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Thread: Building a Nieuport 11...

  1. #501
    Even after building several airplanes I always get a couple of experienced friends over and triple check everything. I learned the hard way test flying a friend's Rans S-9. I relied on his calculations and it turned out it was very tail heavy. Made for a very interesting trip around the pattern to say the least with the elevator being extremely sensitive. Don

  2. #502

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    Forms off in the mail to the FAA for the registration. Why forms have to be notarized is beyond me.

    So now the wait for that to come back, putting together the builder's log into hard copy, fleshing out the POH, and trips out to the airport to triple check everything and give it lots of hugs.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  3. #503
    Frank, have you been flying much during the build? Make sure you get some time in a Champ or something if you are going to do the test flights. Or find an experienced test pilot to do the first few flights and sort it out. Don

  4. #504
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    Forms off in the mail to the FAA for the registration. Why forms have to be notarized is beyond me.
    Most likely it is an attempt to discourage abuse of the 51% amateur-built regulation. The FAA cracked down on professional builders several years ago because so many experimental aircraft were popping out of "factories".

    Frank, I just completed the registration and inspection process a few days ago and the mistake most often made by builders is not having all your paperwork match EXACTLY when it comes to owner, builder, manufacturer, and model information. All this must match to the letter, no exceptions, or your paperwork will be kicked out for a redo. Your dataplate must also match exactly with the paperwork. The EAA registration packet ($20) is very useful in this regard as well as getting your DAR involved.

    Best wishes for a smooth inspection!
    Sam Buchanan
    The RV Journal RV-6 build log
    Fokker D.VII semi-replica build log
    YouTube Channel

  5. #505

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    I bought the document package before I bought the kit!

    They really need to idiot proof the instructions, though. It would be nice if they had in big bold letters MAIL THE 8050-1, 8050-2, AND THE 8050-88 TO THE FAA. KEEP THE OTHER STUFF FOR THE DAR in the instructions.

    While it's always a pain to get stuff notarized, there was a nostalgic pleasure to filling out a form that had actual carbon paper between sheets. I was mildly disappointed to see that it did not exhort me to "press hard - you are making three copies" anywhere on it.

    On flying, I'm lining up a Champ for some stick time, as well as a few hours with a "foreign" CFI to see if I have any bad habits. I'm a firm believer in getting a CFI I don't know to fly with me and spot things I'm doing wrong (and, hopefully right). While it's not completely analogous, I did get some yoke* time behind a C150 last month.

    * Ug. What an abomination! First they put the third wheel on the wrong end of the aircraft and then they put in a goofy steering wheel in place of a stick. I understand why they had wheels in Gotha bombers, but a light plane like a C150? Weird, man, just weird.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  6. #506
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frank Giger View Post
    I bought the document package before I bought the kit!

    They really need to idiot proof the instructions, though. It would be nice if they had in big bold letters MAIL THE 8050-1, 8050-2, AND THE 8050-88 TO THE FAA. KEEP THE OTHER STUFF FOR THE DAR in the instructions.

    While it's always a pain to get stuff notarized, there was a nostalgic pleasure to filling out a form that had actual carbon paper between sheets. I was mildly disappointed to see that it did not exhort me to "press hard - you are making three copies" anywhere on it.
    Guess I'm an idiot.

    I just checked off the boxes in the instructions in the order in which they appeared, did what they said, and everything worked out fine. The best way to avoid mistakes is to talk to your DAR before filling out or mailing any forms. My DAR insisted on filling in some of the forms for me and bringing them to the inspection.

