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Home Built 51% Rule Under the Gun



 
 
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  #1  
Old September 16th 06, 03:19 PM posted to rec.aviation.homebuilt
Stache
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Posts: 34
Default Home Built 51% Rule Under the Gun

Committee To Review 51% Rule
Government, Industry Partnership To Review Amateur-Builder Statutes

The FAA is concerned that some builders-for-hire and commercial
"builder's assistance" providers are doing more that the FARs permit
when it comes to amateur-built aircraft.

On September 6th, the FAA convened the first meeting of the
Amateur-Built Aviation Rulemaking Committee, comprised of 17
representatives of government, general-aviation groups, and aircraft
kit manufacturers. EAA holds a key leadership position on this
committee with one interest in mind: preserving the rights of amateur
builders.

In a release, EAA vice president of industry and regulatory affairs,
and Co-Chair of the committee, Earl Lawrence said, "With this much
FAA scrutiny, our members' rights to build and fly their own aircraft
are at risk. Those individuals and vendors who circumvent the letter
and intent of the experimental rules are putting all amateur-building
enthusiasts' privileges in jeopardy."

Lawrence shares the committee's leadership with FAA Manager Frank
Paskiewicz and Van's Aircraft CEO Richard VanGrunsven.

"Our participation and leadership on this committee provides an
effective avenue for protecting the rights of our EAA-member builders,
craftsmen, kit-assemblers, and restorers," Lawrence said.

During the meeting, the group refined its mission, distilling its broad
purpose of examining the letter and intent of federal rules governing
the amateur building of aircraft into several objectives:

Investigate the effects of builder or commercial assistance on
compliance with the "51% Rule," the stipulation that an individual
must perform the majority of the construction tasks in building an
experimental airplane

More precisely define the elements of the 51% Rule to ensure more
uniform application and adherence across the industry

Explore opportunities for creating new amateur-building regulations,
directives, advisory materials, and implementation strategies that
would advance the represented groups' mutual interests

Document findings and present them to the appropriate policy-making
authorities.

The group broadly agreed on its interest to preserve the original
language and intent of the amateur-building regulations. There was also
consensus that builder or commercial assistance should remain an option
for those attempting to build their own airplanes.

The group will focus on builder or commercial assistance providers who
circumvent the intent of current regulations by performing the majority
of the construction tasks on behalf of their customer.

"In the meantime," Lawrence said, "we are counting on the
amateur-building community to practice good peer-review and
self-policing techniques. Cutting corners on the 51% rule is a
disservice to the educational and recreational function for which the
aircraft-building experience is intended.

The Committee will meet next in November in Washington, D.C.

  #2  
Old September 16th 06, 10:44 PM posted to rec.aviation.homebuilt
Kyle Boatright
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Posts: 578
Default Home Built 51% Rule Under the Gun


"Stache" wrote in message
ups.com...
Committee To Review 51% Rule
Government, Industry Partnership To Review Amateur-Builder Statutes

The FAA is concerned that some builders-for-hire and commercial
"builder's assistance" providers are doing more that the FARs permit
when it comes to amateur-built aircraft.


snip

The Committee will meet next in November in Washington, D.C.


I'd say the 51% rule is in no danger. People who set up professional build
shops, and their customers are the ones who will suffer. Rightly so, IMO.

KB


  #3  
Old September 18th 06, 02:41 AM posted to rec.aviation.homebuilt
Roger (K8RI)
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Posts: 727
Default Home Built 51% Rule Under the Gun

On Sat, 16 Sep 2006 17:44:15 -0400, "Kyle Boatright"
wrote:


"Stache" wrote in message
oups.com...
Committee To Review 51% Rule
Government, Industry Partnership To Review Amateur-Builder Statutes

The FAA is concerned that some builders-for-hire and commercial
"builder's assistance" providers are doing more that the FARs permit
when it comes to amateur-built aircraft.


