EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter
   
 
March 2009
  EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter
Inside this Issue
Wayne Sprigle's Mite-T-Mustang
Converting a Subaru EJ-22
Creating Custom Wheelpant Molds
Concept: Can A Long "Longster" Be Built As A Legal Part 103 Ultralight?
 
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WELCOME!

Joe NorrisThe homebuilt community has a couple of hidden gems. They really shouldn't be hidden, but it seems that they are. These gems are the EAA Technical Counselor and Flight Advisor programs. These 100 percent volunteer programs have helped thousands of amateur builders do a better and, more importantly, safer job of building, testing, and flying their homebuilts. The Federal Aviation Administration recognizes these programs as enhancements to homebuilt safety and mentions the programs in its advisory circulars and other guidance materials related to amateur-built aircraft.  Read more

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Paul's Pick
Learning From History

History can tell one a lotÖabout successes and failures. Looking back through my editorials of the past, the "Homebuilder's Corner" that appeared in March 1963 issue of Sport Aviation relative to the EAA Airplane Design Contest brought great interest in our desire to promote free thinking and innovation that could improve light plane development.

The all-wood Pete Bowers Fly Baby took first place; many were built, and some are still flying, and the process of freedom of thought, with hands and mind, has continued our progress. One only has to look at the variety of creations that mark the grounds at your EAA Oshkosh convention each year.

But more is needed in the development of powerplants for these machines of flight. Can EAA of today lead the effort? When I view the NASCAR races, these earthbound vehicles roaring around the tracks at speeds of 180 to 200 mph for hours with few powerplant failures, I not only admire the drivers, but most importantly the craftsmen who with their skills and knowledge build and craft these powerplants. Their talent would be very valuable to our movement. There is a need for reasonable, reliable powerplants that could enhance aviation and, in particular, our movement. Are EAAers up to the task?
  - Paul Poberezny

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Converting a Subaru EJ-22
Jon Finley's Q2 is powered by a converted EJ-22 engine from a wrecked 1990 Subaru Legacy, acquired "for a song" from a friend in the auto towing business. After performing the entire conversion himself, Jon wound up with a 250-pound, direct-drive engine that produces enough power at high-density altitudes to be safe and to satisfying - for less than $3,000 (including the ECU).  Read more
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How To . . .
Creating Custom Wheelpant Molds
Chris Boultinghouse, self-confessed "airplane nut" since the age of two, provides step-by-step instructions on building composite wheelpants molds. In this article, which first appeared in CONTACT! Magazine, Chris learned composites from building and marketing RC airplanes in high school.  Read more
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Concept: Can A Long "Longster" Be Built As A Legal Part 103 Ultralight?
The same factors that drove experimenters in the 1920s are also driving today's experimenters, who are unwilling or unable to build or buy large or expensive airplanes or kits. In that context, Oscar Zuniga, of San Antonio, Texas, explores one of aviation's earliest designs - The Longster - and whether one can be built that would qualify as a Part 103 ultralight.  Read more
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What Our Members are Building
Wayne Sprigle's Mite-T-Mustang

Wayne Sprigle of Springfield, Ohio, is recently retired from the 178th Fighter Wing of the Ohio Air National Guard. He reached the rank of Senior Master Sergeant and has always expressed a love affair with the North American P-51 Mustang. In the late 1970s he joined EAA and started looking for a Mustang project he could build from plans, and he found one-almost.  Read more
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Meet EAA Staffer Randy Hansen
Government Relations Director
My love for aviation started when my parents started taking the family to the Fullerton Municipal Airport (FUL) to simply watching airplanes land and take off. Many years later one of my teachers at Fullerton Junior College took me to El Mirage Dry Lake in the Mojave Desert for a flight in his Bensen Gyrocopter. While that hooked me on flying, I wasn't able to do anything about it until graduation from college when I took the leap and joined the Army in 1972 specifically to fly helicopters.  Read more
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Forum Review
Listen to Greg Richter (a 46 MB mp3 download), of Blue Mountain Avionics, in a forum presented at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2008 and follow along by reading Aircraft Wiring For Smart People (a 1.6 MB PDF download), Greg's a step-by-step guide to wiring your airplane simply, effectively, and inexpensively.  Read more
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From the Editor
Patrick Panzera, EAA 555743
ppanzera@eaa.org

Pat PanzeraAlong with the rest of the team that puts this e-newsletter together, Iím really proud of the amount of positive comments weíre receiving. This tells us we are heading in the right direction. The amount and the quality of article suggestions weíre receiving are staggering as well, but it will be a tough bill to fill without some serious help from our readers. Iím finding a trend among the Internet savvy; those who in the past would have submitted an article to their favorite aviation publication or type club newsletter are forgoing that step in favor of publishing a web page or posting to their favorite e-mail group.

