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February 8, 2017




Build it Better

The Thinking Homebuilder

A few years back, before I took over the helm of Kitplanes, I wrote a series of articles that stemmed from a talk I was giving around the country entitled "Lessons from Mission Control." The gist of the material is that we learned many things about flying humans in space in experimental machines in my years (and my predecessors years) in NASA's human spaceflight program, and many of those lessons are directly applicable to what we do in Experimental aviation. Building a bridge and cross-pollinating those lessons can save time, money—and most importantly, lives.

The collection of fifteen articles is listed below as a single source for tips and ideas from the world of aerospace operations that might very well make a difference in how you build and operate your homebuilt aircraft.

The thirty-two-page booklet is available as a bonus for new subscribers at this time, so if you aren't a subscriber, or are a lapsed subscriber, this is a great time to pick up a little extra information that we hope you can use!

 

The Choices We Make

Paul Dye debuts his new series on the myriad considerations that go into building and flying Experimental aircraft.

Understanding Your Risks

Risk management, and how you can decrease the chances of having an aviation mishap.

What's Your Backup Plan?

The word "redundancy" is often heard in aviation, and with good reason. But a well-thought-out backup plan involves more than just having two of everything.

When 1+1 Does Not Equal 2

How to achieve unlike (or dissimilar) redundancy on the various systems in your homebuilt.

Simplicity

Countless modifications for homebuilts are available, but does that mean they're right for our projects? The value of keeping things simple.

Where's Your Margin?

How can you give yourself that margin of safety that you hope you'll never need?

Show Me the Data!

Don't believe everything you hear when making an important building or maintenance decision—do your homework. 

Testing, testing, one, two, three

There's no substitute for real-world testing—something homebuilders should keep in mind when moving from the theoretical to the actual application.

Knowing how it works

How do you reconcile a discrepancy between two gauges in your aircraft, say, a float-gauge reading and fuel-totalizer data? It helps to have a deep understanding of your systems.

Building to Requirements

It can be tough to keep a homebuilt project from ballooning out of control when so many tempting innovations and extras catch your eye along the way. Having a specific vision from the outset can help keep things on track.

Learning from History

Everything we know about aviation comes from the experience of designers, builders and pilots who came before us. Understanding their successes and failures can help us fly and build more safely.

Play by the Rules

Some rules are made for you, and some rules are made by you. Those personal rules create a higher level of safety for you and your passengers, and they are the mark of professionalism in a pilot.

For Want of a Nail

In aviation, one pin out of place can result in disaster. Details matter. 

Building a Team

Sometimes working alone in your hangar is exactly what you want. But other times a helping hand is called for, and then it helps to know you're part of a worldwide homebuilding community.

Hope Is Not a Plan

There are always unknowns in any human endeavor, but in aviation, we must think about the ways we can minimize them. 

 


Kitplanes subscribers can download the Build it Better booklet in PDF.

 

Untitled Document Homebuilder's Portal by KITPLANES
Photo by Richard VanderMeulen
I completed Sonex #1072 on August 18, 2014 and made the first flight on August 22, 2014 from Charlie Brown/Fulton County Airport in Atlanta, Georgia. The airplane now has over 150 hours on it and has made several trips from Atlanta to South Florida, the Carolinas, and to Tower, Minnesota which is just south of …
My CubCrafters EX N-96FV was finished July 30, 2016 - last weekend of AirVenture. My 87-year old Dad was the first passenger after my 40-hour fly off. He flew chase in his Cherokee for the maiden flight. It's painted in D-Day colors for my C-130 unit's 70th anniversary. 96th Airlift Squadron Flying Vikings were the …
It started with a visit with the Rutan guru Robert Harris of what was the EZ Hangar in Covington TN, now EZ Jets. I wanted to build a Long Eze but Robert suggested using current information and technology instead of 1977 when the plans came out. From then on, this airplane was not a Long …

Dynon Avionics' latest-generation SkyView integrated avionics called the SkyView HDX has a newly designed bezel and user controls for easier use while flying in turbulence, plus brighter displays and a reworked touch interface. Larry Anglisano takes a product tour of the HDX with Dynon's Michael Schoefield in this video.
At Sun 'n Fun 2016, Dynon continued to push into the world of non-certified avionics with its SkyView SE, a less expensive version of its popular SkyView EFIS system. Paul Bertorelli prepared this video report.
The G5 is a self-contained electronic flight instrument, which can be interfaced with Garmin's G3X/Touch avionics and autopilot for backup and flight instrument redundancy. The GMA245 and remote GMA245R Bluetooth audio panels have advanced entertainment input functions and onscreen programming.
At Sun 'n Fun 2016, Just Aircraft is showing off its new Titan-powered SuperSTOL XL. Harrison Smith took Paul Bertorelli for a half-day demo flight in the new airplane, and here's his video report.
Kit manufacturer Zenith Aircraft Company has released a new 360-degree VR short video to showcase its kit aircraft and to promote the rewarding hobby of kit aircraft building and flying light-sport aircraft.
Whether you are upgrading the audio system in an older LSA or experimental or building a new project, PS Engineering and Garmin have non-certified audio panels equipped with advanced features better suited for smaller cabins.
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