Tag Archives: home-built aircraft

Aircraft Grade

Greetings Aeronauts,

This week has been interesting. In Monday’s post I talked about getting a copy of the VP-2 plans and the idea of building both the VP-1 and the VP-2 in 1:4 scale to compare the plans. Looks like I will begin working on an airframe sometime next week. I am really looking forward to start actually building. This weekend is jammed with Grave Mistake workshops and the Step Out: Walk to fight diabetes 5k that my wife and I participate in every year along with some friends.

Throughout the week I have been interacting with the great people in the Volksplane Yahoo Group and the fine folks at Oshkosh 365. I got several replies when I asked for some advice on adhesives for wood aircraft. The plans call for Aerolite which does not appear to be readily available. For the most part I got a lot of thumbs up for T-88. Other suggestions included, Aerodux which is a Resorcinol Formaldehyde Adhesive like Cascophen, and West System Epoxy. I am not sure which one I will go with but I am leaning toward the T-88. I need to get the MSDS for each of them as well as take a look at volume, weight, coverage, and relative strength comparisons, and yes, the cost comparison, too.

Another question I had was about Certified Aircraft Grade Lumber. It looks like there ain’t no such animal. In short, your aircraft lumber supplier checks the material to make sure it meets the standards of Aircraft Grade, those standards being MIL-S-6073 Military Specification, Spruce, Aircraft, MIL-P-6070B Military Specification, Plywood and Veneer Aircraft Flat Panel, ANC-18 Design of Wood Aircraft Structures, and of course the standards set in AC-43.13 1B Maintenance & 2B Alterations Aircraft Inspection, Repair & Alterations. They inspect the material, stamp it, and price it accordingly. It is not a federally recognized certification, it is a voluntary compliance to Military Specifications set back when the military used wood aircraft, with a little updating now and then. Don’t take that to mean that I think it’s all hokum; I don’t. The standards are there because they are appropriate to the application. If you are not sure how to grade lumber or are not sure if you can determine compliance reliably, buy lumber from someone who can make those assurances!

While Sitka Spruce is the de facto aircraft lumber, it is not the only species used. The main factor in choosing wood other than structural strength is grain, vertical grain (VG) to be precise. A VG Clear Douglas Fir (DF) is one of the closest quality woods to Sitka Spruce, in fact it is stronger than the spruce in most respects. The drawback with DF is its weight; DF runs about 26% higher in weight than Sitka. In this aircraft, a majority of the structural weight is in the plywood and not the lumber, so the impact on gross weight using DF instead if Sitka should not be that much. Without an electrical system, using minimal instruments, and other weight saving details like single occupant controls, I think the trade-off in favor of structural strength is reasonable, even wise, not to mention that as a Pocket-Change Builder I can’t overlook the cost of DF being significantly lower than Sitka. Having a supplier less than 20 minutes away doesn’t hurt.

Most likely I will end up going with the VP-2 airframe. It is intended for a higher gross weight and a higher useful weight. With two occupants taking up 170 pounds each, that gives me 340 pounds to work with as a single pilot. While I won’t need all of that, I sure as heck am not under 200, nor have I been since 6th grade. I wrestled in the 220 class in Jr High. The extra airframe strength and the VP-2 load capacity provide a significant safety margin over the VP-1 design which is why I am leaning in that direction.

Something fun thing to add to this week was my first EAA Chapter meeting. There are two chapters here in San Jose with a couple of others less than an hour away giving me a lot to chose from as far as finding a good fit. Thursday night was Chapter 62’s monthly meeting. I am not sure if I am going to join 62 yet, but I did have a good time there. The chapter is more of a flying and activities chapter than a building chapter. As it turned out, last night was a great night for me to go to a meeting there because the speaker was Zeke Smith, author of Advanced Composite Techniques.

Zeke demonstrated his process for vacuum forming a leading edge to be used on an an ultralite project. The end product has a thin outer skin and foam strengthening with plenty of room for similarly light ribs. I was amazed at the strength of the leading edge without any support and the incredibly light weight. If I was working on a composite project I would be buying this book right now. I may still get it for this project to use his techniques to form the engine cowling and turtle deck of the VP. That might even give me more weight advantage for the DF…

Only slightly off topic, I can easily see myself building a composite VP-2. In fact I can see some of the layups for Zeke’s vacuum process in my head now. To quote Red Leader Stay on target.