According to the FAA they can do a lot. So those abusing the system
are apparently constructing major portions of the project without the
builder being involved.



snip

The Committee will meet next in November in Washington, D.C.


I'd say the 51% rule is in no danger. People who set up professional build
shops, and their customers are the ones who will suffer. Rightly so, IMO.


The FAA clarified the rule earlier this year by saying: When they say
51% they do not mean the builder actually does 51% of the labor, but
(and they clarified that by saying. If the builder does one aileron
then they know how to do an aileron and some one else may build the
other.) The basic tenant was the builder learn and do the building
requirements. OTOH it's difficult to build half a stabilizer on many
planes like the G-III where the horizontal stab is one piece when
finished. OTOH in the jump start kit the ribs are already bonded to
the top shell (bottom as jigged) and the stab is about ready to close.
For the first time builder of that plane it saves a lot of hours.

Even the builder's centers can legally do well more than half the
physical labor IF the purchaser does over half the items. I'm trying
to find a better way to phrase that, but it gets back to multiples of
the same item. If the builder does one of ten identical items they
said that met the learning intent. IE you don't learn much more by
building 10 of something than you do building one. Most of the
learning comes with the first. I'm trying to remember but I believe
they also said it's OK to use the existing/factory fixtures in which
to construct the parts. I've probably spend at least as much time
building fixtures and I have on the airplane.

At any rate the problem comes from those centers that go ahead and put
the structural members together without the actual builder/owner being
involved. Such as that aileron. The center can have an employee work
with the builder showing him/her how to do the work and the builder
does that one aileron. The center can then go ahead and to the other
one. It gets sticky when we start talking control surfaces instead of
ailerons, flaps, elevator, and rudder if they have different processes
in building them. If I build one aileron and the builder's center
constructed the other I'd probably end up with an asymmetrical set of
ailerons that would require some strange rigging to get it to fly
straight. :-)) OTOH I may end up with that situation with me
constructing both.

Most of the quick build kits sort of follow this route, but supposedly
with a margin for the builder, built in and most of the jump start, or
fast build kits have been checked out and OK 'd by the FAA.

I could legally hire some one to put my G-III together working in my
shop and doing it under my direct supervision (IF I could afford it,
which I can't so we don't need to go there)

When it comes to closing things like the horizontal stab, elevators,
and wing, I will have, and have had at least two others helping. By
the time one person finished putting in all the resin/mill fiber mix
so they could close, the first part would have already set up. It has
to get really cold in there to have much more than 20 minutes to gel
time. If it's near 70 F I only have about 15 minutes. Knock five
minutes of each for available working time. More than once I've gone
to add a bit of resin to a spot only to find a big gob of snot hanging
on the brush. Twice I've come up with the mixing pot firmly attached
to the brush.

So when my helpers arrive we go through the steps of what has to be
done and how to do each step. Then we go to the resin mixing. I
determine how much each person will mix and usually measure out the
resin and catalyst. I show them the mixing procedure, I have the
necessary mill fiber for each in a cup, the Cabosil in another plastic
cup, and the last thing before starting is to fill three syringes to
the proper level with catalyst.Then we work in unison. Add the
catalyst, stir 30 seconds following my procedure, add a measured
amount of mill fiber, stir in, add some Cabosil, stir in, add more
mill fiber to the proper consistency and stir. If need be we add more
cabosil, but each batch gets the same amount of everything. We also
work from the same can of resin and the same bottle of catalyst. I
have good quality masks with activated charcoal filters for each
helper as the fumes from catalyzed Vinyl Ester Resin are not at all
good for you even if they do smell good. OTOH if the day is right with
the temperature about 65 to 68 with a light to medium breeze I'll open
the big doors and we may work without the masks

If need be I do a small sacrificial batch before we start so any one
who has not worked with the stuff knows what to expect. Even then I
try to build something out of that sacrificial batch and work until it
starts to gel.

