standoffs. He takes pride in making those
There is nothing more
individual parts and making each better
than the last one.
expensive than a project
that doesn’t get finished.
A kitbuilder normally doesn’t work at
the sub-component level. In a plansbuilt
design, however, even the tiniest welded
bushing that’s hidden in a crevice some-
where deep in the bowels of the fuselage
contains that builder’s DNA in the form of
the sweat he invested in it. To the plans-
builder, every single piece, no matter how
small, is a satisfying act of creation, and the
completion of each further validates why
he decided to go this route rather than a kit.
He’s not worried about when he’ll finish
because he’s traveling this road because he
enjoys the journey. Arrival at the destina-
tion is secondary and, more often than not,
leaves a hole in his life that leads to starting
So before going that route, look into
your soul and make sure you actually know
why you’re building the airplane. Are you
building because you like to build or
because you like/want to fly? Determine
how deep your creative urge runs. If it
doesn’t border on being an obsession,
buy a kit.
In the meantime, while most folks are
lining up to buy their kits, look for me over
here in the plansbuilt line: I’ll be the guy
who’s surrounded by a lot of unfinished
personal projects. Enough said?
Budd Davisson is an aeronautical engineer, has flown
more than 300 different types and 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 www.AirBum.com.