For anyone interested in helping out the FlyBoy, I need to get a print copy of AC-43.13 1B/2B. Contributions to the Pocket-Change Builder’s Fund are always greatly appreciated.

Until next time, blue skies and tailwinds,

VP-1 or VP-2?

Decisions decisions… I purchased the VP-1 plans set last week and acquired a set of VP-2 plans this weekend, now I have to make a decision between the designs. Which one should I build? I am estimating the VP-2 would cost between 5% and 7% more for the materials. I don’t think there would be much of a difference in the build time. The gross-weight bump and the extra seat are certainly good reasons to lean in the direction of the VP-2, but ultimately the decision needs to be a combination of practicality, mission, and my own comprehension of the plans. If one set of plans proves to be significantly more difficult than the other for some reason, that will affect the decision as well.

Evans Volksplane VP-1The idea of building a scale model before starting construction of the full scale plane had come up in a previous post. Now it looks like that might be the best way to decide between the two designs. If I build both of the aircraft as scale models first, that should give me a better parts list and I could evaluate the difference in material costs more accurately. It will also give me more insight in the build process for both airplanes.

Cost estimates for a 1:4 scale model of the VP-1 came out to about $45. Building two 1:4 scale models should come in less that $60. A question more important than cost is 1:4 or 1:8 scale. The 1:8 scale becomes problematic as the smaller plywood sizes in that scale would have to be balsa wood, which would increase the cost significantly, or be laminated paper stock, adding a lot of time in material fabrication. The idea with doing the models is to decrease the overall time and address problems with fabrication, not create materials and a whole new set of issues. Another problem with the 1:8 scale is hardware. In 1:4 scale I shouldn’t have a problem locating scale hardware.

Evans Volksplane VP-2With 1:4 scale the only real problem is that the product is on the large side. For the VP-1 we are talking about a 6′ wingspan, 4’6″ long, and a 1’3″ wide tail. The tail being the widest part of the structure with the wings detached. The VP-2 has a 6’9″ wingspan, is 4’9¾” long, with a 2′ wide tail. These are some big model airplanes and the only thing they are missing is the engine and maybe the rigging.

In the end I know that building the scale models is going to help save me a lot of time in the long run. I also know that the 1:4 scale makes more sense for dealing with potential build problems. With the models I don’t have to worry about Aircraft Grade materials and I can devote my time to building rather than sourcing. I also think that the models will give me a better estimate of the build process, and allow me to modify my build order and schedule.

It’s hard to say what direction things will take. I have my own ideas about the build process, when things will happen, how they will happen and all of that. No matter how much I plan, since I haven’t done this before, I just don’t know the path things will take.

Till next time, blue skies and tail winds,

Plans in Hands

The workshopThursday was a pretty good day. First off, I managed to get down to the workshop and finish cleaning up. I remodeled the shop about a month a go and have been moving everything back in ever since. Because it is such a small space it has taken a lot longer than I had hoped it would to get everything organized and stowed. There are still a few containers that need some sorting, and I need to add a couple more of those small-parts bins, but all-in-all it is a usable space once again.

When I did the remodel I included an internet connection for parts look-ups, ordering, reference materials, and to have some audio visual stuff available. One thing I haven’t gotten around to just yet has been the installation of ventilation fans. It is a really small space and it gets hot in there really fast. Besides, if I am going to use any resins, do any soldering, blah blah blah, it would be a good idea if I had some air-flow.

A package? For me?On Tuesday I placed an order with Aircraft Spruce for some stickers, a patch, and… my set of Volksplane VP-I plans. My wife and I had something going on Thursday night which just happened to be when I was expecting Mr. UPS Man to come by with my package containing the plans. I was hoping that he would come early so I could take the plans with me, but time was growing short and we were about to head out. I was writing a note to authorize my son to accept the package for me when low and behold, who should appear? Mr. UPS Man! Package in hand, we were out the door in a couple of minutes.

My wife and I run a group called Grave Mistake. The group participates in the annual “Thrill The World” world-wide simultaneous Thriller dance event. My wife teaches the Thriller dance and I take care of the audio as well as manage the web and back office stuff for the group. So while she was teaching Thursday’s dance workshop, I was reading; well flipping through. I perused my way through the “VP-I Volksplane Plans and Pilot’s Handbook” and the “Evans Lightplane Designer’s Handbook” before the workshop ended.

