A MAKER’S DILEMMA: Which Airplane Project Is Right for You?
Choosing between the F- 22 Raptor (left) and the Breezy RLU- 1 (right).
F- 22 RAPTOR
2 Pratt & Whitney 35,000lb-thrust
MAXIMUM SPEED Mach 2. 42 ( 1,600mph)
SERVICE CEILING 60,000'
M61A2 Vulcan Gatling guns, fire rate
of 110 rounds/second
BREEZ Y RLU- 1
$100 for plans,
$15,000–$17,000 for build
90-horsepower, 4-cylinder reciprocating
Mach 0.11 (85mph)
Depends on what the pilot is packing
When deciding between the two, there are many considerations to weigh. Sure, there’s something appealing
about flying a Mach 2. 4 airplane with a machine gun
that fires 6,600 rounds a minute. But you can buy full
and flaps.) Wings are typically bought ready-made,
and the Breezy’s flight characteristics are such that
many different types of wings work.
Where do the wings come from? Well, sometimes
they’re salvaged from crashed planes, although
that’s just one source among many. And that’s
not something I choose to think about, especially
when I’m 2,000 feet up with nothing to cushion me
against the onrushing terrain except the hair on
the head of the pilot in front of me. I checked the
FAA records of crashes in this type of airplane, and
I found five incidents, three of them involving fatali-ties. Although a thousand plans for these homebuilt
plans for the Breezy for about $100, while the cost of
the F- 22 is somewhat greater. And, the Breezy can fly
more people at once.
Consensus choice: the Breezy.
planes have been sold since 1965 and thousands
of flight hours logged, those numbers indicate that
Breezy owners have at least a bit of the daredevil
» Breezy Kits: aircraftspruce.com/catalog/
You Tube has videos showing the Breezy in flight.
William Gurstelle is a contributing editor at MAKE and the
author of several books, including Whoosh, Boom, Splat
and Backyard Ballistics. He lives in Minneapolis.
Photography by Getty Images (left) and Edy Shuetz (right)
52 Make: Volume 15