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Thread: Experimentals featured in SA…Really?

  1. #11

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    Good question and better answers for sure. I guess the problem is as Ron eluded to is that home built has become assembly of kits and get it flying. When I started building my plans built biplane project, the common advise was "don't deviate from the plans" and "don't deviate from the plans". Luckily I had an engineer that loved to see my ideas. He never discouraged me and always explained the mechanics behind the device. He also never approved anything I designed. He had a dual degree; Engineering and Law .

    When people ask when I expect to finish, I always tell them "in the spring". It may not be this spring or the next spring, but some spring the project will be flying. Next door to me a couple of guys are hoping to finish an RV6 in about 800 hours. It's definitely going to look like a run of the mill RV6. For me it takes about that amount of time to come up and implement an idea. I changed the wing bow purely for aesthetics and added a hand hold for nostalgic reasons. Don't ask me how many hand holds I made to get the feel of what size it should be to fit someones hand comfortably. And of course, look good.

    It's easy to order a stick grip with a PTT from AircraftSpruce. I ordered a variety of PTT buttons from Amazon and milled a stick grip from aluminum. Idea to completion was a couple of months. It's not in the plans but works for me and was fun to build.

    So if you're looking for articles about experimentals that aren't kit built or professionally done, they are far and few between simply because experimenting takes time.

  2. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by rwanttaja View Post

    But…to bring this full-circle, let me harken back to Kyle’s comment: “I guess we're up to 9 versions of the same recycled content.” I COULD easily recycle my old homebuilt articles. I kept a scrapbook in my early writing days, and just went through it. Article about the Fly Baby, sharing hangars, basic metal bashing, propeller basics, buying used homebuilts, buying uncompleted projects, etc. etc. etc.

    All subject you’ve seen before. And likely will see again.

    So don’t blame the writers or the magazine editors for the seeming lack of variety in the publishing world. The capability for variation just isn’t there.


    Ron Wanttaja
    A) You're right. There is little new under the sun and EAA has ridden the Rutan and Van train for 40 years. I'm sure they would love to find a new "favorite" subject. I made that point in my first note in this thread.

    B) But you can't (or shouldn't) publish essentially the same article again and again. Some of us pay enough attention to notice.

    C) Article suggestions: Go back to featuring more award winning aircraft. Do a series about someone who is sequentially upgrading a Cub clone to turn it into the all-time STOL champion. Visit the restoration shop at the Smithsonian or USAF Museum. Or the Paul Allen collection (OK, forget that one). How about some features on hangar design or really cool hangars with shops and bars and TV lounges and...

    D) Again, it ain't easy. The genre is saturated between Kitplanes and EAA's offerings, and finding new subjects is tough.

  3. #13
    Possible subject matter;
    Cutting bushings on a lathe with a parting tool.
    Release agents for composite parts.
    How to use a height guage.
    Flammability of typical hardware store components used in homebuilts.
    Setup and basic use of a mill.
    Fits between adjecent parts.
    Aircraft reference systems.
    Chasing a center punch.
    Cheap disposable tooling using plaster as a modeling medium.
    Creating a reference plane using a rejected tombstone.
    Building a cheap reliable curing oven.
    Building a Pitts Special lower wing. Multi part.
    Aircraft design using Solidworks and modern powerful home computers.
    Many more come to mind but its a start. Weed out the ones that have already been done.
    Gerry
    Last edited by geraldmorrissey; 07-03-2021 at 12:09 AM.

  4. #14
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geraldmorrissey View Post
    Possible subject matter;
    Cutting bushings on a lathe with a parting tool.
    Release agents for composite parts.
    How to use a height guage.
    Flammability of typical hardware store components used in homebuilts.
    Setup and basic use of a mill.
    Fits between adjecent parts.
    Aircraft reference systems.
    Chasing a center punch.
    Cheap disposable tooling using plaster as a modeling medium.
    Creating a reference plane using a rejected tombstone.
    Building a cheap reliable curing oven.
    Building a Pitts Special lower wing. Multi part.
    Aircraft design using Solidworks and modern powerful home computers.
    All great ideas...sounds like you've got personal experience with them. Start writing! I'm sure Sport Aviation would love to see some of these subjects.

    Keep in mind, though, that the most commonly-completed homebuilt types are RVs and Carbon Cubs. Builders of these types might not be too interested in some of your topics, and editors have to keep up their interest in the magazine.

    Quote Originally Posted by geraldmorrissey View Post
    Weed out the ones that have already been done.
    Whoa, no! Many "basic construction" type of articles *need* to be repeated! Stuff gets lost, new builders arrive, and authors discover different ways to pitch their material. Don't hesitate to write an article just because Tony Bingelis wrote about the same subject in 1978. Take your own slant at it, generate new graphics.

    I kept a scrapbook of my first articles running from ~1988 to 1993. Just went through it...about half the articles could be cleaned up and republished. Shoot, it's been 30 years or more. Aircraft cable basics? Turnbuckle nomenclature? Sharing hangars? Buying uncompleted projects? All evergreen subjects, worthy of being repeated.

    Those interested in writing aviation articles should check out my Avwriter's Primer:

    http://www.wanttaja.com/avlinks/avwriter.HTM

    Ron Wanttaja

  5. #15

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    I've been thinking about writing a few short articles about rebuilding the Nieuport in more general terms ("If I had to build it again, I'd change..."). It's amazing how my perspective has changed from the initial build to the do-over.

    I wonder if they'd entertain them.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  6. #16
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    I've been thinking about writing a few short articles about rebuilding the Nieuport in more general terms ("If I had to build it again, I'd change..."). It's amazing how my perspective has changed from the initial build to the do-over.

    I wonder if they'd entertain them.
    Dude...I think Hal would jump on them.

    I'd be happy to help.

    Ron Wanttaja

  7. #17

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    What guidelines are there in place for prospective article authors? I have considered putting my penmanship to the test on multiple occasions, but it would be the first time I had attempted to have something published.

  8. #18
    CarlOrton's Avatar
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    The rivet-counters will probably disagree with me, but I’ll say that anything you want to write will be considered.

    I’ve been published twice in SA. Once about 10 years ago when I wrote about a taxi test that resulted in a brief first flight, and last year when I contributed to a story by our chapter VP about a fly-in and YE event we held.

    Pictures are good. Any size story is acceptable. Tool or construction topics are great topics. A story about a plane with which you have a special connection is good. Stories about how EAA and Chapters have given you a new outlook on life are good.

    If no one writes, we have no magazine!

    Carl Orton
    Sonex #1170 / Zenith 750 Cruzer
    http://mykitlog.com/corton

  9. #19
    EAA Staff / Moderator
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    We are more than happy to consider reader and member submissions for Sport Aviation, particularly if it's about an airplane you've built. You can submit story ideas here: https://www.eaa.org/eaa/news-and-pub...are-your-story

  10. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sam Oleson View Post
    We are more than happy to consider reader and member submissions for Sport Aviation, particularly if it's about an airplane you've built. You can submit story ideas here: https://www.eaa.org/eaa/news-and-pub...are-your-story

    I was just going to post . . . this is a MEMBER magazine. If you don't like the content, how many articles have you submitted?

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