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EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter EAA Homebuilders
MAR 2011 | VOLUME 3 | NUMBER 3
The Little Yellow Lancair

David Roach's High-Time Lancair 235
A lot of us get fussy over the advertised TBO (time between overhauls) of an engine not being high enough, but how many of us will actually put 2,000 hours on a new engine? Dave Roach is one such individual who 23 years ago put a fresh O-320 in his new Lancair 235 and will hit TBO early next year, if not sooner. But this article isn't about engines and TBO; it's about a builder who did things right. Read more

Hints for Homebuilders
Flanging Lightening Holes with the "Bob Stick"
Tim Hoversten of the EAA Technical Aviation Services staff demonstrates one of the most reasonable and easy-to fabricate tools yet - the "Bob Stick." While there are a number of tools and ways to flange a lightening hole in a sheet metal rib, this is the simplest and cheapest way to do it. The tool is affectionately named after Bearhawk designer Bob Barrows, who encourages Bearhawk builders to use it. Tim, who has built a Sonerai IILT and is now working on a Bearhawk, said the "Bob Stick" can be made in your own shop from several types of materials. Watch the video
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Letters to the Editor

In each issue of EAA's Experimenter, we ask that you take a survey and tell us how we're doing. There are three questions that ask what did you like about the issue, what did you not like about the issue, and how can we make things better. We use this information to tailor Experimenter to the reader's wants and needs. In this month's editorial, Pat Panzera addresses several of the more interesting comments. Read more

Pat Panzera

Experimenter Improves with Your Help
The best stories come from you, and we implore you to share your building experiences with your fellow readers. We need your help in providing content for each issue of Experimenter. Please consider submitting an article, especially the next time you feel compelled to write a report to your e-mail group, type newsletter, or EAA chapter newsletter. Help us build up a stockpile so we can do a better job bringing you Experimenter each month. And please remember to take our survey when you are done with this issue of Experimenter.

A European Vacation
By 1966 EAA had many members and even a few chapters in Europe. Paul Poberezny had just a few chances to promote EAA during his military trips across the Atlantic, but no time for recreational flying. After receiving numerous invitations to visit, Paul and Art Kilps departed for an 11-day tour of Europe. While there he saw much enthusiasm for amateur-built activities and flew many aircraft, including two that had been specially modified as test beds for Rover turbine engines: a Currie Wot biplane and an Auster Autocrat, the touring version of the Taylorcraft/Auster Model J. Read Paul's Pick

Paul Poberezny

Operating Limitations - Aerobatics

We've already covered a lot of details about amateur-built aircraft operating limitations, but we're not quite done with the subject yet. Last month we discussed major changes. One place where you might need to invoke the major change procedure is when adding aerobatic maneuvers to the aircraft's operational envelope. Read more

Joe Norris
Wicks Aircraft
EAA Mourns the Passing of Jack Cox
Justin B. “Jack” Cox, EAA Lifetime 14286, who influenced generations of aviators as the long-time editor-in-chief of EAA Sport Aviation magazine, passed away Sunday, March 6, 2011, at Randolph Hospital in Asheboro, North Carolina.

Over his career at EAA, Jack was known as “the” spokesman for the homebuilt aircraft and sport aviation communities. His articles and features highlighted the remarkable growth and innovation of amateur-built aircraft for three decades, while as an editor he expanded EAA’s scope to include all facets of recreational aviation. Read more

Jack Cox

LOBO Announces First Annual LOBO/Lancair Fly-In
The Lancair Owners and Builders Organization (LOBO) is very excited to announce it has joined forces with Lancair International Inc. to plan and organize the First Annual LOBO/Lancair Fly-In. Scheduled for October 7 to 9, 2011, at the Taney County Airport (KPLK) near Branson, Missouri, this premier event will unite Lancair owners, builders, and pilots with those who supply and support them. Read more

Sun 'n Fun Educational Forums Become 'Civilized'
Moments after the last Sun 'n Fun 2010 attendee left Lakeland Linder Regional Airport, construction began on a new $7.5-million facility that will house the Central Florida Aerospace Academy, an aviation-oriented high school/career academy already located on the Sun 'n Fun campus. Across from the Florida Air Museum and on the very grounds that held the forum tents for the last several years, the new school building will host the 2011 forums in air-conditioned luxury. Make sure to visit Room 10 all week long to hear CONTACT! Magazine-sponsored alternative engine forums. EAA at Sun 'n Fun

