Builder Tip #86 from HomebuiltHELP 
A Great Free Technical Resource for Aircraft Builders from the FAA
A free set of technical reference manuals - just perfect for the homebuilder - is available online
If you are building an experimental aircraft and are looking for an excellent source of technical information on a variety of aircraft systems, look no further! The FAA has created a series of training manuals used by aircraft mechanics in school. The information covers all areas of aircraft systems: electrical, mechanical, hydraulics, avionics, and aerodynamics to name a few. This information is presented in an easy to understand manner with lots of color charts, diagrams and tables.

T he entire series is available online in PDF format for free at the FAA website - or you can purchase the information in printed format from a book seller. The link for the free online material can be found in the Tip Archive section at

3 volume set: Free courtesy of the FAA
Included in this Tip is a submitted video of a builder (Gary Motley) that documented his aircraft build over 2 years. From crate to flight: an inspiring account of what an aircraft building experience is like!
Like to Make your own Parts?  
Both methods are popular - the choice depends on your skills, budget and time.  For making parts from scratch we have an informative DVD :  Scratch Building Basics 

It requires a builder with special skills, knowledge, and an attitude complete with persistence and imagination. Not all of us are cut out for a project like this… although most of us can appreciate the rewards that will result!

Details of the fabrication process are explained and demonstrated - such as: how to translate blueprint plans to a form block drawing, cutting, sanding and finishing the form blocks using common tools; choice of form materials (plywood, MDF, particle board, hardwoods, etc); tools for cutting aluminum sheet, (power shears, hand shears, scoring knife), forming rib blanks around form blocks (how many hammers can be used!), fluting techniques for curved edges, cutting lightening holes, various methods for deburring and polishing, sheet metal bending using a home made brake, and much more. 
Parts created from scratch in video
Sheet metal brake used
Watch a previous Tip?
 Don't forget that past  Tip of the Week articles and videos are listed on the Archive Listing page on our website. You can check back there for future reference and review of these tips.You can also reach that page from a link on the top, right side of our home page. 

We have also released a  dual DVD set containing the first 35 Tips with updated comments and material for those who want to watch offline with the convenience of DVD chapter indexing.
HomebuiltHELP | PO Box 111 Brussels WI 54204 | email:

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