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Building A Pietenpol

Posted By:
Ken Weber
#1 Posted: 5/5/2010 22:25:40
Hey everyone,

I just finished my freshman year in college and about to go home for the summer, a long term goal of mine is to build a Pietenpol and I'm planning on getting started this summer.  I have the plans but I'm a little unsure of where to start.  I don't exactly have a lot of money either but I'm in this for the long haul (i.e. I understand how much effort this is going to take).  I guess my question is how to begin?

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks a bunch,


Michael Glasgow
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#2 Posted: 5/5/2010 23:05:46

There is a Matronics list of Pietenpol builders at:   There are some rules on the Matronics list, that are pretty much common sense and courtesy, like when you reply to a topic, please delete the other people's comments out of your comment box.   Also, if you make a comment that doesn't need to be archived forever, please put:  Do not archive   somewhere in your message.  Both of these things will cut down on clutter on the server.  Also, if you are going to make use of the list, please make some kind of donation to the guy who owns the list.  I haven't donated to him yet, but I haven't ordered plans yet, and probably won't be able to do so for a while.  The matronics list is not the Pietenpol family, but I haven't seen anyone on the list who is not loyal to the Pietenpol family.  Nice group of people.




Also check out:



If you do facebook,  check out:  http://www.facebook.com/#!/profile.php?id=1048252084 

If the facebook link doesn't get you John Recine's page, try searching for him on facebook.  If I look at John's build album photos very many more times, my wife will call the attorney, because I will have ordered plans, ordered wood from Spruce, and kicked her car totally out of the garage.
loopy  I think you may have to be a friend of John's to see his build photo album.

Have fun with your Piet project.  If you have bought plans, you now have a project.

Long flights, smooth air, and soft landings,
Gregory Cardinal
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#3 Posted: 5/6/2010 11:59:43

Hi Ken,


You have made an excellent choice!

The Pietenpol is not a difficult build but does take some perseverance. The plans leave a lot of room for "personal interpretation". You will be rewarded with an airplane that draws a crowd wherever you land.

Michael posted two links that are very good. The discussion group on the Matronics site is active, knowledgable and supportive. Get on-board and introduce yourself.

The westcoastpiet site has TONS of pictures and reference information.

Where are you located? There will most likely be another Pietenpol builder not too far from you.

Also, the annual Pietenpol gathering takes place the weekend prior to Oshkosh at Brodhead, WI (C37). It is laid back with lots of Pietenpols and info sharing. This year the gathering will be held July 23 - 25 with lots of people showing up early. Pitch a tent, relax, ask lots of questions and take lots of pictures.




Greg Cardinal

Pietenpol NX18235

Files Attachment(s):
PietLanding.JPG (45077 bytes)
Ed More
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
#4 Posted: 5/6/2010 21:46:26

Hello Ken,

The traditional start is to do the tail surfaces first on my Flybaby. I did that and found that the horizontal stabilizer roots did not match the fuselage contour and had to make some modifications to the control horn to make it work. I guess the answer is to start with what you can afford time and money wise but make sure that the sequence you follow allows check fits between parts before solidifying attachments of mating parts. Building space and storage needs to be advanced planned, i.e. I found the same Flybaby wings would not go out of my basement bulkhead so it got a set of small flaps in the process as well. Some lofting on cardbord panels can assess potential problems. I had friends that removed a portion of basement wall to get the project out of the house to the assembly area.   

EdM from NH

EdM from NH
Christopher Carlson
IAC MemberHomebuilder or Craftsman
#5 Posted: 5/6/2010 22:21:24

A Phone call to Terminex might be a good start...

Make sure you don't have any hungry Termities around lookin' for lunch...



                                                  Chris    shocked

Tom Mitchell
Homebuilder or Craftsman
#6 Posted: 5/6/2010 22:49:07

Is there a wing rib jib to make?  You could plan and draw up your panel, or figure out your paint scheme.  Gather info on the engine of choice, sources for tools, start collecting hardware and small parts, make work benches, learn a skill you will need, obtain useful books (i.e. Bingelis).  There are many things to do and learn before the actual start of building.


David Deweese
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
#7 Posted: 5/7/2010 07:12:12

Second on Tom's rib jig advice: that's the first thing I built. It won't require an investment in aircraft-grade materials, in fact you may have the requisite stuff laying around. 

Can't recall if the Piet has built-up ribs like the Double Eagle but if so you can go ahead and cut all your gussets. Material cost here is low, and you may not even need to buy tools. I used a utility knife, and later read of a guy cutting them with scissors.

Browse the plans, you'll see any number of small parts that qualify as cheap and simple projects, and by the time you return to school in the fall your plane will be underway. Keep us posted, and congratulations on getting started.


Ken Weber
#8 Posted: 5/7/2010 13:39:37

Thanks for all the info guys!  I think I'll go with starting the rib jig first then as that seems to be the general consensus.  I also checked out the matronics and westcoastpiet sites and from what I've seen so far they will be great resources to use.

Thanks for all the help, I'll keep you all posted on how it goes,


Michael Zenner
Homebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
#9 Posted: 5/12/2010 08:45:43


I had made a thread a while back about considering a Pietenpol project and made a thread. I recieved some responses there that might help you out. If you go to search threads and type in Pietenpol Project you should be able to find it under my name. Where are you going to college, I am currently a junior at UW-Eau Claire, building an RV-7a. Good luck and I hope you find my thread useful.


Michael Zenner