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What's Your Mission Statement

Posted By:
Brad Strand
Homebuilder or Craftsman
66
Posts
27
#1 Posted: 9/26/2009 12:30:19

When I was first dreaming of building an airplane, one of the best pieces of advice I recieved was sit down and write a mission statement.  That is, write down what you want to do with your airplane and then look at aircraft that meet your goals.  After giving it a lot of thought I decided that my list looked like this:

Fly 240 miles is two hours or less.

Have a stall speed below 60 MPH (with extra points for being further below 60).

Carry two people with minimum baggage.

It shouldn't cost more than I earn in a year.

Have a respectable number of completions already flying.

A build time of less than 1000 hrs (with extra points for being way less than 1000)

I hope that other builders will post their mission statements so that we can contrast and compare what we find important in the building process and in flying  characteristics



Dean Borghi
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
5
Posts
1
#2 Posted: 9/29/2009 18:59:55 Modified: 8/20/2010 07:44:28

To Captain Strand and Forum Memers;

 I have never considered the "mission statement" path for personal direction in building.  I like this idea and will consider it closely over these passing days.  What shall I say which will become my mantra as a builder/flier?  How will others know my mind and my plans by the words that are uttered once upon a time?  I must say that it likens to that of wedding vows, the "I do's" and "I will's".  I DO want to build and I WILL learn from it and shall also find contentment within that process.  However, I often find that time and money have been short of late. Maybe the founding fathers had their minds in the right place when it was penned on paper:  "We find these truths to be self -evident," at the beginig of the Declaration of Independence.  It IS self-evident that we are here because we love to fly, want to learn, want to build, we enjoy aviation in its myriad of forms!  It's true!  However, I think you are right, Capt. Strand, a "mission statement" would help one to stay focused on the dream and the task(s) at hand, especially for the novice like me.  I will put my plans into words!  Now, if there were some Baby Lakes guys out there for support....

 

 



Blue Skies! Dean E. Borghi
Brad Strand
Homebuilder or Craftsman
66
Posts
27
#3 Posted: 10/1/2009 08:33:53 Modified: 10/7/2009 16:12:33

Dean, thanks for the reply. 

Good luck finding some support in your building.  It has been my experience that building an airplane is a very lonely experience.  The builders I have met are lone wolves.  I have spent at least 100 hours alone in my shop for every hour that I have had company there.  If you are expecting building to be a community experience you will be sadly disappointed. 

That being said, I see from you profile page that you live 102 miles north of me.  My kit is being delivered the second week of October.  If you are interested in seeing what I am up to, you are welcome to come for a visit.  my email is n652sx@comcast.net

 


 

  

 

                

Brad -

Not only was your concept of a Mission Statement for homebuilders' projects a great one, your invitation to a fellow member to visit and see your kit firsthand is in the purest tradition of the EAA community. You've given all of us some food for thought, and shown that maybe homebuilding doesn't always have to be the "lone wolf" experience you describe.

Thanks for what you've brought to Oshkosh365!

Hal Bryan
Online Community Manager

Post of
the Week!
10/07/09
 

    

 

 

 

 



Dean Borghi
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
5
Posts
1
#4 Posted: 10/3/2009 21:01:32 Modified: 8/20/2010 07:47:41

Capt. Brad!

I appreciate your input, and yes, I do expect to spend many hours alone in the basement/garage with the toxic fumes and cryptic blueprints all to myself. I'll keep the Forum informed on the details of the project.



Blue Skies! Dean E. Borghi
Dean Borghi
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerAirVenture Volunteer
5
Posts
1
#5 Posted: 10/3/2009 21:04:29

Oh!  And if any builders/EAAers out there need yet another "facebook friend" just look me up (Dean E Borghi) and throw in a note about EAA365 to catch my attention!  I'll write!



Blue Skies! Dean E. Borghi
Konrad Westendorf
3
Posts
0
#6 Posted: 10/8/2009 20:02:00

My mission statement, when I studied how to build myself a CA-65 Mini Ace, was to build a baby that would keep me and my girl young alike astronauts in a relative space and time continuum.