Build an Engine Test Stand
Or, How Pat Panzera Built His

Several of the candid head shots of Experimenter Editor Pat Panzera have shown him operating an engine on a test stand towed behind his pickup or van. A number of people have inquired about the construction of it, so this month's How To will be about how Pat built his stand. Read more
How To

Mike Pierzina's Buttercup STOL

Having already built a Kolb Firestar II, Mike Pierzina was researching his next project when the Wittman Tailwind caught his eye. Wanting something with the timeless good looks of the Tailwind but still being eligible for sport pilots to operate, Mike turned his fancy to another of Steve Wittman's creations, the Buttercup. Mike has fallen head over heels in love with this able workhorse and is mixing Tailwind features into his Buttercup project. Read more

Tube-and-Rag Construction, Unbeatable Performance
This month's Mystery Plane is a part of EAA's early heritage dating back to when it first flew in 1962. With its double-delta configuration and a passenger compartment turtle deck that contributes up to 30 percent of the aircraft's lift, it stands alone as the only homebuilt with this configuration. Another unique feature is that it's a four-seat homebuilt with the pilot sitting alone up front with all three passengers in the rear. Read more
Mystery Plane
Aircraft Spruce
Aircraft Re-Registration Deadline at the End of March
The deadline for the first batch of aircraft to be re-registered is the end of March 2011. The FAA's aircraft re-registration initiative is going about as expected, according to Walter Binkley, manager of aircraft registry in Oklahoma City. More people than expected are using the online registration instead of mailing in the paper form. Re-registering online is much more efficient, resulting in a one-week turnaround rather than six to eight weeks by mail. Depending on the month (of any year) an aircraft was registered there is a three-month window to have it re-registered. Aircraft registered in April have until June 30, 2011, and the deadline repeats every three months until the process is complete in 2013. Read more
Aircraft Re-registration

GA Groups: Sport Pilot Instruction Should Count Toward Additional Ratings
EAA, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, General Aviation Manufacturers Association, and National Association of Flight Instructors have collaborated to formally request that the FAA initiate a process which would change the rules currently preventing sport pilot training received from Sport Pilot CFIs from being applied toward additional certificates and ratings. The groups submitted a petition that asks the FAA to begin a rulemaking process. When it was created, the sport pilot certificate was intended in part as a less expensive entry into the world of general aviation, and for some pilots, a stepping-stone to higher certificates. Read more

Amateur-Built Hours Flown Up, Accident Rate Down
EAA Report to Homebuilders outlines stats, resources
The growth of amateur-built aircraft and the continued decline in the fatal accident rate are among the information now available from the new EAA Report to Homebuilders, which was posted to the EAA website earlier this month. The four-page document (PDF) file is a summary of data collected from FAA and NTSB sources, EAA's increasing number of resources for aircraft builders, and other highlights of interest from EAA. Read more
Homebuilders report

EAA's Ice Cream Social, 'An Evening With EAA Presidents,' and Forums at Sun 'n Fun
Chapter leaders headed to Sun 'n Fun Fly-In at Lakeland, Florida, can enjoy a free ice cream social at 7 p.m. on Thursday, March 31, in the Sun 'n Fun Pavilion (adjacent to the Florida Air Museum). Leaders can engage with others from far and wide in a casual setting, followed by "An Evening With EAA Presidents," featuring EAA Founder Paul Poberezny, EAA Chairman Tom Poberezny, and current EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower. They will share information about EAA and the organization's future plans and activities, plus answer questions from the audience. Read more

New Homebuilts Outpace Production Models in 2010
The General Aviation Manufacturers Association released its annual Statistical Databook & Industry Outlook, with the new edition covering the 2010 calendar year. Included in the comprehensive edition are factory-built aircraft shipment totals. The worldwide aircraft shipments comprised 2,015 total aircraft, including 889 piston-powered aircraft, 763 business jets, and 363 turboprops. Total shipments declined 11.4 percent because of the struggling economy. Read more
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've heard different opinions on whether or not it's legal to give or receive flight instruction in an experimental aircraft. What's the story?

