I’ve stated publicly that I want to build an airplane, but I actually have no real idea what I would build.
Amateur-built aircraft vary greatly. There are one-seat Ultralights, turboprops, and even jets. But most are regular aircraft that look no different than the small single-engine piston certificated aircraft that my friends and I fly.
I’ve read numerous books and articles that state that I should define my mission before buying or building an aircraft. But my dreams cloud my reality. I fantasize about not having a day job and exploring the world with my family in our own plane. Alas, for the forseeable future I will have a day job and I won’t need an aircraft that can cross oceans.
So, just to get started, I’m going define the basic mission. This is the kind of flying that I want to be able to do no matter what:
- Boring holes through the sky - Really the main reason I want to fly airplanes is to fly airplanes. I can satisfy this requirement with a single seater.
- Replace the car for certain trips - If I can do a weekend trip a couple hundred miles away with my wife, or one of my sons then I’d be happy. But I’d be even happier if I could travel with all four of us.
With that, I will define some parameters for the project:
- No jets
- 1-4 seats
Ok, so all of those 5 seat jets are out of the question. Now only a few thousand aircraft designs to consider.
My plan of action is to: 1. Explore the parameters and narrow down to a small set of potential designs and 2. Determine whether I’m even going to enjoy the process of building.