Welcome to the July 2009 Issue of Experimenter
As you read this we are just days away from the start of the annual EAA fly-in convention - AirVenture - also known simply as “Oshkosh.” Tents are going up all over the grounds, the new changes and additions to the site are in the final stages of completion, volunteers are already here and working, and the overall pace is really picking up. It won’t be long before the early arrivals start showing up on the flightline and setting up their campsites. In fact, lots of campsites in Camp Scholler are already staked out, waiting for EAA members to arrive for the convention.
It was at about this time last year that I was chosen to be EAA’s first homebuilders’ community manager. In this capacity I am tasked with keeping an eye on the interests of the homebuilder/craftsman member of EAA. It’s been an interesting and educational year, and I thought I might take this opportunity to update you on the “state of the homebuilder union.”
One of the major steps forward for the homebuilt/craftsman community is this newsletter. The initial discussions regarding what came to be Experimenter took place at AirVenture last year, culminating in the debut issue in January. By all measures Experimenter has been a major success, and we continue to get great feedback from many of you. Believe me, we appreciate hearing from you, the homebuilders!
Another success story is our series of Hints for Homebuilders video clips. These were already up and running when I took the position as homebuilders’ community manager, and we continue to expand the library with new offerings each week. And in response to numerous requests from the members who wanted to have the clips available even when an Internet connection is not handy, we recently introduced our first HFH DVD, focusing on sheet metal techniques. The DVD debuted at Sun ’n Fun and will be available at Oshkosh. (You can order via the web or EAA membership services as well at 800-564-6322.) We plan to follow up with additional DVDs covering other construction methods.
Video is not the only medium we’re working on. In this newsletter you’ll see an announcement of our new EAA how-to book on sheet metal construction. EAA member and Technical Counselor Jack Dueck is the author of the book, and I’m sure you’ll find it to be a valuable resource whether you’re a new or an experienced builder. We’re offering special pricing through the convention, so make sure to pick up your copy soon.
This book is the first new print publication EAA has offered in quite some time. But it won’t be long before you see more new or updated print publications coming from EAA. We plan to systematically update EAA’s print publications over the course of the next five to seven years, so that we’ll soon have new or updated material on a broad range of subjects. I welcome all of you to offer your input on what you would like to see EAA work on next in this arena. Let me know what you think!
These are just a few of the ideas we’re working on, and with help and input from all of you we will continue to be the go-to source for the entire homebuilder community.
I hope you’re planning to join us in Oshkosh for the convention. I hope you’re flying here in your homebuilt! Last year we had a record number of homebuilts registered, and I’d love to set a new record this year. But regardless of whether you fly or drive, you’re not going to want to miss EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009. Just make sure you get here (and home) safely!
See you in Oshkosh!
- Joe Norris, EAA's Homebuilders Community Manager