VP-I plans and HandbookThe plans are on 8.5″ x 11″ sheets in a comb-bound volume. Everything is there but a lot of it is crowded on to the sheets and doesn’t seem to be organized in what I would consider a logical order. Looking at the plans a little closer now that I am home, I am thinking I need to make some copies and lay everything out so I can look at it all with my Big Picture eyes. I might need to do some blow-up prints too. I will definitely need a couple of working copies to make notes on.

While my wife and I were driving to the dance workshop I was talking with her about possibly building a 1:4 or 1:8 scale model using veneer sheets and pine. At 1:4 scale I might be able to build it from one (1) or two (2) sheets, and two (2) or three (3) pine 2″ x 4″s. Looking at the plans, I’m thinking it might be a really good idea. If nothing else it will be a good way get really familiar with the plans, and if I screw something up it wont cost me hundreds of dollars. Another good thing about building the model is that it will give me a better idea what materials will be needed for jigs, fixtures, and tooling. By building a model I should be able to prevent time and money consuming problems, and I will have a better understanding of the airplane over all. I will also end up with a really cool scale model to boot!

Looks like I have some planning and shop-office stuff to get done. I need to come up with a task list and sub-budget for the model. I think I might need to build a bench-top frame for my RotoZip tool to use it as a router/cutter for the model. I have some 1/4 and 1/2 particle board, some cheap 1/4 plywood, and some Masonite available, and lots miscellaneous hardware. That should get me started. The next two weeks are really full, but I will find some time to get some work done and report back to you.

Until next time, blue skies and tail winds.


One of my favorite movies is Flyboys (2006) by Tony Bill. Some of my favorite scenes in the movie are the ones where the pilots gather in the Ready Room, aka the pub. They celebrate their successes and remember their losses in a way that many non-pilots can’t truly understand.

Viper (Tom Skarret’s character in Top Gun) said it best: “A good pilot is compelled to always evaluate what’s happened, so he can apply what he has learned.” From outside the aviation world it may seem as though pilots are obsessed with death and accidents, and very callus about these situations. In one sense we are; from the day we start flight training, we are constantly exposed to aviation accident reports. Like most pilots with a few hundred hours, I know pilots who have died in an airplane, or been involved in a reportable event. More often than not the cause of the crash or event was Pilot Error.

Pilot Error seems to be the NTSB’s favorite phrase in accident reports, it appears in almost all of them. Sadly, it’s a legitimate statement in those reports far more often than not. This is why we read the reports; if that guy did it, I might do it, too. I have to pay attention to that. A well educated aviator might push the limits, but they know exactly where those limits are and how they affect the situation.

I am still in the planing phase of my aircraft build project but I am thinking about the Flight Testing phase. Before I can develop a Flight Test Program I need to have a good understanding of the Volksplane’s flight characteristics from other builders and pilots. I plan on asking a lot of questions on the boards and lists but if I want to ask intelligent and directed questions I need to know what to ask. My first stop in researching flight characteristics is the NTSB Aviation Accident Database.

According to the FAA’s Registration Database there are approximately 512 Volksplane variants currently registered in the U.S. Since the plans for the aircraft were made available in 1969 there have been 45 Volksplane accidents; 17 none/minor injury, 19 serious injury, 9 fatalities, they break down by decade as follows.

  2000 1990 1980 1970
Fatal 1 2 2 4
Non Fatal 2 4 9 21

Not all data fields add up numerically, mainly because the NTSB’s data in not always complete so keep that in mind before you pull out that calculator. In the case of our accident pilots only 44 were reported with a certificate status, 38 had a pilot certificate and 5 did not. I broke down pilot age into three groups. The under 30 set included 8 pilots, in the 31-49 group we found our majority with 22, the over 50 group claimed 12.

Let’s take a look at total pilot in command (PIC) hours and hours in type.

  ≤50 ≤100 ≤250 ≤500 ≥500
TTL Hrs 1 4 11 8 19
  ≤5 ≤25 ≤50 ≥50  
In Type 24 9 4 5  

Yes, that’s right. A couple of our intrepid certificateless pilots had reported over 100 hours.

A majority of the reports involved a loss of control in the air, 25, with several on the ground, 16. One (1) incident was due to weather and one (1) was due to a propeller failure.

18 incidences involved some kind of power failure, 8 from unknown causes, 10 from fuel issues, 5 of which were caused by fuel starvation, 2 of those from just old fashioned running out of gas.