The builders center can do the same thing, but they can show the
builder the best method for mixing as well as the best mix and
procedure. What took me many hours to develop they can impart to the
builder in a few minutes. They and the builder may then work together
constructing that part. This approach saves many hours. They also
know many short cuts to save time that the builder might stumble on if
they were lucky. That and they can work FAST!

Doing this can leave a fine line between what can and can not be done,
but "I think" the shops giving problems are going far beyond the line
leaving little doubt.


KB

Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
(N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
www.rogerhalstead.com
  #4  
Old September 18th 06, 03:34 AM posted to rec.aviation.homebuilt
Jim Carriere
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Posts: 57
Default Home Built 51% Rule Under the Gun

Roger (K8RI) wrote:
The FAA clarified the rule earlier this year by saying: When they say
51% they do not mean the builder actually does 51% of the labor, but
(and they clarified that by saying. If the builder does one aileron
then they know how to do an aileron and some one else may build the


Unless it's changed (nice disclaimer, right?), there is a list of tasks,
FAA Form 8000-38. In the case of ailerons, there are actually 12 tasks.
About half of those are fabricate various components. The other half
are install or assemble those components. Of course, as you describe, a
builder gets full credit for performing each task just once.

The list is 154 tasks long (I counted). Several of the tasks described
probably don't apply to most aircraft (things like canards and rotor
systems jump off the page as obvious examples), so I guess the builder
is left with fewer than 154 tasks, and has to have completed 51% of those.

There tasks also vary widely in difficulty. "Install seats" is equal
credit to "fabricate propeller."

By the way, nice and realistic description of construction.
  #5  
Old September 19th 06, 06:06 PM posted to rec.aviation.homebuilt
Bob Kuykendall
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Posts: 1,345
Default Home Built 51% Rule Under the Gun

Earlier, Jim Carriere wrote:
...there is a list of tasks, FAA Form 8000-38. In the
case of ailerons, there are actually 12 tasks. About
half of those are fabricate various components. The
other half are install or assemble those components...


I've seen copies of a couple of 8000-38s. There are extra spaces on the
form where you can add tasks to the lists. And, I've seen where
builders have struck out a few of the listed tasks and written in "N/A"
for "Not Applicable."

Judicious application of these two practices (and reasonable
justification for them), combined with careful naming of the kit parts
by the manufacturer, can be used to demonstrate "51%" compliance on the
8000-38.

Bob K.

  #6  
Old September 20th 06, 03:51 AM posted to rec.aviation.homebuilt
Jim Carriere
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Posts: 57
Default Home Built 51% Rule Under the Gun

The thought has crossed my mind, whether one is permitted check off the
same task more than once after repeated unsuccessful attempts at
builder-fabricated parts (aka "education and recreation"). Of course,
this happened late at night and while feeling frustrated.

I'm gonna bet the answer is "no."
  #7  
Old September 21st 06, 06:02 PM posted to rec.aviation.homebuilt
Bret Ludwig
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Posts: 138
Default Home Built 51% Rule Under the Gun


Roger (K8RI) wrote:
On Sat, 16 Sep 2006 17:44:15 -0400, "Kyle Boatright"
wrote:


"Stache" wrote in message
oups.com...
Committee To Review 51% Rule
Government, Industry Partnership To Review Amateur-Builder Statutes

The FAA is concerned that some builders-for-hire and commercial
"builder's assistance" providers are doing more that the FARs permit
when it comes to amateur-built aircraft.


According to the FAA they can do a lot. So those abusing the system
are apparently constructing major portions of the project without the
builder being involved.



snip

The Committee will meet next in November in Washington, D.C.


I'd say the 51% rule is in no danger. People who set up professional build
shops, and their customers are the ones who will suffer. Rightly so, IMO.


