I wanted to start a conversation about the potential of an open source aircraft design that could be built using CNC? With 8' x 4' CNC machines being relatively available (one kit can be purchased for $2,000 - $3,000) and CNC services like Ponoko that can be used to outsource, it appears to be a quick and cheap way to get an aircraft built....? My biggest problem with trying to fly is the affordability of building and owning an aircraft. I love the EAA magazine and Homebuilt magazine etc, but my eyes glaze over when I see kits that can be completed for "only" $40,000 etc. I realize that there are cheaper kits, but I was thinking about one that had plans that could be downloaded and built using a CNC machine to speed the construction up and use relatively inexpensive materials. My eyes lit up when I saw what was being achieved by open source projects such as Wikihouse: http://www.wikihouse.cc/
There is also work being done on the Volksplane to create CAD drawings of the plans in Yahoo Groups. I was wondering if there were any collaborative efforts out there to generate an open source aircraft design specifically for CNC? If not, why not! I can imagine downloading a design and cutting out the parts for construction like a giant meccano set. You could probably cut out the parts for an entire small aircraft in a few hours! I can see a group of builders purchasing a CNC machine between them and mass producing the parts for a group build. It would be really great if we could get an ultra-low cost aircraft in the works that could get more people building and flying! If there is interest, would anyone like to start something like this as a movement?