Your article on EAA publications was spot-on. KITPLANES is the ideal magazine for homebuilders. Your how-to-do-it and how-I-done-it articles are informative and educational, even for experienced builders. Your unbiased product reviews are welcome, especially in this era of muddled marketing. In my opinion, the EAA lost the formula years ago, and has become more of a corporate machine-out of touch with the grassroots of homebuilding and focused too much on the egos of the family compact that runs it.
The test of a good magazine is what happens to it after its been read. Without fail, my KITPLANES issues all go in the stack of reference material for future consultation if necessary. All of my other aviation publications get recycled. Keep up the good work!
Counter Point [BEST LETTER]
With all respect to Mr. Cook, the editorial in the January issue (An awakening in Wisconsin) misses the point. First a disclaimer-I am a freelance aviation writer whose work appears primarily in the EAAs Sport Aviation and Sport Pilot magazines. I am also a big fan of KITPLANES, and cannot imagine building or flying a homebuilt without back issues of this fine magazine alongside the EAAs publications, copies of Tony Bingeliss books and other reference material.
As I recall the launch of Sport Pilot, it was meant to accompany the whole Sport Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft effort in its first wobbly years. There were many who predicted a belly flop, and having a magazine dedicated to the subject, despite a certain overlap with the material in Sport Aviation, added legitimacy and a level of maturity to this new branch of recreational flying. With SP/LSA now doing well on its own, it only made sense that the EAA consolidate the topic-specific information into Sport Aviation.
Unlike KITPLANES, the EAAs monthly publications are member organs for the organization and its various divisions. Thats why one wont find much information on warbirds, vintage or aerobatic aircraft in Sport Aviation but in their own respective magazines. The EAA has around 160,000 members around the world, many of whom are deeply involved in local chapters, such as my own Chapter 1114 in Apex, North Carolina. Sport Aviation includes quite a bit of content dedicated to chapter activities as a result, which in my mind is the greatest benefit of my membership in the organization-my local chapter.
You question why an advertisement for the Cirrus SR-22 appears in a magazine for sport aviators. One might also ask why an advertisement for the wonderful Garmin G500 appears opposite to your editorial, since it is likely beyond the means for many homebuilders. Please recall that the SR-22 evolved from a kit, the Cirrus VK-30, which you likely featured in your magazine in the 1980s. Who knows which of todays kits will one day be offered factory-ready, with cup holders? The Cirrus SR-22 is one the greatest success stories of the homebuilding movement, something that KITPLANES can take partial credit for.
I have to disagree with your statement [that LSA] hasnt proven capable of bringing a ton of new faces into aviation. Over 100 new SLSA, factory-built aircraft have been approved in recent years, far more than what we’ve seen from traditional manufacturers for the past several decades. While many of these aircraft are from Europe, they are increasingly American-made, for instance Vans RV-12 ELSA. Your recent series on the construction of the RV-12 has been excellent, and I am probably not the only reader who will consider this new ELSA when lifes obligations permit me to realize a long-held dream of building my own airplane. Rest assured that my tattered copies of KITPLANES will be stacked on the corner of my workbench alongside back issues of Sport Aviation.
President, EAA 1114, Apex, NC
PDFs For Everyone
As a reader of the KITPLANES electronic version, I read and download the current editions as they arrive so that I can look at the mag in my own sweet time. This is fine, and I quite enjoy viewing the mag and its contents this way.
However, when accessing previous issues as an electronic subscriber, I can only look at individual topics. Am I able to download the full issue as I do with new arrivals, as a PDF file?
Older electronic issues remain in the piecemeal format. We hope, one day, to be able to consolidate those PDFs into one.