The FAA clarified the rule earlier this year by saying: When they say
51% they do not mean the builder actually does 51% of the labor, but
(and they clarified that by saying. If the builder does one aileron
then they know how to do an aileron and some one else may build the
other.) The basic tenant was the builder learn and do the building
requirements. OTOH it's difficult to build half a stabilizer on many
planes like the G-III where the horizontal stab is one piece when
finished. OTOH in the jump start kit the ribs are already bonded to
the top shell (bottom as jigged) and the stab is about ready to close.
For the first time builder of that plane it saves a lot of hours.



IMO the regulation needs to say that the amateur builder needs to
accomplish 51% of the total build hours and do a representative example
of each of the tasks required to go from raw material to airplane. He
may work "under the supervision of" an A&P or other professional but he
has to do it with his own physical involvement. An amateur builder
being someone who does not work as an aircraft mechanic or production
worker. They should be allowed to build an Experimental Amateur Built
for their own use but serious restrictions on how many they build, how
much they must fly it and how long they have to keep it should be
enacted to stop the hired guns cold. And the Builder Centers should be
very limited in how much of the work can be done there.

Type Certification is either good or it is bad. If it is good, and I
think it is, what we are seeing in experimental amateur built aviation
is largely a dodge around type certification. If it is bad, the EAA and
AOPA should at least have the balls to say that is their belief, either
on functional or libertarian grounds. I say we put the kibosh on this
subversion of rules that are for the benefit of everyone.

Two more things, since you love my opinions so much, one, time spent
homebuilding needs to be explicitly allowed to be applied to A&P
certification if it is done "under the supervision of", and two, the
certified engine provisions wiith regard to shorter test times need to
apply strictly to powerplants operated and maintained as certificated
engines, with the same recordkeeping and signoff requirements as those
in type certificated aircraft. That way a certified aircraft owner can
buy a homebuilt and if it is a certified engine pull its engine off and
put it on his certified aircraft. This is now "sometimes" possible
"depending on" how the locals interpret things, meaning aircraft
dealers won't look at an engine that has been on a homebuilt. My
purpose of course is to drive up costs of certified engines on used
homebuilts....

  #8  
Old September 21st 06, 08:09 PM posted to rec.aviation.homebuilt
Ernest Christley
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 199
Default Home Built 51% Rule Under the Gun

Bret Ludwig wrote:

IMO the regulation needs to say that the amateur builder needs to
accomplish 51% of the total build hours and do a representative example
of each of the tasks required to go from raw material to airplane.


First, define 'raw material'. Do I have to head out to the north-west
to hunt down a spruce tree or two, and then do a little mining to get
some iron ore? Will the neighbors in Jacksonville, Fl object to the
aluminum smelter in the backyard?

Second, build time will mean nothing in this context. If I stare at an
aluminum wing rib for 3 hours with a beer in each had trying to figure
out which way is up, how many build hours have I invested? Who's
counting, and do we really want another list of rules to specify
"certifiable build time"?

He
may work "under the supervision of" an A&P or other professional but he
has to do it with his own physical involvement. An amateur builder
being someone who does not work as an aircraft mechanic or production
worker.


So aircraft mechanics and production workers will no longer be allowed
to build their own aircraft? That's an awfully severe restriction on
the liberties of these people.

They should be allowed to build an Experimental Amateur Built
for their own use but serious restrictions on how many they build, how
much they must fly it and how long they have to keep it should be
enacted to stop the hired guns cold. And the Builder Centers should be
very limited in how much of the work can be done there.


What if the project is never completed by the person who starts it?
What if the starter dies, loses his medical or just finds that he hates
sheet metal/epoxy/sawdust/MEK/etc? What if I get cancer from the MEK
and need to sell the airplane to pay the doctor? Why are builder
centers bad? Is it safer to bend a rib on the centers jig in 2 minutes
or to cobble together my own jig in several days that takes an hour to
bend one...only to throw the jig away and have all the other builder's
duplicating the same inefficiency?

Type Certification is either good or it is bad. If it is good, and I
think it is, what we are seeing in experimental amateur built aviation
is largely a dodge around type certification.


