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EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter
Feature headline
Scott Carter's Xtra-EZ

Last month's Experimenter showcased Scott Carter's stunningly beautiful, one-of-a-kind "Xtra-EZ" in the first of a two-part article. Since many of us were at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh when the issue was e-mailed out and potentially missed part one, we decided to include part one along with part two in this issue. Scott's creation isn't from a kit and doesn't include the use of "hired guns," yet it appears as if it just rolled off the Ferrari factory assembly line, which may explain why it won the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2009 Reserve Grand Champion Plans Built - Silver Lindy Award. Read more

Scott's Xtra-EZ was brought to the attention of Experimenter's editor Pat Panzera through an e-mail from Scott's wife, Lynn Canatella. Lynn answered a plea from Pat for article contributions for inclusion in Experimenter. With that, we would like to remind you we're always looking for contributions from our readers and looking forward to working with you to showcase your project.

Kas Osterbuhr shows you how to crimp terminals. Kas is an EAA SportAir Workshop instructor for the Electrical Systems, Wiring and Avionics workshop. Watch the video. Watch the video
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Please review and rate the new format of Experimenter.


The New Look of Experimenter
It is clear from member response that Sport Aviation is EAA’s most popular publication. While dedication to our banner print publication is strong, members have also embraced EAA’s newest electronic publications, or e-newsletters.

Newsletters like Experimenter, were created to provide deep and focused coverage of EAA’s various interest groups that the broad-based Sport Aviation cannot. After 18 months Experimenter has a new look but the same commitment to provide in-depth content about homebuilding. Come inside and see what we have done with the place. Read more

Fareed Guyot
Fareed Guyot
Electronic Publications Manager

In this issue, we publish a talk given at AirVenture 2010 by EAA member/builder/Airbus A380 test pilot Terry Lutz, who addresses the issue of amateur-built aircraft safety. In August 1958, Paul wrote about safety as well when he addressed concerns members were having with the new test-flying policies issued by the Civil Aeronautics Authority (CAA). Paul used a story about a recent fall in the bathtub (one that he claims he was qualified and current in) to make his point that the community demonstrate a commitment to safety to ward off future regulation.
Read Paul's column

Paul Poberezny

Oshkosh Observations
The Homebuilders’ Hangar was my main focus during convention, so I didn’t have a lot of time to go out and look at aircraft. But, of course, when I did look at aircraft, I always had my DAR hat at least partially perched on my head.

The quality of the aircraft displayed in the homebuilt area is generally outstanding, and there are some really neat ideas to be found. Builders are always stretching the envelope with new ideas.

One “out of the box” idea that appeared at this year’s convention was the roadable Glasair Sportsman being displayed by Trey Johnson and his firm, Plane Driven. This is not a “flying car,” but rather an airplane that can be occasionally driven on the road. Read more

Tales from the DAR Side

The EAA AirVenture Oshkosh Cup Race was created to give the average homebuilder an avenue to compete in air racing with his own aircraft and without the deep pockets of corporate sponsorship. Since its beginning in 1998, the AirVenture Cup has motivated many homebuilders to tinker and innovate with their aircraft to squeeze out as much performance as possible. Sam Hoskins, EAA 188889, tells of his adventure in the" big race" and gives us a cockpit-view account of his 202.15-mph journey covering 500 miles in his Quickie Q-200. His tale includes a carbon monoxide leak from an unlikely source and ever-increasing oil temps. Read more

Kit-Building the Thatcher CX4

The long 4th of July weekend was upon them. Petder and his son were done with their kit-shipping chores [Peter is licensed to offer kits for the plans-built Thatcher CX4], and it was time to get back their our own CX4, which had recently been put on its gear. But it didn't have its wings yet, and they wanted to have the project reasonably complete to show at the Lee Bottom fly-in the last weekend in September. Moreover, they were getting some reports from the field that the wing assembly time was better than anticipated, so we wanted to see this firsthand.

