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The thing that has always attracted me to airplanes is their beauty and graceful lines. From the time I was a boy, I wanted to design and build an airplane with what I liked best about the way airplanes look. I wanted it to be easy to make, economical and with a closed cockpit so you could fly it all year long. The cockpit needed to be big enough to handle me a 6' plus person comfortably, so I made a wooden mockup of the cockpit first.

I am a high school graduate and a graduate from Embry-Riddle School of Aeronautics for Aircraft Mechanics and have been continually active in general aviation for over 50 years, with countless hours of hands-on experience in sheet metal, welding, engine build-up, and all the other skills necessary to be an aircraft mechanic. Now that I'm retired, I found I had the time, space and a few funds to build an airplane, I felt might be wanted by many homebuilders that do not have unlimited funding, but have the same dream I had.

I chose a VW engine because I think it is the most economical, smoothest running reliable power pack available and it has a good support team in Great Plains Aircraft Supply.

The aircraft is constructed with 6061T-6 aluminum and assembled on a 16' table with a 3"X" steel angle attached to the side used to make most of the bends in the metal. There are no special jigs required. The ribs and bulkheads are formed over wood. The engineering was calculated at 4 Gs and tested to 5.8 Gs

The airplane is quite simple and easy to make. The main center section and wing spars are made first and the wing attach points are drilled together to set the wing dihedral, the spars are separated and the wings constructed. The completed wings are joined to the center section spar and the center section is built up with the wings attached. Now you know that the wings will fit the airplane when completed. The center section is removed and set on the 16 foot table and the fuselage is built up around the center section. I used mostly Avex flush rivets, which are pulled rivets. This made it possible to build the complete aircraft by myself except for a few operations.

The performance has been the real surprise for me. I never dreamed it would fly so great. It has a very gentle stall and is easy to land. I have only 300 total flight time as a private pilot yet I got in it and flew it with out any trouble at all. It is stable and faster than I thought. I'm flying along with my hands folded in my lap, working off the 40 hours needed to complete the requirements. When the wing drops a little I just add a little opposite rudder and the wing comes right back up, never having to touch the stick. It has excellent cross wind handling too.

I fly out over the beach here in Pensacola and look down at the people and wonder if they have any idea how happy this 75 year old man is to be up here in his airplane that he made himself.

David Thatcher, Sr.