Type Certification is bad because it was implemented with no more
foresight that what you have shown. Laws have to exist in the real
world just like the airplanes we build. The idea that a mechanical
system can be completely specified and then have holy water sprinkled on
it and declared safe from a bevy of bureaucrats is fundamentally flawed.
Washington will never do it, because it entails voluntarily
relinquishing power (bureaucrats don't do that), but the FAA and FDA
both need to back the hell up, assume the role of an advisory
organization, and quit trying to act as if they can guarantee 100%
safety through their "certification". They don't and never will know
everything any more than I will.

The law should be that an airplane be allowed to post a placard that
says, "This aircraft complies with FAA standards for safety." or some
such wordy mumbo-jumbo that the bureaucrats choose, IF and ONLY IF the
producer of the aircraft chooses to pursue the compliance. Everyone else
must carry a placard stating that the airplane does not comply with the
regulations. Does not vs may not, because not choosing to pursue the
compliance will in itself be a non-compliance. People who buy
airplanes, in conjunction with their insurance companies, can decide for
themselves if they give a flip about FAR compliance. Airplanes would
have to be insured in order to work for hire, just like the rest of the
transportation industry. The insurance company will take care of
verifying for hire aircraft safety, just like they do in the rest of the
transportation industry.

Same with the FDA. I should be allowed to hand money to any quack I
choose to pull a splinter, but you can bet your bottom I'll be searching
for a real reliable certification before someone comes at me with a
knife. Difference is, I get to choose. Problem is, people don't want
choice. They want to be coddled, so this foolishness will continue.
  #9  
Old September 22nd 06, 02:03 AM posted to rec.aviation.homebuilt
Roger (K8RI)
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 727
Default Home Built 51% Rule Under the Gun

On 21 Sep 2006 10:02:35 -0700, "Bret Ludwig"
wrote:


Roger (K8RI) wrote:
On Sat, 16 Sep 2006 17:44:15 -0400, "Kyle Boatright"
wrote:


"Stache" wrote in message
oups.com...
Committee To Review 51% Rule
Government, Industry Partnership To Review Amateur-Builder Statutes

The FAA is concerned that some builders-for-hire and commercial
"builder's assistance" providers are doing more that the FARs permit
when it comes to amateur-built aircraft.


According to the FAA they can do a lot. So those abusing the system
are apparently constructing major portions of the project without the
builder being involved.



snip

The Committee will meet next in November in Washington, D.C.


I'd say the 51% rule is in no danger. People who set up professional build
shops, and their customers are the ones who will suffer. Rightly so, IMO.


The FAA clarified the rule earlier this year by saying: When they say
51% they do not mean the builder actually does 51% of the labor, but
(and they clarified that by saying. If the builder does one aileron
then they know how to do an aileron and some one else may build the
other.) The basic tenant was the builder learn and do the building
requirements. OTOH it's difficult to build half a stabilizer on many
planes like the G-III where the horizontal stab is one piece when
finished. OTOH in the jump start kit the ribs are already bonded to
the top shell (bottom as jigged) and the stab is about ready to close.
For the first time builder of that plane it saves a lot of hours.



IMO the regulation needs to say that the amateur builder needs to
accomplish 51% of the total build hours and do a representative example


And how are you going to determine total build hours? For that
specific example, or for that particular make and model? Make and
model wise the hours vary more than 2:1 from one plane to another.
Some people put more hours into the paint job than some of us will put
into the whole airplane including paint.

