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Building a Kit Plane – Part 8

by Patrick Borton

It’s time for me to fess up. I’ve now built an airplane and had my pilot’s license for about two years, but I’ve never been to Oshkosh until this year. The downtime between building and filling out paperwork as well as beginning phase one flight testing has allowed me to escape for a few days.

kitplane-1Some good news for the Zenith 750 project is that multiple sets of eyes have looked at it since the beginning. Suggestions and corrective actions were made before it was anywhere near the “ready-for-flight” stage. Zenith also has an excellent builder support forum where you can learn from others’ mistakes and prevent your own.

Accomplishments this month include the painting of the cowling, some taxi testing, and preparation for the FAA designated airworthiness rep inspection. Until phase one flight testing (the first 40 hours of flight) is completed, we don’t have a POH or AFM to refer to. V-speeds, handling characteristics, fuel burn, and operating procedures are all part of the test time. This is what I’m hoping to write about a month from now.

Back to Oshkosh… whether you’re there to take in the sights, network, check out the exhibitors and vendors, or just get away from home, it’s a worthwhile trip. The Zenith factory reps not only remembered me but had encouraging words for the first flight. When there are half a million people that all share the same interest in one place, you’re bound to strike up a few interesting conversations.

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