the numbers and post the results here. Please help us keep this list updated as your flight hours continue to grow (Use the email link at the top of this page). Thanks!


Doug Lambert, (Evergreen, AL, USA) did some spin testing in his bird today.

You can read Doug's PIREP on the Pilot Reports page!


Len Nyenes, (S/N 342, ZU-FML) just sent us this CX4 update:

"Well, it’s been a frenetic 6 months. I needed to fly off 45 hours to achieve my airworthiness certificate from our Civil Aviation Authority. I completed that in February and have enjoyed the CX4 immensely. To date I have 63 hours and generally fly about 2 hours a week - it also helps that Cape Town is so beautiful. The tri-gear has been fantastic and running the Aerovee on a Zenith carb has solved all the engine problems I had. In fact, I have had a trouble-free 6 months in my bird.

Len Nyenes"


CX4 Axle Recall

Great Plains Aircraft Supply (Bennington, NE, USA) issued the following notice on the CX4 Yahoo group website yesterday (May 8, 2013), advising immediate recall of a select group of axles they supplied to CX4 builders.

"To all CX-4 Builders,

On April 26, 2013 we were notified that a welded axle we had sold to a CX-4 builder had cracked in the weld. After looking at the crack on the axle after it was returned to us, we are issuing a voluntary recall for the other 24 sets of axles made in this batch. We can identify who purchased axles, but not what length or style.

Axles that are 6.500" long sold between August of 2009 to December 31, 2012 are the ones being recalled. Axles that are 6" long or less, are not in the recall. Any flying aircraft "SHOULD BE GROUNDED", until an inspection is made and replacements axles installed if needed.

We want to take care of any flying CX-4 builders, Sonerai builders etc... first. All other builders will be sent replacements after flying aircraft are taken care of (at no cost to the builder).

Please go to our web site (gpasc.com) to identify the axles that are being recalled. The information is on our home page, on the left side of your screen. If you have any questions, please call 402 493 6507 or e-mail at info@greatplainsas.com.

I apologize for the inconvenience this causes.


Steve Bennett President
Great Plains Aircraft Supply Co. Inc"

They have posted complete information on their website. Here's the link:

Axle Recall by Great Plains Aircraft Supply Co., Inc.

The 38th bird has taken to the air!

Dave received an email today from Jon & Carolyn Middleton of Overgaard, AZ, USA.  They reported that #430 - N117JM made it's maiden flight on March 19th. Flying from a 6657 foot field, performance with a 2400 cc engine resulted in a climb rate of 600 ft per minute.

We will contact Jon via email and ask for a photo or two to share with everyone here.

Congratulations Jon & Carolyn!

Update: Glen Bradley's CX5 Presentation at Sun n' Fun 2013

Glen sent us his CX5 presentation on CD via the US mail service because the PowerPoint presentation was too large of a file to attach to an email. It was received yesterday, and we've been working since to get it on-line.

Because of the file size, we've created a new page on this website to place it on. Here's the link:


The presentation consists of 47 individual slides, with notes added by Glen below many of the slides. The Google Translation tool (at the top of every CX4 Community webpage) can be used to translate Glen's presentation to many different languages.

We've also added a PDF file of the presentation (with a smaller file size and a link on the page above) that can be viewed or saved to your local computer.

We appreciate everyone's patience with getting this online, and ask that you contact Glen if you have any additional questions on the presentation.



Another CX4 has taken to the air, we just don't know when it first happened. Dave just received a note from Doug Hocking of Ontario, Canada that his bird (#383, C-IJQN, built by George Dodds) has been flown 27 hours to-date. We're not certain of the date it was first flown, but we have received a couple of photo's from Glen W. in California that have been posted on the "Completed and Flying" page.

Congratulations Doug!


We'd like to thank Glen Bradley for all his efforts with the forum he presented at
Sun n' Fun on Friday, April 12th. Everyone in attendance got a behind-the-scene perspective of Glen, Dave and the work being done on the CX5 prototype.

There have been many posts on the Yahoo group site since Saturday regarding Glen's presentation, with everyone wondering if it could be placed on-line. We've been in contact with both Dave and Glen, and are currently working together to get Glen's presentation on-line here for everyone to see.

Our Community website has a huge international audience, and many visitors translate the content of the individual pages to their native language using the Google tool at the top of every page. We want to preserve this functionality with Glen's presentation, so it will require a little work on our end before it goes on-line.

We appreciate your patience and will let everyone here and on the Yahoo group website know when the presentation becomes available.


