The Experimental Airplane Association is about personal aviation. It is said that there are two types of EAA members: those who build to fly and those that build to build! Can you build your own airplane? You bet! There are laws allowing you to do so because they are experimental category aircraft and they are armature built and not to a certification standard like commercial aircraft are. So, there are rules and parameters to "home built" aircraft that they must fall within the most important being that they cannot be used for compensation and only for personal use and are built for personal education. Beyond that the experimental category has no restrictions on relative size, speeds, or configuration with the exception of being jet powered. You have the freedom to succeed or fail based on your design, judgement, skill, and capabilities. Can they be small? Yes, a further subset below the experimental category that is still part of the homebuilt movement is the simplest, smallest, cheapest, and most fun form of this is the “ultralight” that must weight less than 254 lb. in and can't fly at more than 64 mph. Not considered an aircraft, it instead is considered a "vehicle" for a single pilot needing no license or pilot qualification and is considered most like having a flying motorcycle.
What to build? It depends on your mission and personality. Some people like to fly really slow, some as fast as possible, some just for travel, but others upside down and there are homebuilt designs to do all of these things that can be built at home. However, there are also a lot of antique and classic airplanes that have been sitting for years in hangars or derelict on airports that can be turned into gems again with some concentrated effort of simple cleaning and repair that will reward the owner with years of fun and adventure with some being artifacts of history.
Do you need to be an engineer or a Phd to do any of this? Absolutely not! Most builders buy pre-engineered kits with the really difficult parts pre-made and with really good assembly support. Do you need a lot of special training? No, the majority of builders have done nothing more complicated than changing the oil in their cars prior to beginning their projects and use normal power and hand tools found at your local home improvement store when they did it. Can you work on old airplanes? Yes, but you need to do it under the supervision of a licensed inspector and paperwork from the FAA. Do you need a big fancy workshop? No, most people use a two-car garage at home thus the term “home-built”! Does this take a lot time and money? Yes it can, but so can a couple Starbuck’s coffees or packs of cigarettes every single day. But, your journey isn’t just about making an airplane, but about learning new real-world skills, ideas, and concepts and learning from others who become your friends that will push you to grow as an individual. And when you are all done you can fly your creation whenever and wherever simply because you want to and you can!
THE NEXT CHAPTER MEETING IS ON TUESDAY AUGUST 23rd AT 6:30 AT PEARSON FIELD IN THE PILOT'S LOUNGE.
THIS IS A POTLUCK DINNER AT 6:30 AND THE MEETING STARTS AT 7 PM!
IN THE MEANTIME, MANY OF OUR MEMBERS WOULD BE PLEASED TO ANSWER ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT DESIGN OR CONSTRUCTION OF THE MORE POPULAR DESIGNS (ESPECIALLY THE RV SERIES) OR CLASSICS LIKE THE EARLY BONANZA'S OR FUNK'S THAT YOU MAY BE HAVING DIFFICULTY WITH.
FOR QUESTIONS OR OTHER INFO EMAIL: