EAA Experimenter - EAA's Homebuilders e-Newsletter EAA Homebuilders
Rutan to Discuss BiPod at Oshkosh

Two forums to include much about roadable electric hybrid
True to form, Burt Rutan's final project for Scaled Composites is pushing technological and design boundaries. The Model 367 BiPod, just unveiled by Scaled Composites, is a roadable, two-seat electric-hybrid aircraft. It made its first flight on March 30, just before Burt retired. 

Burt will discuss the new aircraft in two forums at AirVenture - on Wednesday, July 27, at 10 a.m. and Friday, July 29, at 11:30 a.m. Both talks will be in Forum Pavilion 07 Mainstage- Honda Aircraft. "What I'll do is fill in the interesting things that aren't out there yet," Burt said. "You know, an engineer under duress occasionally blurts out the truth." Read more

Hints for Homebuilders
Hints for Homebuilders is now in a new format. Rather than presenting just one Hint each month, we'll present all the Hints videos featured in e-Hotline since last issue.

Cutting a 'Half' Hole
Silicone Tape
Die Grinder Basics
Making Tiedown Ropes
Alternate Power Supply
Crush Washers 

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The Best of Experimenter

By the time you read this I'll already be in Oshkosh, probably setting up the CONTACT! Magazine booth in Hangar C, Space 3107. With so many of the people I work with also going to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (those who help put out this newsletter each month), we decided that to ease our workload a bit we would make this a "best of" issue and include what we consider to be the very best of what we've produced in the past two and a half years. Starting with our first issue in 2009, I didn't get very far before I filled up this issue, so in reality, it might be called "the best of 2009." EAA Founder Paul Poberezny once told me that if you've not read it before, it's new to you. With that in mind, please enjoy this retrospective. Only the feature articles are a blast from the past; the news items are current.

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.

Second Annual EAA Fly-In a Success!
“Well, fellows I consider the second annual fly-in of the EAA held August 7 and 8 here in Milwaukee a great success. We had a fine turnout of experimental aircraft and a large turnout of the membership from all parts of the U. S. and Canada. I am very sorry that I could not spend a greater amount of time with each and every one of you, but as you all realize it takes a lot of work and time to keep things rolling.” That’s what Paul wrote in 1956 and it would seem that the second fly-in is similar to the 59th fly-in, beginning this weekend, in that the organizers are very busy keeping the event going. But that's what makes this so fun! Read Paul's Pick
Paul Poberezny

Operating Limitations – Major or Minor Change?

Continuing our discussion of experimental, amateur-built operating limitations, I want to talk about something that is a constant source of conversation and questions – the “major change.” One of the benefits of owning or operating an experimental aircraft is that you are free to, well, experiment! The aircraft isn’t tied to any sort of FAA type design or specification, so there are few restrictions on the changes a person might wish to make or who may make them. As with all things, however, one must make sure to check and see what the operating limitations allow and require. One thing you’ll find in all operating limitations will be requirements for incorporating a “major change.” What’s a major change, you ask? Well, that’s where the conversation and questions start. Read more
Joe Norris
Wicks Aircraft

Savoring a New Design
The show stopper for this year’s COPPERSTATE was undisputedly Chris Christiansen’s one-off Savor. With its very short-span cantilevered high wing, extra-wide cabin with leather tandem seating, welded 4130 steel tube fuselage inside a fiberglass fairing with an all-metal wing and empennage filled as smooth as any composite wing, Savor appears vaguely similar to so many tricycle-geared European special light-sport aircraft entrants, until you look in the cooling inlets and see an 0-320. It was quite the enigma to the many attendees who stopped by to take a closer look. Read more

Savoring a new design

Revised 51 Percent Policy Good News for Builders, Kit Makers
“For the past four years, EAA and the amateur-built aircraft community have been facing perhaps the most significant threat ever faced by the homebuilt movement. But today, we’re confident in declaring that the threat is over; the FAA this week released the long-awaited final order that revises the amateur-built aircraft certification policy known as the 51 percent rule as well as Advisory Circular 20-27G, the guide for amateur builders on how to properly certify every step of the building process.”