In either event, print publications and e-newsletters such as Experimenter suffer the consequences by having to search out or otherwise create articles of interest to publish rather than receiving those gems some of you are keeping to yourselves. This lack of submissions may be one reasons for less homebuilding content appearing in these publications.

With that, I ask that you not consider EAA headquarters and/or its publications as the end-all-be-all source of experimental aviation information, but rather a repository for sharing your ideas and submissions. In other words, donít just sit back and wait for us to find and create what it is you want to read, but rather please let us know what you are doing. By sharing your stories, we will all get to read what our fellow members are doing. Thatís where experimental aviation really happensóin our garages, our hangars, our basementsónot at the editorís desk.

So next time you feel the need to update your website or send that killer progress report to your favorite e-mail group (be it positive or negative), please consider sending it to me, too, for inclusion in Experimenter.

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Hints for Homebuilders
Motor Mount Fabrication 
The complex geometry of a motor mount makes scratch building one a challenging task.  In this segment, Earl Luce shows how to make a simple jig that will greatly simplify the task.  Earl is an EAA SportAir Workshop instructor and a volunteer EAA Technical Counselor. He also offers plans sets for the Wittman Buttercup.
Watch the video
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From the Archives
Sport Aviation, Feb-Apr 1958
The Pietenpol "Sky Scout",
by George Hardie, Jr.
Read the article or search the archives by subject for a multitude of technical and how-to articles.
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Questions and AnswersQ&A
Got a question? Send it to us at Experimenter@eaa.org.
Whether you're building, restoring, or just an enthusiast. we want to know what has you stumped.

Q: Iím working with flared tubing and AN fittings. How do I properly tighten the AN-818 coupling when connecting a flare connection? I figure Iím currently halfway between finger-tight and stripping the threads (based on thread-stripping experience). Is there any official guidance on this subject?

A: Guidance for this and other related questions can be found in FAA Advisory Circular (AC) 43.13, Acceptable Methods, Techniques, and Practices - Aircraft Inspection and Repair. The current version is AC 43.13-1B. The info on tightening AN-818 fittings can be found in Table 9-2, on page 9-19 of the AC. 

If you donít have a copy of AC 43.13-1B, I strongly suggest you get one. This is truly the bible of aircraft maintenance and repair, and it includes guidance on all manner of aircraft construction and maintenance. Your FAA inspector would be pleased to see that you have a copy on hand when the time comes. It is the best $25 you can spend on your project. You can get your own copy by calling EAA membership services at 800-843-3612. Ask for catalog number F00191.

You can also find the AC online at www.FAA.gov. Itís a very large document presented in 14 separate PDF files. I find it easier to have the printed version right on my bench in the shop.

Read more

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Homebuilder Gallery of the Month
View some historical photos of Les Long's Longster along with some construction drawings from a 1931 Flying and Glider Manual article that Long wrote about building the Longster.  View the photo gallery.
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Poll Poll
Which emerging light-aircraft engine technology holds the most promise for the homebuilt community?

Poll - Vote Now!

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Aviation Glossary
Confused by a strange aeronautical term? EAA's online Aviation Glossary can help.

ECU (engine control unit) is an electronic unit that controls various aspects of an internal combustion engine's operation.
The simplest ECUs control only the quantity of fuel injected into each cylinder each engine cycle. More advanced ECUs found on most modern cars also control the ignition timing, variable valve timing (VVT), the level of boost maintained by the turbocharger (in turbocharged cars), and other peripherals.

More glossary terms

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Around the Web
Check out these interesting and informative videos and websites. Have a favorite technical site? Share it with us at Experimenter@eaa.org.
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