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I want to fly and build my own aircraft

Old 02-21-21, 02:09 PM
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JonnyHK 
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I want to fly and build my own aircraft

I've wanted to learn to fly for a few years now, and then build my own aircraft.

There are plenty of kits out there, and also some plans only designs. I have been following the guy building a 100% scale Spitfire out of timber...

So I've had my first flight as a 'taster lesson' in October. I managed to fly around in a Cessna 152 and not freak out the instructor. He said I'd do fine if I wanted to follow on - it's mostly the radio and navigation stuff that trips up students.

I had thought something like a Falco (timber) or the newer composite version the Furio would be about right. Stylish and the right size and performance.

Now I've seen this and I'm in love. Link to a builders blog, not the company:
Flying Legend Tucano-R at Rylstone: Painting

Once the current lockdown is eased I'm going to have another 'taster' flight to see if I really have the right stuff.
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Old 02-21-21, 02:29 PM
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Cool I flew a glider for about 30 seconds lol. Being pulled up by another plane with a ski rope was unnerving lol.
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Old 02-21-21, 03:13 PM
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Join www.eaa.org they will help you get started on a home built.
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Old 02-21-21, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by cloud View Post
Join www.eaa.org they will help you get started on a home built.
Regarding EAA, unsurprisingly they have modified the event for covid. I live about an hour away.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/ea...re/ar-BB1dqWaT
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Old 02-21-21, 04:01 PM
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Originally Posted by skijor View Post
Regarding EAA, unsurprisingly they have modified the event for covid. I live about an hour away.
https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/ea...re/ar-BB1dqWaT
Oshkosh is cool but joining the Eaa is a great organization if you want to build your own airplane.
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Old 02-21-21, 04:10 PM
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If I were to fly a single engine aircraft the only spec I would care about would be the glide ratio...

I did have some vicarious fun a couple of weeks ago - I was working at a huge warehouse construction project out in the country, about 30 cleared acres - and about 4pm this red biplane came over head and started my own private air show, barrel rolls, Immelmans, climbs straight up until he stalled, etc., really looked like it would be exciting in that seat. I imagine he was using that cleared site as a responsible place to crash.
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Old 02-21-21, 06:53 PM
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if you just want to FLY i suggest you consider an AUTOGYRO ... check them out ... they are very safe and reliable and the learning curve is short ... safer than ultra lights ''' cheaper than a porsche 911 ... a friend has one and he uses it on his ranch ... cops fly them instead of choppers

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Old 02-21-21, 07:02 PM
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Iím not sure that building and flying are the same hobbies. Lipo and brushless and drones put the lie to that in the R/C realm.
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Old 02-22-21, 07:01 AM
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I've had a full career as an aircraft mechanic, and there is no way I'd build one or fly it. I can't think of a bigger money-sink, either.
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Old 02-22-21, 12:45 PM
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I've been known to have a little fun in airplanes.

If you ever wanna go dogfight after you get your pilot's license, let me know. I can get us a good deal.
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Old 02-22-21, 01:59 PM
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Flying is a great way to see the world differently. I've made a living flying small supersonic jets to large airliners. If you are going to fly, you could study physics, aerodynamics, and aircraft systems to learn what makes airplanes fly but I'll save you some time. The secret to flying: Money.
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Old 02-22-21, 03:01 PM
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Originally Posted by cloud View Post
Join www.eaa.org they will help you get started on a home built.
I'm in the UK, so the local version will be the go.

However, the EAA has the biggest resources for information.
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Old 02-22-21, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Iím not sure that building and flying are the same hobbies. Lipo and brushless and drones put the lie to that in the R/C realm.
I actually know a couple of guys who built quite large boats, but don't sail. They were building types.
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Old 02-22-21, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by J.Higgins View Post
I've had a full career as an aircraft mechanic, and there is no way I'd build one or fly it. I can't think of a bigger money-sink, either.
Is that a comment at this particular design, or more on the entire Light Sport Aircraft and/or homebuilt thing?
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Old 02-22-21, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
I'm in the UK, so the local version will be the go.

