Stainless Steel

Author Norm Ellis is not a particular fan of stainless-steel, even though he knows it has its place-even if that place is not in your airplane. After providing a brief history of this widely used material, he makes a case for choosing the right stock for the right project on the basis of utility rather than beauty-and he offers the stats to back up his assertions.

Dan’s World

Columnist and RV builder Dan Checkoway advocates keeping it simple so that you can actually afford to fuel and fly your homebuilt aircraft. He claims many builders buy into the hype about the latest and greatest equipment must-haves, and then complain about the price at the pump.

Light Stuff

The state of Oregon has a new law that mandates using ethanol in all auto fuel, potentially affecting thousands of pilots, especially owners of most of todays Light Sport Aircraft powered by the ubiquitous Rotax 912 engine. It may not be too late to take action against similar legislation that could be brewing in your state; by Dave Martin.

Around the Patch

Those who plan to build an aircraft from a kit would do well to visit the factory and get to know not only the owners but also the operation. So counsels Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook, whose recent visit to the RANS factory left him favorably impressed. RANS manufacturing is diversified to weather the ups and downs of the market, and the company knows what works and sticks to it.

Around the Patch

A recent announcement that a major manufacturer would no longer be making and selling carburetors came as a shock. Although another company has taken up the challenge and will supply carbs, at least for the time being, this news may be the impetus needed to move more aviators toward fuel-injected power for their homebuilt aircraft.

What’s New

Meet a new South African import LSA, read news from Jeppesen about updating your Chelton system, and a paint sprayer/respirator combination unit may interest the would-be plane painters among you.

Down to Earth

When pilot/builder Amy Laboda planted the seed in her husband's mind that the most suitable next airplane for them would be a glass-panel RV-10, the suggestion was met with something akin to a sneer-despite her sincere offer to help with the build. Still, the project has turned out to be a joint effort, complete with all the give and take one would anticipate in such an endeavor.

Light Stuff

Columnist Dave Martin had the good fortune to be able to tour the new Rotax engine factory in Gunskirchen, Austria, and he offers a report on the trip including a side trip to Salzburgs Hangar-7.

Around the Patch

Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook discusses the relative merits of internal versus external antennas, after using his Glastar Sportsman 2+2 as a test bed. His conclusions have to do with both the material used to build the airplane as well as location of the antenna on the aircraft.

What’s New

This months column includes information on new anti-collision strobe lights and LED position lights, a micro belt sander, a smart servo controller for trim, a desktop model of the Cozy Mark IV and the announcement of a taildragger configuration option for the Eurofox SLSA.

In Case You Missed it

Firewall Forward: New, Used, Something Else?

For some builders, new aircraft engines may just be out of reach. Dave Prizio explains what to look for in a used Lycoming or Lycoming-type engine along with what you need to consider before buying.

Free Flight

Perfection is unattainable for most builders, yet it is what many strive for. Paul Dye posits that sometimes “good enough” may be just what you need to finally get out of the shop and into flying.

Build It Yourself

This homebuilt two-axis electric trim controller has all the functions of the fanciest commercial units, yet it costs less than $50 for the parts.

Around the Patch

Editor-in-Chief Marc Cook considers the current state of customer service and its implications for business success.