EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter EAA Homebuilders

Another landing gear option
As if divinely preserved to lead a new life, Dave Thatcher's CX4 escaped major storm damage at the 2011 Sun 'n Fun International Fly-In & Expo. Back home in Pensacola, Florida, Dave now has fitted it with a tricycle gear, making good on promises to CX4 builders and fans. He has test-flown and taxied the new configuration himself and finds it to have the same responsive but stable handling characteristics as the original conventionally geared CX4. Plans and a kit of tri-gear components for new aircraft construction, as well as a retrofit to completed CX4s and projects under construction, are now available. An appearance at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh next month is planned. Read more

Hints for Homebuilders
We're presenting Hints for Homebuilders in a new format beginning this month. Rather than providing just one Hint each month, we'll present all the Hints videos featured in e-Hotline in the previous month.

Alternate Power Source
Crush Washers
Sealing Plexiglas Windshields with Butyl Tape
SCAT, SCEET, CEET, and CAT Hose Wires

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The Busy Time of Year

June, July, and August are the busiest time of the year for me. With my day job of designing homes for people who have the hope of moving in before Christmas, my commitment to attend various fly-ins (including EAA AirVenture) for various publications - including this one - as well as my normal writing and editing commitments, I certainly don't have time to fly much during flying season. But that's okay; getting out to the various shows and seeing new stuff, visiting with old and new friends, and potentially getting a little stick time is truly the reward I get for being immersed in aviation. I certainly look forward to meeting Experimenter subscribers each year, and with Arlington only a week away and AirVenture just two weeks after that, we might get to meet soon! Read more

Pat Panzera

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Building the Corben Baby Ace

In October 1956, EAA's Experimenter began a series of articles chronicling the build of Paul Poberezny's Corben Junior Ace. At the time, Paul said that he thought the aircraft could be built for around $1,000. He also mentioned that a "great deal of good engineering went into the ship and we hope it will greatly assist those who are beginners in the homebuilt program."
Read Paul's Pick

Paul Poberezny

Homebuilt Selection at AirVenture
By William Wynne, EAA 331351
Just as I have done for 16 of the last 17 years, in a matter of weeks I'll be heading off to AirVenture. The first year I went just to see what I was missing. In recent years I have gone as commercial presenter. Every year is a mixture of good reasons for making the pilgrimage; among these are a chance to see old friends and to indulge my lifelong love affair with aircraft and the people to whom they belong. Along with these excellent reasons to attend AirVenture, on three different occasions, the primary motivator for making the 1,400-mile journey from my home in Florida was to finalize the decision on what would be my next homebuilt project. Read more
Wicks Aircraft
Golden West Regional Fly-In
California's largest fly-in and air show kicked off the season in style. With many new things in the works, the event still holds true to its humble beginnings one decade earlier. The new efforts introduced this year made the event feel more like a hands-on experience as opposed to a static display, leading to a lot of participation by the general public, which is always a good thing. Aviators from all over the country were treated to a weekend of great weather, good food, wonderfully educational forums, as well as good times. Read more
Golden West

Corvair College #20 
A weekend with Corvair gurus

Corvair College is fast becoming a household term in the experimental aviation community. First reported in Experimenter in September 2010, two more have taken place since then, bringing the total up to 20 in 11 years. In this article, Anthony J. Liberatore reports on the ongoings at the most recent College that took place at Hillsdale Municipal Airport in Hillsdale, Michigan, on the weekend of June 3 to 5, 2011. He has written several articles that have appeared in multiple issues of EAA's Experimenter. Read more
Corvair College

Made-to-Order Training
Receiving training in a new homebuilt, be it one you just built or one you just bought, is a pretty important step that far too many pilots ignore. The FAA places first-time flight mishaps high on the list of preventable accidents and incidents, which are very preventable if pilots would realize their limits and seek instruction. A 70-hour pilot, Aka Evans easily realized he needed instruction to begin flying his newly acquired Kitfox, and he was very happy he chose Paul Leadabrand as his instructor. Read more
Made to order training

Competing From the Front Seat
An economical way to fly aerobatic competition

Typically any form of competition means cubic dollars, be it racing bicycles, boats, automobiles, motorcycles, aircraft - if it has wheels or an engine and you can compete with it, it will cost you. But there are exceptions, ways that one can compete and be competitive and do it on a budget. Read more
Cheap Acro

Engine Mount Spools
Fittings used for hanging an engine mount

When building components for an experimental aircraft, part of the joy and pleasure comes from discovering a new or unique way to complete the task. With the use of the Internet, it's pretty easy to find documentation concerning what you might be building, but the methods discovered may be a little too heavy or too light for what you might be trying to accomplish. In this case, Dan Yager found a construction method that was more than what he required, so he modified the system to be a little less robust yet still function for his needs. Read more
Finished weld

