EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter EAA Homebuilders
MAY 2011 | VOLUME 3 | NUMBER 5
Chevy-Powered Wheeler Express

A tribute to Bud Warren and Phyllis Ridings
With the shocking news that Bud Warren and his daughter Phyllis Ridings, both of Geared Drives, were lost in a crash earlier this month, we are reprinting this 2007 CONTACT! Magazine article as a small tribute to Bud and Phyllis. Bud, with his daughter at his side, was the mind and the hands behind the unique propeller speed reduction unit that made Chevrolet V8 engines (and others) a viable alternative to heavier, more expensive, and less powerful certified offerings.
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Hints for Homebuilders
Wood Rib Construction Tips - Part 2
Dave Clark shares more hints on gluing wood wing ribs. Dave and other members of Chapter 1311 are helping Paul Poberezny construct a replica of the Mechanix Illustrated Baby Ace. Dave is an A&P instructor at Vincennes University and a member of Chapter 1311.

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The Loss of Some Great Friends

Whereas this editorial should be a report on electric flight as promised last month, it is with a heavy heart that I instead dedicate this issue of Experimenter to our good friends Bud Warren and his daughter Phyllis Ridings who were killed doing what they loved, flying an experimental aircraft powered by one of their Chevrolet V8 conversions. For those who may not know who these two incredible individuals are, we offer the following series of articles previously printed in CONTACT! Magazine from August 2007 through February 2010 and include some EAA articles published during that same time period. In short, their products brought the promise of affordable alternatives to expensive engines, and they did it without hype, while keeping their word, and without deep-pocket backing. The experimental aviation family needs more people like Bud and Phyllis; they leave a void that will be difficult to fill.

Phyllis Ridings and Bud Warren
Phyllis Ridings and Bud Warren of Geared Drives. They will be dearly missed. Photo by Rick Lindstrom

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.

Members Are Best Source of Information
Whether it's the electronic or original paper version of Experimenter, its editors have had to scrounge for material. Editor Pat Panzera has often invited you the reader to submit articles and other material for upcoming issues. EAA Founder Paul Poberezny has made similar pleas during his turn as editor. In the September 1956 issue of the original Experimenter, Paul asked for people to send copies of aircraft plans they might have to enhance future publications and slowly build what is today a formidable aircraft resource library. Read Paul's Pick

Paul Poberezny

Homebuilt Aircraft Council

Editor's note: Since the first issue of
Experimenter, this space was reserved for Joe Norris who recently retired from his position at EAA as the Homebuilders Community Manager. Through the evolution of this newsletter, the column became less of an editorial piece and more of a teaching aid, where Joe's years of experience as a DAR was graciously passed along to our readers. While EAA searches for his replacement, we'll fill this space with other homebuilding voices, starting with this issue and message from Fred Keip, the newest member of the Homebuilt Aircraft Council.
Guest Editorial
I'd be willing to bet that many of you folks haven't heard of the EAA Homebuilt Aircraft Council (HAC), and for those of you who have, I'll bet most of you don't have a clue as to who we are and what it is that we do. Well, let me attempt to tell you a little about us and a little more about what we're trying to do. Read more
Wicks Aircraft
A Tribute to Bud Warren and Phyllis Ridings

EAA Mourns the Loss of Bud Warren and Phyllis Ridings
Father and daughter alternative engine builders

On Saturday, May 7, Bud Warren and his daughter Phyllis Ridings, both of Geared Drives, were killed as a result of an airplane crash after departing their home airport, Lone Star Executive in Conroe Texas. They were en route to the Central Texas Airshow in Temple when they noticed smoke in the cockpit of the homebuilt Ravin 500 powered by a Geared Drives firewall forward installation. After declaring an emergency, the plane crashed and burst into flames in a wooded area just north of the field. 
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No One Believed That We Walked Away
With the Bud Warren and his daughter Phyllis Ridings were lost in a recent crash, we are reminded of the eerily similar accident that Bud and Phyllis walked away from in October 2007. So we are reprinting this CONTACT! Magazine article as part of our tribute to Bud and Phyllis.
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No one believed that we walked away

Geared Drives Checks In - Firewall Forward for the RV-10
Just over a year after the total loss of Geared Drives' Wheeler Express, as described in the previous article, father and daughter team Bud Warren and Phyllis Ridings reported on their progress with creating a firewall-forward for the popular four-place Van's RV-10. This article was printed in the November 2008 issue of CONTACT! Magazine and is reprinted here as part of our tribute to Bud and Phyllis.
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Geared Drives New Subaru Redrive
In the previous article in this tribute series, father and daughter team Bud Warren and Phyllis Ridings gave brief mention of a new propeller speed reduction unit Bud developed as a prototype. Since that article was written, they were inundated with requests for orders and decided to have the "box" digitally created and reproduced, which includes this Subaru application featured in the February 2010 issue of CONTACT! Magazine.
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Subaru Redrive

