NXT: The Shortest Distance Between Two Points

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When we recently contacted him to find out how his new two-place kitplane was shaping up, NemesisNXT project leader Jon Sharp told AVweb that behind a stock 350-hp TSIO-550, the airplane "should be very competitive with the guy who won the race at Reno behind 600 hp." That "guy," by the way, qualified with a record time at nearly 350 mph. Though we may have to wait until March to see the prototype fly (Sun-n-Fun, if we're lucky), Jon tells us the second NemesisNXT kit will be out the door this month. An almost all-carbon-fiber kitplane, NXT has staggered side-by-side seating, will carry about 85 gallons of go-juice and about 50 pounds of baggage. Early buyers are apparently looking past any risks of investing in the kit prior to the prototype's first flight, aware that, for NXT, wind-tunnel testing "included 1600 data points covering all control deflections ... and all combinations." That, and knowledge that the design team's previous aircraft over a nine-year period set 16 World Speed Records, won nine consecutive Reno National Air Race Gold Championships, and four Pulitzer (yes, that Pulitzer) Aviation Trophies ... and, no, that's not the complete list. As for parts tolerances in the new kit, they're officially calling it a "more conservative" 10,000-15,000th inch, for all in-the-slipstream items like the cowling to fuselage joggle, gear doors, canopy hatch and access panels. But we understand builders shouldn't be too surprised if they stumble across the occasional 3/10,000ths-inch ... gap. According to Patricia Sharp, "we want the builder to look at this as if every single part is worth $129,500," which just so happens to be what the kit costs.