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Building a plane

Building a plane

Building a plane

How would I go about building a plane? Just as a small project, how would I start building a plane?

RE: Building a plane

Read the instruction manual???

Are you planning to buy an a/p kit?

RE: Building a plane

I suggest you start with hand-launched balsawood gliders, and work your way up from there.

"Schiefgehen wird, was schiefgehen kann" - das Murphygesetz

RE: Building a plane

Here's what I did:

Buy a set of drawings.
Learn how to fly to make sure I actually like this biplane. Yup. I did. Even did my helicopter private for good measure.
Learn how to interpret said drawings. Had an engineering degree and suddenly became specialized in manufacturing.
Learn the construction methods. Most are fairly easy but extremely nuanced. Took every oxy acetylene welding class I could find. Took tig welding classes. Bought about $10k worth of welding equipment. Realized I like my eyesight more than I like welding, but still do small stuff for side jobs. Changed up which plane I wanted to build (Vans RV8) Decided to get into sheetmetal and riveting. Again took every class I could find... turns out it's easier than most people think. Check out the EAA sport air workshops... stunningly dense weekend classes for builders.

Learn how to objectively critique your work for safety of flight. 1 dumb mistake you don't even realize you made can kill you.

Realized I know nothing about aircraft systems. Learn electrical. Learn hydraulics. Learn engines. Figured out I'm extremely allergic to composite resins... ended up with my A&P certificate... Realized I still barely knew enough. Found a neat job where I get to be an engineer and A&P, until that company got sold off.

Now I teach at the A&P school where I teach Blueprint reading, basic electricity, sheetmetal construction, welding inspection, Reciprocating engine inspection and troubleshooting.

I Bought a Mooney earlier this year because life is short and I like flying more than building.

RE: Building a plane


I Bought a Mooney earlier this year because life is short and I like flying more than building.
So much smarter.

RE: Building a plane


There is a US based association dedicated to to sport/recreational/experimental aviation of all kinds... homebuilt, antique/restoration, etc...
Experimental Aircraft Association [EAA] https://join.eaa.org/fly-witheaa/

There is also a [US? based] website dedicated primarily to experimental aircraft builders and aircraft restoration...

There several 'magazines' available with decades/troves of articles on homebuilt aircraft projects... under the common the sun... [2] US based magazines that come to mind instantly...
Sport Aviation [EAA's publication]

AND there are WAAAAAAY-too many books to mention that are dedicated to aircraft building, restoration and various fabrication and maintenance skills covering the wide array of aircraft structures, mechanical, electrical, flying, etc. The US government Federal Aviation Administration has treasure-trove of handbooks, manuals, advisory documents, etc... for free on-line... on EVERY aspect of aviation, flying, 'technology/maintenance', medical/human-factors, etc, etc... from very simple to complex.

Also...there are similar-to organizations, websites, magazines, books, etc... published around the world in various languages.

When my dad was building, then flying, his Thorp T-18... my experience alongside him as a child, then young adult ... helping, flying, listening, then understanding... was the foundation for MY lifetime career.

Have FUN!

Regards, Wil Taylor
o Trust - But Verify!
o We believe to be true what we prefer to be true. [Unknown]
o For those who believe, no proof is required; for those who cannot believe, no proof is possible. [variation,Stuart Chase]
o Unfortunately, in science what You 'believe' is irrelevant. ["Orion", Homebuiltairplanes.com forum]

RE: Building a plane

Maybe I wasn't very clear in my original post. I am looking to build a plane from scratch that I can fly (not a kit plane).

RE: Building a plane

So, you plan to design it, then build it?

What experience do you have?

RE: Building a plane

Follow the links provided by WKTaylor.

Those sites/organizations exist to provide the information that you need.

RE: Building a plane

To be fair, people do, do it.

That's why EAA exists.

I'm assuming you mean design and build.

A fella named Raymer wrote a book called "Simplified Aircraft Design for Homebuilders". It's not a bad read, but it certainly leaves you needing more. Raymer wrote a pretty high level design text book, but what you'll get out of both of them is... Learn what flys now, and really decide why you need to change it.

Not many of my homebuilt design asperations haven't been tried at some point in the past 119 years... and most of my wild ideas, when you really start to put pencil to paper and sketch out what the thing looks like it quickly gets away from what I wanted and ends up looking like something that already exists.

I REALLY want to build a mig15/F86 (nose inlet) with trapezium style wings. I bet that one is drawn in the margins of most of my engineering textbooks. Make it as small as possible for 2 seat tandem, and use a spare PW610 that I know of. But by the time I'm done doing serious concepts I end up with an S211/BAE hawk.

I wanted to build a "Hawaii cruiser"... KCHD to PHOG non stop 2500 nautical. I've got family in Maui, but I hate flying commercial. I thought it would be neat to have a flying wing with a few Rotax engines. By the time you're done doing JUST the fuel capacity sizing with reserves, it's bigger than I can afford a hanger for... not to mention winds out over the Pacific make ya really respect just how bad (gluteus maximus expletive) commercial jets really are (lets not talk about the Falcons and Gulfstreams that can make it... not even close to being in that ball park)

Flitzer biplane. I don't know what it is about that design, but I love the thing. I bought the plans for it immediately. I wish I was smart enough to do it in composites instead of wood. Hopefully one day my flying buddy and I will build one each and we can go fly formation in them to the pancake breakfast fly in.

Maybe I'll finish my Vans Rv8 kit... but I'm not too motivated anymore. It doesn't do anything I want significantly better than my Mooney.

I'd like to play with a high wing back country plane design, but... Kitfox. they kinda nailed it, especially with those detached flying flaperons. Why run the risk with a new design, with no other aircraft building hours ahead of you when you can mitigate that risk by choosing something close enough.

Wilson Global Explorer... Oh man sign me up. Put a wood burning stove in the back... I'd be set.

I also think about putting that PW610 in a glider and do a poor mans U2... Go see what that class E airspace is like over 60k.

That's my problem. Each of those are life time projects. I'm just a dumb engineer. I don't know how to get funding to just blast out of the gates and develop one of those. But I'm starting to think a rotax twin would be a kockout for multi training.

RE: Building a plane

Its really not very hard at all just watch some videos of how to fold the paper to make a paper airplane. oops sorry I didn't read all the posts when I posted this.
Here is a place to get what your looking for.

RE: Building a plane

" My last login was on Wednesday, September 14, 2022. "

OP is probably taxi-ing down the runway as we speak.

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