If you are starting from scratch building an RW6 (or the majority of ragwing designs) you have 2 choices to make before you start. Is this going to be a true part 103 ultralight or an Experimental Amateur Built? If it is to be an ultralight follow the plans for the short fuselage build it from White Pine use a 1 cylinder 2 stroke  engine, don’t add brakes, only go with minimum instruments and use very little paint.  Even then, it’s possible that it still may be over weight for a part 103 plane.

If you chose Experimental, which many previous builders recommend, build the stretch fuselage for the extra leg room and extended wing span. Put some slight amount of dihedral maybe 1 1/2 or 2 degrees and have rounded wing tips but do not cut the ailerons when you round the tips as shown in the plans, you need that area at the tip of the aileron. If you are not building as an ultralight many past builders recommend installing the hard points for jury struts to connect to the main struts. This adds strength to the struts and keeps strut flexing and vibration to a minimal amount.

Example of Wayne McIntosh's plane with jury struts and bungee gear.

“Some” pilots also recommend brakes and bungee gear  if you are not building to meet ultralight weight (254 lbs). However, anyone who has flown a mini-max or hi-max knows that with the right tires and right psi this usually is a non-issue and not required.

If you build the stretch fuselage you will have to use an engine that weighs no more than 110 pounds ready to fly.  That includes prop, redrive, engine and exhaust. The reason for the light engine is the weight and balance, you will not be able to put a 130+ pound engine far enough back to get the W&B to be within limits with the stretch fuselage.

The plans provide a few options for the wings and overall build.  In general you can make the wings extended span by adding 1 extra bay, you can have rounded tips, or a flat ended wing, and you can built a slight under-curve in the airfoil. You can also make the aileron 1 bay longer which will easily result in a more responsive aileron.

If you build with 1 extra wing bay (increased wing span) then the glide ratio will improve slightly, and it will climb better in hot weather. Keep in mind that these type of airplanes descend rapidly when the power is cut, and are usually landed with power on, as opposed to a closed throttle.

You can add strength to the wing by increasing the spar caps from 3/4″ x 3/4″  to 3/4″ x 15/16″  and the ply web from 1/16″ to 1/8″.

You can build the standard (short) fuselage length to help meet ultralight weight (less than 254 lbs), but you pay the price if you are not a short person, and may be flying with your knees bent, which may affect your ability to push the stick all the way right or left for banking. It’s not a safety issue, just be aware you will be scrunched in the cockpit more as opposed to building the stretch fuselage.

Now with all that said if you decide to build Experimental instead of building a RW6 you can buy real Pietenpol plans and build a real Piet for about the same amount of work and not much more money including a FOUR STROKE Continental 65 or a Corvair.  Consider the Pietenpol Air Camper do a search they have a good list here is info from the Pietenpol family.  http://www.pressenter.com/~apietenp/index.html

In general it’s believed that added wing span will make the RW6 a better plane. If you build Ultralight really watch the weight to be legal.  If you build Experimental pick all the options extended length and span.