CC Outtake: Someone In My Neighborhood Is Building an Airplane in their Driveway

When I first noticed this framework going up in a neighborhood driveway, I thought it was going to be some kind of kiddie toy airplane. Silly me. When it sprouted an engine and gas tank, I realized it’s the real thing, although it doesn’t exactly bowl me over with confidence. But hey, folks have gone up in the skies in lesser devices, and some lived to tell the tale.

Here’s the wing structure. Looks pretty well designed and sturdy, actually.

That’s genuine 6061 – T6 aluminum alloy tubing, so no, it’s not built out of electrical conduit.

Some more detail of the fuselage.

The wheels look to be from a wheelbarrow or such, and are starting to rust.

The engine is mounted, and awaiting a prop.

It’s a 246cc two stroke single.

Its exhaust curves back to the front.

I don’t know enough about these to identify it as a particular kit, which it undoubtedly is.

When we moved to Eugene 25 years ago, our neighbor across the street started on a homebuilt airplane, but it was drastically more sophisticated. It was made from composites and fiberglass, and he had to learn how to work with those materials. It had a Rotax four cylinder boxer engine, and it was very sleek and fast, although I’ve forgotten the name of it. I helped him out a couple of time when he needed a hand, and he promised me a ride. That finally happened a couple years later, and it was a memorable flight, over the Cascades, a bit into Eastern Oregon near Bend, and then a loop back home. The only problem was that I didn’t really fit very well into the extremely snug cockpit with its removable canopy. I had to tilt my head inwards the whole way. But it really scooted along.

Update: I just walked by there this morning, and it’s gone. I doubt it flew away, but I sure hope it didn’t get filched by thieves who saw a lot of expensive aluminum sitting there.