Pietenpol's DIY airplane: "a common man's airplane"

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20 Responses to “Pietenpol's DIY airplane: "a common man's airplane"”

  1. Moriarty says:

    By 1940, we’ll all be flying to work!

  2. cowtown says:

    And to think, my wife thought I was a little nuts when I said I wanted to build a homemade GUITAR!

  3. nixiebunny says:

    My stepfather built one of these in the 1970s. It was either that or get his degree in mechanical engineering. He regretted not getting the degree, but I think he got way more joy out of the airplane than anyone could get from a degree. His log books list hundreds of passengers.

    He died a couple years back, and his plane was bought by a guy who will give you a ride in it. It’s in Willcox, AZ.

    Here’s the plane:
    http://www.nixiebunny.com/pietenpol/

  4. maxoid says:

    kind of like a fischer classic kit-biplane, i suppose, but cheaper. similar aesthetic, anyway…in fact, i like it a little more.

    personally, i’d like the plans to build my own transavia pl-12 airtruk, the nerdiest of all small aircraft.

  5. Chas44 says:

    Each fall in southern Wisconsin, the Pietenpol folks have a fly-in, and it’s quite a sight to see a field full of them. The Piet is “basic flying” at its best.

  6. efergus3 says:

    The PL12. Ahh, Mad Max. Love the looks.

  7. Anonymous says:

    rebdav: If paying ~$100 or so for plans is an impediment, you really shouldn’t be thinking about building a plane.

  8. douchesniper says:

    I think you mean “partially built” for less than $2000. He isn’t very far along.

  9. Roy Trumbull says:

    Then there’s the $7000 or more of radio and navigation gear. On weekends there’s little diff between a metro general aviation field and a bee hive.

  10. George William Herbert says:

    Perusing Aircraft Spruce’s avionics page ( http://www.aircraftspruce.com/menus/av/index.html ) I find:

    Cheapest ELT about $800
    Cheapest COM about $1050 (though a lot of cheaper Ham Radio handhelds can be programmed to work on aviation frequencies and are used by many pilots)
    Cheapest Transponder is around $1750

    You could probably work it all in for $3k. Used equipment? Probably half that.

  11. Anonymous says:

    For the most part, if you’re willing to stay in Class G airspace, you don’t need any radios at all (the major exception is when you’re within 30 nautical miles of the center of a Class B–generally major commercial airports like O’Hare and LAX–in which case you only need the transponder). Add a COM and you’re good to go for anything below 18,000ft.

    In aviation, everything gets about 5x more expensive when you put it in the panel: iCom and Sporty’s both sell handheld NAV/COMs for around $300. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to had a Garmin 196, or similar.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Oops, I meant “Add a COM to the transponder…” You certainly can’t go everywhere below 18k with just the COM.

  13. rebdav says:

    Does anyone know of decent plans for free on the net? Since my teens I have dreamed of the used air-cooled VW motor, pine and plywood DIY airplane.

  14. coda6 says:

    There are still DIY airplanes out there,

    Kitfox is a good example: http://www.kitfoxaircraft.com/

  15. BikerRay says:

    Our local EAA club built one a number of years back. I got a ride in it once to take some pictures of our property…
    http://picasaweb.google.com/westcarleton/Property#5214321858230000290
    Nice plane, and fun being in an open cockpit.

  16. Anonymous says:

    The Pl-12 is a wonderfuly ugly/cute antipodean sesquiplane, but not, I think, particularly suited to homebuilding.

  17. thequickbrownfox says:

    Larry Linville (Frank Burns in MASH) designed, built and flew his own plane.

    But he did study aeronautical engineering.

  18. Anonymous says:

    –And of course, my local airport is CGS (College Park, MD) so skimping on radios is NOT an option ’round here.

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