FreeBird Homebuilt Aircraft Plans <br> website....Free Plans To Build Your own Experimental Airplane!
Plans are not yet available yet, but in progress. See below.

Mike Sylvester's O-200 powered KR2S is a very nice example of what is essentially a "FreeBird" homebuilt airplane.

The FreeBird project is a collaborative "open-source" effort by KRnet members and some really sharp CAD guys to provide FREE downloadable plans and drawings (in PDF format) to enable builders to create their own wood/composite homebuilt experimental aircraft. This aircraft is based on the evolution of the most recent generation of the KR series of homebuilt aircraft. Plans for the KR aircraft are no longer available for sale, so FreeBird plans will more than fill that gap, providing much needed detail, corrections, and more importantly, significant but proven changes to the overall design, including:
  • Longer fuselage -reduces pitch sensitivity and improves stability
  • Wider fuselage - to fit normal size pilots and passengers
  • Taller fuselage - to provide more headroom and fit taller pilots
  • Larger but lighter Dragonfly (or other) canopy - better visibility, several configurations
  • Taller vertical stabilizer and rudder - for improved lateral stability, better slips
  • Improved airfoils - more efficient laminar flow, increased root thickness for more fuel capacity
  • Split flaps - for lower landing speed and higher drag during rollout on short strips
  • More efficient ailerons - further outboard, with lower drag internal balancing
  • Several engine options - Corvair, Continental O-200, Lycoming, Rotax, large Volkswagen, etc
  • Taildragger, tri-gear, and wheel/brake option details (and sources)

    FreeBird plans will also provide fuel system layouts, instrument panel templates, electrical schematics, etc, all for free download. There are no "gotchas" with FreeBird. No private information (or otherwise)is harvested from visitors or those who download plans or drawings. We're just trying to share the joy of building and flying your own sweet-flying, fast, economical, and fuel efficient airplane.

    We have secured the website and are now working the CAD model (with help from a few very dedicated KRnet members), and once we have a few drawings we can "write to", we'll start the process of writing the manual. This manual will be in PDF form for easy download, as will the larger D, E, and maybe even F size drawings that will be used as construction drawings and templates. These can be easily printed at Kinkos or your favorite large print shop. Airfoil templates are already available at

    FreeBird is not a giant leap of faith into the wild blue yonder...but the benefactor of many builders' experience building, modifying, experimenting, and proving that these planes fly just fine, many for decades.
    The Freebird's predecessor is the KR2S, which is what these planes are currently called. They were built from very sparse plans, with some very vague dimensions, and equally sparse instructions, such as "fabricate aft deck similar to forward deck", and there wasn't much detail for th making the forward deck either! Many dimensions had to be scaled from a technical artist's side view....the aft deck, for example. After months or years of this kind of "interpretation", the builder starts feeling like an aircraft designer, and makes changes to suit himself. The next builder comes along, and thanks to the many builder sites at, builds upon what others have done, and tweaks it a little more. Before you know it, you have the FreeBird!

    It's worth mentioning that if this plane doesn't fit you or your mission, you can tweak it into your preferred chariot, just like many other builders before you have done. Because we're dealing with an aircraft grade wooden frame, with home-brewed foam and fiberglass cloth making up most of the rest, you can build that wooden frame however you want to....the effort to "cover" it all with fiberglass is the same, no matter what the shape, length, height, whatever. An example of that is the vertical sides. You'll see in the model that the sides are vertical in this 3D CAD model (below), for ease of construction and ease of 3D modeling. KR plans call for tapering the fuselage sides outward from the bottom to the top, so the lower part of pilot/passenger area is narrower at the bottom and wider at the top. This allows more arm and shoulder room where you need it, but it's not needed for out-stretched legs, as well as decreasing frontal area a bit for slightly better speed. So if you like the look and feel of tapered sides, by all it that way (as almost all KRs have been built over the years). The only "cost" of the tapered sides is a lot of odd-angled gussets at each fuselage stringer/longeron intersection, and it is labor intensive....making many trips back and forth to sand a tad more here and there, and pitching some in the trash and starting over sometimes. Straight sides are a breeze by comparison, if you want to just get on with it before your enthusiasm level wanes. This flexibility is it whichever way want, with tapered sides or straight sides. Some say the tapered sides look better, but it's really not that noticeable if you're not looking for it. As for CAD models, it's far easier to model the sides vertical rather than tapered, which explains why it's modeled and drawn this way.

    Above is a view of the FreeBird 3D CAD model, as of November 2023. The current state of the model has some pretty incredible detail in it already. Fuselage, wings, empennage, control surfaces with control cables, landing gear, and engine is already modeled in varying detail, but is still a work in progress. Most of the CAD work is being accomplished by Dean Meloni and Tom Kyler, who is also a stress engineer. Dean was interested in building something similar when he volunteered, and Tom joined later to help put a lot of detail into the design. Eventually we'll have detailed drawings for the subassemblies like fuselage, wings, empennage, control system, seats, instrument panel, fuel tanks, etc. Other experienced contributors are welcome to volunteer their services, as we'll need lots of instruction manual writing on all aspects of construction. Other input is welcome as well. More help means a finished product sooner!

