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Tom Wilson

Tom Wilson
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Pumping avgas and waxing flight school airplanes got Tom into general aviation in 1973, but the lure of racing cars and motorcycles sent him down a motor journalism career heavy on engines and racing. Today he still writes for peanuts and flies for fun.

Long-EZs and More

If there’s a chance to meet or hear an aviation celebrity speak, it’s my observation it’s worth the effort. Much of this is just...

Living With RVs

For the last 20 plus years any person who’s thought of building their own airplane has had to get past one big question: “Why should I build anything other than an RV?” Well, really, why should you build anything other than an RV? It’s where all the lines cross on the chart. They’re affordable. They’re […]
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Cracks, Both Foreign and Domestic

Perhaps like me, you missed the big show this year. That is, they ran AirVenture without me, and I’m not sure anyone really noticed. A bit sobering, that, but confirmation none of us is indispensable and that airplanes will go on until Google releases e-Flight goggles, where you soar virtually just by stretching out your […]
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KITPLANES – The Independent Voice for Homebuilt Aviation
KITPLANES® magazine is the world’s #1 homebuilt aviation magazine. Written exclusively for enthusiasts like you, our editors pack each issue with need-to-know information on building, flying, designing and maintaining your own amateur-built category manned aircraft.
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Findlay Dominates

Weather was a factor on Sunday for the final Gold races at Reno. High winds were forecast and materialized just long enough mid-morning to...

Anticipating Sunday in Reno

Depending on where you look, the racing this year at Reno ranges from decline to epic. Luckily for KITPLANES readers the epic contests are...
Leakdown-Tester

The Big Scare

You look down at the instruments, and instantly energy drains down your body as if bomb bay doors on the soles of your feet had opened and the concrete floor were a sponge.
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KITPLANES – The Independent Voice for Homebuilt Aviation
KITPLANES® magazine is the world’s #1 homebuilt aviation magazine. Written exclusively for enthusiasts like you, our editors pack each issue with need-to-know information on building, flying, designing and maintaining your own amateur-built category manned aircraft.
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Starduster too on the ramp

Rear Cockpit: The Other Guy’s Plane

In a parallel life of mine—auto journalism—shop talk occasionally got around to just how few cars the average person probably drives in their lifetime. Who knows what the average is, 20 perhaps, for a person who may not travel much and thus doesn’t rent too many of Hertz’s finest. But for an old-school journalist who […]
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KITPLANES – The Independent Voice for Homebuilt Aviation
KITPLANES® magazine is the world’s #1 homebuilt aviation magazine. Written exclusively for enthusiasts like you, our editors pack each issue with need-to-know information on building, flying, designing and maintaining your own amateur-built category manned aircraft.
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Tom Aberle said he looked at Phantom daily for a couple of years trying to decide if it was ugly or beautiful, and while its combination of angles and curves is unique, its 12 championships make it beautiful in our eyes.

Biplane Gold

Phantom dominates biplane pylon racing by harnessing traditional homebuilding talent.
light gun signals

Rear Cockpit: Light Gun Signaling

Silent running.

Tom Aberle 1943 – 2019

Noted biplane racing champion Tom Aberle passed away on June 15, 2019.

In Case You Missed it

Ask the DAR

Higlander gross weight increase, using certified parts in a plansbuilt Cub.

Maintenance Matters

Building Aeroquip hoses.

Aero ‘lectrics

Make the scene at your next airshow with a homemade aircraft band antenna, state and national flags, and an aircraft data sheet that gives spectators the vital statistics on your aircraft.

Around the Patch

Eventually even the best company founders want to retire, and Dick VanGrunsven of Vans Aircraft is no exception. Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook discusses the succession plan and why the future continues to look bright for this Pacific Northwest luminary.