Special Note to RV Builders: The section of the Van’s Airforce discussion group that showed just a few pictures and short descriptions of this aircraft generated thousands of hits before their list moderator banned the photos and deleted references to it, and put up his own negative comment. That list is operated as a commercial venture by Doug Reeves, a controversial personality who promotes a very conformist model of homebuilding and flying. He will delete your posts if they reference things he dislikes, often as simple as making a low pass. Last week, the tracking on our site showed that 220 RV builders on that site followed a link to come here and read my story 2,500 words about levels of aircraft finish… Reeves also deleted all of the links to that story to block RV builders from even referencing it. It was deemed too controversial because it included the single sentence “We were not the ones who decided that regular looking people and the planes they built were not cool enough to be on the cover of their own membership magazine. That one is on the Editors and the management of the EAA…” To my perspective, Reeves is a throwback to the type of aviation magazine editors of the 1980s and ’90s who worked to make sure only people they “approved of'” felt welcome in experimental aviation. RV builders are often unfairly characterized as uncreative conformists. Reeves’ actions unfortunately reinforce this stereotype. RV builders with open minds are welcome to come here and directly read unfiltered ideas. -ww
Note: If any of the pictures are distorted, try hitting F5 at the top of your keyboard.
Above, Jim and Ginger Tomaszewski in our booth at Oshkosh 2012. They are very interesting and dynamic people, a lot of fun in person. The computer in his hands shows a picture of their twin under construction. Over the years, we have had a handful of people look at building a Corvair twin, but none of them had the flight experience that Jim brings to his project. When pictures of this project were on the Van’s site, most of the commentary was kneejerk reactions, from people without 1% of Jim’s experience. The one standout comment of positive support was from the EAA director Chad Jensen, a real homebuilder we met at the Zenith open house. I like to think that Jim’s work is best appreciated here, where Corvair builders celebrate traditional homebuilding creativity and challenges. Below, Jim tells the story of the JAG-2 in his own words. …
TWIN JAG… a twin-engine Corvair powered aircraft project.
First, about myself…
My name is Jim Tomaszewski and I am a 46-year-old professional pilot. I live on the east end of Long Island, N.Y., with my lovely and VERY understanding wife Ginger. Although we have no children, we do have 2 Yorkies that are treated like our children. I rent a T-hangar at Mattituck Airport & own a hangar and property at Heaven’s Landing Airpark in Clayton, GA. We plan on moving full time to Heaven’s Landing (www.heavenslanding.com) and building our dream home in the near future. I live & breath aviation. If you MUST look up every time an aircraft flies over, aviation is in your blood! I feed my aviation addiction as a professional pilot and currently fly as a Captain on a Challenger 605 corporate jet. I am an ATP with type ratings in the Lear Jet, Falcon 50/900, Embraer Legacy, Gulfstream IV, Challenger 604/605 & Douglas DC-8. I have roughly 15,000 flight hours with over 14,000 of them in multi-engine aircraft. I have been interested in aviation since I was 4 years old after my first flight on a TWA 747. My dad is retired from TWA after working 37 years as a Sheet Metal Mechanic & Maintenance Inspector. I used to feed my budding aviation addiction by flying around the country using passes from my Dad! I was also an avid model aircraft builder. When I was 16 years old, I rode my bicycle to my local airport and took a $20 Discovery Flight in a C-152…I was HOOKED!!! I came home with a smile so big I needed plastic surgery to remove it from my face! I told my parents that I was going to be a pilot. Although they were not pleased, they did help me get all my ratings and supported me along the way. I soloed at age 16, got my Private License at age 17 and Commercial/Multi/Instrument at age 18. While getting my ratings, I worked as a Line Service person at the FBO I was flying at. This was my FIRST introduction to homebuilt aircraft! There was an older man who owned a Soneraii II and he kept telling me that I should get involved in homebuilt aircraft since I was so young. It was 1984 and I couldn’t comprehend how somebody could fly in a tube & fabric homemade aircraft with a VW engine and wood prop! I smiled and told him politely “no thanks”. I felt right at home in that factory built Cessna. Fast forward 20 years later and I find myself flying worldwide as a Captain on a DC-8. On one particular trip, my flight engineer showed me some pictures of his homebuilt aircraft. It was a beautiful Van’s RV-6A! After seeing the pictures and talking for hours with him, I was sold. The rest of that trip I spent thinking how to convince my wife that I wanted to build an airplane! When I broke the news to her, she said “no” faster than I could get the words out of my mouth. After showing her pictures of the RV she changed her tune. Originally, she had visions of a lawn chair duct taped to a hang glider with a weed wacker engine! Well, she came around and let me purchase the tail kit. Subsequent portions of the kit followed and in 5 years I had a flyable RV-6A. After flying off the 40 hour Phase I (it had a Sterba wood prop…thus the 40 hours), we traveled around the eastern US for the next 9 years in the RV-6A. Most people would be happy with the achievement of building a kit aircraft, but not me!