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.
Grandfathered Trainers are Golden
By Dan Grunloh, Editor, Light Plane World
The new FAA guidance for issuing a Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) for flight instruction has changed the picture for some experimental light-sport aircraft (E-LSA) that were previously used for training but had to stop almost a year and half ago after the end of the transition period. There are also new provisions for training in experimental gyroplanes and for ultralight-only training in experimental aircraft flying under 87 knots. Read more
Dan Grunloh
LODA Revision Opens Doors for Flight Training
A point of emphasis raised at February's EAA/FAA Recreational Aviation Summit has brought results with re-opened avenues for flight training in the low-and-slow end of aviation. In revised FAA Letter of Deviation Authority (LODA) guidance, publicly released this month, changes allow for primary flight instruction in rotorcraft gyroplanes, ultralight vehicles, and sport pilot certificates in previously exempted experimental light-sport aircraft. Read more
LODA Revision
Former Military Pilot Flying Again 40 Years Later
Members of "The Greatest Generation" are leaving us daily, but at least one sees heaven in lower altitudes. This is the unique story of Victor Hernandez, and it demonstrates a triumph of human dedication and perseverance. Victor, a native of Puerto Rico, is an 89-year-old World War II P-47/P-51 pilot who had the dream late in life to fly again.

He realized that dream on April 27, 2011, the date he earned his sport pilot certificate. It is an amazing story of purpose, perseverance, determination, energy, and a dream that wouldn't die. Read more

Victor Hernandez
'World's Smallest' Air Show
The big story at the 17th annual "World's Smallest" Air Show at Brian Ranch Airport May 28 to 29 was the big wind. By 7:30 a.m. on Saturday it was already gusting in the mid-teens, and by mid-morning it was varying between high teens and mid-twenties.

he two-runway airport and U-pick fruit orchard are owned by the husband and wife team of Jack Brian and Felice Apodaca who staged the free event. Read more

World's Smallest Air Show
Aircraft Spruce
Rutan Aircraft Expressed in LEGO Form 
Jeff Rutan creates building plans
Thousands of people have built Rutan-designed aircraft, but soon you may be able to build nearly all of them including WhiteKnightTwo and SpaceShipTwo. Jeff Rutan, son of Burt, and Jeff's nephew, Cole Zellner, have designed and built 60 models of both Rutan Aircraft Factory and Scaled Composites aircraft from LEGO-brand plastic building blocks. The 1/30- and 1/45-scale models are impressive and all 45 1/30-scale models will be on display as an exhibit at the EAA AirVenture Museum as part of "Rutan Day" at AirVenture 2011 and continue through the end of the year. Read more and see photos and video

Burt Rutan Wows Spokane Crowd
Felts Field celebrates grand weekend of flight
Felts Field in Spokane, Washington, home airport to EAA Chapter 79, is one of the coolest airports around and last weekend proved why. A veritable "candy store" for aviation enthusiasts included an open hangar event that drew 10,000 people, a Grassroots Pilots Tour stop with EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower, EAA's B-17 tour with Aluminum Overcast, and lots of great vintage airplanes, flying and on display. Read more and see the photo gallery
Boeing Model 40

Mickey Whittenburg to Receive EAA's Tony Bingelis Award
Resurrects shop after Hurricane Katrina
Mickey Whittenburg of Kiln, Mississippi, will receive the Experimental Aircraft Association's 2011 Tony Bingelis Award recognizing contributions to EAA and the aviation community. Ever since completing his first solo flight at age 17 in 1947, Whittenburg (EAA Lifetime #415) has been deeply rooted in the aviation community, encouraging builders and their projects as well as promoting aviation safety. He joined EAA in 1955, becoming one of the first 500 members of the organization that had formed two years earlier. Read more

New Roadable Aircraft
Folding wing design features sliding motorcycle engine
When landscape architect Rick Johnson, EAA 343934, was looking for a deeper aircraft building challenge, he thought, "Why not build a roadable aircraft?" The result is the merger of an Avid Magnum with a Suzuki motorcycle that is street legal, yet flies through the air. This "airplane-first" powered-wheel design is similar to the Plane Driven's PD-1, a modified Glastar Sportsman we saw at Oshkosh last year. But Rick's design came well before that one; he spent the last eight years and 10,000 hours building it. The design is even more compact featuring a transition from ground power to flight that employs an unlikely concept. 
Read more and watch the video | View photo gallery
Roadable aircraft

