What's your goal?
To have a little bit of fun. You might think I'm crazy, or something much worse, but building things has been a pastime of mine for a long time, and I'm about to build something big.... really big. I already know how to fly, and I want to do it in style with a lot of enthusiasm and fun.
So what do you want to build?
My name is JD Atkinson, and I'm building an experimental aircraft. I've never done this before, but it is a project that I want to share online and in person. The airplane that I will build is a Van's RV-9, and you can get an excellent look at it on the Van's website: http://www.vansaircraft.com. Experimental aircraft allow the construction of flight systems with a performance factor that exceeds that of most commercial aircraft available to everyday people.
Isn't that very hard to do?
There are a lot of skills to be developed. Sheet metal fabrication must be mastered, along with a variety of manufacturing obstacles in power plant development, avionics, and system interconnection. The work is slow and sometimes tedious, but by using the plans and kit from an established manufacturer careful attention to details will yield excellent results.
Why put the project up for fundraising?
This is also an expensive proposition. The cost at completion will probably be $75000-100,000 depending on the options chosen in the construction and avionics. I am prepared to shoulder all the cost myself, but then nobody would share the fun and entertainment of building this plane. I would like to raise a little money, make the progress of the building a shared event, and incorporate a lot of you into the project along the way.
How can I help?
That is really up to you..... Every person who donates will be listed on the donor record at the website for the construction of the plane. Donations of $5 will receive my heartfelt appreciation. Donations of $20 will entitle you to a tour of the aircraft assembly operation. $50 will get you a couple of hours to discuss aircraft construction and share a meal if you are in town. $500 will allow your entire school group (30 max) to come down and have a look around, with me as your tour guide for an hour; trust me - I can keep them interested. For $1000 I'll let you make some of the plane with me for a day, and I'll supply the lunch and coffee. $10,000 donations and up we can discuss and make personal arrangements.
Is there a T-shirt?
Right now there isn't, but that is a really good idea. If I get ten donations at the $50 level or more, I'll create a professional-looking shirt and make sure everyone over that level gets one. It will be cool, it will be sharp, it will be a status symbol!