Above, the Twin jag looks like a mirror image…looking up the trailing edge of the rudder.
Now, why I’m building it…
Since 95% of my flight time was multi-engine, I began to search for a twin-engine homebuilt. There was nothing that matched what I was looking for. I only needed 2 seats and it had to be fast! That is when I decided to take the bull by the horns and began engineering the TWIN JAG. My wife began to get suspicious of the 100+ drawings I made night after night. She knew something was brewing…
At this time, I purchased the plans to build a Cozy MKIV. It will have twin Corvairs also. That project is currently about 1/3 complete. I put that project on hold and began the TWIN JAG project. The TWIN JAG began it’s life as a flying RV-6A. I made a decision out of respect for Van’s Aircraft to not refer to this aircraft as a “twin-engine RV-6A”. I hope that everyone will do the same.
About 3 years of R&D, engineering and planning went into this project before I began dismantling the RV-6A. I felt the RV-6A had some shortcomings, some in the design…some in my original build. Experimental aviation gives us the freedom to “think outside the box” and I feel it is one of our last great freedoms! People quickly forget what experimental aviation was about before the “kit” days. In the 1950’s & 60’s, just about all homebuilts were either plans built or one-off original designs. Nowadays, experimental aviation is too full of “sheeple”…the type who think any paint job other than the kit factory paint scheme is a major mod! Experimental aviation has a lot to offer to a broad spectrum of pilots. Not all facets of homebuilding appeal to every pilot so choose your level and get started. exercise your freedom and use what experimental aviation has to offer YOU.
Finally, what is the TWIN JAG and why Corvairs???
My project can be viewed at my Web site,
www.homebuiltdirectory.com. It is listed under “Original One-Off Designs.” I started this Web site as a single searchable site where you can view all types of homebuilts. It is a showcase of homebuilders craftsmanship and costs nothing to use. There are several Corvair aircraft and projects listed there and invite any others to please list your aircraft or project for others to see.
Here is an overview of the TWIN JAG:
2 seat twin-engine fixed gear aircraft
Wingspan: 26′ 6″
Estimated Empty Weight: 1400 lbs.
Gross Weight: 2150 lbs.
Estimated Cruise Speed: 190 mph
Estimated Stall Speed (GW): 64 mph
Just some of the features:
2- 120hp Corvairs with Weseman 5th bearing and new billet crankshafts
2- 27 gallon fuel tanks (no fuel in passenger cabin)
Unique prop brake system in lieu of heavy high maintenance constant speed props
Dual 10″ Dynon Skyview with dual AHRS
Fully IFR equipped w/ autopilot & electric elevator trim
2 separate electrical systems & batteries
Tubular steel (4130) nosegear w/ bushing dampening
Forward baggage shelf
40″ wing extension
Here are some pics in chronological order:
Single Engine RV-6A
Fitting fuel tank
Right nacelle fairings
Right 20″ wing extension
Dual Facet pumps
Fuel system from tank to firewall
The philosophy that I based a lot of the design of this project on is “Simplicity & Redundancy = Reliability.” Remember, the glide ratio of ANY (properly flown) twin with an engine out is better than the glide ratio of ANY single with an engine out.
I have been going to Oshkosh for the past 11 years and I began attending William’s forums on Corvair engines about 5 years ago. Two years ago, I spoke to him and committed to building my 2 engines using his quality parts and expertise. The decision to use the Corvair came 5 years ago after the first Corvair forum. The prospect of a smooth, powerful, strong engine that I can build myself was hard to pass up. In addition, it has a low drag profile since it is relatively narrow. BUT, since I chose the Corvair, I found the best reason of all to use it…the people!!! I attended the informal BBQ last year at OSH held at their tent and I was floored by the genuine kindness and camaraderie that I found there. From William & Grace & Scoob E to Dan & Rachael to Mark P. and the countless others, thank you for your hospitality and advice! I look forward to seeing you all in July!
Jim (& Ginger) Tomaszewski