Bugatti 100P Project Takes Shape
See it at the EAA Welcome Center during AirVenture

We've been following the Bugatti Model 100P reproduction project since October 2009, when we met Scotty Wilson and with Gregg Carlson at the EAA AirVenture Museum exhibit taking precise measurements on the original one on display there. What a long way they've come since then! Read more

EAA's Bleriot XI Makes First Flight
EAA's reproduction of a 1909 Type XI Bleriot reproduction got about 8-10 feet off the ground Sunday evening - flying for six or eight seconds over the turf runway at EAA's Pioneer Airport in Oshkosh. Tom Hegy, EAA 6849, was pilot-in-command of the oil-spitting, 1909 Anzani-powered airplane and flew a short hop to cap a test flight program that began with some runs Saturday and earlier Sunday morning. Volunteers who have worked on the project over the past five years can gain a sense of satisfaction that their efforts resulted in an actual flying aircraft. Read more and see the photos

Lake in the Sky Air Show
Escape the summer heat
This year's 22nd annual Lake in the Sky Air Show will be taking place at the Lake Tahoe Airport (KTVL), South Lake Tahoe, California, on Saturday, August 27, 2011. Local EAA Chapter 1073 has always been a huge participant in this event, and this year will be no different, with Young Eagles being flown all day. If you have a plane that you'd like to fly into KTVL for the air show, your support will be greatly appreciated. Additional information can be found here.

FW-190 Highlights Frasca Fly-In
Rudy Frasca's annual fly-in was held this month at Frasca Field (C16) in Urbana, Illinois, and people got to see a great variety of airplanes, lots of warbirds, and of course, meet with other grassroots aviation enthusiasts. And that list begins with EAA founders Paul and Audrey Poberezny, who were on hand along with EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower, who made his 25th Grassroots Pilot Tour presentation here with about 150 people in attendance the Saturday evening of the event. Read more

FAA: CH 650 Kit and Meets the "51% Rule"
A five-person FAA National Kit Evaluation Team (NKET) recently concluded a two day visit to Zenith Aircraft Company in Mexico, Missouri. In a letter dated June 24, 2011, Terry Allen, manager of the FAA Production and Airworthiness Division, stated that the Evaluation Team determined that the kit will "allow an amateur builder to meet the major portion requirement known as the "51-percent" requirement to register the aircraft as Amateur-Built - Experimental. Read more

RANS S-7LS Receives New Features for 2012
Aircraft announced its demo S-7LS, featuring improvements for 2012, will take to the air soon. Those features include an increased fuel capacity allowing for five hours of flight time, one-piece stamped ribs that increase strength and reduce weight, aero servo ailerons, and the use of carbon-fiber parts throughout the plane. The 2012 S-7LS costs $87,000 (standard equipped), with production orders currently being accepted and delivery times running four to six months. For more information, click here.
Rans S-7s

Electric Aircraft Speakers, Exhibitors Sought for EAA Innovation Center
It's becoming more apparent every day: Electric-powered aircraft will play a prominent role in the future of recreational and general aviation. EAA will again play a leadership role in the new technology at AirVenture Oshkosh this summer at its EAA Innovation Center, supported by GE. The Innovation Center will be housed in the former Aviation Learning Center, on Wittman Road across from the EAA Homebuilders Headquarters. Read more
AirVenture 2011

Electric Flight Prize Postponed Until EAA AirVenture 2012
Despite a strong influx of applications, EAA announced today that the $60,000 Electric Flight Prize has been postponed until EAA AirVenture 2012 to allow viable candidates to complete Phase I flight certification according to Federal Aviation Administration regulations. Read more
Electric Flight Prize

AirVenture Cup Registration Open Until June 30
The 14th running of the AirVenture Cup Race is set to kick off the weekend of July 23-24 in Dayton, Ohio, at Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport (KMGY). The world's largest cross-country race is open to all aircraft certified under the experimental category and all EAA members who hold at least a private pilot certificate. An open house will be held Saturday, July 23, at KMGY, and the race will begin Sunday morning, July 24. Applications are due by June 30. Apply to compete in the race
AirVenture Cup

Airbus-Backed eGenius Electric Plane Makes Maiden Flight
An Airbus-sponsored electric airplane called the eGenius made its maiden flight Wednesday in Mindelheim, Germany, according to a report on the Seattle Post-Intelligencer website. The two-seat, side-by-side aircraft reportedly flew for 20 minutes, focusing handling qualities and verifying its 60-kilowatt electric propulsion system in flight. Read more

E-Fenix Makes Maiden Flight
The E-Fenix, an electric two-seat trike from Electravia, had its maiden flight this month. Using a 35-hp motor and a 6-kilowatt-hour Kokam battery that weighs 106 pounds, the trike has a flight time of 35 minutes with two aboard. The E-Fenix was developed for tourist to take scenic flights over Ré Island in France.