I however failed as research support technician at university to build anything electronic that could get a girl more interested in research than going home to live alone with her baby, and consequently retired also my plans to build an airplane.

The treehouse detectives on NASA Internet TV however gave me some hope, that girls might learn to search for themselves what type of airplane and research might keep them young enough to avoid having children out of nothing more but frustration. 



Andy Gamache
Homebuilder or Craftsman
122
Posts
28
#7 Posted: 10/28/2009 04:26:31

Hi Brad,

 

Believe it or not, I actually considered these things before selecting a project to build. That was even before the EAA came out with their checklist. At least I think it was!!

 

Anyway, this is what I wanted...

  • Long cross country capability.
  • With the long cross country capability, I also wanted speed.
  • Fairly inexpensive to operate.
  • IFR capable.
  • Able to get in and out of shorter fields.
  • Inexpensive to build.
  • Fairly quick and easy to build.
  • Composite construction.

 

Initially, I wanted a Varieze or Longeze. Unfortunately, Burt Rutan took those off the market many years before I could start a project.

 

By the time I got started, the Lancairs were popular. If I had the money, I would have went for the Lancair IV-P. The half million dollars just wasn't there and it still ain't. I also looked at the Velocity. It was still a bit more than I wanted to spend.

 

Finally, a friend showed me an advertisment for Team Tango. It said 30 days to build. Although they never did get a project done in 30 days, it was indeed a quick building aircraft. The speed was good as well; 180 knots TAS on 8 GPH at 15,500 MSL. From the first time I touched the kit, to the first flight was a couple weeks over two years. Oh, I got the long cross country part of it down for sure. Before building I asked about getting extra fuel in the wings. After discussing it, we came up with a plan to make the wing 100% wet. My Tango has a ten hour range w/ reserve. I was the first one to do it, but it's now a totally separate model offered by Team Tango. (Wish I could get a commission!!)



Brad Strand
Homebuilder or Craftsman
66
Posts
27
#8 Posted: 10/28/2009 07:53:44

Andy,

What a great mission statement!  It sounds like you really put a lot of thought into your choice and made sure you got what you wanted.  Good for you!



Andy Gamache
Homebuilder or Craftsman
122
Posts
28
#9 Posted: 10/29/2009 12:51:00

Last night I tried five times over a three hour period to respond to this. We'll see what happens this time....

 

Anyway, I had lot's of time to figure out what I wanted. I first became interested in homebuilding back in 1980 when I ran  into a fellow at my home 'drome that had built a Varieze.

The mission statement on my next project (sorta in progress) is simple...

 

Made of a different material.

 

That's it. I'm currently building a U-2 (not THAT U-2!!). It's a plans built flying wing design by Don Mitchell. That fact that it's a rare bird and looks neat helps! It's also a powered glider so I can still fly it if I happen to get surprised on a medical one year.




David Spinnett
6
Posts
0
#10 Posted: 2/13/2010 10:53:45

Hmm I've had one for years, but haven't put it in action yet (afraid I can't do it!)....

Metal, 2 seat, tandem, 200mph, 600mi range, aerobatic. 

Sure sounds like the RV8, but for one problem..... I want a FW190. Next steps is to determine how to merge these dreams into one aircraft.



Brian Thomas
Homebuilder or Craftsman
3
Posts
0
#11 Posted: 2/14/2010 15:50:54

what planes meet your criteria?



David Spinnett
6
Posts
0
#12 Posted: 2/17/2010 18:45:58
Brian Thomas wrote:

 

what planes meet your criteria?

 

Brian, to whom was your question aimed? (if you poke the "quote" instead of the "reply" button, it will put the person you are replying to in the post....).... If you meant me, then none. I'm trying to figure out if I can build it myself using either the RV8 or F1 Rocket as the design bogey, but shaped like the FW190...



