Homebuilding is at the core of EAA’s roots, and planned tributes to two esteemed pioneers in the movement—Burt Rutan and Chris Heintz—may push 2011 to the biggest ever for homebuilt participation.
Already expected are more than 100 aircraft of various Rutan designs and 50 from Heintz. The additional Rutan and Zenith aircraft combined with others are projected to bring the total of homebuilt aircraft to more than 1,000, a new record for the area.
These tributes are reflected in this year’s “I Flew My Homebuilt to AirVenture” patch with Rutan’s VariViggen and the “Zeniths to Oshkosh” grassroots gathering of Zenith Aircraft builders organized to honor designer Chris Heintz.
“We’re expecting this to be the largest single gathering of homebuilt aircraft ever assembled in the world,” said Charlie Becker, EAA director of member programs. “It is great that we get a chance to thank Burt for his tremendous achievements in aircraft design. He definitely changed people’s view of what ‘homebuilt’ is.”
Like last year, the Homebuilt area will continue its popular Homebuilt in Review sessions. Attendees can expect to hear insight from Chris Heintz as he talks about the many Zenith aircraft that will be present.
“If you have ever thought about building an aircraft, AirVenture is the place to be,” Becker said. “Every day, we have hands-on workshops, presentations on all aspects of building and flying, and, of course, all the kit manufacturers to talk to. It’s the best place to start on your dream.”
Interested attendees wanting to learn some of the basic skills can participate in various workshops offered daily at 8:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Workshops are presented in how-to formats and will cover topics such as sheet metal, fabric covering, TIG welding, gas welding, and composite aircraft building. All workshops are hands-on, so attendees can expect to have an opportunity to learn through live examples and instruction.
Other planned Homebuilt activities include:
- Live Hints for Homebuilders demonstrations: As seen in the popular video series, experts will perform live demonstrations in the Homebuilders’ Hangar of the most-watched videos such as Tube Bending and Flaring, Drilling Plexiglas, and Safetying.
- Homebuilders Dinner: On Thursday, July 28, at 6 p.m., the Homebuilt area will host its annual dinner in the Nature Center on the AirVenture grounds. EAA Founder Paul Poberezny is the evening’s speaker and will describe his latest homebuilt project, a Baby Ace replica. Presentation of the Tony Bingelis Award to Mickey Whittenburg, Kiln, Mississippi, will also occur at the annual dinner.
- Bugatti replica: A team led by Scotty Wilson is in the process of building a replica of a Bugatti Racer, and it will be on display in the EAA Welcome Center. Although it is not completed, guests will have the chance to see firsthand all of the work that has gone into building this ambitious project.
- Live aeroplane factory: In the Workshop area, there will be a “living history” demonstration in which experts will be working on various projects. Highlighted projects include the restoration of a J-1 Standard aircraft and the construction of other homebuilt aircraft.