My Rans S-6ES Coyote II

Most of you who know me know I used to own an aircraft called an RV-4. I built the aircraft in my garage. It was a very rewarding experience and the airplane flew like a dream. However, that particular airplane did have some limitations. It was cramped, the passenger had to sit in the back, and there was not much room for luggage. I also couldn’t take anyone who weighed over 180 lbs for a ride due to center of gravity limitations.

So I sold the RV-4 and used the proceeds to purchase a new kit.  Many people think I’m rich to be able to build and fly airplanes. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, I can build this airplane for what many people pay for their pickup trucks.

This airplane is called the Rans S-6ES Coyote II and is available in kit form from RANS Aircraft. There are two versions available the S-6S and S-6ES. There were more marked differences in the aircraft in the past but now the main difference is in the covering process for the airplane. The 6S uses traditional dope and fabric covering, and the 6ES uses slip on pre-colored Dacron skins. I have decided to go with the 6ES for a couple of reasons. First, the build time is significantly lower. Second, though it’s not as easy to patch in the field it is much easier to replace than the dope and fabric covering and possibly a little more rugged.

Performance numbers are:

Engine type Rotax 912ULS
Output 100 HP
Oil Capacity 3.0 qts
Coolant Capacity 4.4 qts
Propeller Diameter 70 inches
Propeller Type Warp Drive – Composite      3 Blade
Gear Reduction 1:2.27 / 1:2.43
Fuel G.P.H. 4.5 gal @ 80%
Take Off Roll 300 ft
Rate of Climb 1000 fpm
Service Ceiling 17,500 ft
Cruise 10 mph
VNE 130 mph
Stall Clean 47 mph IAS
Stall Flaps 41 mph IAS
Roll Rate 80° /sec
Glide Ratio 9:1
Landing Roll 260 ft
Endurance 3 hrs.
Range 345 miles

Click here for some really cool Coyote Videos

When I was planning out the RV-7 I was going to make that a state of the art airplane. The Coyote is an economical airplane with near-STOL capabilities. The plane is be equipped for Day/Night VFR flying only. I tried to keep the plane as light as possible. With this in mind, here is how I equipped it…


Rotax 912ULS which is a 100 HP engine.   This engine has been adapted to many different aircraft and has the ability to run on either automobile gas or 100 LL aviation fuel.


I went with what Rans calls their super six panel.  It looks like a regular aircraft instrument panel.    The standard panel is very small and most pilots would want a larger panel because it hold more instruments and it’s more familiar to them.

Flight Instruments

Nothing fancy here. I installed standard instruments which were included with the kit. Standard instruments are:

    • Airspeed indicator
    • Tachometer
    • Cylinder head temperature
    • Oil temperature
    • Oil pressure
    • Hour meter


I again with with basic avionics for simplicity and low cost:

    • ICom A-210 Transceiver
    • Bendix-King AT-76A Transponder
    • Garmin 396 with XM Weather
    • iPad2 for moving map and charts

Covering Method

This airplane is tube and fabric construction and there are two ways to cover it with fabric.

The first method is with traditional aircraft covering which is a multi-step process. First you have to glue the fabric to the structure, then you use an iron to shrink the fabric. Once it’s tight you spray a coat of silver on to protect the fabric, then you paint it. There are a few other steps but you get the point.

The second method available from the manufacturor is to use pre-colored dacron skins that you slip on, and then fasten to the airframe. Then you only need to spray on a protective finish. This is the method I selected for two reasons; one is that it will save a lot of time, the other is that I don’t have access to a paint shop.

The only drawback to this second method is that the fabric is a little more see-thru thus making the airplane look a little more ultra-litey.  However, it’s light and has the performance I’m looking for so I don’t mind the see thru skins.

Landing Gear

Tailwheel configuration of course. 🙂

Future upgrades

Having flown the plane for a year now I find there are a couple of things I would like to add:

    • Bigger tires
      I really like landing off-airport and although the current tires are okay, I’d like something a little bigger to get me over the gopher holes.
    • Vortex generators
      Current stall speeds and landing speeds are just fine but I think they could be better.  I’m going to add VG’s to slow down even more.


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