History's first aircraft were, for the most part, designed and built by individuals or a small group of experimenters. They were what we think...
Few homebuilders forget the first airplane they constructed, even if they go on to do others. That was the case with Mike Maxwell, who had pretty much given up on ever seeing his Lancair 235 again. But life is nothing if not full of surprises, and Mike was in for a big one.
Enchanted with the idea of building his own amphibian, Larry Woods came across a Ukrainian design, the Aeroprakt A-24, which seemed to fit the bill. After much research, he got a hold of a kit, built it, and then liked it so much that he became the Canadian distributor.
Fabric has been used to cover a wide variety of aircraft since the Wright brothers first started tinkering with flying machines. But fabric-covering processes have changed a lot in the last century, becoming more systematic in addition to being more reliable. Part 1 of this new series by Ron Alexander details the evolution of fabric covering and discusses some of the basics of getting started.
Todays homebuilt aircraft avionics packages often incorporate a number of boxes behind the panel, all requiring a particular type of wiring to go with them (not to mention all the other power draws such as lights, flap motors, etc.). Its advisable, then, to consider the length and nature of the wiring to be included in your project from the moment you start building. Avionics techno Stein Bruch explains the how and why of managing the wiring requirements for your aircraft.
If you always wanted a custom exhaust for your homebuilt but were too afraid to ask, consider this alternative where you build the model and then send it in to the shop for professional fabrication. Author Bret Davenport found the Aircraft Exhaust four-into-one collector system for his Pitts S-1S more than satisfactory.
Mark Townsend’s scratch-building seminar allows builders to come away with the hands-on experience and the confidence they’ll need to start building a kit aircraft such as the Zenith STOL CH 701 from plans.
Guest columnist Bob Collins takes on those who would rush the airplane building process in the name of getting real about the project. To him, the journey is as important as the destination, and he believes he has his priorities straight when he occasionally puts family and friends ahead of spending an extra hour or two in the garage.