Experimenter

OCT 2014

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/401344

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2 Vol.3 No.10 / October 2014 TOWER FREQUENCY BUILDING OUR OWN airplanes was a founding activity of EAA. But we build so much more. And it is building, main- taining, restoring, and preserving that separates EAA from other associations. Our most impressive building is, of course, our world class museum. There is no better collection of important private and sport airplanes. And our Eagle Hangar honors all who served with an impressive display of World War II airplanes and artifacts. Pioneer Airport is the active component of our museum. Its hangars and turf runway accurately re-create a typical airport of the golden age. We restore and maintain dozens of important antique airplanes and regularly fly them off Pioneer's sod. And we build reminders of the dedicated and vision- ary people who have made EAA possible. Every year some of their names are added to the Memorial Wall to remind those of us who remain of their lives and contributions to EAA and all of private aviation. Our largest building efforts are the hundreds of acres we need to conduct our annual fly-in and convention here at Oshkosh every year. Oshkosh is a very special event, and only purpose-built facilities could accommodate thousands of airplanes and hundreds of thousands of people. Every year we invest in improving the AirVenture facili- ties. This year one of the most important improvements was new specifically designed workshop buildings where people can learn the basics of aircraft building such as welding and fabric covering. We also build more camping facilities and amenities for the growing number of thousands who spend the week of Oshkosh camping. Growth in camping is so strong it's almost impossible to keep up with demand, but just think back a few years and you can see how far we have come. And we build airplanes. Construction of the Zenith kit during the week of Oshkosh by hundreds and hundreds of volunteers created new excitement for so many. The proj- ect was dubbed the One Week Wonder, but it was not really a wonder. I never doubted for a moment that the project would be completed, engine run, and airplane taxied before the end of our convention. All of this activity goes back to our founder, Paul Pober- ezny. Paul's founding belief that he repeated over and over is that good things happen when we put our hearts, hands, and minds to work. We put our hearts to work through programs such as Young Eagles that shows youngsters the thrill of fl ight. We put our hearts behind honoring those who came before by keep- ing both their memories and the airplanes they fl ew alive. We put our minds to work creating new and innovative aircraft. We use the same talents to restore and preserve historic airplanes or to create replicas when no original ex- ists. And we employ our intellectual power to successfully advocate for policies that are fair to private aviation and to make flying available to the greatest number of people. But none of that really matters until we actually put our hands to work and build something. No airplane design has ever mattered until someone built the first example. And no amount of speechifying or selling has swayed opinion and moved aviation forward until people could see and fly what we are talking about. Paul had it right. We need to use our minds and hearts, but in the end using our hands to actually build is what pulls everything together. That's why we build so much at EAA. It's in our DNA. EAA, We Are Builders BY JACK J. PELTON Photography by Jason Toney

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