Some pilots are taking aircraft in the skies that they have built and designed themselves. Here is a list of 4 DIY aircraft that have been built by some great pilots and shows that how dedication and hard work can lead you to put efforts for making your aircraft.
Chris Christiansen is somewhat of a prodigy builder. This aeronautic genius designed and built his plane The Savor in only 15 Months. He is a self-taught designer that sketches out his designs with pencil and paper.
The high-winged Savor was made to be a long range airplane and looks professionally manufactured. It can fly with a speed of 200 miles per hour.
David Rose built his plane known as the RP-4 with speed in mind. It is equipped with counter-rotating propellers that turn at 4800 rotations per minute.
Its pilot can connect both propellers to their engines with no extensive reduction gearing. The propellers are designed to switch pitches for optimal efficiency at every speed.
3. Lucky Stars
Some designers envision their flying machines as being more than just fast. Mark Stull made his plane Lucky Stars with four and a half foot ringtail. Years of planning and testing went into making it a success.
His plane has a hydraulic damper that he installed so that the tail wouldn’t swing too far on either side and he added balance by putting weights on the ring. His seat had to be adjusted upward to stabilize the plane while in flight.
Cory Byrd spent 14 years planning and building a two-seat airplane he named Symmetry. The beautifully designed aircraft can reach speeds of 300 miles per hour.
The aeronautic work of art would earn Byrd the Grand Champion Prize at the Experimental Aircraft Association annual air show.
Here’re few things for anyone who builds their aircraft should follow:
1. Construct A Virtual Model
David Rose is a pilot who made his specialty RP-4. Designed with speed in mind, this pilot turned builder designed his plane by using a combination of two virtual design applications.
Utilizing both X-Plane and Airplane PDQ Rose was able to test his virtual plane and see how well it would perform in a variety of conditions and landscapes. Inspired by NASA, the plane he built himself can fly at an astonishing 4800 rpm.
His propellers can be automatically adjusted to for superior efficiency while zooming through the sky. Using these computers aided design programs to let him see what to expect before he built his light sports aircraft.
2. Sketch The Design
A book called Modern Aircraft Design is being used by many first time builders configure the parts they’ll need in construction. This helpful book can also be an asset in assembly guidance.
The author teaches design classes to airplane home builders that want a more hands-on approach to learning how to make their light sports aircraft.
3. Find A Support System
Family and friends can offer a lot of emotional support and encouragement while taking an extensive project; however, they probably won’t be able to provide the builder any real construction advice unless they are skilled in aeronautics.
Luckily for those who choose such an undertaking, there is a community of like-minded enthusiasts that are willing to help out other pilots build the aircraft of their dreams.
The Experimental Aircraft Association is a global organization with branches all over the world. The members are fellow aviation enthusiasts who love talking to other aircraft hobbyists.
Their members have skills and knowledge that they are willing to pass on their first-hand insight to others and are some of the greatest resources while completing the project.
4. Be dedicated
Most members of the Experimental Aircraft Association will warn at home builders that the task will not always go smoothly or according to plan. It will take hard work and dedication to produce a successful aerial vehicle.
A project will likely take at least two years of full-time effort including weekends. Those who decide to build their aircraft need to consider if they have that kind of time and energy to put into the project.
For those who want to build their light sports aircraft but don’t have the time or motivation to spend two years making it, there is another option: purchasing a kit. Buying a kit will still mean that there will be some assembly to do, but not nearly as much as starting from scratch.
Here’s some easy to follow steps for builders who want to go for the easier route.
1. Know the Market
It can be tempting to see a plane that looks ideal on the outside and quickly wants to buy it, but that isn’t always the best idea. What is more important is what comes on the inside.
Once the plane is completed, it needs to have the precise features that drove the pilot to build his aircraft in the first place. It’s advisable to read reviews and talk to other people who have purchased that exact plane in the past and flown them.
Most reputable sites will have forums where people talk about how the light sports aircraft has worked for them. It’s even better when the site offers reviews from verified purchasers.
Doing research can point the builder in the right direction, but keep in mind there is no one size fits all plan. If there were a lot of companies would be out of business. Some designers use wood; others prefer metal or composite. Each material will come with its advantages and disadvantages.
Builders should shop around, talk to others, and do some experimenting to find their perfect fit. Attending a convention like the annual EAA AirVenture can be a great place to go to see new and old techniques in building planes at home. Some conventions even let new builders get some practice and use some hands-on techniques so they’ll know what they’re in for.
3. Go Slow
Building a plane can be hard work even when most of the parts have already been manufactured and put together in a kit. The kits aren’t cheap either, so it’s good to invest slowly. Lots of manufacturers have partial kits available for purchase.
First time builders can start out by buying the tail first before getting anything else. If the purchaser starts building the tail, only to find he doesn’t have the time or stamina that he thought he did at the date of purchase, he can stop and chalk it up to a learning experience.
It’s harder to justify it as being a learning experience and not a huge folly when he has spent thousands of dollars on a complete assembly model.
Once the decision has been made, the tools and materials have been bought; it is time to buckle down and get to business. Sadly a lot of plane kits that get bought never get flown because they never get finished. It’s contrite to put months of effort and thousands of dollars and not finish the light sports aircraft.
Once the handiwork begins, it’s essential to do what it takes to stay motivated throughout the entire process. If discouragement starts to sink in along the way, the builder should reach out to his aviation community for support and enthusiasm.