There were 15 incidents of builders not installing parts, installing parts wrong, ground testing with known problems that ended up as unintentional in-flight problems.

Most of the mechanical stuff and incidents of pilots without certificates occurred in the 70s. The disturbing part is pilots with low total times and no time in type are more common in recent decades. It seems as though we have gotten better in the building part but more impatient about getting the bird in the air.

My conclusions from this basic data are that as a builder it is of the utmost importance to take your time and check everything thrice. As a test pilot, take your time, inspect everything, understand the flight characteristics of the aircraft, expected and otherwise, be current, in type if possible, and take each step of the test flight program with absolute attention to detail. Considering every flight as a test flight up to 100 hours is not a bad idea ether. There was only one incident over 100 hours. Attention to detail and planning could have prevented all of the 45 incidents with possible exceptions for 2 of them.

Did I learn anything I didn’t know? No. Did taking the time to do the research make me think a bit more about how to prevent failures and what might go wrong? You betcha! Will my standards in the build process be better than if I had not taken the time to do this research? Probably. How about flight testing standards? Yeah. I think I will be less ambitious with the test flight schedule.

Until next time, blue skies and tail winds,

BTW Just in case you are wondering, I have been known as FlyBoyJon since 2003.

The first weekend

For several years now I have been thinking about how and when to start a home-built airplane project. Recently I realized that what I was waiting for was the perfect time to start a project. I am guessing that in many ways it’s like having kids; you can do all of the research and make as many preparations as you like, but in the end you’re never really prepared for what comes next.

After letting this realization sink in, I made the decision leap of faith to start a Volksplane project. I have been reading up on the process of starting a build project for quite some time, long enough for a few of the FAA documents about the subject to have been revised, making me print new copies of them. All of the Getting Started hints and documents, including the ones from the FAA, tell you to start by contacting the FAA and talk to an examiner to discuss the project and get paperwork, ACs, and any other information you may need to get started. This also give you a chance to ask any questions about the process.

Due Diligence

I started by calling my local FSDO like a good little builder. I have to admit, I was kind of expecting to schedule an appointment to go down to the FSDO and actually meet with someone, but it was not to be. I talked with Michael at the San Jose FSDO over the phone for about 20 minutes. For the most part it was a very casual chat, hanger flying by phone, he gave me a URL to the FAA’s Amateur-Built resource page and said pretty much everything I needed to know was there, and that was it.

There are a couple of thing I mentioned during the conversation that may have contributed to its brevity. First off I mentioned that I was an EAA member, and during our chat I mentioned several relevant ACs, and a few other things like planing on using a Technical Counselor* and a Flight Advisor* during and after the build. When Michael asked what I was going to build, I said I was going to build a Volksplane, his only trepidation seemed to be about the use of the VW engine. Apparently he had been a part of a couple of investigations that involved VW engine conversions.

*Notes: A Technical Counselor is an experienced aircraft builder or mechanic that provides inspections and advise to builders throughout the build process.

A Flight Advisor is an experienced pilot that offers advise to builders early on about flight skills that will be needed with their choice of aircraft and will suggest any additional flight training the builder may need before flying their new airplane. The Flight Advisor will also go over the flight testing process and make recommendations about that phase of the project.

The sage wisdom of both is invaluable and can be a huge benefit to the builder who avails themselves of these services. Both are volunteers and offer these services to EAA members at no charge through the EAA chapters. This alone is a great reason to become an EAA member. (plug, plug)

Another reason my contact with the FAA may have been so short might be the decision to build a Volksplane. It really isn’t a Kit-Built kind of airplane. Unless you hired someone to do all of the woodwork for you, there is little chance your project would not qualify as an Amateur-Built. The big thing these days is Commercial Assistance. That is when you pay someone else to do some of the building for you, thus decreasing your portion of the work which has to be more than 50%. The status of Amateur-Built revolves around the following 27 words of CFR Title 14 21.191(g)

“Operating an aircraft the major portion of which has been fabricated and assembled by persons who undertook the construction project solely for their own education or recreation.”

Some of the kits available have brought the builders major portion part of the equation into question. How much did the builder actually build? Since the Volksplane is constructed almost entirely of wood & fabric, unless I paid someone to cut everything out and put it together I won’t have a problem here. This would be reasonably obvious to the FAA so Michael didn’t have to spend a lot of time on this issue with me.