Pat Panzera

This paragraph and much more hit my e-mail inbox on October 7, 2009, and it’s all good news, as compared to what it could have contained. Here’s a link to the full statement by the EAA, of which the above paragraph is just the opening.

The proposed changes that the EAA fought with due diligence were potentially crippling to the homebuilding community, and this news was welcomed relief. But reading the message had me asking more questions than what it answered. So I decided to read the 100 pages or so of FAA language, and I came away with a few answers to my questions that I’d like to share with you. Read more

The Sherwood Ranger
The Sherwood Ranger was designed by Russ Light during the late 1980s and early 1990s and was the second aircraft design from his pen. Unfortunately Russ didn’t see the fruits of his labor, as he passed away soon after his demonstrator first flew. Following Russ’s passing, the business changed hands but met with little success. Two years ago (2007) The Light Aircraft Company Ltd., based at Little Snoring Airfield in North Norfolk, United Kingdom, took ownership and completely overhauled the drawings, converting them into a usable computer-aided design format while revising the part numbering system. Read more

The Sherwood Ranger

Snedden M7
To say that Andrew Snedden is passionate about the current state of the ultralight industry is an understatement. But unlike those who will sit on the sidelines and bemoan the "good ol' days," he’s doing something about it. His answer is the innovative Snedden M7. Read more

Snedden M7

Tim Sullivan’s Subaru-Powered Super Zodiac CH 601 HDS
Part 1
Tim Sullivan wasn’t a pilot when he decided to build a Subaru-powered Super Zodiac CH 601 HDS from a kit. He built the plane per the plans, with just a few minor modifications or improvements, and is proud to point out that he drilled each and every hole by hand. 
Read Part 1
| Read Part 2

Subaru-Powered Super Zodiac

Prop Balancing

Here’s the incredibly sensitive prop static balance device that Jeff Jeter designed and made for me. When correctly adjusted, it will show an out-of-balance indication when a No. 4 washer is placed at the tip of a 63-inch-diameter prop. Read more

Prop Balancing

Shop Tools

Every experimenter has strong and weak areas. If the weak area is welding, William Wynne wants you to think about burnishing your skills, which may open you up to projects you may not have considered in the past. With proper training, practice, and a special tool William will introduce, you don’t have to be afraid of fire. Read more

Shop tools

Jack Bally’s 1/3 Scale Replica B-17
Jack Bally and his friends decided that if they were going to build one last plane, it would have to be something different. With a set of 1/9 scale model airplane plans and some seat-of-the-pants structural designing, Jack is confident that his 1/3 scale B-17 Flying Fortress replica will be good for 6 positive and negative g’s while potentially having Cessna 152-like handling characteristics – but with plenty of power to spare! Read more

1/3 Scale Replica B-17

Oscar Zuniga first saw Marvin Barnard’s Flying Squirrel design in Experimenter magazine in the late 1990s. It looked like an airplane he could build easier than the KR-2S he’d been ogling. Learn about the design and Oscar’s building experiences as he details his progress on this project. Read more