A. There's no restriction or prohibition on giving or receiving flight instruction in an experimental aircraft, so long as no fee is charged (total or partial) for the use of the aircraft. The FAA considers paying for the use of the aircraft to be a violation of FAR 91.319(a)(2), which prohibits carriage of persons or property for compensation or hire. The student/applicant is allowed to pay the instructor a reasonable fee for the instruction, but no fee can be charged for the use of the aircraft itself. Read more

Read more Q&As

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

SCIMITAR PROPELLER - A scimitar propeller is any propeller that is shaped like a scimitar sword, with increasing sweep along the leading edge. Fixed-pitch versions that have an exaggerated sweep are reported to behave similarly to a constant-speed propeller flexing to change pitch as the prop is loaded and unloaded.

More glossary terms

Sport Aviation, April 1988
By Jack Cox

With the feature article in this month's issue of EAA's Experimenter showcasing the earliest of the Lancair line, we felt it fitting that our look back in time also includes one of the earliest EAA stories on this same plane. It's an added bonus that the article we found was written by the late Jack Cox, further paying our respects to his recent passing. Read the article

From the Archives
Another Geared Drives First Flight
March 9, 2011 - Frank Braun of Yucca Valley, California, reported a successful first flight in his Geared Drives Chevrolet LS1-powered four-place STOL Bearhawk. Happy with the performance, Frank reports that the engine temps (oil and water) were in the 160-degree range, commenting that the gearbox stayed even cooler. He will report more performance stats as more flights are logged. To see his first takeoff, view the video.
Another Geared Drives First Flight
Measure Twice, Cut Once
Does the thought of cutting and installing your new propeller spinner have you scratching your head or trembling in fear? Is there a simple way to get the cutouts perfect the first time? This e-mail thread with photos may provide a viable solution. Read the thread
Measure Twice, Cut Once
Attention to Detail Pays Dividends
Even if you're not a Corvair engine fan or interested in rebuilding old engines, we're sure you'll appreciate the attention to detail, as well as the effort to document the endeavor, Mark Langford undertook when he rebuilt his cylinder heads. Read more
Attention to Detail Pays Dividends
EAAers in Action
Recently Experimenter Editor Pat Panzera was asked to help a fellow EAAer in Australia who bought a Quickie Q-2 kit from a gent in Camarillo, California. The kit needed to be crated and shipped. Pat prefabricated the crate at his home in Central California, drove to Camarillo and packed it, then transported it to the Port of Los Angeles. The crate then crossed the pond, arriving unscathed. View photo album
EAAers in Action
Video Blog: DreamBuildFly Project
The Bearhawk Boys tackle wing-rib fluting during a recent build session
It takes some finesse to get the rib to lie flat again after flanging. Well, that actually makes it sound much fancier than it really is. It's actually a combination of fluting the edges, beating the flange over to something closer to 90 degrees, then fluting again. Eventually it lies flat and it's a great feeling. After a long day at the office, this is quite therapeutic work. 
Watch the video | See other videos and watch live | View the drawing

Watch live and interact with a Bearhawk Boys build session most Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. CST.

Video Blog: DreamBuildFly Project
Jet Skiing
American builder working on a jet wing

Yves Rossy may soon have a wingman in his jet wing exploits. Troy Hartman, EAA 732927, has been developing a similar aircraft since 2008 and will be ready to begin flight testing this fall. It features a rigid wing like Rossy's that is 50 percent lighter and employs simplicity throughout the design including how he'll be attached to the wing and how it will be controlled. The professional stuntman, aerobatic instructor, X Games and sky surfing champion, who hopes to one day fly with Rossy, tells EAA Radio's Fareed Guyot he inadvertently invented a new sport recently when he tested the engines while on a pair of skis. 
Listen to the interview | Watch the video
Jet Skiing

Tilting at Windmills: A Hatz Inspired by Steinbeck
Charles "Chuck" Brownlow was smitten when he first saw a Hatz biplane at Oshkosh ‘97. So smitten that the next month he had purchased property next to his home and began building a workshop. You can read the entire story of his AirVenture 2010 Bronze Lindy-winning Hatz Rocinante in the April issue of Sport Aviation. In the meantime enjoy some additional photos you won't see in the magazine.
View the gallery

Want to Hold a Young Eagles Rally? Watch This Webinar! 
A Young Eagles rally can be fun and rewarding for everyone, but it can be stressful if not properly planned. EAA wants to make the experience fun while still taking care of all the details. Join Michelle Kunes, Young Eagles program administrator, as she gives you strategies to make your next Young Eagles event memorable, fun, and stress-free.

All webinars begin at 7 p.m. CST. To find out more about upcoming EAA Webinars and to register, visit the webinars page.

EAA gratefully acknowledges the support of Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co. for their generous sponsorship of our webinar programs.

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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