homebuilt aircraft

Build Log


Plans and a build manual, which is a collection of articles and experiences not so much a step by step guide, were ordered first.


I first ordered the major wood and hardware needed. I didn't shoot for a total parts order for completing the plane since there were still decisions to make in what covering material, to build a control set or use one from a Cub or similar plane, same with the main gear. Also ordered were the T88 epoxy, nails, and other assembly components. I learned two great tips from this process that apply to model aircraft. I have been building and flying them for about 25 years, mostly 1/4 and 1/3 giant scale, and still learn new things every day. I was surprised to find that nails were used in full scale construction, it just seems ridiculous, nails in plane? They aren't structural, they are used as clamping force to hold parts together while the epoxy cures. I wish I had known this before, it will work great in giant scale model construction.

Wood stock unpacking


Sorting the wood

Identifying each piece


The tail feathers are complete and I need to upload more pics.

Fuselage is underway. First thing was a building board. I used two sheets of 3/4 MDF with some 3/4 x 3/4 stock to join them. I cut dozens of sections of 3/4 x 2 stock to use as alignment blocks.

Building board

Laying out the longerons

More alignment blocks and putting in the uprights

Gussets go on over the joints

A complete fuselage side, very light

Joining the two completed sides

Flooring on as well as additional gussets

More cross struts, seats started and one site sheeted

Cowl has arrived

Tailwheel progress, I need to do the cross piece and retainer bracket still

Turtledeck progress, one deviation from plans that is stronger, easier to fab and only a few Oz more

More turtledeck

Side view showing instrument panels, turtledeck and tailwheel

Slightly more work

As of June 5 07 w gear and tail on, cabanes going on

June 25th has the center section on     2nd photo

Fabricating the landing gear.

I borrowed this design from a homebuilt Cub as it seemed more practical to fabricate and maintain than the original Pietenpol design.

Rails on Fuse   Upper shock cord mounts   Front Legs on   Axle mounts

Done deal other than the shock cords, cuffs and brakes.

Another pic


I had really wanted to use the Subaru EA81, but in the end, insurance was a nightmare. Don't read any sort of common sense into that, the same Subaru engine on a different plane was fine, this plane with an admittedly inferior engine on all accounts was fine. The aviation world can be strange to say the least. So, I went with my second choice, a Continental A65, a great engine standard in the Piper Cub and a few others as well.


03-31-07 The fittings are fabricated for the tail and it is on the plane. The rudder is hinged and the elevators are being built. I also finished the motor mounts (plane side) and cut a few pieces for the motor mount itself.

Making the metal fitings isn't that much of a task. In short you print out a template with the proper measurements and spray it on with 3M 77 and then cut it out on a metal cutting band saw. The final trim work is done on a belt sander.

templates layed out   upper motor mounts    lower motor mounts   lower mounts again   tail on plane   elevator 1   elevator 2   cutting stock for elevators  



Rib Steamer

Cutting wing fittings

Strut and wing to center section fittings


Spar plates    plates 2

Ribs going on

Ribs on and leading edge in progress

Left wing done other than ailerons and tip bow


Ribs layed out on spar

Wing with LE and TE done

A shot inside the wing

Aileron spar


Center section spars

Start of center section assembly

Ribs, LE, TE and braces in


Metal fittings for cabanes

Aileron spars going in, and done

Wingtip fittings/ drag-antidrag anchor

Center Wing strut mount and wire anchor

Left wing metal fittings done, right wing on plane

More of the same

Left wing on stands for wingtip work

Cabane wing mount

Right wing on plane

Fore Strut mount

Center Wing Strut mont / turnbuckles

Center Section pulley

Aileron pulley section

Swaging on fittings for cabanes



Wings complete with fittings and varnish ready for covering.

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First Fabric goes on

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Tapes, Polybrush, polyspray and then the silver and green final coats

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