Licensed under Thatcher Aircraft Inc., Peter Beck is now offering wing, fuselage, and empennage kits for the popular plans-built Thatcher CX4. Kits will feature precision-matched, completely pre-drilled and deburred rivet holes (no drilling necessary by the builder), enabling self-alignment and minimal jigging and saving as much as 400 hours in CX4 construction time. Read more

Beginning with this issue, we'll be including a new feature. With your help, each issue of Experimenter will present a "Mystery Plane," challenging readers to determine what the plane is. In addition to this being entertaining, we hope to stir up some renewed interest in these old or unusual yet still viable homebuilt aircraft. Click the image for a larger view of the aircraft and do your best to guess the make and model before scrolling down to find the answer. Then consider submitting a photo and story for future issues of Experimenter. Read more

Mystery plane

Gathering at historic Flabob Airport definitely a bucket list item
The historic relevance of EAA's first chapter goes without saying. The first chapter gathering was held in 1953, when Ray Stits and a number of close friends and fellow homebuilding enthusiasts met at Flabob Airport in Riverside, California. Everyone's bucket list should include at least one visit to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh as well as Chapter One's open house at Flabob. Not that the two are comparable in scope, but the history of Flabob and Chapter One makes this an event that every hardcore homebuilder should experience at least once, an activity along the lines of visiting Kitty Hawk.

Read more

Big Birds Over EAA

It was hard to miss the Airbus A380 last year at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh. EAA member Terry Lutz was one of the pilots that brought the aircraft to AirVenture. Terry has been an experimental test pilot with Airbus since 2006, and the awe and wonder of the A380 overshadow many of the technical aspects Terry and his fellow test pilots deal with every day. He built his own RV-8, and he told attendees at the AirVenture 2010 Technical Counselors and Flight Advisors Breakfast meeting in Oshkosh that electric-powered aircraft are the future of sport aviation. Read more

Terry Lutz

By EAA Chairman/President Tom Poberezny

I am very pleased to share with you the 2010 Homebuilders Annual Report, which highlights some of the significant accomplishments and issues your association has engaged with over the past year.

Over the past 60 years, the imagination and dedication of the homebuilding community have created designs that have been breakthroughs in the world of flight, providing advancements that have become standard within the aviation industry. There are now more than 30,000 homebuilt aircraft registered in the U.S. alone, comprising nearly 20 percent of the single-engine, piston-powered aircraft fleet. In addition to the design innovations, homebuilding provides the opportunity to fly at a cost level that makes flying more economical, as well as fun. The future remains very bright for those of us who believe in the possibilities and necessity of a strong homebuilt aircraft community.

Just as it was in 1953, EAA's core and legacy belongs to those who dream, design, create, and build their own aircraft. Such individuals offer all of us an inspiration of what's possible. Read the PDF report

Tom Poberezny

Beginning October 1, 2010, the FAA will start terminating the registration of all currently registered aircraft, including yours! Notices being mailed on and after October 1 will require aircraft owners to re-register their planes and pay the associated fees in order to retain airworthiness.

Commenting on the new registration procedures, EAA Director of Government Relations Randy Hansen said, "This is a very costly burden on the public that the FAA can accomplish using other means. The FAA's own data would indicate that the issue is much smaller than presented, and that a major change in the FAA registration system is not warranted." Read more

FAA Logo

The airplane that prompted Santa Barbara, California, Police to detain John and Martha King of the King Schools on Saturday, August 28, was also misidentified as stolen in January 2009, prompting local police in Wichita, Kansas, to detain its pilot before things were straightened out, according to EAA contributor Max Trescott. The Kings were detained at gunpoint Saturday by police and handcuffed when the airplane in which they had arrived at Santa Barbara Airport, a Cessna Skyhawk (172S) leased from Cessna Aircraft, was identified as a stolen airplane because it had the same registration number (N-50545) as a C-150 reported stolen in eight years ago from McKinney, Texas. Read Max’s entire blog post | Join the discussion on Oshkosh365
Got a question? Send it to us at
Whether you're building, restoring, or just an enthusiast. we want to know what has you stumped.

