The Big Empty


If you’ve followed any of our shop videos or seen pictures of what we’re working on here at Kitplanes any time in the past five years, you’ve probably noticed an aluminum fuselage in the background, taking up space. That has been our Xenos project….which became or eXenos project when we decided to go electric. As any builder knows, changes to the original design take additional time of course, but the Xenos has admittedly been a back-burner project for a long while. Well it finally bumped up on the priority list, but it still took bits of fiddling here and there, and to be honest, we were lacking one essential item for putting the wings on—the space to keep a 46’ wingspan airplane (among the other five airplanes that occupy our home hangar).

Friendly neighbors finally had a space available, so today the eXenos grew up and moved out, leaving a huge empty hole in the workshop! You probably won’t notice that the wings are no longer visible in the hangar space beyond the rear shop door, as they moved as well, and we hope to get them permanently mounted in the next week or so. Then it will be time to arrange for inspections and paperwork—a challenging thing to work with the FAA during the holidays, but at least we can get on the schedule.

Meanwhile, we’ll have to do something with all this shop space!

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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