Building Your Own Aircraft

"Almost Done"Building my own airplane was the most rewarding accomplishment of my life. If you have ever thought about building an airplane, or the idea intrigues you, I highly encourage you to consider building one yourself.

There are a great many resources to help you with such a project. The Experimental Aircraft Association has chapters all over the world and in every state in the US. These chapters have regular meetings, and here you can meet people who can provide technical and moral support.

During the course of my airplane building project, I learned two important things: first, I learned to break the project up into many little projects. I found that if I tried to contemplate the entire project, I would get overwhelmed. I learned to focus on one thing, such as making a rib or fabricating a small part, and make that into the evening's project. That way, I got the satisfaction of completing something each time I worked on the airplane.

Fun with wiringSecond, I found that it was important to touch the airplane at least three times a week. I didn't necessarily have to work on it every time (although I almost always did); I just made sure that I touched it. Usually this would lead to something: I'd start cleaning up the workbench, or put a clamp on here, or drill a hole there. Before I knew it, a hour or two would have gone by, and another little project would be done.

Vroom, vroom!The entire process of building my airplane was challenging, sometimes frustrating, and incredibly rewarding. I have felt no satisfaction greater than taking to the air with an airplane I built with my own hands.

To see more and bigger photos, check out my gallery of S-10 Photos. For the story of my wonderful airplane-building experiences, see Building and Flying a RANS S-10 (30kb).

If you'd like more information about this fabulous hobby, please check out the Web sites below for some starting points. I've also listed some Other Flying Resources.