Jim Hill's Glasair Sportsman project


Jim Hill's Glasair Sportsman project


This is Jim Hill's Sportsman 2+2 project. He died suddenly in January, after working on his Sportsman for almost four years. He was my hangarmate, and I'm helping to find a good home for it. I talked to Jim a lot about the plane, and it was clear to me that it was an ingenious design. It's a "real composite" airplane, in that it was designed to use materials where they were best suited, such as 4130 steel for the fuselage structure, aluminum for the wings and control surfaces, and fiberglass for the fuselage's aerodynamic shell. The landing gear can be quickly configured from tri-gear to taildragger, or even floats, without any real modifications to the structure...attach points are already built in for all three configurations. This aircraft was originally called the "Glastar", but the Sportsman is the next generation evolution of that plane.


There are about four notebooks that make up the plans set for the kit.



The wings are completely finished except for paint, and are ready to install. The only reason they are not installed is to save space in the hangar. I believe these wings have the auxillary tanks. Wiring for lights and strobes is already in place.


All control cables are installed.



The wings and fuselage structure were built at the Glasair factory as part of the Customer Assitance Center program, under the guidance of their craftsmen, with Jim learning as they built.






Here you see the windshield and window glass, cowling, main wheel pants, and forward deck.



Doors are virtually finished, except glass installation.



Jim planned to build this as an "honest two-seater", ready to take on the rigors of Alaska, so no rear seats were planned, but are certainly retrofitable.


Elevator and rudder cables are installed.



Seat frames and door panels ARE included in the kit, but are currently at North Country Upholstery at Arlington Airport near the Glasair factory. They have not been upholstered yet. They will be drop shipped to the buyer of this kit from Washington, or you can talk to Billie about upholstering them to match your tastes.


Here you can see one of the neatest things about the Sportsman...the ease of configuring it for either tri-gear or taildragger. The gear mounting tubes are already installed for either setup, so swapping out the gear is quick, but requires some brake line work.



This O-390 mockup engine (recently upgraded from an O-360) is included! Well, OK, it's just a plow counterweight, but it comes in handy keeping the tail off the ground.


Brakes are installed, plumbed, and brake fluid is filled and bled.






Glasair blister packs all hardware, so those that haven't been used yet are clearly visible and easy to find.




Wingtips have been installed, and are removed to give access to the tips and to avoid damage. No strobes or nav lights are included with this project.




The trim tab servo is installed and the wiring is run to the panel. This bottom of the elevator and horizontal stab are dull because it has been upside collecting dust and fingerprints for months. If Jim had known I was going to put this on the web, he'd have polished it. He was a very meticulous builder, and a very sharp electrical engineer who held a high profile job in the US missile defense business in Huntsville.



We are asking $65,000 (or best offer) for this kit, which is what what Jim paid for the kit itself. His three years of labor and other parts and material that have been bought over the years are free. This was Jim's second homebuilt airplane, so he was no amateur at aircraft construction. All offers will be entertained. Here's an article about Jim's quick build experience at the Sportsman facility.

Visit Glasair's Sportsman website for more details on the Sportsman.

Glasair's Sportsman brochure shows specifiations for the Sportsman.

For more info, contact Mark at N56ML@hiwaay.net.