Aero ‘lectrics

In this first of a two-part series, Jim Weir builds a low-cost, high-efficiency portable ground-based antenna system that he used to great effect in the recent CAFE 400 (fuel efficiency) race in Northern California. You can do it, too.

The Home Machinist

If your hacksaw has been relegated to the bottom of your toolbox, chances are its because you don't know how to use it properly. Author Bob Fritz offers a primer on the subject that may make you think more highly of this underused tool. A discussion of cam construction and keyless chucks rounds out this installment.

Aero ‘lectrics

Impressed by the quality of the cheap headsets he encountered on a recent commercial airliner flight, Jim Weir dissected the airline unit and has come up with a way to replicate it in your own shop.

Aero ‘lectrics

Columnist Jim Weir comes up with what he thinks is the optimal design for getting power from the 12-volt aircraft battery to the LED without wasting any.

The Home Machinist

Charlie Taylor, the Wright brothers trusted right-hand man and machinist, made their early powered flight experiments possible. And he built the engine using only a drill press, a lathe, a simple scale and more than a little ingenuity; by Bob Fritz.

The Home Machinist

This month Home Machinist Bob Fritz answers readers letters and passes along some of their better ideas.

Aero ‘lectrics

Columnist Jim Weir puts two, two, two LED lights in one hole, angled to ensure the maximum nav light visibility in any direction. He explains how to put the system together and explains why heat matters.

Aero ‘lectrics

Using LEDs for lighting an aircraft has much to commend it. Low draw, reasonable cost, long life, good visibility. This month, Jim Weir takes us through the beginning steps of building these lighting systems yourself, using off-the-shelf parts and a little ingenuity.

Setting Up Shop

Before you decide you cant build a plane because you don't have enough shop space, think again. After all, as author Bob Fritz points out, projects have been built in apartments. This article wont go quite that far, but it does detail some pitfalls to avoid and makes suggestions about maximizing the ease and efficiency of working in a limited-space environment.

The Home Machinist

What do you do if you want to cut a longer-than-usual taper? Well, first you'll need to create a simple tool from some round stock that will provide target zones for your dial indicator, and then you may need to buy some more tools-what a shame! Home Machinist Bob Fritz takes you through the process. Hint: Choosing the right Morse Taper is critical.

In Case You Missed it

Letters

Hummel We Go Along I just received the January 2009, KITPLANES and was surprised...

Sportsman in Transition

A closer look at the “Version 1.5” Sportsman.

Wind Tunnel

Contrary to popular belief, the frontal area of an airplane is not the most important determinant of drag.

Completions

Builders share their successes.