    I didn't use any carbon forms. You might be referring to the old version of the Bill of Sale, I used the single sheet version (downloadable as a pdf) in the packet. All forms are available now as downloads from the FAA site.
    Last edited by Sam Buchanan; 01-26-2016 at 08:58 PM.
    Sam Buchanan
    The RV Journal RV-6 build log
    Fokker D.VII semi-replica build log
    YouTube Channel

  7. #507
    * Ug. What an abomination! First they put the third wheel on the wrong end of the aircraft and then they put in a goofy steering wheel in place of a stick. I understand why they had wheels in Gotha bombers, but a light plane like a C150? Weird, man, just weird.[/QUOTE]

    I fly a couple of 140s and a 150 every once in awhile. The 140 is 10 mph faster that the 150, climbs much better and generally flies a lot nicer than the 150. So much for progress. If you can fly the Champ from the back seat an hour or so. That will really get you tuned up for the test flight. Don

  8. #508

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    So now that you are getting close to the big day, how to do you feel about the way the build has gone? Would you go with a Baslee kit again if you were starting over? I am about to pull the trigger on a kit from Airdrome so have been following this thread closely. I am in Bama quite often, I hope to see you flying overhead soon!

  9. #509

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    I have to say that the Airdrome Aeroplanes kit is the absolute best way for a starter builder without a clue like me to go.

    It's all relatively straight forward, with a few exceptions of the things not put into the kit (like the seat), and is the sweet spot between a stack of plans and a materials list to buy and CNC cut and punched pieces. While all the materials are there and the gussets pre-cut, just about everything needs to be trimmed, coped, bent, drilled, and riveted. So there's a lot of minor fabricating going on.

    I always pause when someone asks me if it's plans or kit built. It's both.

    The fact that the tools are all basic and the skills required are easily learned was a huge plus.

    If I were to build another aircraft it would be an Airdrome kit. Indeed, it's crossed my mind that if I had the financial means I'd mothball my current plane and start all over again, making something a step better in finish.

    And that's the thing about Airdrome kits. One can do what I did - stick to the plans and make one of the only vanilla models he has out there that is solid, functional, and good(ish) looking - or one can tweak things slightly and have something that's a show stopper and looks more like a replica than a representation of the type.

    That SE5a of his is a gorgeous monster, for example, and still LSA compliant!

    Not to be understated is the support one gets. Robert Baslee is seemingly always available and gives straight answers to what have been my often vague questions, and others that have built Airdrome and Graham Lee planes are just the Internet away from advice.

    The first four days of the build in Robert's shop were invaluable (okay, they had a value in that I paid for it) in teaching me all the skills needed for the build. I had put together a rudder prior to going whole hog, figuring if I could even half a** it I had potential...and I wasn't wrong. But learning all the other things, from how to cope tubing to fit to annealing to how to do maintenance on a pneumatic rivet gun were priceless.

    While it's taken me a long time as far as the calendar goes, in large measure that's because I took long breaks from the project owing to weather. We had a summer that was just too hot to work out of doors for any length of time and a bear of a winter as well. Plus I worked slow, just having fun with it. On days where I started early and just cranked it out I got huge amounts of things done; usually, though, I'd go out into the back yard and do one or two things and then put the tools away.

    [edit]

    That said, I selected the Airdrome kit for three reasons:

    1) I wanted my own airplane.
    2) I knew I could build an Airdrome plane for around 12K. With do-over pieces and a few other considerations it's now closer to 15K. But it's a far cry for what I'd have to pay to own a decent Champ that didn't need a lot of work.
    3) I want to fly for my own pleasure. Low and slow in an open cockpit is the life for me. Forget transportation, night flying, all weather stuff, or aerobatics. Cruising at 55 mph at 1500 feet AGL on a CAVU day with low winds over cow fields and rivers is pure heaven to me....as is an hour of touch-and-goes.

    So it met my criteria of price and mission. That it's representational of WWI aircraft and I'm sold. I'm sort of a WWI nut when it comes to airplanes so that was the cherry on the top.
    Last edited by Frank Giger; 01-28-2016 at 04:34 PM.
    The opinions and statements of this poster are largely based on facts and portray a possible version of the actual events.

  10. #510
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
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    I just finished (are they ever really finished??) an AA Fokker D.VII and have a build site:

    http://fokkerd7.com

    Here are some thoughts after the first four months of the project:

    http://fokkerd7.com/4-months.html

    Frank's comments pretty much mirror my impressions, the AA kits are a good value but require enough thought and fabrication to keep it interesting.
    Sam Buchanan
    The RV Journal RV-6 build log
    Fokker D.VII semi-replica build log
    YouTube Channel

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