Once I have finished building the Volksplane I have to have an Airworthiness Inspection before an Airworthiness Certificate will be issued. I will need one of those if I want to fly my new airplane. There are two options for having the airplane inspected. One is to have an FAA inspector come out to the airport, number two would be to have a DAR, or Designated Airworthiness Representative come out and do it.

The FAA, as a federal agency, does not charge for inspections. The DAR is a private citizen who has been authorized to do airworthiness inspections, they can charge for their services, usually $300-$400.

As a Pocket Change Builder, I am going to have to coin that phrase… pun intended, I am inclined to get the free inspection. There are some hoops and caveats here though. For one, the FAA is trying to stay out of doing those kinds of inspections. Budgets what they are, there are fewer inspectors and they have a lot to do, and there is an alternative for the public. Scheduling requires letters, responses, tighter schedules and the usual red-tape in getting that appointment made within a month.

With a DAR, I make a phone call and meet them at the airport in a few days or maybe a week. It’s a lot like getting a check ride for a pilot certificate. Who actually has a check ride with an FAA examiner anymore? I am still thinking this one over. I have quite a while to go before I will need an Airworthiness Inspection so I am not in a rush on this one.

Completed To-Date

I have a Planning Phase ✔ List over to the side of this page for a quick look at project progress. As the project moves on things will change, the list will reflect those changes and things will inevitably get shifted around. I suspect it will get quite long too.

Obviously I have contacted the FAA, and since this blog is where the Builders Log will come from, that has been started. I did order my EAA Amateur-Built Certification Kit. I also spent a significant way to much amount of time on the Volksplane Yahoo Group reading posts and looking at ALL of the pictures posted to the group. Let’s call it research, ya… research… Some decisions were reached from all that research.

I defiantly want to build as much of the airplane as possible myself. Anything that could be ether store-bought and modified, or hand-crafted, I will opt for hand-crafted. Along those lines, I think I will make the laminated wood landing gear instead of the aluminum or steel.

Another direction is that I am not going to install an electrical system. I have a hand-held radio and GPS for use as needed, but I am not going to install anything electrical in this build (there will need to be some provision for an ELT). That may change later on, but I want this airplane to be old-school. Along the same lines, I am not planning to install any gyros. All of the instrumentation will be pitot-static, gravity, magnetic-field, or systems pressure. No hydrolics ether.

As nuts as this may seem…

I am thinking about it already, I want my next project to be a scratch built. I figure if I build this one as basic as possible and by plans only, I will be more prepared for the next project. I love the idea of open cockpit flying and I am a good dead reconing navigator that really enjoys cross-country navigation.

The thought of traversing the country, coast-to-coast, in an open cockpit, navigating by sight and the seat of my pants like the early air-mail pilots makes me want to jump in a plane and go.

To dream, perchance to fly…

Let The Project Begin!

Today is an important day for me. Today I am actually starting my first aircraft build project. Now I know you are bouncing in your seats “Show me the airplane, show me the airplane” but that’s going to be a while. First off I have to get this huge bolder rolling.

Building an airplane has been on my list of things to do for a long time. One of the things you have to do when you build an airplane is keep a Builders Log showing all of the processes you have gone through in completing your project. The FAA uses the Builders Log, in part, to demonstrate compliance with the federal regulations that say a builder must complete a “majority” of the work. This is known as the 51% Rule in Amateur-Built aviation circles.

A quick terminology note here for the non-initiated: Amateur-Built, Home-Built, and Experimental are all terms used for aircraft that are built by individuals or groups that do not build airplanes as a manufacturer. I will be using all three terms interchangeably throughout this post, and the entire blog for that matter.

There are a number of Builders Logs on line and the better ones cover not just the technical details of the building process but the spool-up of the project, the planning phase. This is an area I want to spend more time on than most other builders. There will of course be lots of coverage of the actual building process and after the airplane is built I will extensively cover the flight testing phase as well. My goal for this blog is to cover the entire project from start to finish.

In the beginning…

I have been searching for the right airplane to build for a couple of years now. I really liked the idea of building a WWI bi-plane like the Neuport 17/24 the airplane flown by the famous Lafayette Escadrille. I also considered the Curtis JN-4D or Jenny as they are more commonly known. Both projects would be tons of fun but the cost would be prohibitive and they would take at least 3 years to build, in part because the engines are very expensive and hard to come by.

