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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Why Build an Airplane ?

Wow, why build an airplane? Lots of books on this subject and lots of comments on other sites, but the main reason why I want to build an airplane is because I can. I have always wanted to and never really thought it was possible until the last few years. Watching builders put planes together and fly them; seeing the experiences they have during the build and then the final result has really sold me on this.

The US is amongst the best countries in the world, and our laws allow us to do something as amazing as this. I really hope things don't change in this matter as it would be tragic. Lots of other countries allow experimental aircraft as well, and the whole idea is designed so that people can learn about aviation in general allowing for progress and invention that benefits everyone. Once complete, I really won't have many restrictions with this airplane except I can't fly for hire/commercially and I must make sure that all passengers are aware the aircraft is experimental. No problem, I will be proud of that fact !

Money and Time are key, not sure I have enough of either, but if I put it off, then I will always wish I had started several years ago. Now that I have begun, I can't say that.

Aptitude is important, I think mechanical skill and accuracy are key. I have mechanical type skills in excess even though I don't work in a profession that requires them. I am confident that I have the skills and attention to the right kind of details for this job.

Challenge and Perseverance.. In the few months already building, I understand what others have said. This is something not to be taken lightly and must become a lifestyle in order to finish the project. Since the project is a multi-year endeavor there are many things that happen in life between the start and end. Many builders move homes, old jobs, new jobs, some have kids, even partners come and go in some cases. For me, I plan on keeping everything on the right track if possible, and as I move through life always have that plane growing in the background. (although some might argue it is front and center at times. ;-) )

Any aircraft is only as safe as the last person who maintained or "worked" on it. For me, I am able to build a brand new aircraft that is a proven airframe and can trust myself to the maintenance. Other builders like Dan Checkoway talk about avoiding Monkey's with a wrench. "Guys who are paid by the hour to work on your aircraft." I am sure they do good work, but will they be as invested in the result as I am?
(Certified planes require all essential work be completed by a A&P mechanic, aka "monkey with a wrench".  Homebuilt planes can be maintained by their creator.  -That's me ! )

I love flying and the freedom that comes with it ! Forever I will feel like a 16 year old who just got their drivers license. ;-)

Home built airplanes generally exceed certified aircraft in most ways. Aerobatics, Efficiency, Speed, Payload, Looks, etc.. ;-) Especially the RV Series.

Home Built airplanes/Experimental airplanes mean that it was built by an amateur builder, not that the airframe is experimental or unproven. There are thousands of RVs out there flying today.

Other reasons to come...

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