My adventure began with the first kit, February 6, 2009.
I worked on it when it was fun, and when I wasn't too busy with work.
The completed bird...
The tail art reflects my job, teaching genetics and studying the evolution of fishes, at the University of Maryland.
My favorite mod is the alternate air door (thanks Dan Langhout!), although the 'screwless' spinner is also pretty slick.
The FAA's representative thought it might fly...
Made the first flight today!
To my family, for allowing me to pursue this dream, and for enduring the chaos of an airplane factory in the basement.
To the EAA, especially the SportAir workshops, that introduced me to riveting, fiberglass and wiring.
To everyone in the VAF community, who answered my questions, posted photos of their techniques, and shared flying adventures that kept the dream alive while I pounded 17,000 rivets.
To SteinAir, who cheerfully recut my panel when I discovered interference of radio components with the cowling structure, and answered many questions as I finished the installation.
To Terry Johns, A&P, who took me under his wing and helped with final rigging and engine tuning.
To my flight instructors, who provided a bubble of safety around me while I learned from my mistakes: Gene Dahlquist, Thaddeus Halstead and Jan Bussell.
Another 39.25 hours (or more) of flight testing, and then I'm off to explore the continent!