Why spend several years of your life building an aircraft ? Why undertake such an adventure, such a challenge ? Many people got their fingers burnt, lost their money, spouse and family doing so. Many people “lost” several years before giving up. All those questions and many more I also asked myself. But I have to say, since several years the main question became more : When will I start building ?
Building an aircraft has always been an evidence for me, a big dream. In 1998 already, I attended my first aeronautical celebration in Oshkosh near Chicago where thousands of aircrafts and their builders meet every year in a monumental gathering organized by the Experimental Aircraft Association. Study, plan, prepare, learn new techniques, take up a challenge, find solutions, create something with your own hands. It includes everything I love.
Building an aircraft also allows you to meet many people with the same “grain of madness”. All along the path, people sharing the same passion are here to help you, to guide you, to pass on their knowledge in a simple and natural way. Those human exchange, those human interactions are also and above all what matters.
The flying machine
Which model to choose, how can you be sure of your choice among all available kit aircraft ? How to correctly choose an aircraft that will be completed 5 years after being started in the best case ? The mission or what will you do with this aircraft once completed seems to be the good answer… Mine is fairly clear and I hope I picked up the good aircraft to fulfill it…
Richard Vangrunsven or Van founded in 1973 Van’s Aircraft Factory in Oregon and started to sell aircraft’s kit. 46 years later, more than 10’400 of its aircraft fly all around the world. Van is the most successful kit aircraft manufacturer in history. He is one of the 51 aviation glory, along with Clyde Cessna, William Piper, Donald Douglas and the other great aeronautical manufacturer. Its aircrafts are well known for their ease of assembly (it’s all relative !) their polyvalence and flying qualities
The Van’s RV-10 we are building is a 4 seater aircraft, economically cruising at 150 knots (280 km/h) and able to depart a short grass strip carrying 4 people and their bags for 1’200 kilometers. A fantastic flying machine !
I am lucky to have built a big workshop in our house, some bad mouth say I have actually built a house around the workshop ! It’s a big plus to work home and be able to spend an hour here, an hour there. Some courageous build in their living room, their flat or a double garage, it’s possible but it adds one more complication to an already difficult task.
The tools necessary to work with aluminium are also sold in kits depending on the aircraft type you want to build. The first challenge isn’t to know how to use them but to understand their purpose ! The second one for us, here in Europe, is to learn the imperial units of measurement, feet, inches and their fractions used for every tool and on the plans…
Let the adventure start !