Grand Champion Lancair Legacy Tops the Kit Aircraft

In this photo series, Jay Sabot shares the story of how his Lancair Legacy became the Grand Champion Kit Aircraft at AirVenture 2013.

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The competition for a Grand Champion Award at AirVenture requires meeting a set of standards that seem as difficult as forcing a whale through the eye of a needle. If the gaps between the ailerons vary by more than 1/16 of an inch, or if the door hinges are not identical in positioning, those “flaws” can send a builder packing. After trying for several years, Jay Sabot refined his Lancair Legacy project to the point that the judges could only shake their heads and then shake Jay's hand. His aircraft became the Grand Champion Kit Aircraft at AirVenture 2013. The kit he bought in 2003, finished in 2009 and first flew to Oshkosh in 2011 (he won the Bronze Lindy that year) made it to the top after years of effort. Click the "next" button above to see Jay tell his story through photos. _— __David Gustafson_ (Photo __ of Jay Sabot in front of his Legacy N26XY, taken_ by Russell Munson)_
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I transported Legacy N26XY back to Connecticut on this trailer. I discovered in the 11th hour after renting the box truck that Ryder and Budget have just slightly different sized boxes and it did not fit as expected. I had to purchase a wood deck trailer and tow the plane home on it with the practically empty box truck!
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N26XY is sitting in the factory jig at Lancair where the wing center section and the tail are bonded in. This stage is crucial to the alignment of the flying surfaces. If anything was the slightest bit off here, it would have killed my chances for winning Grand Champion.
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The wing tanks were coated in gray tank sealer and then the upper wing skins were bonded on using Hysol epoxy. This was done at the Lancair factory using their wing cradles to ensure the wings were closed out without any warps.
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This photo was taken when I held a "First Firing Party" at my home in Cheshire, Connecticut. After seeing me working for years on N26XY at my home, I invited about 70 friends, family, and neighbors over, brought in some catered food, and fired up the big Continental for all to see and hear!
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After running all the wires and pitot and static tubes throughout the airframe, I took this photo of the resulting rats nest before dropping the panel in.
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I did a fair amount of the body work before bringing N26XY to the painter. In this photo, I have prepped the fuselage to be sprayed in white primer, which I did with a few friends in my backyard.
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N26XY**** remained in white primer and flew for several years until I brought it to the paint shop in 2010.
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Too much sanding and bodywork without reprieve can result in some odd behaviors.
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My engine was built by Corona Aircraft in California and shipped to me in Connecticut. As soon as I opened the crate, I took this photo of the work of art that was going to spin the propeller on N26XY.
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Before installing and bonding the center console, I fabricated, installed and tested all the hydraulic and fuel lines. This photo shows all of the work, which is now hidden from view in the completed aircraft under the center console.
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I had my project inspected numerous times by an EAA Technical Counselor throughout the build. In this photo, Joe Gauthier (who was also my Designated Airwothiness Representative) acts as an EAA Technical Counselor and points out any issues. (There were plenty in the beginning!)
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The throttle quadrant incorporates two switches in the end of the handle to actuate flaps and deploy the speed brakes. The throttle handle and lever that were created for this incorporate a narrow channel running the length of the lever that the wires pass through. Credit for this ingenious idea goes to machinist extraordinaire Bruce Staubley of Simsbury Precision Products.
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Joe Gauthier, my Designated Airworthiness Representative, presents me with my Airworthiness Certificate at Barnes- Westfield Airport in Massachusetts. Without this pink card, N26XY would have only been able to win an award for the most costly lawn ornament!
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This photo was taken after I was awarded the Bronze Lindy at AirVenture 2011. After being presented with the Bronze, I became obsessed over the next 2 years with trying to do better and win the Gold Lindy.
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This was taken while on approach to land at AirVenture 2011, where I won the Bronze Lindy. If you look carefully, you can see that we taped our flight plan pages to the canopy to provide some shade from the hot sun.
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After the awards ceremony, I walked out to N26XY, which was tied down in the grass, with friends to take some photos. The emotions ran so high I can’t recall how I got from the awards ceremony to the plane! I was now the owner of a Grand Champion Kit Aircraft.
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With the Gold Lindy. What more can one say? Captured here is the moment in time that I had worked toward for nearly a decade! It was a sweet AirVenture.