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Thread: Finding Free plans and Study plans for scratch built/kit built planes

  1. #1

    Finding Free plans and Study plans for scratch built/kit built planes

    I want to build a plane, but I will not be starting soon.

    I am trying to learn about building techniques and get an idea of what is involved and available for homebuilt and kit-built aircraft.

    I would like to find some drawings or plans for certain types, so I can understand more, I am focusing my search on these types:

    A molded composite plane like the Pulsar, or Jabarus (I have looked into the Open Ez plans)

    A tube and fabric high wing, ideally an Avid Flyer Clone

    A metal skinned, riveted construction aircraft, similar to the construction style of any Cessna.

    I am not looking for enough information to build an aircraft, but I am looking to get an idea of what is involved in building each style.

    Can anyone suggest where to look for free plans and drawings to help me understand construction methods?

  2. #2
    Sam Buchanan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Almost free and a great resource authored by our own Ron "The Scribe" Wanttaja:

    "Kitplane Construction"

    This 400-page book should answer your questions.
    Sam Buchanan
    EAA Technical Counselor
    The RV Journal RV-6 build log
    Fokker D.VII semi-replica build log
    YouTube Channel

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Clarklake, MI
    There is a yahoo group called cfair that has dozens of free aircraft plans.

  4. #4
    robert l's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Heath Springs, S.C.
    I believe there are some plans that are in the "Public Domain" and would therefore be free. Perhaps the Heath Parasol for one. You could check with the local library, if people still do that !

  5. #5
    I have all the information available for the Aero-Designs Pulsar which I am currently building. I am going to make copies of the manuals for me to have an extra set for the shop. I can gladly make a third copy for you to read up on. I have read each construction manual about 100 times each before starting the project and it helped me out immensely. Just like you, I wanted to study up on every single aspect of the build to have a better understanding of what needs to be done properly.
    Let me know if I can be of service.

  6. #6
    I for one utilize the Library as often as I can!

  7. #7
    rwanttaja's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    It's not "Public Domain", but the instructions for building the Bowers Fly Baby were printed in EAA SPORT AVIATION magazine, and members can download the 14-part series for free (or the library will make you copies). More information at:

    Ron Wanttaja

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Not suggesting a brand, but if you want to look at sample drawings to figure out what's involved -

    What you have here is a dozen sample drawing which show you the individual parts you need to produce plus two assembly drawings that show you how to put parts together. What's involved is drawing the parts on metal, carefully cutting them out, treating the edges and then shaping them into the form for assembly.

    If you are scratch building, I'd recommend choosing something that has a good builder community so you can ask questions when something doesn't go the way you thought it would. Local chapter is great but if you are doing something esoteric and get a bunch of guys scratching their heads saying "gee, I've never seen it done that way before", you want someone who has BTDT to take a look.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    One good way to help decide is get some hands on. There are more then a few workshops other than Oshkosh where you can put together a few pieces out of wood, metal or composites. I kind of like wood, but I didn't know that until I started putting together the wings for my Hatz.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    I built a Pulsar XP and a Zenith 701. Big difference in parts count. The composite Pulsar fuselage is just 2 pieces bonded and glassed together. The aluminum Zenith has several dozen detailed pieces that have to be attached with hundreds of rivets. The Pulsar wings have 17 bonded ribs per semi-span with no fasteners on exterior so smoother air flow. The Zenith has hundreds of rivets for the skin sections to ribs attachment. Each design has different mission purposes, the Pulsar for cruise speed, the Zenith for STOL.
    If you don't have plane building experience, take the EAA classes for your potential construction type. Or take the classes to see which construction type you feel more comfortable with.

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