Thatcher CX5 Makes First Flight

Follow on to popular CX4 experimental takes off.

Thatcher CX5

Thatcher CX5

** Thatcher CX5**

A new experimental airplane, the two-tandem-seat Thatcher CX5, has taken its maiden flight. Glen Bradley, who helped build and design the airplane together with the main designer, Dave Thatcher, was at the controls when the CX5 took off from the Jack Edwards Airport near Gulf Shores, Alabama.

Bradley used one word to describe the visibility, the handling of the airplane and the operation of the engine — "Great!" He added after the flight, "All of us know that Dave hit a homerun with the CX4, and I told him today he has now hit two clean out of the park."

The builder and pilot claims the CX5 can be built for less than $25,000, which includes a factory assembled 85 hp Revmaster VW engine and basic VFR instrumentation. While some parts, such as the spar and tail assembly, may eventually be available to purchase as a kit from other builders, as is the case with the CX4, the airplane is a complete homebuilt. It was, however, purposely designed to be built with basic tools.

The airplane has 589 pounds of useful load and 20 gallons of useable fuel. Stall speed is estimated at 39 knots and cruise at 108 knots based on first flight data.

Bradley expects to have flown the required 40 hours by Sun 'n Fun and plans to display the airplane at the Lakeland, Florida, show in April. He also expects the CX5 plans will be available for sale by that time. Nearly 600 CX4 plans have been sold to date to customers all around the globe, Bradley said.

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