Plan, Print, and Share Your Homebuilt Electrical System
Vertical Power announced its new VP-X Planner, a free Web-based aircraft electrical system planning tool that allows builders to plan, print, and share the electrical system for their experimental aircraft. The VP-X Planner allows builders to build a list of the electrical items in the aircraft and automatically generate an electrical system drawing. Users can then share their configuration with others and even request a review by Vertical Power staff. For more information on VP-X Planner, click here.

Soaring Society of America Offers More Than $6,000 in Scholarships
The 75-year-old Soaring Society of America is offering several scholarships to young people ages 13-22 for flight training, college tuition, and a chance to join the U.S. Junior Soaring Team. Applications for the Cadet Youth scholarship are due June 30; Kolstad College scholarship applications are due September 30. The Bultman Youth Scholarship is also available to aid in flight training and competition experience. Learn about SSA scholarships | Learn about EAA youth Scholarships
Soaring Society of America

"Sheet Metal Building Basics" from EAA. A Must-Have Book for Your Aviation Library
100 percent of members who tested Sheet Metal Building Basics would recommend it! This book is part of EAA’s continuing “how-to” series of educational materials for building your own aircraft and is written by longtime builder and SportAir instructor Jack Dueck. Jack is a sheet metal construction expert and serves on the EAA Homebuilt Council, the EAA Canadian Council, and is an EAA Technical Counselor for his home Chapter 1410 in High River, Alberta, Canada. Sheet Metal Building Basics covers the fundamentals that everyone starting a sheet metal project should know, plus some advanced material on stress and fatigue. Find this and other information on building at EAA’s online store. Order online or call 800-564-6322.

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. Can an experimental aircraft be used to give rides to raffle ticket winners? The raffle is sponsored by a charitable service club, and the airplane and all operating expenses are donated to the service club. The pilot/owner gets no compensation or tax write-off.

A. Unfortunately, an experimental aircraft cannot give rides for the benefit of a charitable service club event. The FAR requirements are found in FAR 91.146, and the applicable subpart is copied here: Read more

Read more Q&As

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

CASTING FLASH - A thin irregular ridge of metal on the outer face of a casting, resulting from seepage of the molten metal into the joint between the separate components of the mold used in its manufacture. During the final cleaning and finishing of a cast object, the flash is usually knocked off and filed smooth.

More glossary terms

Sport Aviation, August 1959
Why Wood?
By Clarence W. Sutton, EAA 4395

This article introduces a series of articles on wood aircraft construction in Sport Aviation. Mr. Sutton, who has had an interest in wood aircraft construction since late 1935, learned (and shared) the many principles from a World War I aircraft mechanic. Read the article

From the Archives
Corvair Engine With EFI and TBI
After building several Corvair aircraft engines, Roney Correa of Goiania, Brazil, decided to install a Harley-Davidson throttle body injection (TBI) and electronic fuel injection (EFI) system on his Corvair engine. Although he doesn't intend to use these systems on an aircraft engine (yet), he has installed his engine in an old sports car based in a VW chassis called Puma GTE (Karmann Ghia chassis) for testing. Watch the video
Corvair engine
Alternators Can Be Easy to Understand
Understanding alternators and diodes can be a little difficult for some of us, but this article can help clear up a lot of it. Read the article
Understanding the Optima Battery
Optima Batteries are easily recognizable, high-performance batteries, with red, yellow, or blue tops and a "six pack" of 2-volt cells. What's the difference, and why would somebody want any particular size, capacity, or charge/discharge characteristics of one over another? Read the article

Golden West Fly-in 2011
California's largest fly-in and air show, the Golden West Regional Fly-In, wrapped up its 10th season June 12 at Yuba County Airport (KMYV), Marysville, and despite a lower turnout than previous years, the enthusiasm of attendees and volunteers was a very encouraging sign. This year saw the debut of the new ultralight and light-sport traffic area, like those found at AirVenture, Sun 'n Fun, COPPERSTATE, and other large fly-ins. The fly-in had it all including warbird reenactors, the Alternative Engine Round-up, a car show and daily air show. View the gallery
Homebuilders Gallery

Getting a Lot of Static from Your Radios? Watch this Webinar!

Maintenance expert and EAA Sport Aviation columnist Mike Busch, A&P/IA, offers tips and techniques for troubleshooting common electrical problems including short battery life, short alternator life, weak starting, charging system failures, and noise in the radios.

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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