I think the current FAA task list works well. You can get any one be
they pro, AI or the guy down the street to help you on the
"representative sample". You could hire the rest done but it's a
relatively small number that could afford to do so and fewer still
that avail them selves of the service. The factory build centers keep
the new owner involved. They really cut down on the hours required by
working with the builder by using factory jigs and fixtures and
showing them the fastest and easiest way to do things. OTOH the
plane rolls out the door in the 90% done, 90% to go state.

of each of the tasks required to go from raw material to airplane. He


You really only need to do one from raw material to finished state.
You have learned how it's done and that is supposed to be the goal.
The original G-III (which is one of the most labor intensive kits on
the market) really puts you through the mill on this one. For the
control surface ribs there are only these statements. Locate the rib
here, use 1/4" or maybe 1/2" foam of a given weight, seal the sides
with a thin microsphere mix, lay-up two layers of BID on each side
over lapping onto the control surface and shear web by about one inch
(after bonding said sealed foam in place.). There is nothing telling
you what dimensions, or how to get the proper shape.

I'd dearly love to have one of those "jump start kits" and for the
proper price I'd get one it took me nearly 1000 hours of work just to
get as far as I would have been taking the jump start kit out of the
crate.

When it comes to the wing the main wing spar is already bonded in
place For the rear spar they tell you to cut the following pieces of
1/2" foam and give the dimensions. You are expected to figure how to
fit them together, then fit, sand,seal, and build up the sides with
BID. The spar caps are already molded into the wing surface.
They give some round about ways of building the wing fixture. I took
some short cuts that made sense and then called the factory to verify
it was OK. The comment was, "that's the way we do it here".


may work "under the supervision of" an A&P or other professional but he
has to do it with his own physical involvement. An amateur builder


I
being someone who does not work as an aircraft mechanic or production
worker. They should be allowed to build an Experimental Amateur Built
for their own use but serious restrictions on how many they build, how
much they must fly it and how long they have to keep it should be
enacted to stop the hired guns cold. And the Builder Centers should be


This would be a bit too restrictive as far as I'm concerned. I know of
several builders who discovered once the plane was finished they did
not like the characteristics. Sure they flew representative models
before starting, but after years of building it's easy to find your
results a too fast, too slow, too big, too small, wouldn't do
aerobatics, not enough range, time they finished the hot rod they no
longer had the ability to fly something that hot... The list could go
on and on

very limited in how much of the work can be done there.


The goal for the builder is clearly stated. They have to do so many
specific representative tasks. They either do them and the plane
meets the amateur build category, or they don't and it doesn't.

All of the required elements to meet the intent of the so called 51%
rule are already in place. The only thing not in place is some form
of policing of the policy.


Type Certification is either good or it is bad. If it is good, and I
think it is, what we are seeing in experimental amateur built aviation
is largely a dodge around type certification. If it is bad, the EAA and


People build because they like to build and/or they build because they
can not get what they want in a certified plane. I fall into the and
category as I like to build things and I could not come any where near
the performance in a certificated aircraft. Even were one available I
couldn't afford it. To me every home build is an end run around
certification, but that may be due to the way I view the definition.

If I build because I like to build and I can not build a certificated
(the word is not certified) airplane then that is an end run. If I
build to save money as I can build far cheaper than purchasing (IF I
only count my time at about 25 cents per hour)

AOPA should at least have the balls to say that is their belief, either
on functional or libertarian grounds. I say we put the kibosh on this
subversion of rules that are for the benefit of everyone.


There is no need to change anything as the rules are already quite
clear. They only need to put a checks and balance system in place to
make sure all adhere to it. Under the 51% rule, but builders centers
can offer a real service to those who can afford it without
circumventing either the intent or letter of the rule and to me that
is a good thing even if I can't afford it.


