Anonymous asked: Dear Matthew Long, I cannot find where to register on this site and thereby obtain a password. About your discussion of mono-hulled seaplanes on homebuiltairplanes : I want to build an efficient two seat light amphibian to fly around Fiji and Australia, and the science says suggests an aluminium, 80-100 hp, tandem, narrow hull with a stol wing. Please contact me Happy Easter Tony

Hi, Tony.  I am not sure what you mean about registering, but is probably the right place for this discussion.  Personally, I’d probably go with a proven design for the type of flying you describe, perhaps a Volmer Sportsman like the one below (image from but with a modern, lightweight Rotax 912 engine to be able to carry more fuel for longer range.  Cheers, Matthew


An update from Abe Leket on his progress building Israel’s first FRED!

Hi Matt,

As you can see from my builder’s log, we are doing OK.  As usual, things get delayed every now and then due to low stock, mainly for major items like wheels, gas tank fittings and most of all aircraft plywood.  Every order takes three or four months to arrive, so I’m doing the metal work and all sorts of little tasks.  If I lived in California, the aircraft would be 80% done by now.

Between you and me, the whole landing gear assembly of FRED is an engineering nightmare, actually its almost impossible for the A-frame to fit the fuselage’s double taper.  Some, like the one in NZ, have modified it totally (out of sheer despair, I guess).  Another issue is getting in/out of the cockpit, it looks like 24” (2” more than the plans) is the absolute minimum required. Other than that, a fun aircraft this FRED, simple and easy to build.

Total cost so far for fuselage, tail, wheels and all the metal is about $3,800.  The wing will be another $1,200 and it looks like with an 1835cc VW we’ll get up to a total of about $11,000.  Maybe $12,000 is a better estimate since we need instruments and a radio.

Attached are four pictures that represent about five months of work or around 400 man hours:  two hours every evening (instead of watching infantile reality shows) and twelve hours every weekend (six hours per day).  As I said, the fuselage would be standing tall on its landing gear already, but here in Israel I have to wait three months to get the wheels from California.  Right now, a delivery of AN bolts is due in two weeks and with it a fresh supply of T88 epoxy.  Yes, summer is here and I’ll start on the wing center section.  If you purchased all the materials in advance you could build FRED in twelve months in a leisurely fashion.

We will talk some more, Matt!


Photos & text courtesy of Abe Leket

#flying runabout experimental design#fred#clutton fred#homebuilt#aircraft#airplane#aeroplane

Happy birthday, Eric!  FRED creator Eric Clutton is 86 years young today.  In honor of the special day here is little video clip of Eric discussing FRED’s ground handling after a brief demonstration hop.  Cheers, Matthew

#clutton fred#eric clutton#flying runabout experimental design#fred