    FreeBird Preliminary Design Criteria
  • Empty Weight 760 pounds
  • Gross Weight 1300 pounds
  • Useful load 540 pounds
  • Length 19'-0"
  • Wingspan 24'-0"
  • Wing Area 82 square feet
  • Fuel Capacity 30 gallons (various configurations)

    Freebird expected Performance (based on 100HP engine)
  • Top Speed - 175+ MPH, depending on engine size, etc.
  • Fuel Economy - 4GPH to 7GPH, engine, speed, and load dependent

    Here's an example of the level of detail that Tom Kyler is putting into the model, including the airfoil templates and the grain of the plywood. Also shown is a new design for the main landing gear legs mounted to the main spar (the taildragger configuration). Notice the wood grain in the mahogany fuselage wall, and the birch spar face and stub wing outer end (on top of the wing template). Wing attach fittings are shown powder coated red, ala "Trailing Edge Technologies" vintage. "Wing walk" is carbon fiber, obviously. A concept called "instructional videos" will also be employed, such as the elevator operated by control cables. This also serves as in interference check in the model.

    These are the kinds of details Tom Kyler is making....leaving no room for doubt!

    Here's the Assembly Manual Cover Page, at this point. There are also much larger full scale drawings of airfoil templates, for example, which are already complete for the 16% and 18% airfoil AS50xx series, at

    Until the FreeBird plans become available (mid 2024 is the goal), you can visit the KRnet website to find over a hundred links to various KR construction projects, demonstrating the ease of construction and many variations that are available to the builder. And optionally, you can join the KRnet email group, where 600 member/builders carry on construction and flying conversations.

    I've been asked "Who's behind KRnet and the FreeBird effort, and will they attempt to monetize it in the future?" I guess I'm the ring leader, Mark Langford, supported by John Bouyea, another champion of the KR genre, and a whole host of other good folks on the KRnet email list. I've run the website for decades, and John has run the KRnet Email Archive for even longer, is co-admin of, and owns and flies the "prototype KR2S", N133RM, built by Roy Marsh. Also, I built and flew my Corvair powered KR2S N56ML, using the new AS5046 airfoils. The website at is almost certainly the most extensive KR build and information website out there. I currently fly one of the earliest KR2s (2180cc VW powered), as well as a 3100cc Corvair powered KR2S. I have over 1900 hours flying KRs, and a lot more BUILDING KRs! I'm also a mechanical engineer, with a keen interest in aerodynamics.

    The first step to joining KRnet is to create a member account at the KRnet hosting site at . You'll be asked for your email address and a screen name. After that's done, please send an email message to stating that you are requesting to be added to the KRnet list. Along with this, please write a few sentences on who you are (name, address, and phone number), and why you'd like to join KRnet. This information will go no further than the list co-administrators (Mark Langford and John Bouyea), and is used only to verify that you are a real person....and not a spammer or a scammer. Your information is only used to verify that you'd like to join the list because you are genuinely interested in building a KR-like airplane.
    For a LOT more detail on KRs and KR construction, including a many links to builder sites, see

    Feel free to search the KRnet Archive for information on specific topics regarding the KR/FreeBird type aircraft. Neither of us has ever requested any payment for fact, we've paid for it ourselves (although we do get a very few unsolicited contributions). My point is that we are not in this for the money, and we're not going to suddenly charge money for these plans, hence the free downloads. We do it for the same reason as the rest, because we love these airplanes, and want to "spread the gospel!" If you are worried about continuity or sudden death, we both have "keys to the store" so we are somewhat least in that respect!

    Photos below show two other "Freebird-like" homebuilt airplanes, essentially KR2S's stretched at least one bay (14"), plus a few inches between firewall and main spar to offset the xtra aft bay.

    Chris Pryce's Corvair powered KR2S on his first flight, coming in for a smooth landing. Wheel pants were added after test flights were completed.

    Roger Baalman's KR2S+ . Roger's plane won the "Bronze Lindy" award at "Airventure" 2019 in Oshkosh, despite being well hidden behind a huge field of RVs. Congratulations Roger!

    So you can't wait for the FreeBird project's free plans? What's a builder to do? Well, there's what KR builders have been doing for years...WING IT! Get a set of KR2S plans from somebody on KRnet (some folks never quite get around to building the plane), and then make whatever changes you think you need, within reason, such as fuselage width or alternative engine. Whatever you do, make absolutely sure you perform an accurate weight and balance, to keep the plane safe. Although it doesn't happen often, pilots have been killed on first flights due to an aft CG situation. If you don't know how to do a weight and balance, find somebody that does, or do the research online.

    Visit for more details on how to sign up for the KRnet email list.