Improve It

Functional, but visually not well-paired with the rest of the airplane.

Homebuilt aircraft are almost always just fine when built according to the construction plans, but we homebuilders enjoy improving things. We like our stuff to look better than stock.

Such is the case with the fuel caps on my GlaStar. There is nothing wrong with the “tractor” gas caps that are supplied with the kit, but they stick out like a sore thumb on the sleek shape of my airplane. It would be hard to find any measurable difference in drag between the stock and flush caps, but the flush ones just look better.

When I finished polishing the wings, I installed the “tractor” filler necks and caps, and immediately realized that style of gas cap didn’t belong. It didn’t make sense to me that an airplane equipped with leather seats, a shiny Thunderbolt engine, and modern glass avionics would also be sporting parts better suited to aircraft from a different era.

The Newton SPRL fuel cap.

As far as improvements go, this one was easy. All it took was an order from Aircraft Spruce and a couple of hours of work, but the result is pleasing to me and that’s all that matters. I tried one thing, didn’t like it, and I improved it. So, go ahead, improve the things you think are worth improving on your homebuilt. Just keep it safe and consider that any change will add time to your build, although, if you were in a rush, you wouldn’t have started a homebuilt, right?



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