Editor Note: Photo courtesy of Patrick Panzera


Unable to attend Sun n' Fun 2013?
Here are a couple of 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 Audio:

LiveATC.net - LiveATC.net is the original source for streaming audio from Sun n' Fun 2013. Use this link to go directly to their website, then choose the stream of your choice, or use the direct links below:

     Sun n' Fun Radio, Courtesy of LiveATC.net

     KLAL Lakeland, FL Tower and Ground, Courtesy of LiveATC.net

Live Streaming Cam:

Sun n' Fun (KLAL) Lakeland, FL Courtesy of WVTV Fox TV, Tampa Bay, FL

CX4 Rudder Control Cable Advisory Update

These photographs and drawings are the originals Dave Thatcher used for the "Mandatory Rudder Control Cable Replacement" instructions referenced in his advisory yesterday (Below or scroll down this page to the entire Sat 2013/3/16 post).


Figure 1

Figure 2

Figure 3

Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7a

Figure 7b_R1 (Updated 20Mar2013)

Figure 8

Figure 9


Dave Thatcher has issued an Advisory for all CX4 builders and current owners that requires an immediate mandatory replacement of the rudder control cables installed per his original plans for all CX4 aircraft.

Dave reported the following on the CX4 Yahoo Group site March 4th:

After 180 hours the left rudder teleflex cable broke at the tail end. It broke while taxing. . thank God.
It looks like the constant moving back and forth at the flexible joint caused the strands to work harden and break.
I am advising everyone to remove the teleflex cables and replace with 7X19 1/8" stainless aircraft cable. Run the cable through a nylon tube, used as a conduit, through the fuselage.
I have ordered all the material needed to convert my CX4 and I will advise you what you will need as soon as I make the change. I think it will take about two days to change over the rudder cable system.
You may cut the necessary holes in the bottom of the fuselage to remove and install the cables.
A photo of the broken cable end is in the CX4 advisory section.

Dave has completed the cable replacement on CX4 #001, N3058W. He has sent us the instructions he developed for the procedure and asked that we make them available to everyone here. Click on the following links for the instructions and two composite photo pages:


images\Rudder cable photos 1.jpg

images\Rudder cable change 2.jpg

Editor Note (Sunday 3/17, 8:45 AM): We are aware that the photo's in both links above are hard to see any detail in. We just got off the telephone with Dave, and he will send us the individual photo's used for both pages later today. We will get them online here as soon as they are received.


As everyone is most likely aware, Glen Bradley is assisting Dave with the prototyping of the CX5. He also flies Dave's CX4 Tri-gear regularly. He recently posted the following on the CX4 Yahoo group, announcing a builder forum that he's planning on at Sun n' Fun this year.

"It is not set in stone yet but it IS scheduled and should appear on the official forum schedule in a couple of days >>> a forum on the CX5- and the CX4, of course. IF I can work out getting off work and a place to stay I plan on being at Lakeland on Friday, April 12 at 9 AM Room 11. As many of you know I have had the pleasure of flying Dave's CX4 for over a year now and have been honored to work with him on the building of the CX5 as well. I can certainly talk intelligently about flying the CX4 and, if the CX5 has flown by that time, I can speak of flying it as well.

Even if it has flown by that time, the required 40 hours will certainly not have been flown off so it won't be at Sun-N-Fun. But, if any of you pass through Pensacola on the way to Sun-N-Fun I will do what I can to meet with you if you wish and discuss either aircraft and show both of them to you.
If any of you have an extra room at Sun-N-Fun or any suggestions where I might be able to stay at this late date please let me know."
Glen Bradley
Flying 3058W
Pensacola FL


Another CX4 has taken to skies! Allan Pixley just informed us that his bird (#347, N347CX) is the 36th to became airborne for the first time today. Congratulations Allan!

"Beautiful flight lasted about 30 minutes. Had a slight left rolling tendency but flew great!! Made one approach and she landed the first time with very little float. Thanks to Dave and all the community for all the help

Allan included a short video of the flight. but it was taken some distance away from the flight line  We took the opportunity to post it on YouTube (http://youtu.be/hZqb6dy3SSg), and you can see it on the Completed /Flying page. We also posted some photo's there that Allan's ground crew provided.

CX5 Tri-Gear Prototype Update

Dave posted several new photos on Yahoo today showing the latest progress CX5 progress, and added the following details:

"We installed the wings on the CX5 and thought you might like to see what the girl looks like. Some of the side skins were left off to make installing the controls, electrical system and battery easy."


CX5 Tri-Gear Prototype Update

Dave posted a new photo on Yahoo today showing the progress, and added the following details:

"It looks like not much has been done since the last photo, but the fuel tanks have been installed in the wings, the fiberglass wing and elevator tips, wiring and instruments and brake system are about finished. The flaperons system has been removed and speed brakes have been installed. The engine controls and wiring have been installed."



Back in July, 2012, Thomas Balazs, Maplewood, New Jersey sent us an email announcing that his bird was the 32nd CX4 to take to the air. He mentioned that he'd pass on some photo's at a later date. It took a little while, but with the assistance of Bob in Country Lakes, NJ, photo's were posted in the Yahoo Group Photo album.

We've put one of these photo's, and another sent to us by Dave, on the Pilot Reports page. Just scroll down to #32.

Click  Here To View Earlier CX4 & CX5 News - 2010 through 2012