For several years now, I have been interested in the idea of building my own airplane. About two years ago, I really started to get serious about making this a reality. (I started this site in October 2004)
The airplane I finally decide to build is called a STOL King. It can be purchased as a kit, or built from plans. Both were formerly available through Preceptor Aircraft Corporation. Please Note: "I have never had any affiliation with Preceptor Aircraft Corporation!"
The cool thing about this airplane is it's Short Take-Off and Landing (STOL) performance. The airplane will maintain level flight at full gross weight, with just 16 mph IAS. It will also take-off and land in 50 feet or less.
The STOL King is kind of a cross between a Fieseler Storch and Piper Super Cub. It has fixed leading-edge slats, aluminum wing ribs, and a steel tube fuselage with fabric covering. You can also choose between several engine choices up to 150 hp.
I have decided to build the airplane from plans. There are several reasons for this, but the biggest one is the challenge. So far, I have really enjoyed the process of learning, and practicing, the skills required to do this. I also believe that once completed, building from plans provides a greater sense of satisfaction.
The other nice thing about building from plans, is that you can "pay as you go". If at some point you realize you don't have the time, money, or patience to complete the project, you are only out what you have invested to that point.
While I'm eager to make progress, I'm not in a big hurry to finish the airplane so that I can have something to fly. I have a commercial pilot's certificate, and fly just enough to keep it fun as it is. This is a good thing, because what I've realized so far, is that this is going to take me a long time.
For the last couple of years, I have been in the mode of setting-up shop. I have spent countless hours shopping for tools, and trying to learn as much about the skills needed to make this whole thing possible. While I also have and A&P I/A certificate, the skills required to build an airplane from plans seems to be something of a lost art. Its been really interesting to learn about all the classic techniques required to build a tube and fabric airplane. Most of the people who grew-up in this era are becoming few and far between.
There are several great building web sites that have been a great help to me, and inspired me to create this one. I have also created a Yahoo Group to help other builder's with their projects. "STOL King Builders" This group should help us work together in an effort to complete our projects. Please feel free to check it out!
I'm really not very good at documenting anything, but this web site has kept me motivated to do so! Hopefully, not only will this site serve as a log of my progress toward an airworthiness certificate, it might also inspire others to pursue their dream of building as well.