Fisher Horizon 1 aircraft plans, Fisher Flying Products Horizon 2 aircraft plans.

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Fisher Horizon Project by Gary Johnson

Reporter Trent Sommer

Gary Johnson came from Nebraska and spent much of his working life in Alaska. As a hobby he built custom furniture for family and friends for a long time. In 1991 he retired and came south to Port Angeles. While living in a mobile home west of town he built a 24 x 40 wood shop, stocked it with worthy tools and then designed 2800 square foot post and beam house. Unlike our current 2 x 6 construction methods, post and beam framing uses 8 and 10 inch beams held together by mortise and tennon joints and large splines locked together with wooden dowels thru the joints. Over a period of two years Gary made the timber frame parts, cut all those joints, numbered everything and (with a crew) assembled the frame. Erection and assembly took two days! They live there today and it is great house. Gary has flown in the past, and living close to Fairchild he felt the calling. For a man that works this well in wood, he would obviously choose a project of—wood construction.

In January of last year Gary started a homebuilt project. His Fisher Horizon 1 is a 2 -place tandem wood and fabric airplane with a strut braced high wing that can fold and a Continental C-85 for power. It has a 25-foot span and gross wt is 1050 lb. He built a mockup first to make sure that he would be comfortable in it and did alter some things to enhance that comfort.

At a meeting a few months back we asked for project reports and Gary said that he had finished one wing and was working on the other one. He apparently works on it every day and things have changed! Both wings are hanging on the wall along with both ailerons, a flap and a half, a rudder, a stabilizer, and an elevator! Hinge points and steel fittings have been drilled, fitted and removed to varnish and cover the wood structure. Standing on the bench is a fuselage that it will soon stand on its gear on the floor! The landing gear is assembled and awaits installation. Support structure for the front seat is on the bench and looks like a piece of furniture. There are controls and the firewall forward stuff to go, but the way Gary works at it I wouldn’t be shocked if it flew in the late summer.

Well, wood airframes are labor intensive, a lot more effort to build. You have to cut, fit and glue a lot of pieces together to make one rib—and there are a lot of ribs. The Horizon wing even has a latticework of geodetic reinforcement (on both the upper and lower surfaces). It is attached to the inside of the rib cap strips to serve as drag and anti drag support. The spar is a built up ”I’ beam with fairly large chords and a thin plywood web. The whole wing panel is very light and strong. The leading edges are skinned with plywood—three plies, totaling 1/32” in thickness! A wooden wing is an intricate and beautiful thing. It almost seems a shame to cover it

The body is built like a model airplane, with a frame of about 3/4 inch square wood strips for longerons, vertical and diagonal members, covered with a 1/8” Birch plywood on the outside. The inside frames are made of similar materials and the whole look is that of a really big radio controlled model airplane! It has tandem seating and the pilot will sit in the rear seat. The entry door is like a J-3 Cub with the window folding up and the door folding down. The struts attach to the bottom of the body aft of the door, so this should be a great platform for unobstructed aerial photography!

We currently think of homebuilts in terms of aluminum parts with punched holes that align with mating parts and become elements of a self-jigging assembly. The 51 % rule is often questionable when it flies. When Gary flies his Horizon 1 there will be no such question.

Fisher Horizon 1

Fisher Horizon II

Specifications Horizon 2

Wing Area
113.6 sq. ft.
Wing Load
@ Gross
9.3 lbs/sq. ft.
Wing Cord
2/Tandem dual controls
Fuel Capacity
13 gal.
Design Loads
+4 -2.5g
65-115 hp
Gross Weight
1,050 lbs.
Empty Weight
570 lbs.

Flight Performance

Velocity-Never Exceed 120 mph
Top Level Speed 110 mph
Cruise Speed 95-100 mph
Stall Speed 35-38 mph
Climb Rate 800-900 fpm
Takeoff Run 250-500'
Landing Roll 250-350'

The Horizon 2 was designed with the larger pilot in mind, so the cockpit has ample room for a 6'6" person weighing 280 pounds. The tandem seating arrangement eliminates the cheek to cheek seating in most other two-place aircraft.

The wing of the Horizon 2 features a modified GA (W)-2 airfoil combined with slotted flaps and ailerons, giving the plane more control and less drag at all airspeeds. The wing is a quick-folding wing allowing the HORIZON 2 to be stored in a small place.

The Horizon 1, and the Horizon 2, are two different planes.
The Horizon 2 is only similar to the Horizon 1 in that they are both tandem, two place, high wing aircraft, but that's where the similarity ends.

The Horizon 2 has a uniquely shaped fuselage, which gives it a cleaner, more efficient aerodynamic design accounting for the 20 mph increase in cruise speed over the Horizon 1. The aerodynamic design also allows an unusual 360 degree field of vision allowing the pilot a breathtaking view.

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