The Bowers Fly Baby is a homebuilt, single-seat, open-cockpit, wood and fabric low-wing monoplane. The Fly Baby was the winner of the Experimental Aircraft Association’s 1962 design competition.
The plans for the Fly Baby, which are currently still available, consist of over one hundred pages of instructions along with dimensional drawings. The Fly Baby’s wings fold up against the fuselage enabling it to be stored in a single-car garage or a trailer. The wings can be folded or unfolded in about fifteen minutes.
In the United States the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) categorizes the Fly Baby as an Experimental Amateur-Built aircraft. It also fits the FAA specifications for a Light Sport Aircraft and can be flown by pilots holding a Recreational Pilot or Sport Pilot certificate.
Bowers Fly Baby instrument panel
Here are some specifications and data on the Fly Baby:
Length just under 19 feet.
Wingspan 28 feet.
Empty weight 605 lb.
Maximum takeoff weight 924 lb.
Cruise speed 90 mph and Stall speed 45 mph
Fly Baby aircraft do not come in kit form. The builder must craft each piece required out of wood or metal. Many major parts can be purchased such as fuel tanks and engine mounts that are used in other airplanes and happen to be available commercially from various aviation distributors.
The original design recommends either a Continental A65 or a C85 engine, but many other engines have been used by various people who construct this airplane.
Some engines used in the past include: Continental A40, A65, A75, A80, A100, C85, C90, C125, and O200.
The following Franklin engines appear in some Fly Baby aircraft: 4AC150, 4AC176, and 4AC199.
In the Lycoming line the 0-145, 0-235, and the 0-290 have been used. There is even one that was fitted with a Subaru engine. The designer, Bowers, recommended the Continental A65 or C85 engines. Sources:
References: Wikipedia, bowersflybaby.com, bowersflybaby.com/tech/engines.htm#On_engines