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.
Bear Creek Aero Club Restoring Stits Skycoupe
A group of builders and pilots in the Raleigh, North Carolina, area led by EAA Chapter 1114 President Kent Misegades have formed the Bear Creek Aero Club. Their aim is to restore forgotten hangar queens and orphaned homebuilts with a focus on sport pilot eligible aircraft. They're making good progress on their first project, a Stits Skycoupe (aka Stits SA-7D). The club is in contact with Ray Stits, now 90 years of age, who currently flies a Cessna Skycatcher. Read more
Stits Skycoupe
Combs Claims World LSA Record
Michael Combs claimed a new world record for time over distance when he flew his Remos LSA from Fort Worth, Texas, to Branson, Missouri, on July 9. Branson was the 170th stop on Combs' "Flight for the Human Spirit" mission, in which he aims to land in all 50 states in his Remos. Since April 2010, he has flown an estimated 28,000 miles into 49 states and Canada. Hawaii is the last remaining state. Read more
Michael Combs
The Gathering of Eagles 2011
All my stories are based on real experiences. However, some elements are slightly embellished, others are stretched a bit, while a few are outright lies. It is up to the reader to figure out which is which. It takes me so long to get anywhere in my Airbike that getting there is half the fun! Such was the case this past Father's Day weekend as I planned my overnight trip to Gardner, Kansas (K34), to attend the Gathering of Eagles Fly-In sponsored by EAA Chapter 200. Read more
Gathering of Eagles
Invitation From Quicksilver
This year EAA is going to have a "Salute to Quicksilver" theme at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh, July 25 to 31. All Quicksilver pilots that fly in will receive air show memorabilia from EAA. There will be an area roped off for Quicksilver parking, and camping is allowed under the wing. In conjunction with this event, Quicksilver Mfg. Inc. will have free gifts for pilots, daily prizes, and a one-time drawing for a $500 cash prize. Read more
Aircraft Spruce
FAA Seeks Wide Participation in GA Survey
The 33rd annual General Aviation and Part 135 Activity Survey (GA Survey) for reporting on calendar year 2010 is well underway. The survey is a scientific sample of aircraft from the Civil Aviation Registry and serves as the FAA's primary source of information about the size and activity of the GA and on-demand Part 135 fleet. Data helps the FAA determine the number of hours flown and the ways people use their aircraft, allowing it to better determine funding for infrastructure and service needs, assess the impact of regulatory changes, and measure aviation safety. Read more

It's a Snap!
And light-sport to boot!
In less a week, EAA AirVenture Oshkosh will be upon us, and it doesn't look like it will disappoint! According to SportairUSA, the company will be unveiling the American prototype version of the Dallair FR-100 Snap, an all-new purpose-built aerobatic light-sport airplane. There's not a lot of information available about the aircraft yet, but we'll bring you all the juicy details once we've had a chance to drool all over the plane in Oshkosh. If you're going to be at AirVenture, you can see SportairUSA reveal the new aircraft July 26 at noon in front of the IAC Pavilion. Read more

Connect to Oshkosh Through AirVenture Live
Whether you are on convention grounds or following from afar, you can connect to AirVenture through AirVenture Live. We'll be collecting all types of AirVenture content, including news stories, videos, photo galleries, and features, in one convenient portal. You can also participate by using the #OSH11 hash tag to upload your own tweets, Flickr photos, Facebook feedback, and YouTube videos directly to the website. Other features included are access to, where you can listen to air traffic control live on the Web, and the e-Hotline newsletter, published daily during AirVenture. Via Oshkosh365, you'll have access to five AV webcams located throughout the grounds streaming live video during the week including air shows and evening programs at Theater in the Woods. 
Click here to visit AirVenture Live
AirVenture Live

AirVenture Webcams Now On-Air
This year EAA is offering members several ways to see AirVenture as it happens. The ever-popular AirVenture webcams return this year offering great views of North (Warbirds area), Central (ConocoPhillips Plaza and Vintage), and South (Ultralights). Each camera will have views of the runways; however, they will be panning to capture as much of the look and feel of the event as possible. This members-only benefit also includes live streaming video of the daily air show and Theater in the Woods evening programming Sunday through Thursday during AirVenture. 
Watch the webcams here
AirVenture Webcams

EAA Radio Ramps Up Coverage for AirVenture
EAA Radio is ready to be your constant convention companion with live interviews, special event coverage, and daily broadcast of the Showcase flights, air show, and Theater in the Woods. AirVenture programming resumes the evening of July 24 with a strong lineup of interviews and new programs. On-field attendees should stop by the EAA Welcome Center daily at 11 a.m. for EAA Radio Live featuring notable guests including EAA President/CEO Rod Hightower, B-787 Chief Pilot Mike Carriker, Astronaut Gene Cernan, a Navy Day special, EAA Young Eagles Co-Chairmen Sully Sullenberger and Jeff Skiles, and Aaron Tippin. 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. I am building a Dominator gyrocopter. It is nearly complete. Parts are getting painted. It will be certified experimental amateur-built. Do I need to install a shoulder harness in addition to a seat belt?