Two more things, since you love my opinions so much, one, time spent
homebuilding needs to be explicitly allowed to be applied to A&P
certification if it is done "under the supervision of", and two, the
certified engine provisions wiith regard to shorter test times need to
apply strictly to powerplants operated and maintained as certificated
engines, with the same recordkeeping and signoff requirements as those
in type certificated aircraft. That way a certified aircraft owner can
buy a homebuilt and if it is a certified engine pull its engine off and


There is nothing wrong with that if the engine is truely certified. IE
they can produce all the records to show it was properly maintained
AND it has a data plate. Isn't the data plate supposed to be removed
from a non certified engine?

put it on his certified aircraft. This is now "sometimes" possible
"depending on" how the locals interpret things, meaning aircraft
dealers won't look at an engine that has been on a homebuilt. My


Technically if the engine records are there and the engine still has
the data plate there should be no problem and no reason not to move
the engine to a certificated aircraft that takes that particular make
and model engine..
I purchased a run out K1A5 IO-540 and plan to have it rebuilt by a
custom shop which will leave it certified.

purpose of course is to drive up costs of certified engines on used
homebuilts....


Why? I think they are a good thing and it saves me hours in the
required fly-off time. Besides, that is the engine my G-III was
designed around.

The point is that every thing required is already in the rules.
Nothing there needs to be changed. They only need to keep the
builders centers honest and even then there only a few are problems.

Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
(N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
www.rogerhalstead.com
  #10  
Old September 22nd 06, 02:39 AM posted to rec.aviation.homebuilt
Roger (K8RI)
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 727
Default Home Built 51% Rule Under the Gun

There is some logic missing from this 51% argument.

Aircraft in the Amateur built category have a number of limitations.
As they are not certified they can only be used for personal use and
except for a few are not worth as much monetarily as the equivalent
certificated aircraft (if there is one)

Even if a person had a builders center build the entire thing, it
still would have to operate under the same rules. Amateur built. Any
one of us can purchase a used G-III, or Vans RV. The only thing is we
do not qualify for the repairman's certificate. How does that differ
from having a builders center do all the work?

Agreed having the builders center do all of the work would not satisfy
the educational aspect of the current rules, but neither does
purchasing a used one. Me? I'd be afraid of a used G-III I could
afford.

BTW building fixtures was mentioned. I'd guess I have close to as
much time in building good fixtures as I do in the actual building
process and with the price of steel those fixtures are getting
expensive. When I'm done they most likely will get pitched into the
scrap pile. That is a lot of 1" square tubing that varies from 12 Ga
to 1/4" wall.

I'd guess I have a good $500 into the wing fixture alone, probably
more. That sucker is big! It has to be as the wing is one piece tip to
tip. The top is made of true 2 X 6 milled lumber laminated with 3/4"
birch plywood and bolted to a steel tube frame top that is welded to a
heavy bottom steel frame with 10 casters and 10 3/4" leveling bolts.
The contoured portion to fit the wing is 3/4" birch plywood while the
trailing edge clamps are a good 40 feet of milled 1 X 2s. If I need
to move the wing, I loosen the locking nuts and give each leveling
bolt one turn "up", kick the caster locks and roll the whole works
out. When finished with what caused the need for that area, I roll
the fixture back in so the leveling bolts line up with the proper
marks on the floor, give then one turn CW and tighten the locking
nuts. Speaking of clamps I have almost a dozen of the squeeze clamps
(sorta like a ratchet) that will open to about 18" and another dozen
of the spring clamps that look sorta like a giant clothes pin except
they'll pinch a whole lot harder. Again more money for things the
builders center would have.

Again this is where the builders center would excel. They have the
fixtures and clamps that can be reused so the wing can be closed and
installed on the airplane in a small fraction of the time I can do it
and they still meet both the letter and intent of the 51% rule. The
same is true of the horizontal stab and elevators. They know just how
thick that stab should be when the shear web is bonded in. This will
save many hours of fitting the elevators to the stab and you can be
sure the left and right sides will match.

As far as I can see a *good* builders center operating with in the
letter and intent of the 51% rule could teach me more in one week than
I can learn on my own stumbling around for a year or two. I'd learn
more and get things done faster. Unfortunately as I have said before,
being retired and on a budget that is not an option.

Roger Halstead (K8RI & ARRL life member)
(N833R, S# CD-2 Worlds oldest Debonair)
www.rogerhalstead.com
 




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