1. Welcome to Recreational Flying, the Home of Recreational and GA Pilots, Aircraft and Aviation. Please register, it's FREE to use ALL our great features. Hi

Be Wary of Plans from Popular Magazines

Discussion in 'Aircraft Building and Design Discussion' started by old man emu, Jul 2, 2011.

  1. old man emu

    old man emu Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2007
    Messages:
    1,271
    Likes:
    545
    Some of us like to build Pietenpols, and some Gere Sport Biplanes. One poor fool even gave thought to building a Powell PH Racer. The plans for these airplanes were first published between 1929 and 1933 in pulp publication called Flying and Glider Manual.

    In the 1950s and again in 1990, the Experimental Aircraft Association published these plans in a series of booklets (which are still available from the EAA bookshop). The reason for the EAA publishing the plans was one of historical interest and research. However, some people decided to use them to build a plane from scratch.

    But beware! The plans contain both drawing and design errors that have the potential to make a "sweet little ship" into a Coroner's guerney. When first published by the EAA, the Founder of the Association, Paul Poberezney cautioned, "These old designs in many cases lack the technical progress made between the 1930s and today."

    The June 2011 issue of the EAA magazine, Vintage Airplane, reprints an article from the September 1991 EAA Experimenter that provides illustrations of incorrect drawings and poor structural design that appeared in these plans.

    While the 2011 article does not advise anyone to walk away from these old plans, it does strongly recommend that before you follow the plans blindly, you have a good long talk to someone who has a lot of experience in airplane design, building and repair. You should also consider modifying the build to replace archaic design with modern design.

    Will replacing the old with the new detract from the end result? That's highly unlikely as any such changes will usually be hidden under coverings and cowls, or be accepted as a better idea (eg using a six cylinder, air-cooled Corvair engine instead of a water-cooled four cylinder Ford A Model engine). I'm even considering using the bungee-sprung floating axle undercarriage from the Powell Racer instead of relying on the bounce of the tyres in the original Gere design.

    So, if the mood takes you to produce your dream machine from the plans found in a musty old publication, go ahead and give it a go, BUT have a really experienced aircraft engineer go over the plans with you to identify any unsuitable designs.

    Old Man Emu
    • Like Like x 2
  2. eightyknots

    eightyknots 1st Class Member: $50/year to support the site First Class Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    2,681
    Likes:
    673
    African home-built motorbike.jpg

    Good advice OME.

    Here is a picture of an African home-built motorbike (I'm not sure from which publication they got the plans from). :blink:
    • Like Like x 1
  3. rgmwa

    rgmwa First Class Member First Class Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2009
    Messages:
    1,031
    Likes:
    576
    I believe this was the original prototype for the more advanced African model.
    [​IMG]
    rgmwa
  4. Guernsey

    Guernsey Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2009
    Messages:
    2,248
    Likes:
    1,003
    You don't fool me....I know when I see a copy of a Harley.:ban me please:
    Alan.
  5. Piet Fil

    Piet Fil Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2010
    Messages:
    319
    Media:
    47
    Albums:
    1
    Likes:
    203
    Agree totally, with what OME says,

    but if you, (like me), love that old Pietenpol style aircraft. A set of plans is available from Mr Jim Wills in the UK which have been engineered originally to the 1987 british BCARs requirements and the last drawing revision (Rev C) is dated 1992.

    So you can have that classic aircraft with the benefit of adherance to a set of airworthiness standards. :plane:

    Phil

Share This Page