Get More Cooling Capacity From Your Radiator
Just about anywhere there is a spirited conversation between auto engine enthusiasts, the topic will usually come around to water-cooled engines and how to accomplish the most efficient cooling through the radiator. In the June 2009 Experimenter, we see one of the tricks in Bud Warren's tool kit (from his old racing days) that is highly appropriate for use in aircraft. He modifies the radiator in a way that dramatically increases its cooling capacity. Read more
CAFE Symposium Celebrates 'Dawn of Electric Flight'
The CAFE Electric Aircraft Symposium, held at the end of April, was packed with so many new airplanes and concepts that it was like seeing 30 college lectures in two days, as the information came fast and furious. In the opening remarks, CAFE President Dr. Brien Seeley dubbed the 2011 event "the dawn of electric flight," citing there has been "exponential growth" since the first symposium in 2007. Experimenter Editor Pat Panzera was there to see it all and filed a two-part report that covers the cool new planes that are competing in the Green Flight Challenge and EAA's Electric Flight Prize, as well as promising new technologies which will reach far beyond aviation. 
Read Part 1 | Read Part 2

Don't Build a Zenith STOL CH 701!

Whoa, I bet that title will get the attention of Sebastien and the boys at Zenith Aircraft. There's a good reason for that statement, but it should actually read, "Don't build a 701, unless you want to use it for what it's capable of!" Read more
Zenith flightline
Aircraft Spruce
The Alternative Engine Round-Up Finds a New Home
CONTACT! Magazine's 8th Annual Alternative Engine Round-Up, normally held at the tiny airport in Jean, Nevada, has outgrown its home and is moving to Marysville, California, to be held in conjunction with the Golden West Regional Fly-In & Airshow, June 10 to 12, at the Yuba County Airport (MYV). Although the Golden West Fly-In is slated for three days, the Alternative Engine Round-Up will take place Saturday, June 11, only. Read more

Canards West at Columbia
The ultimate West Coast canard gathering is scheduled for the weekend of May 27 to 29, 2011, at Columbia Airport (O22), Columbia, California. This is the eighth annual Canards West fly-in at the small mining town nestled in the foothills of the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains in Northern California. The very informal gathering of canard aircraft of all pedigrees is the perfect mix of socialization and education and should be of interest to all canard builders, flyers, and wannabes. Read more
The 2008 Canards West event, formally known as Canards de Mayo.

Electric Sonex Will use new Motor for Electric Flight Prize
Sonex's Hornets' Nest R&D section is finalizing the control systems for a new electric motor it will be using on its proof-of-concept electric-powered Waiex aircraft. The new motor, which is still being assembled, is the fourth iteration of the design and will have about the same power output than the previous motor and system but will have much more sophisticated control systems, according to Sonex founder and project leader John Monnett. The electric-powered Waiex will be competing in EAA's $60,000 Electric Flight Prize during AirVenture and while it's not a key test, Monnett said it (the contest) will help them meet some more of their program goals. Read more

Synergy Project Revealed
Half futuristic sailplane, half fighter jet. Synergy and its drag-reducing double-box tail burst onto the scene last month at CAFE Foundation's Electric Aircraft Symposium 5. The five- to seven-place aircraft could be a game changer, with higher speeds and greater fuel efficiency per horsepower than any comparably spacious airplane. Read more

Pipistrel Taurus 4 Aims for GFC, Oshkosh Prizes
An eclectic electric, Pipistrel's new twin-fuselage Taurus 4 is built to win the Green Flight Challenge in early July and EAA's Electric Flight Prize at AirVenture Oshkosh. The design is reminiscent of the P-82 Twin Mustang and WhiteKnightTwo with its two pods connected by a 16-foot wing section. Read more
Pipistrel Taurus 4 Aims for GFC, Oshkosh Prizes

Taurus Electro G2 Pipistrel's Second Entry in EAA Electric Flight Prize Competition
One of the aircraft AirVenture 2011 attendees can witness in action during EAA's $60,000 Electric Flight Prize competition is Pipistrel's second entry - the Taurus Electro Generation 2 (G2), the first two-seat aircraft powered by an electric engine to fly in the world. It joins the company's four-place G4 in the competition, which is sponsored by Wicks Aircraft Supply, Dynon Avionics, Aircraft Spruce & Specialty, and AeroLEDs. Read more
Taurus Electro G2 Pipistrel

Builders of Seraph Seek Aviation Milestones
The Seraph, a Green Flight Challenge entrant, marries blended-wing and lifting body aerodynamics and carbon-fiber construction for maximum weight savings and efficiency. The single-place, twin-engine, hybrid-powered aircraft uses biofuel-to-electric conversion. Read more

