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EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter
   
 
January 2010
  EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter
Inside this Issue
Looking at the Facetmobile
From Odd to Awesome
Turbines!
Aussie Corvair-powered VP-2 Volksplane
Connecting Rod Balancing
 
 
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WELCOME!
Joe NorrisTales from the DAR Side
I'm amazed that an entire year has gone by since I wrote my first column for Experimenter, yet here we are celebrating its first anniversary. Putting Experimenter together is fun, but it's also a significant undertaking. The fact that the newsletter has been so well received by the homebuilder community is both satisfying and invigorating. Our goal is for you to continue to enjoy Experimenter as we go forward, and we hope you'll spread the word to other homebuilders who may not yet be enjoying the newsletter, EAA members or not.  Read more
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Paul's Pick
Paul PobereznyEAA is not only an organization of builders, flyers, and enthusiasts; it's a voice for the aviation community when policy is being made in Washington, D.C. While EAA works hard to study current and upcoming policies and regulations, Paul Poberezny wrote in his column from the March 1973 issue of EAA Sport Aviation that members may want to be proactive about policy changes in the works instead of being reactive after they are enacted. Paul also suggested that buyers beware and understand how aircraft are licensed in the experimental category and how they can be used before making a purchase. Read Paul's column
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Looking at the Facetmobile From a New Angle
FacetmobileAs I get older I have learned to count my blessings. One of those blessings is our abilities as EAAers to walk amongst the giants in aerospace and talk airplanes, their design, or to just share a laugh. When we meet these fellow EAAers, they are our Wayne Gretzky, and what they share with us is often akin to getting stick handling lessons from Gretzky himself. Read more
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From Odd to Awesome
This Aerosport Quail fits the bill

QuailBeing exposed to homebuilding and experimental amateur-built aircraft at an early age, I could consider myself to have a leg up in my knowledge of various types of light-experimental airplanes. So it would stand to reason that when the time came for me to actually consider finding or building a plane I could call my own, I could almost say that I already knew just what I wanted. Read more
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Turbines!
Is it turbine time for homebuilts?

TurbinesIn the upper power regimes of commercial and military aircraft, the gas turbine variants have taken over. Does this mean that turbine power is ready to dominate the amateur builder field as well? Although thirstier than piston equivalents, the lower initial cost and light weight are major selling points. However, in the 200 to 300 hp region, where most of the builders live, the picture is not nearly so rosy; the road appears littered with snake-oil salesmen. Read more
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What Our Members Are Building
The Aussie Corvair-powered VP-2 Volksplane
VolksplaneDarren Barnfield of Hastings, Victoria (Australia), grew up with a father who had flown and served in the Royal Australian Air Force as a flight engineer on PBY Catalinas. Fast-forward 20 years and Darren found himself in the military as a helicopter mechanic. Darren restarted civilian life as an engineer, and all was good until… Read more
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How to...
Connecting Rod Balancing

How toI recently received a letter from an Experimenter reader seeking advice on “blueprinting” his VW engine conversion. Put in the simplest of terms, blueprinting is the same as “zero timing” an engine, paying close attention to the specific tolerances prescribed by the manufacturer. To help achieve this you must balance your engine components as I did with my connecting rods. 
Read more
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EAA Homebuilt Aircraft Council Seeks New Member
The EAA Homebuilt Aircraft Council's (HAC) mission is to ensure EAA's continued focus on programs of benefit to current and future homebuilders. This council of EAA volunteer leaders represents the homebuilder and provides a conduit for information between EAA headquarters staff and the homebuilder/craftsman community within EAA.

The HAC is looking for an experienced homebuilder who has a background in marketing and public relations. If that's you and you would like to serve on the HAC, please send your résumé to hac@eaa.org.

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EAA Survey of Zenith Owners Published
Between November 25-30, EAA surveyed Zenith 601 XL and 650 owners to gauge their awareness of the special airworthiness information bulletin (SAIB) issued by the FAA, their awareness of the service directive/safety alert issued by AMD, and their intent to comply with both. EAA identified 165 owners of the 601 XL or the 650 within its database and sent survey invitations by e-mail.
Read more
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From the EAA Homebuilding Community
Oshkosh 365The Homebuilders Corner message forum at Oshkosh365 is as active as ever. Have a look at the list below and follow the links to read the actual questions and discussion topics.

Can You Help?

Interesting Discussions

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From the Editor
Patrick Panzera, EAA 555743
ppanzera@eaa.org

One year down and many more to go
Pat PanzeraWhat do you think of the new EAA Sport Aviation? Contrary to the rumors, Sport Aviation is alive and well as a print magazine, but it is offered in digital form as well. Click here to see it. But before you go there, read this message from Adam Smith; it will help you understand what EAA is trying to accomplish.