As you might have guessed, the engine of an experimental aircraft is usually the most expensive component part. This became one of the deciding factors for me in choosing what airplane to build. Probably the least expensive engine to use in an airplane that has a good history for conversion as an aircraft engine is the Volkswagen Type 1. Pretty much any VW engine can be converted for aviation use. There are a few companies that make their living doing VW conversions. One company that does this is AeroConversions.

I found out about AeroConversions when I was looking at the Sonex as project airplane. After looking at the WWI fighters and deciding that the cost would be to high, I looked for the least expensive option I could find in a kit-built. A kit-built is just what it sounds like, you buy a kit, and build it. I liked Sonex for several reasons. One, the kit comes with the engine. That is not usually the case; the kit usually includes just about everything except the instruments and avionics but they do include a budget for them in their cost estimate, and the best part was the realistic cost for a completed basic Sonex comes out to about $25,000. Like most kit manufacturers, Sonex has a collection of sub-kits you can buy at various stages to help spread the cost out over time, but you still end up with a couple of big chunks-O-change having to be dropped all at once, like the engine kit coming in a bit over six grand.

My mind started twirling with ways to build the funds through sponsorships and the like, which I am still open to hint hint but it was just not coming about. I started down that road about a year before the economy turned to mud which put a big damper on the whole thing. Now, here I am, many moons down the road and still no air-O-plane. My 2010 edition of the Aircraft Spruce catalog showed up and as I was thumbing through it, I looked at a plans-built that I have looked at many times before, but this time I saw them with different eyes. Plans-built is like a kit-built only no parts, just the plans, you have to figure out what you need and then go get it. Plans-built is the least expensive way to build an airplane, but it usually takes considerably longer to get in the air.

The VP

The VolksPlane is not a pretty airplane, it is a very simple airplane. It is a wood and fabric built airplane that has proven to be quite sturdy. Here are some of the basics about the plane. With a 2000cc VW it will fly at a slow 75-95 mph with a maximum speed around 110 and a Do Not Exceed speed of 120. It is designed for the Utility category which means it can handle a few Gs. Here is where it becomes a real winner, it burns about 3 gallons of fuel per hour, unlike a Cessna 172 that burns about 11 to 15. Last but certainly not least… it has a realistic build budget of $12,300.

Now I know I can do better than $12,300. I beefed up my budget in all directions so this is actually a very conservative number. The only place it could get out of hand is with the… you guessed it, the engine. I have heard some reports of builds of the VP in the “less than $5,000” range. I am going to stick to my guns on this one at $12,300. This gives me a generous tool budget, includes sales tax of 10%, an “extras” budget, a shipping and handling budget, and a 10% of total cost PCO budget. Knock on wood… I think I’m covered.

This budgeting is based on a collection of sub-kits from Aircraft Spruce, most of which are $500 or less, the most expensivesub-kit is the highest cost landing gear option at a little less than $1,200, the least expensive option for landing gear is $700, so I think I have a good amount of wiggle room built-in to the budget. I can also look at buying materials in smaller assembly-based chunks from local suppliers.

What’s next?

Now I need to start the project with the Planning Phase.

  • Contact FAA for an “Amature Builders” information packet.
  • Begin Builders log This blog!
  • Purchase EAA Builders kit
  • Purchase Volksplane plans
  • Purchase Log books: Airframe, Engine, Prop
  • Purchase builders reference books There are several books that are very useful to have, I’ll list them later. Most of these can wait until I am ready to purchase materials
  • Request an N-Number send in “Affidavit of Ownership for Amateur-Built Aircraft” Form 8050-88. This is the identification number on the tail of the airplane. It’s official!!!!
  • Register the airplane After the N-Number confirmation comes by mail, send in “Aircraft Registration Application” Form 8050-1
  • Develop a build schedule including: **
    1. Construction Schedule
    2. Budget Schedule
  • Begin building

**So why is this after a bunch of other stuff? Good question. I already have a preliminary budget and a preliminary work schedule but you can’t really get down to solid numbers until you have had some time to go over the plans and break things down into sub assemblies with materials lists and all of that persnickety stuff. Because I am working on pocket-change-budget I have to take the extra time to schedule little bits of work at a time efficiently so I’m not sitting around on my butt not working on my airplane.

In conclusion

So there it is. I am building an airplane. It would be nice to fly to AirVenture Oshkosh 2011, but that is unlikely; 2012 however is doable with this project. We shall see.

Now I am off to call the FAA, item one… check.