The Thrill Is Gone…Somewhat
I love KITPLANES magazine and haven’t missed an issue in the past 15 years. Being a builder of one and a half kits, it has been a wealth of information and cutting edge. The latest issue [July 2011] was far from cutting edge! The magazine used 11 pages about an airplane (the VariEze) that might well have gone the way of the dinosaur. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rutan’s designs. But the fact is this airplane is almost unattainable. I’ve wanted to build one of these from the beginning. The harsh truth is you can’t. You have your choice of finishing up someone else’s project or buying one completed that is way overpriced. The thing that really blows my mind is that there must have been dozens of articles about the VariEze that aren’t any different from this one.
This magazine seems to be pointed toward people building airplanes, not a history lesson about dead airplanes.
The article on the Mustang was great! I have a friend building one right now and it made for hours of conversation between us. Thanks for that.
The VariEze is a cool airplane, but I’ve got as much chance at buying the plans to build a BV-38 as I do a VariEze.
Your point is taken. It was not our intention to create demand that can’t be satisfied. You may have been seeing a lot of articles on Rutan designs of late, because he announced that he would be retiring this year. In part, that eight-page article was our way of acknowledging his contribution to Experimental aviation in honor of his retirement.-Ed.
I have now received three copies of KITPLANES, and I would like you to know how pleased I am with your product. It is so good to get an aviation magazine that doesn’t mince words. You really do tell it like it is. For some reason in Australia, we do not have such a luxury.
Keep up the great work, and I look forward to receiving the next issue! Kind regards.
P.S. When I was buying your magazine from the news agency, I especially enjoyed the "Roll Your Own" series.
The next Volkswagen powerplant for kit aircraft? Visit the web site www.ecomotors.com. These engines are half the weight, twice the power, fewer moving parts, diesel, 1.1hp/lb. I enjoy your magazine, and am especially interested in lower price kits.
From the Archives
For Amy Laboda: Just read your piece on John Thorp [September 2008], and it’s a masterful piece of writing. You are to be heartily congratulated. Granted, the subject was full, ripe and ready for the telling, but you did a great job with it, and I thank you. You’ve given all of us readers a lot of pure enjoyment. This may be the best thing you’ve ever written, but I hope you surpass even this, and I’ll be watching. (Tell them to give you a raise!). Fair winds.
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KITPLANES, P.O. Box 315, Ashland, OR 97520.