My answer to that question is that I'm pleasantly surprised. When I heard there was going to be a change I cringed; I'm old enough to be considered one of those who is "set in his ways" and old enough to know that change usually isn't for the best. When I heard that the changes were going to include more general aviation (GA) stuff, I wretched. But now that I have the issue in my hands and have read virtually every article (and ads), I've done a 180; I feel that the publishing staff and all those involved in shaping this new product have hit the mark. Is it perfect? Nope. It needs improvement and will get it. Is it "better" than past issues? Absolutely. Am I blowing smoke up your skirt because I'm on the EAA dole? No way. I honestly believe that this is a huge move in the right direction and an improvement over the past two decades of Sport Aviation.

To see what people are saying and to add your comments and analytical review of the publication, check out the forum on Oshkosh365. Not a member and can't log on to 365? Then please send your comments to feedback@eaa.org.

The thing that impressed me the most is the seemingly exhaustive (by comparison) amount of homebuilder info, especially from a hands-on perspective. And the hands-on stuff that is not specifically aimed at the homebuilder translates well. Expect this to be the same in all future issues; it's not a fluke. The GA stuff works well too, as in addition to being builders we're GA pilots as well.

Expect also to see a closer tie between Experimenter and Sport Aviation as time goes on. And if light-sport aviation (LSA) or ultralights are more to your liking, be sure to subscribe to the new EAA e-newsletter, Light Plane World which, like Experimenter, is meant to be an extension of Sport Aviation. A full list of all e-newsletters and the link to subscribe to them are listed here. We will certainly continue to do our best to feature homebuilt LSA and ultralight aircraft in future editions of Experimenter, but if you are after factory-built LSA info, this is not the place for that, Light Plane World is.

We continue to need your submissions and always welcome your comments and opinions. Feel free to contact me directly or leave your contact info with your comments in our monthly survey if you'd like to hear back.

I have truly enjoyed bringing Experimenter to you the past year and certainly look forward to years of continued success, with your help.

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Hints for Homebuilders
Generator vs Alternator
Should you use a generator or an alternator? Dick Koehler walks you thru the pros and cons. Dick is a Technical Counselor for Chapter 186, A&P aircraft mechanic with Inspection Authorization (IA), and SportAir Workshop instructor.

Watch the video

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From the Archives
Sport Aviation, October 1994
The Facetmobile

Sport Aviation had this to say about the Facetmobile after it showed up at EAA Oshkosh 1994 and promptly won the Dead Grass Award.

"The Facetmobile is, in fact, a research prototype for a family of personal airplanes intended for the real world private pilot. . .the person who flies only 30 or 40 hours per year, basically for fun, and who rarely ventures out more than two or three hundred miles." Read the article

You can also 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. I am considering homebuilt aircraft with an eye toward building or buying something that meets the light-sport aircraft (LSA) definition so that I can fly it as a sport pilot. How do I know if the aircraft I'm looking at will qualify?

A. This is actually a complicated question. Homebuilt aircraft are so individualized that no two examples of the same design are the same, and in many cases one particular aircraft may meet the LSA definition while another seemingly identical example won't. This being the case, a person planning to buy an already-flying homebuilt needs to be very familiar with the LSA definition and very diligent in studying the aircraft records to make sure the prospective purchase indeed meets the requirements. Read more

Read more Q&A

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Homebuilder Gallery of the Month
Snedden M7
The yet to be released February 2010 issue of EAA Sport Aviation magazine features a story about the one-off Snedden M-7, also featured in the August 2009 issue of Experimenter. View a photo gallery of Andrew Snedden’s groundbreaking creation.
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Poll Poll
Q.  
Side-by-side or tandem seating?

Poll - Vote Now!

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

BRAYTON CYCLE - A thermodynamic cycle consisting of two constant-pressure processes interspersed with two constant-entropy processes. Also known as complete-expansion Diesel cycle, or Joule cycle. It is named after George Brayton (1830–1892), the American engineer who developed it, although it was originally proposed and patented by Englishman John Barber in 1791.

More glossary terms

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Member Benefits :: About EAA

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EAA Radio
Designing the Facetmobile EAA RadioBarnaby Wainfan, aircraft engineer, researcher, author, and designer of the Facetmobile, talks in-depth with EAA Radio during AirVenture 2008 about how he came to design this unique aircraft. 

Listen to the interview

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Around the Web
For aircraft buffs, this is a keeper. It's an extremely comprehensive collection of aircraft information. See almost any airplane ever built in the world: old, new, military, civilian. Browse this site for a few minutes. You will be amazed at what has been accomplished in airplane design.

A time-lapse video of an RV-12 wing being built, set to techno music. Rated PG-13 due to the calendar on the wall in the background.

Surely the most amazing and humbling views to be seen by any human on a regular basis, the view from a U-2 cruising at 70,000 feet as the sky above turns black and the curvature of the earth is visible.

Launching a hang glider with a powered carriage that returns to earth via remote control after the glider is released.

For more links to interesting aircraft design and building topics to read about and explore on the Internet, visit our Around The Web page.

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Survey
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