There are an awful lot of folks in the world that think you’re totally nuts if you even mention “Building” and “Airplane” in the same sentence, I find. I have to admit, I might have been one of them several years ago. I certainly didn’t know that it was a possibility back then, much less that it was an entire special category approved by the FAA. For that I have to thank a childhood friend, JC, for introducing me to this fascinating world. Back then, in the early 90’s, we were both in engineering school and he gave me this crazy idea that we could build and fly our own airplanes. I recall being luke-warm about the idea at first, but it grew on me quickly.

That’s back in 1992/3, and I’ve wanted one ever since. I intended to spend my life flying for the United States Air force, and had been in ROTC and passed the Navigator/Bombardier flight physical prior to developing asthma. After being medically disqualified from service, I put flying out of my mind for a couple of years. The idea of putt-ing through the sky in a Cessna really didn’t appeal to me after lusting after an F-16 for years.

But then I was introduced to the Rutan Canards. These planes were fast, sleek, and modern. They’re aerodynamically efficient and very distinct from the run-of-the-mill general aviation aircraft that still sport designs older than I am. If you have questions about what a canard aircraft is, you should visit the Carnard Aviators FAQ page. Basically the word carnard means duck (no relation to the Mud-Duk), which is what they look like. Here’s the classic Eze silhouette.

Long Eze
There are some other nice things about building your own airplane. First is cost, I can get my plane for about 1/3 the cost of a similarly-capable GA airplane. Also, I can spread out the cost over the time it takes to build. The next is that I can equip it exactly the way I want it. If you have a modicum of talent and enjoy building things, it really is a great way to go!