When evaluating a project pay close attention to the craftsmanship inside and out. Recognize
that some work like riveting and welding can’t be improved upon.
of gas and the rental of a truck large enough to carry the
components, we have to consider hotels and meals as well as
possibly having to take time off work. Local aircraft should be
FORMAL PROJECT EVALUATION SPREADSHEET
Go to www.SportAviation.org for an Excel spreadsheet designed specifically for evaluating a project. There are brief instructions at the
top, but basically, you can change any of the blue numbers and it will
automatically update the totals at the bottom. Also, each section has
a number of “miscellaneous” line items that can be changed to
match the project in question.
For every homebuilt flying, there are at least a half-dozen projects sitting in the back of someone’s hangar ignored or listed for sale
in Trade-A-Plane, on Barnstormers.com, or on the local airport bulletin board. Start looking, but do so with a plan in mind, your
enthusiasm in check, and your logic at 100 percent.
Budd Davisson is an aeronautical engineer, has flown 300 different types,
and has published four books and more than 4,000 articles. He is editor-in-chief of Flight
Journal magazine and a flight instructor primarily in Pitts/tailwheel aircraft. Visit him on