The cost of flying has gone up over the last few decades, and with disease and other safety measures being concerns at big airports, there’s even more demand for alternative forms of air travel. Purchasing a personal plane from a factory is still very expensive, not to mention the potential issues that arise from buying a used aircraft and the pre-buy inspections.
Thankfully, there is one other option that would-be airplane owners can pursue – that is, you can build your own using experimental aircraft materials. However, before you start down this path it’s important to consider all the factors that go into building an airplane and if it’s the right course of action for you. In light of that, here are some of the top things to consider when looking to build your own airplane.
While the idea of building an airplane is fun, exciting and imaginative, the actual process can be much more solitary, demanding and repetitive. In order to decide if building a plane is right for you, it’s important to see how your personality may fit into the long hours required to build it. Many plane builders have talked about the solidarity and loneliness that can come form building a plane if you’re a more social person. Also, be prepared to run into mishaps and mistakes that are not for the faint of heart. If you have a hard time bouncing back emotionally from setbacks, then this might not be the right path for you. If you have the gumption, resolve and determination to get through those things then you’re on the right track.
Thankfully, you don’t need a huge warehouse or hangar in order to build a plane from home. While there are some larger parts, like the wings and propellers, as long as you have a garage, basement, or shed to work in you should be fine to begin the project. As long as your space is comfortable and convenient to be in, you’ve picked wisely. Since you’ll be spending many hours in that space working, you’ll want to make sure it’s somewhere that you enjoy being.
Lastly, there is definitely a time commitment involved when building an airplane from home. Some builders enjoy the build so much that it becomes a hobby and they may spend a decade working on the plane. Others, who are motivated to get it done quicker may do it in a year. Most home-plane builders can complete a plane in about 2-4 years working on it 15-20 hours a week.