Where to start...

Discussion area for builders of Pietenpol aircraft, both beginners and experienced folks. Share ideas, ask questions and help build the Pietenpol community.
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Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 9:39 am

Where to start...

Post by Buzz » Wed Sep 04, 2019 11:32 am

I'm thinking about starting an Air Camper build. This would be my first build. I'm trying to figure out where to start... empennage , wing, fuselage. What I am trying to figure out is... what decisions need to be made before starting on a given part. For example...

Can I build the wing and empennage before deciding on which motor I will run?
How about fusalage? Would its construction change, or would it be build the same firewall back?

What resources would you recommend? Are there any books, websites, etc. That I should be paying attention to?

These questions have probably been asked a million times. Thanks for your patience!

- Buzz

Posts: 61
Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:08 pm

Re: Where to start...

Post by EAB4 » Wed Sep 04, 2019 2:28 pm


Probably the first step would be getting the plans- https://www.pietenpolaircraftcompany.com

The ribs are usually the first thing people tackle, easy project with relatively little cash to get started, and you don't need a huge space to work in.
you can definitely build the wings and tail while you decide which motor you want to go with, the fuselage also won't be affected by the motor choice
(provided you are going with an already proven airframe/motor combination)

- Chris Tracy's website has a ton of helpful pictures and info http://www.westcoastpiet.com

- AC 43.13 is the FAA book on acceptable methods. Lots of useful info- Its available in PDf and print.https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policie ... ntid/99861

-The Tony Bingelis books give a good overview of basic construction techniques (although by now some things are a little out of date) https://www.eaa.org/Shop/ProductCatalog ... opicID=941

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Location: Madisonville Louisiana

Re: Where to start...

Post by E.Woodson » Wed Nov 20, 2019 10:16 pm

I concur, I started about two years ago and have finished the ribs, all tail surfaces and am working on the center section of a three piece wing. I have two corvairs I've pulled apart for a motor. All of this done on a small workbench in a small shed (see Pic). Ribs first is a great way to test your patience and dedication to the build. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
Training is good, but it's no substitute for experience...
Colonel Rosa Kelbb

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Joined: Tue Jun 26, 2018 2:00 pm

Re: Where to start...

Post by ArthurD » Mon Nov 25, 2019 12:50 pm

Personally I found the ribs to be super monotonous and I might not have been as motivated to finish the project if those were the first thing I did. Having a big pile of ribs done is satisfying but if you start with the fuselage you can sit in it and make airplane noises.

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