Human-Powered Helicopter Flies
A team of graduate and undergrad students at the University of Maryland's A. James Clark School of Engineering is claiming a world record for the first human-powered helicopter flight by a woman, occurring May 12, 2011 after several failed attempts on the same day and the day before. The flight was only a few inches above the floor at the school's Comcast Center in College Park, Maryland, but it was clearly airborne as seen on a live webcast. Read more
Human powered helicopter flies

Aero 2011: A Few Planes You May Have Missed
Aero 2011 closed its four-day run on Saturday, April 16, with an attendance of 33,400 visitors. A total of 630 exhibitors from 29 countries set an exhibition record. Business jets, propeller GA aircraft, light aircraft and microlights, gliders, gyrocopters, and helicopters filled the 11 exhibition halls for the 19th edition of the Global Show for General Aviation. Read more
Aero 2011

ElectraFlyer Could Enter Three Planes in EAA Electric Flight Prize
Randall Fishman, who first demonstrated his ElectraFlyer C at AirVenture 2008, has entered the aircraft in the EAA $60,000 Electric Flight Prize to be held at AirVenture Oshkosh 2011. He also has two other entries in development that may appear: the single-place ElectraFlyer ULS, made of composite materials and featuring a new motor; and a two-place ElectraFlyer X, designed as an LSA-eligible aircraft with a 49-foot wingspan and a water-cooled 50-hp brushless electric motor. Read more

EAA SportAir Workshops

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. Is it legal for a non-CFI to charge for giving a demo ride in an experimental amateur-built? Even if the aircraft doesn't belong to him or the person being charged?

A. It is not legal to charge for the use of an experimental amateur-built aircraft for any reason, regardless of ownership. The prohibition can be found in the operating limitations document that is carried on board the aircraft at all times.

Education and recreation are the only purposes allowed for operation of the aircraft, and it will state this in the first paragraph.

There is only one exception - if the owner applies to the FAA and is granted a LODA (Letter of Deviation Authority) which would allow transition training only.

And although one might be inclined to believe that expenses can be "shared" this is not the case. Operating limitations usually prohibit "compensation," which by strict definition "sharing expenses" would compensate the pilot

Read more Q&As

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

AUTO-ROTATION - automatic rotation of rotary blades from a helicopter in an unpowered glide or the forward movement of an autogyro.

More glossary terms

Sport Aviation, October 1968
The Chevy Bird 
By Waldo D. Waterman

Concerned over the hefty $2,000 price tag of a then new, WWII-era aircraft engine being too expensive for the average EAA member (40,000 total, 25 percent of which were noted to either be flying or building an experimental aircraft), Waldo D. Waterman decided to do something about it and began testing the then relatively new Corvair engine in his open-cockpit, high-wing pusher "Chevy Bird." Read the article

From the Archives
Light Plane World
Looking for more coverage of light-sport aircraft, trikes, and ultralights? Check out the pages of EAA's Light Plane World. The following articles are features found in the recent April 2011 issue and are typical of what you can expect from every issue.
Salute to Quicksilver at AirVenture Oshkosh 2011
Attention Quicksilver owners. The EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011 theme for down on the Farm in the ultralight/light plane area will be "Salute to the Quicksilver." If you own a Quicksilver and have considered bringing it to AirVenture, this is the year to do it. Read more
ULPower Aero Engines Appoints U.S. Distributor
ULPower Aero Engines of Belgium has announced the appointment of ULPower North America LLC as its exclusive distributor for sales and service in the United States and Canada. The company manufactures a line of direct-drive, air-cooled, horizontally opposed, fuel-injected engines ranging from 97 to 130 hp intended for use in light aircraft and rotorcraft. Read more
ULPower Aero Engines
The Ringtail Ultralight
Lucky Stars III is Mark Stull's eighth original ultralight design, but his first with a tractor engine. Fabricated almost entirely from 2024-T3 aluminum, it was completed and first flown in January of 2011. Borrowing the efficient, high-aspect-ratio wings from his previous plane, he only had to make a new fuselage and tail. Read more
Ringtail Ultralight

RV-10 or Flying Lexus: A Mod Masterpiece
Greg Hale had a simple vision: to make the interior of his next airplane more like a Lexus. The full story of this automotive-inspired transformation is in the June issue of EAA Sport Aviation. Here’s a deeper look at some of the more than 25 major modifications Greg made to his award-winning RV-10 kit.
View the gallery
Photo Gallery

Mike Busch Talks Engine Problems During Monthly Webinar
Maintenance expert and EAA Sport Aviation columnist Mike Busch, A&P/IA, offers tips and techniques for troubleshooting common engine problems, including hard starting, poor mag checks, rough running or missing, high CHT, high oil temperature, and poor performance.

All webinars begin at 7 p.m. CDT unless otherwise noted. 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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