ExperCraft’s Simple Log has been providing aircraft builders and restorers a valuable resource for tracking and sharing projects online since its release in November 2004. This free web site averages one new user signing up every day.
Builders are provided with their own web sites for displaying images and notes on their project progress. A guest book on each site collects supportive comments and feedback from other builders. “The whole system is automated,” says Rob Riggen, ExperCraft founder. “The builder sites are always up to date and hosted automatically.”
Builders may share their web site addresses with friends and family. The database is searchable by those who aspire to build or who are trying to decide which kit suits their needs and building skills. Some have used the system to preview upcoming tasks so as to avoid mistakes and increase confidence.
“Our builders are voracious and very active,” said Riggen. “Collectively the ExperCraft community has uploaded 42,000 aircraft project images into the public database and logged 136,500 hours on their projects. That works out to 75 airplane building hours every day for five years.
ExperCraft’s data also illuminates a healthy aviation consumer market. Builders who use the system are able to track their expenses. To date $5.5 million has been recorded in the system. “When builders sign up for the ExperCraft service, they have purchased their airframe kits already but still have a large number of expenses ahead of them,” Riggen said. “We’ve recently begun offering advertising banners to vendors in the Experimental and after-market industries.” The ads are shown to active builders, flying pilots and future aviation consumers.