However, the EAA has the biggest resources for information.
There are some really nice homebuilts out there. I like the glassairs and rv's. Years ago I started to build a kr2 with a buddy .We never finished it.They are a lot of work .But if you like working with your hands you can't beat it.
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Old 02-22-21, 04:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cloud View Post
There are some really nice homebuilts out there. I like the glassairs and rv's. Years ago I started to build a kr2 with a buddy .We never finished it.They are a lot of work .But if you like working with your hands you can't beat it.
I've always liked the all timber Falco, but the time involved to build it is crazy. However I've never much like the flat sided look of many Rans or Vans aircraft in aluminium.
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Old 02-23-21, 05:27 AM
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There are so many interesting homebuilts to choose from. You really need to define a mission before picking one.

Vans have a great following, but hold no interest for me. I like to think of them as the Cessna of the homebuilt world. Theyíre everywhere. If youíre going to build something wouldnít you want it to be different? On the positive side they have great performance for most missions.


Single seaters intrigue me. Theyíre cheaper. Theyíre more fuel efficient.

The Quickie Q1 is probably my favorite looking aircraft, but kits are hard to find now and youíre looking at 3000-5000 hours of build-time. 120mph on 18 hp.

The Mignet flying fleas are another cool design. There are 1 and 2 seat versions. Most are 2-axis control (no ailerons). The HM-360/380 specifically seems like a really cool build.

For two seaters the options are almost endless. Do you want a light sport, go fast IFR travel machine, seaplane, STOL, aerobatic biplane, etc. Personally in this category I like the Zenith CH-750. 500 hour advertised build. Matched hole, predrilled kits, can takeoff and land a anywhere. I almost pulled the trigger on one of these a couple years back, but I bought a velomobile kit instead. The Sonex is another one I like in this category. Both can be $35k-$50k builds.

For 4-seaters the Velocity, Zenith CH-801, and RV-10. Youíre now talking serious $. Most of these are going to be >$100k to finish.

Like others said the EAA is a great resource. But more than the national organization your local chapter is probably your best resource.
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Old 02-23-21, 06:18 AM
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Originally Posted by JonnyHK View Post
Is that a comment at this particular design, or more on the entire Light Sport Aircraft and/or homebuilt thing?
I'm speaking to the whole homebuilt thing. Proper tools and materials are needed to make them safe and reliable, and those cost money. There's an old saying out there saying that a boat is nothing but a hole in the water that you pour money into, and I think aircraft of any kind is much the same when owned by civilian pilots. Just my wages alone would cause the pucker factor for anyone who had to hire my company to inspect or work on their plane.

For the last 30 years we've lived four miles from a local airstrip. The hangar is full of small aircraft owned by local pilots. I still drop in from time to time to see them and chat them up. I don't work on aircraft anymore since I have retired, but its nice to see familiar faces and check in from time to time. What I've seen over the years has been so many guys losing their marriages, friends and all of their savings trying to support an outrageously expensive hobby. Sadly, its in their blood and they cant rid themselves of it. The only ones that I've seen who are somewhat solvent are the guys who fly the gyrocopters and ultralights. While these are still expensive to start, they arent as costly to maintain or store. Many just trailer them to the airstrip.

In the end of it all, its your money and your life. Spend it the way you want. I used to be an avid motorcyclist. I used to ride everywhere and would go cross country solo for days and weeks at a time. Somewhere out on that road, I came to the realization that it would have been better if my wife was with me, and that doing it all alone was definitely something that I didnt want to do anymore. I think that planes are the same way with the same effect on your soul. Eventually you realize that all that time and money invested in planes/bikes/boats/cars/etc is selfish and better when shared. Something to think about, but just my opinion, obviously.
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Old 02-23-21, 07:12 AM
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Originally Posted by J.Higgins View Post
What I've seen over the years has been so many guys losing their marriages, friends and all of their savings trying to support an outrageously expensive hobby. Sadly, its in their blood and they cant rid themselves of it. The only ones that I've seen who are somewhat solvent are the guys who fly the gyrocopters and ultralights. While these are still expensive to start, they arent as costly to maintain or store. Many just trailer them to the airstrip.
They call it AIDS Aviation Induced divorce syndrome .
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Old 02-23-21, 10:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Hondo Gravel View Post
Cool I flew a glider for about 30 seconds lol. Being pulled up by another plane with a ski rope was unnerving lol.
I got my private pilots license in a LET L-13 Blanik.
(Then later added Single-Engine-Land rating to my license)
Some of my wildest stories from my training involve the towing.
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Old 02-23-21, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by Will G View Post
Flying is a great way to see the world differently. I've made a living flying small supersonic jets to large airliners. If you are going to fly, you could study physics, aerodynamics, and aircraft systems to learn what makes airplanes fly but I'll save you some time. The secret to flying: Money.
An A&P buddy was once giving me the tour of the airport where he worked.
As we walked by a business jet he pointed to one engine and helpfully added:

"This one has converters on it!"

Me: "Huh???"

Him: "They convert money into noise!"

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Old 02-23-21, 01:43 PM
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Get one of those programs that teaches you how to fly. That can save you some money when you take lessons. On my second lesson we landed behind a large passenger jet. When the pilot got out, he started swearing at the plane, and jumping around, in a fury. That was my last lesson.

After that, I'd look into getting into aviation, but keeping a handle on the costs. A used plane could be one option. Over here; there are groups that buy and share planes.

A lot of those kits never get finished. Do you really have the money, and do you have someone experienced that can help you, or would be willing to work for you for a reasonable amount?
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Old 02-24-21, 01:06 PM
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If it flies, floats or f***s, rent it.
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Old 02-25-21, 12:21 AM
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Iíve spent a lot of time on hobbies. Iíve found my hobbies wax and wane. I can switch from R/C cars to home brewing to bikes. Theyíre all a nice relaxing accessory to my actual family and job. The focus to build a car or boat or plane is enormous. Two thousand hours? Another name for two thousand hours is a man-year. FIVE thousand? The opportunity cost is bonkers. At the end you wind up with a post-ww1 tech plane built by an amateur. Or if you want a real monocoque composite airplane you pay a lot for something already mostly finished and why bother.

And thatís even on top of learning what to do with it, which is not the safest thing if the plane is fine, much less full of character. Iím with the contingent that says take lessons, rent, buy a share in a plane. A common boring plane like Cessna. I have a friend who owned half of an old rare (pretty, quick, interesting) plane. He had a small landing mishap, and bent up the propeller. It was, turns out, irreplaceable or at least catastrophically expensive, both to get the parts and then to get it certified to fly again. I think they parted it out to the twelve other remaining planesí owners.

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Old 02-25-21, 05:29 AM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
Iíve spent a lot of time on hobbies. Iíve found my hobbies wax and wane. I can switch from R/C cars to home brewing to bikes. Theyíre all a nice relaxing accessory to my actual family and job. The focus to build a car or boat or plane is enormous. Two thousand hours? Another name for two thousand hours is a man-year. FIVE thousand? The opportunity cost is bonkers. At the end you wind up with a post-ww1 tech plane built by an amateur. Or if you want a real monocoque composite airplane you pay a lot for something already mostly finished and why bother.

And thatís even on top of learning what to do with it, which is not the safest thing if the plane is fine, much less full of character. Iím with the contingent that says take lessons, rent, buy a share in a plane. A common boring plane like Cessna. I have a friend who owned half of an old rare (pretty, quick, interesting) plane. He had a small landing mishap, and bent up the propeller. It was, turns out, irreplaceable or at least catastrophically expensive, both to get the parts and then to get it certified to fly again. I think they parted it out to the twelve other remaining planesí owners.
Well spoken, DL. I'm not typically a debbie downer, or one to poopoo on someone else's dreams - we all need dreams - but when someone says they want to build a plane, my experience kicks in and I realize what a monumental task it truly is. I feel compelled to help them understand completely the complexities and hardships that will follow. Here's an idea. Why not get paid to fly?

I have a close friend who is a pilot and he flies for one of the major airlines right now, mostly routes in Southeast Asia. In his own words he has said that he never could have afforded to fly as much, and that getting paid to fly is the best gig ever. He sends me views from the cockpit all the time and always claims that it never gets old. I envy that. Many times in my job have I found myself mired in gloom and drudgery while my buddy is flying above the clouds. So to the OP: Why not a career change? Pilots are always in demand, and its a highly-revered job. Maximize your return-on-investment?
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