Are you using single puck brakes with the 27's? If so is your braking significantly affected? When I put 29 inch bush wheels on my Magnum I could not hold it back during even a mild run-up. (With a Single 2 inch Cleveland Pucks).
I have a million hours in the tricycle gear Avids. (not really but a LOT) You want the gear exactly where it is! It's perfect. That easy wheelie is EXACTLY what you want for perfect smooth landings! It is so wonderful. Makes the trikes able to land in really rough places without concern for taking out the nose wheel. Takeoff rolls consist of giving it gas, lifting the nosewheel a bit and rolling along with the nosewheel lifted until it flies. Landing do just the opposite. Land nose high and ride on the main wheels with the nose up (just like you taxi it now) until you have rolled over the rough stuff enough to put the nose down and safely apply brakes. I land my little trike in some very rough places. Pretty short too. Can't quite get the hard braking on as quickly as with a TW, so can't get stopped quite as quickly, but super respectable. The balance of gear placement Dean did was amazing and genius IMHO . Makes the little Trike do almost as well as TW versions in the rough shit. Plus it's sort of auto calibrated to know if your CG is too far aft when you have it all loaded up for camping. If the tail won't stay up you need to move some weight forward.
I can't answer all of your questions but will have a shot at the ones I think I can. 1) Never flown a speed wing, but cant imagine they would be horrible. Maybe touch down just a bit faster. I would NOT change the wing. 2) Tail feathers are adequate for the STOL wing. Can't imagine them not OK for speed wing. 3) Non-ethanol auto gas is what you want to use. You will not have tank problems with non ethanol. You could have tank problems with ethanol depending on type of fiberglass they are constructed with. 4) If the carb is on the bottom of the engine it will work fine with gravity feed as long as you use proper gascolator, header tanks etc, that will not restrict fuel flow. if the carb is on top of the engine (sorry i don't know) you will want a fuel pump becuse at high angles of attack it may be possible to starve the engine of fuel. DO NOT USE ETHANOL and you won't have any ethanol problems. If your plane is ready to fly now after a good inspection, fly it the way it is before you make any changes. You will then be making changes if you make them from a perspective of understanding. Dean Wilson is a phenomenal designer and knew what he was doing. Fly it stock before you mess with it. I do recommend someone who has a lot of time in Avids, Kitfoxes etc as your instructor. or at least to teach you to fly it before getting "instruction". Not all instructors are proficient in short coupled low inertia airplanes like Avids and Kitfoxes. They are AWESOME planes!
I am curious why you would want to reinforce the flapperon hangars? They are strong enough to never break under normal flight loads, and if on a ground loop, some break off, wouldn't that actually make them MORE repairable? I believe that if they were reinforced, more damage would be done deeper in the structure requiring even more extensive repair. That's the way I see it anyway. I have seen pictures of wood rot failures of the hangars due to trapped moisture at the back of the wing where the hangars exit. Aluminium would help if that were the situation I would think. as long as the rot was not deeper in the structure.
I will be happy to share. I already started a thread on it when i bought it, but the realization of the actual condition of the plane to what i thought/hoped it was, and other priorities set it on the side. However I am getting ready to begin work in Ernest. In this case i do not plan to tear it completely apart and rebuild as I might have wanted to do at one time. I just want to get it flying safely and have fun with it. So my fixes will be minimalist to make it safe not to make it perfect. It goes against my grain to do that, but I want to fly it much more than build on it so I will live with safe but not perfect to get it up and going. After all the damage (and repair) will be covered by well screwed down floor boards! :-)
Congratulations on your Amphibian! I too am bringing a Catalina to life that suffered an engine out which resulted in a hard landing and some bent tubes and a poor repair of the main gear. Unfortunately in my case the people I bought it from did not tell me about the engine out and hid the damage by putting lipstick on the pig. Even with the experience I have with Avids, I was fooled by a combination of the "car salesman" I I bought it from and the beautiful look of the plane (even with a through look over). The damage was hidden under panels that had a lot of screws to remove, and everything else was PERFECT. So..... I am stuck with figuring out what to do. I am currently working on the strategy to make the landing gear OK with a minimum of reconstruction. My goal is to have it in the air this summer. I look forward to your posts and I too will share as I work on my bird! Chris
Thanks! Makes total sense. I am personally not a fan of boot cowls on these planes, because they make maintenance behind the dash so difficult. I even removed the boot cowl on my Fat Avid and went back to two piece. But faced with what you had to do to adapt to engine length, seems like a great way to accomplish the proper fit...and it shows!
Did you need to increase pitch on the prop with the 100Hp ULS because it develops its power at a lower RPM, or are you thinking that the 105Hp Zipper doesn't seem to have as much power as the 100 Hp ULS? I don't know what to take away from your interesting comment.