Welcome to a new website dedicated to KIS sport aircraft and its continuing development. This site is being created to provide current information on both the KIS TR-1 and the KIS Cruiser TR-4 aircraft kits and the important variants. Included will be a complete history from the concept stage to the latest design modifications and improvements. Present parts availability will be featured, and info on up coming additions will be noted. Info on completed flying KIS aircraft and projects for sale will be posted free of charge to KIS owners.
Stop back and check for updates!
KIS SPORT AIRCRAFT
Designed By Richard Trickel Jr. 1949-2011
In 1987, Richard set out to design an all composite aircraft that would fit between expensive high performance, and low and slow aircraft that were then currently available. The airplane was to be easy to build, efficient with good performance, and affordable to build and operate. He called it KIS for “Keep It Simple”. Richard was no stranger to aircraft design and production he was the principle partner of High Tech Composite Inc. in Oxnard, CA, a primary supplier to Nieco Aviation’s Lancair line, as well as other aerospace companies, and venture startups. Rich gained vast experience tooling, and producing composite airframe parts. Aerodynamic engineers Martin Hollmann, Nate Rambo, Vance Jaqua, and Mark Kettering were all enlisted to work on the KIS project. Early in 1991, the KIS TR-1 first took to the air powered by an 80 hp. Limbach VW. Kits began shipping in the fall of 1991 to points all around the world through Richard’s marketing company Tri-R Technologies Inc. In 1992, the prototype taildragger version KIS TR-1C was completed and offered as a kit. In 1993, the original TR-1 was fitted with the then new 128 hp. Continental IO-240, achieving a top speed over 200mph. Early in 1994, seeing the need for an affordable four place aircraft that could handle real world loads, Richard, and crew created the KIS Cruiser TR-4 powered by Lycoming O-360. The TR-4 was well received and further development in 1998, yielded a high performance version equipped with a Continental IO-360 210 hp, and a constant speed prop called the KIS Super Cruiser.
Richard sold about 200 two and four place kits in total, but by the end of the decade things were beginning to slow down and it became difficult to keep the business going. Rich felt it would be in the best interest of the builders to sell the designs. In April of 2000, the KIS designs were sold to Pulsar Aircraft Corp. Pulsar operated in El Montie, CA, until 2005, then moved to El Salvador. When the company made the move South Richard was offered a contract to run the composite shop. The purpose of the move was the purse the idea of selling training aircraft in the region. During this time period Pulsar did very little business in the homebuilt kit market. While in El Salvador Richard built a 300 hp. version of the TR-4 called the P300. He also began the development of a LSA version. Richard left the company in 2009, and moved to Brazil to work on a new four palace design called the Volato 400 a design similar to the KIS TR-4. In March of 2011, the owner was killed, and Pulsar Aircraft Corporation closed its doors soon after.The KIS community remains very active with about half of the fleet flying. There are still many of these project under construction around the world with several of them currently ready for their maiden flights. Many flying and unfinished kit projects often available in the used market.
K I S 2 - Place All Composite
Fixed Landing Gear, Fixed Prop
SIMPLE, EFFICEINT, ECONOMICAL
KIS is a proven conventional sport aircraft design first introduced in 1991 with more 80 TR-1 kit builders achieving flying status. KIS was developed using cutting-edge composite technology, and employing simple assembly techniques for first airplane builders. No specials tools or skills are required to assemble a KIS. Economical
KIS was designed using real world numbers and real world loads - two full sized adults, baggage, and full fuel. You won’t need to leave extra fuel at home just to bring a buddy along. A great aircraft for local and cross country flying. KIS smooth glass like surfaces yield a 150 knot cruise at 75% power on 117hp with a gentle 48 knot stall.
The new KIS kit contains all pre-molded composite airframe components including fuselage, wing spars & skins, horizontal and vertical tail skins, 46 parts in total. All parts are infused epoxy resin with fiberglass, and/or carbon fiber using Lantor Soric core materials. After the initial cure parts are then oven post cured for maximum strength. Wings and tail ribs, and miscellaneous other parts are CNC water jet cut from panel material. More than 50 specially fabricated metal components are either pre-welded or precision machined parts saving builders time and speeding assembly.