Lincoln Ross
53
Posts
5
#13 Posted: 2/19/2010 00:10:04

I am not terribly serious yet, and I won't be until I'm convinced I'm ready to push a project all the way through completion. However, I tend to have two general sorts of ideas about an aircraft that don't tend to drift too much:

-LSA that can carry two heavy people,  good handling and moderate stall speed as I'd be a low time pilot, oddball but appealing (to me) appearance, enclosed cockpit. range and speed not terribly important. prefer something with a safe history, shortest possible build time but not sure I'd want a kit. A Davis 2A with larger would fit the bill but I doubt if such exists. Or a Volksplane 2 with a cabin and more oomph. But I don't actually know what the simplest, fastest to build aircraft are. If I was designing it myself it might end up like a 2 place Facetmobile. Might make more sense to get old 2 place spam can. Ugh!

-------------

-part 103 compliant motorglider, probably would have to be a new design, would need to be generous in structural strength, medium performance, say 25:1, 150fpm or less sink rate, 100 would be nicer. Not sure what scheme to have adequate power and not bust the speed limit. Would need to be 4 stroke or electric. 2-strokes are dirty and noisy, and probably I'd mess up and lose an engine at a bad time. Probably flapped to meet 103 better, maybe Strojnic style wing, though light skins that didn't shred with hangar rash might be a problem. Fantasy would be Horten style flying wing, normal configuration probably much easier to design.

-------

Of course a blend of above might be very nice, but realistically a Xenos would be better for that mission, if much more expensive than I'd want to contemplate. Other thought was that one could make a low aspect ratio, "smoothmobile" delta flying wing with motor for launch and at least hang glider performance (say 12:1 or better and very light loading)



Brian Thomas
Homebuilder or Craftsman
3
Posts
0
#14 Posted: 2/19/2010 22:21:20

what planes have you found that meet your criteria?



Brian Thomas
Homebuilder or Craftsman
3
Posts
0
#15 Posted: 2/19/2010 22:24:01
Brad Strand wrote:

 

When I was first dreaming of building an airplane, one of the best pieces of advice I recieved was sit down and write a mission statement.  That is, write down what you want to do with your airplane and then look at aircraft that meet your goals.  After giving it a lot of thought I decided that my list looked like this:

Fly 240 miles is two hours or less.

Have a stall speed below 60 MPH (with extra points for being further below 60).

Carry two people with minimum baggage.

It shouldn't cost more than I earn in a year.

Have a respectable number of completions already flying.

A build time of less than 1000 hrs (with extra points for being way less than 1000)

I hope that other builders will post their mission statements so that we can contrast and compare what we find important in the building process and in flying  characteristics

 

what planes meet your criteria, what are the top two or three?



Brad Strand
Homebuilder or Craftsman
66
Posts
27
#16 Posted: 2/20/2010 13:45:31
Brian Thomas wrote:

 

Brad Strand wrote:

 

When I was first dreaming of building an airplane, one of the best pieces of advice I recieved was sit down and write a mission statement.  That is, write down what you want to do with your airplane and then look at aircraft that meet your goals.  After giving it a lot of thought I decided that my list looked like this:

Fly 240 miles is two hours or less.

Have a stall speed below 60 MPH (with extra points for being further below 60).

Carry two people with minimum baggage.

It shouldn't cost more than I earn in a year.

Have a respectable number of completions already flying.

A build time of less than 1000 hrs (with extra points for being way less than 1000)

I hope that other builders will post their mission statements so that we can contrast and compare what we find important in the building process and in flying  characteristics

 

what planes meet your criteria, what are the top two or three?

Brian,

I am building a Sonex.  The plane meets my requirements and so does the man who designed it.  John Monnett has been designing and flying airplanes for 30 years, and has a long history of successful designs to behind him.

 



Bruce McKinnon
Homebuilder or Craftsman
3
Posts
0
#17 Posted: 2/24/2010 23:24:14

I spent a fair amount of time researching and thinking about what I really wanted to do with my plane.  Eventually I came up with the following:

  • Cross Country Capable.
  • 3 hours - 500 miles.  Neither my wife nor my bladder last more than 3hrs.
  • Two people side by side (I like flying with my wife) plus a couple of bags.
  • Stable comfortable flight characteristics.  I have no interest aerobatics.
  • Metal construction / Conventional aircraft engine.
  • Moderate construction and operation cost.
  • Lots of currently flying examples.

My final choice was an Vans RV-9a.

 

Bruce D. McKinnon