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Paul Dye

Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

Take a Lap!

Exhaust valve lapping, in place!

Let There Be (Baggage) Light!

The F1 Rocket has an ultra-deep baggage compartment, why not light it up a bit?

Switch Wrench

It can be a royal pain to get any sort of a wrench onto the rear nut of a toggle switch.

Ya’ Gotta Do what Ya’ Gotta Do

Common tools occasionally prove to be the solution to an obscure problem.

The Most Dangerous Thing in the Cockpit

Forget about all those sharp corners, the quantity of fuel aboard and the fire extinguisher you threw in the baggage compartment without tying it down. It is always important to at least consider the fact that the most dangerous thing to have in the cockpit when things go wrong is the owner of the airplane.

Building a Backbone

Building the “spinal cord” from panel to tail is far easier (even when you use conduit) before the floors are nailed down, so think about it early.

A Little Protection

A technique I learned when I bought my most recent car.

Hide the Comm

Someone asked me (after seeing the panel photo of our nascent Rocket front office) why there are circuit breakers underneath the IFR Nav/Transponder on...

Panel Tricks… and Cheats

Even if you’re only off a small fraction of an inch, the eye sees that the air vent isn’t concentric in the hole.

Life With the SubSonex

Four years and 200 hours with the “cute” jet.

In Case You Missed it


Alternator RealityIn the wiring diagrams in the article "All About Avionics: The Electric Airplane"...

Light Stuff

Not all airports welcome “out of the ordinary” aircraft such as gyros, ultralights or powered parachutes. If you’ve been shut out, here are some tips to get you back in. By Roy Beisswenger.

FOFUS—Fail Operational/Fail Safe

Good design is not necessarily about how many levels of redundancy you have.

The Pro-Seal Experiment

Can you apply polysulfide sealant without making a huge mess?