A. Since you are building an experimental amateur-built aircraft, you are not required to install a shoulder harness; however, it is a good idea to do so. The added protection is well worth the added cost, weight, and time to install it.

Read more Q&As

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

VARIOMETER - (also known as a vario, rate of climb and descent indicator [RCDI], rate of climb indicator, vertical speed indicator [VSI], or vertical velocity indicator [VVI]) is one of the flight instruments in an aircraft (mostly used in sailplanes, hang gliders, paragliders, etc.) used to inform the pilot of the near instantaneous (rather than averaged) rate of descent or climb in order to detect the presence of a thermal or other forms of lift for unpowered aircraft.

More glossary terms

The AirVenture Cup
The AirVenture Cup, July 24, 2011, is the world's largest cross-country air race. 2011 is the 10th year that the AirVenture Cup will be run from Dayton-Wright Brothers Airport, Ohio (KMGY), with the promoters hoping to replicate the excitement of the Bendix Trophy Races of the 1930s by providing a race that is open to EAA members. Founded in 1998, this event has become one of the most successful racing events in aviation. The race is open to all experimental aircraft, operated by pilots with at least a private pilot certificate. Read more
AirVenture Cup Race
The Indy Air Race
The Sport Air Racing League, now in its fifth season, welcomes all types of piston engine airplanes to compete by class. Yep, whatever you fly, we have a class for that! It's fun, fun, fun, and we hope you'll join us. The Indy Air Race is less than a month away! August 13 is the date; Indianapolis Executive Airport in Indianapolis, Indiana (KTYQ), is the place. This is a sanctioned event of the Sport Air Racing League. Read more
Indy Air Race
Homebuilt Area Poised for Record Year
Features and activities surrounding the Homebuilt area at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011 are shaping up to be memorable, as a record number of homebuilt aircraft - including 100 Burt Rutan designs and 50 Zenith designs - are expected to attend. As part of this year's Tribute to Burt Rutan, the "I Flew My Homebuilt to AirVenture" patch features his first design, the VariViggen. Also, this year includes the "Zeniths to Oshkosh" grassroots gathering of Zenith Aircraft builders organized to honor designer Chris Heintz. The additional Rutan and Zenith aircraft, combined with others, are projected to bring the total of homebuilt aircraft to more than 1,000, a new record for the area. Read more

Early Homebuilt Arrivals to AirVenture 2011
At the time of this writing there are three days before AirVenture 2011 begins. Director of Member Programs Charlie Becker snapped a few photos of early homebuilt arrivals, including a Dyke Delta that arrived Wednesday. Be sure to follow the EAA Homebuilders Facebook page for more pictures and information about what's on the grounds and in the air during AirVenture. View the gallery
Homebuilders Gallery

Learn How To Survive a Forced Landing

Engine failure! Aside from a fire, it's the airborne emergency pilots fear the most. Many pilots simply do not have enough recent practice in emergency skills to allow them to safely execute an emergency landing. This presentation, hosted by Gold Seal CFI and corporate pilot Eric Basile, touches on a number of seldom-discussed factors related to successfully handling an engine failure, including proper pre-flight planning, managing stress in emergencies, airspeed control, impact management, and crash survivability. You'll review some basic procedures you may have not thought about in a while, and you might learn a few new tricks as well.

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.

We're very happy to announce the launch of our brand new forums, live now at! It's a clean slate - and these forums are simple, reliable, and fast! Check them out, and join the conversations! EAA Forums
Here are a few discussions already in progress:


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