Brett FerrellBrett Ferrell – Primary Builder.Atari 400
Brett has been a computer geek his whole life, just ask his brother. Starting with a sweet Atari 400 game system that he upgraded with a better keyboard, double memory, a 5 1/4″ disk drive, Atari Basic, and other modifications he became a programming powerhouse. Well, at least after he realized he couldn’t just type ‘draw circle’ and get a graphic on the screen. Brett taught himself Basic, VBA, C, and Pascal programming languages.Golden Gopher

He went to the University of Cincinnati in 1987 to get his BS in Mechanical Engineering, and discovered the Internet along the way. Before the World Wide Web there was the University of Minnesota’s GOPHER, and Brett was there with his first “Personal UC LogoComputer”, a Intel 286 with 16 megabytes of memory. With his 300 baud modem, he connected Miami University in Middletown to access his e-mail and homework at UC, and the beauty of the Internet was revealed to him.Brett has worked for multiple Fortune 500 companies in engineering and information systems, often with assignments in engineering IT and computer aided engineering. In addition to being a professional programmer for many years, he has been developing websites for the last 5 years for himself and others. He’s fluent in php, mySQL databases, Frontpage, CSS, and HTML. He’s currently the webmaster for EAA Chapter 974 in Hamilton, OH, as well as this site and VelocityXL, his builder’s site. He also runs Ferrell Media, and designs and supports websites through that business.

Brett has been interested in flying and airplanes since he was a youngster, and used to attend the now defunct Middletown Airshow featuring the Thunderbirds and Blue Angels. BREAKING NEWS: Middletown’s Airshow returns in 2008! When he went to college, Brett signed up for Air Force ROTC, hoping to fly as a bombardier/navigator, or electronic warfare officer. However, the summer prior to going to officer basic training, he was diagnosed with asthma, and was dismissed from service. Shortly thereafter a good (high school) friend and fellow UC student showed him an article from a odd magazine. The magazine was Kitplanes, and the featured aircraft was the Velocity.

Velocity Elite DemoNow, Brett assured his friend that people don’t do these things (build airplanes themselves), that it was a truly silly, ludicrous thing to suggest, and although the airplane was really cool, it was not a feasible past time. But the idea of the Velocity hung in Brett’s mind, and would be discussed with John, and others, quite a bit, merely as an oddity. Like owning a Ferrari, it would be quite the thing to be able to have one, but people don’t really buy Ferraris. Then he heard about “plans-built” airplanes, and their economy, and the Cozy.

Cozy Mark IVThe Cozy came to be the plane that Brett thought he would build. It was still a 4 place canard, it was fast and efficient, it look sort-of-kind-of-like-a-jet, it was certainly fast and sleek and comfortable in all of the ways a Cessna is not, and the idea of SOMEDAY building an airplane became common place in his thinking. Meanwhile, he graduated and married a perennial student who, among becoming increasingly unpleasant, thought that any expenditure of capital that Marx wouldn’t personally approve to be evil. No plane building occurred during these hard times.

Elizabeth Szoke FerrellHowever, in the fall of 2000, after this first bond’s dissolution, Elizabeth came into his life like a ray of sunshine. As it would happen, she’d always dreamed of getting an ultralight and flying herself, so after Brett convinced her to travel to EAA Airventure with him, the quest would begin… Check out Beth’s page for more on her.