• A Cavalier in New Zealand - G. Barthel

My name is G. Barthel and I'm the builder and owner of the  Cavalierregistered ZK-DJJ.
Just by accident I visited our New Zealand home builders web side andclicked on my aircraft's picture and imagine my surprise when I saw a commentfrom you, the designer, under it. My apologies for not noticing it soonerand thanks for the second follow-up, which was only dated last week! I had dealings with you way back in 1972 when I purchased the plans. Iam a printer by trade and had no training in reading technical drawingsand produced a good aircraft from them, now that says something about theirquality! Well done.



It took me 13 years to build under my house and now that I am 66 yearsold and have flown it for about 18 years (no one else has flown it solo,yet)it has passed the 1000 hour mark in the air. It has never left New Zealandand a clever mate of mine commented that 1000 hours at 100 knots equalsabout 100.000 nautical miles. Since it is about 25000 miles once around the earth I have flown a distance 4 times around the world amazing. Weather and bank managers "nod "permitting it is flown regularly and has acquired the nick name "Luxury cruiser" since it's very comfortable and  astable cross-country machine with the tip tanks. The wing design has savedme embarrassment many times! A wing levelling device coupled to a GPS alsoadds to the jealousy of others.

Two people, full fuel at 108 litres ( the tip tanks are the only tanks)gives me about 360 NM or 4.5 hours with reserve.  That is the 0-200at 2400 RPM uses about 22 litres an hour. The more luggage I carry theslower it flys.

I have made dual control wheels out of mahogany (modified Cessna system)and toe brakes on the pilots side. The Cavalier is always hangared andhas "held together" up to now. It has been through some "rough" weather
at times and only once on its back (in the air) when it flipped whenI accidentally stalled it in a steep turn.Rudder control was adequate.Onehas to be careful with tip tanks and uneven fuel load.
The only other change I made was to the nose wheel fork angle. Earlyon while still test flying I taxied into a rabbit hole and because theleg end was half way down the wheel centre the wheel could not roll outof the hole. The leg hit the wall of the hole and broke the fire wall andthe cock pit floor (12 month rebuild). The inner and outer nose wheel bracketswere the same size and created a sheer point. A modification fixed that- no trouble since.
All in all a beautiful design and one that still suits my requirementsand ability after all these years!
I could go on but may be one day I may meet you in New Zealand and you can see for yourself.