Building Skils and Age of Builders

Jim Rodrian

I'm taking the time to respond because of the statement "the younger set
does not have any skills to build an aircraft."

I started my Defiant project in 1984. I'm currently 57 years old and within
a year of flying the Defiant, after 22 years of building. It has taken this
long because my family (wife and 3 children) came first and the pay back has
been significant.

My oldest son, in particular, can do a fiberglass wet lay up or vacuum
bagged pre-preg lay up better than anyone I know. He designed and built an
RC aerobatic aircraft with a 1.5 (2.0?) meter wing span, while a Senior at
Purdue. The aircraft was flown, in competition, by the Central America RC
aerobatic champion. He also designed and machined the molds to make the
vacuum bagged, graphite fuselage and wing panels. Currently he is working
for a small aerospace company. His responsibilities include morphing wing
structural design. His design recently performed very well in wind tunnel
tests at Langley.

Some of the younger set is interested in building aircraft if we "older
guys" take the time to give them the opportunity to experience the
satisfaction of building an aircraft, or go cart, or . . . .

Jim Rodrian
Grafton, WI

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Byers, Walt
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 9:14 AM
To: Kenneth Miller; Greg Retkowski; Bulent Aliev
Subject: RE: [c-a] Frequent Flier Miles Pay For Space Flight?

Guess I've put my data into this. I started my Varieze with the buying
of plans in 1976 at 24 years old. Got my 'kit' from Aircraft Spruce in
1976. I had my first FAA inspection in 1977. I noticed back then that
most builders were 'older' and even today most builders are over 40
years, I guess something to do with time and money. If the younger set
is interested in aviation, they are not interested in building, just
flying with all the electronic marvels and getting from point A to point
B. I've also noticed that the younger set do not have any skills to
build an aircraft. Really sad, most do not even know the difference
between a screwdriver and pliers. I can say the same thing about our
recent engineering hires, especially the newer graduates, they know
nothing about hardware or how to work on anything (except putting cards
into computers).

W. Dean Byers, Varieze N290DB
Fox Airport, Lancaster, Calif
(down the highway from Scaled)

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Kenneth Miller
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 4:29 AM
To: Greg Retkowski; Bulent Aliev
Subject: Re: [c-a] Frequent Flier Miles Pay For Space Flight?

If you were to look around at Rough River, you would wonder why
there aren't more handicapped aircraft parking spaces! Most all of the
Long-EZ and Cozy III builders I know are over 50 and some over 60 and
even 70. I do notice that some of the Cozy IV guys are still in
diapers, though.
As a side note, I started building my first Long-EZ in 1980 when I
was 29, still in diapers. I am slated soon to go back into them ;-).

Ken Miller, A&P
EAA Tech and Flight Advisor
Wright Bros. Award Winning
HWV Long Island, NY
Long Island, NY
----- Original Message -----
From: Greg Retkowski
To: Bulent Aliev
Cc: ;
Sent: Friday, December 09, 2005 3:41 AM
Subject: Re: [c-a] Frequent Flier Miles Pay For Space Flight?

Just out of curiosity, what is the age breakdown of our canard
I'm probably younger than typical but I'm hoping that the even younger
generation is enthused with aviation to get involved with experimental
aircraft and such. Although I can understand the apathy of my
for aviation my generation has when we are riding in the same 747's
granadparents flew in and our government tells us that if we sacrafice
work hard for the next 15 years that we'll have the same capability to
land on the moon that we did in 1969.

-- Greg

Join to automatically receive all group messages.