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Paul Dye

Paul Dye
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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 that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra they completed. Currently, they are building a Xenos motorglider. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 5000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor, as well as a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.

Flight Testing

Personnel roles, emergency contingencies, communications-there are many moving parts involved in the first flight of a homebuilt. Paul Dye catalogs them and offers a sample flight plan that worked for him.

Build It Better: 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.

Free Flight

In a short, late-afternoon flight, Paul Dye takes on a particular Houston cloud formation and exalts in the glory of flying an airplane perfectly suited to his whims.

Build It Better: 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.

Free Flight

There are so many ways to try to keep the weight down in a homebuilt project, but some are better than others.

Restoring the RV-1

The very first Van’s prototype flies again, thanks to months of volunteers’ hard work, and its designer climbs back into the cockpit, some five decades after he built it.

Build It Better: Show Me the Data!

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

Free Flight

When wiring up a homebuilt aircraft, it pays to ask: What do I want to protect myself from?

Build It Better: Where’s Your Margin?

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

Free Flight

Paul Dye takes readers through a rework of his RV-3's fuel system to illustrate why some mods are a sound choice.

In Case You Missed it

Completions

Builders share their successes.

What’s New

CubCrafters ships CarbonCub kits; Forward Visions EVS-100 system will be available in RotorWay Experimental/Amateur-Built helicopters; and MotoPOD will produce cargo pods to haul a street-legal motorcycle underneath the RV-10. Edited by Mary Bernard.

Orso dItalia

While its not exactly a Cub clone, Groppos new Trail kit shares some of the same DNA as Pipers classic. By Paul Bertorelli.

Light Stuff

Should powered-parachute and trike pilots have the option of earning a commercial license? By Roy Beisswenger.