Q. I have seen some vintage airplanes that have a "jump seat" installed in the baggage compartment that's capable of handling small children. I have a homebuilt that would be perfect for such an installation, but I fly as a sport pilot. Would installing a jump seat in the baggage compartment make my airplane ineligible for sport pilot operations?

A. You didn't say for sure, but I'm guessing that your homebuilt is a two-seat aircraft. If this is the case, installing a "third seat" in the baggage compartment would make the aircraft forever ineligible for operation by sport pilots. Read more | Read more Q&As

Confused by a strange aeronautical term? EAA's online Aviation Glossary can help.
Typically used in metalworking, a drift pin, drift pin punch, or simply drift is the name for a tool used in the alignment of adjoining holes prior to bolting or riveting metal parts together. Generally made from tool steel, a drift pin can be of virtually any length or diameter but sized appropriately for the task at hand. Drift pins are usually mildly tapered and act like a wedge, coercing the two (or more) pieces into alignment prior to being replaced by the fastener. 

More glossary terms

Sport Aviation, March 1957
The Cougar Model One
The Cougar was designed by Bob Nesmith and shows an obvious influence by Steve Wittman's Tailwind, featuring wide short wings and a one-piece steel tube landing gear. The design was modified by Leonard Eaves for an EAA design contest in 1963, principally for the purpose of including folding wings. The Cougar maintains a brisk cruise of 120 to 165 mph, depending on choice of engine, and tops out at 195 mph. The aircraft is an outstanding cross-country machine that utilizes traditional steel tube fuselage, Sitka wings, and fabric covering. Hundreds of copies of this versatile design have been completed. Read the article

From the Archives
The Top Ten Moments of AirVenture
Top Ten AirVenture MomentsMany are fortunate to attend AirVenture and many more attend online, but either way it's hard to see everything. From new product announcements to innovative aircraft, fine craftsmanship, and great aerial performances, AirVenture has many top moments.

Read more | Tell us your top moments


Top 10 AirVenture Videos
Top Ten AirVenture VideosEAA Video kept a steady stream of videos flowing to the new EAA Video site during AirVenture. There were more than 347,520 views last week, but in case you missed a few, here are our Editor's Choice of the Top 10 AirVenture Videos. View the Top 10
AirVenture Fan Videos
Fan VideosJust days after Oshkosh we started receiving great videos shot by AirVenture fans. Jeff Leisz posted a stirring overview of Oshkosh with AirVenture 2010. Derek Haskins took a more introspective approach with his video Oshkosh Dreamin’. And Wesley “Slick” Perkins, whose 2009 AirVenture video has tallied nearly 1 million views since it debuted shortly after last year’s show, is back again. This time Slick presents an even more comprehensive look at the World’s Greatest Aviation Celebration. Read more

This virtual museum provides pictures and information on vintage ultralight and classic ultralight aircraft. These vehicles were originally very basic wind-in-your-face airplanes, and reflected an evolution from hang-gliding. Read more

FAA’s Acronyms, in Plain English (or close to it!)  Read more

Have you ever considered owning and operating your own CNC machine? Price stopped you? Consider building your own for $1,500! Read more

Eye of the Experimenter
During AirVenture 2010, Experimenter Editor Pat Panzera took some time away from his booth for CONTACT! Magazine to wander through the homebuilt area and seek out fine craftsmanship, innovation, and some things that were really cool. There was plenty to see, such as scratch-built designs, auto-conversions, new modifications to a established idea, roadable aircraft, and something Dan Akroyd would build. See what caught Pat's eye at AirVenture 2010.  View the gallery

FAA Wants Transition Training in Experimentals, Slow to Approve Regs
If you are a sport pilot and fly a special light-sport aircraft (S-LSA) or experimental light-sport aircraft (E-LSA) with a top speed of 87 knots or less, the FAA requires you to receive training and an endorsement to fly. A few of these aircraft are S-LSA, but most are E-LSA, and the FAA currently does not allow instruction in training versions of these aircraft. Read more
The 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.
Oshkosh 365

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