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Build chronology milestones


Shelton, WA

It is now 2019: no progress has been made on the project for nearly 10 years, due to all of the reasons expressed in the previous entry.

In addition to the logistical obstacles, health issues have come into play. In 2014, I had a cardiac artery bypass graft (CABG). No heart attack, but the diagnosis of cardiac disease carries some stigma in the quest for flight. I am perfectly healthy and physically active, but there is concern for the future of flight due to hypotension aggravated by the medication regularly prescribed post-CABG. Consequently, and with the encouragement of family, I am giving up my lifelong dream of flight.

Consequently, the partly-finished Waiex (model A) kit is being readied for sale. The airframe kit is complete, with exception of one or two aluminum angle pieces that were consumed for rework. The sales package includes the Jabiru 3300 engine, still pickled in the shipping crate, unopened, so it has not had the placard downgraded for LSA compliance. The only parts needed to complete the kit are the instruments, propeller, and upholstery, plus paint should the builder choose. The wings were inspected by an EAA technical advisor before closing. Lighting mounts have been incorporated into the wing structure, but the skins are intact, so lighting remains an option.

To date, I have invested approximately $31,000 in the airframe and engine. Any reasonable offer will be accepted. Jabiru engines from Arion are currently priced at $18,900, and the Waiex "B" airframe kit is priced at $24,995, and the quick-build kit (pre-built wings and fuselage) is $32,895. Delivery negotiable: the complete kit, engine, wings, and 12-foot workbench built from the shipping pallet, which still contains the fuselage and empennage skins, fit into a 16-foot cargo trailer or rental truck.

This is an opportunity to get a Waiex aircraft partially built, with engine, for less than the price of a quick-built kit from Sonex.

Shelton, WA

Since moving to Washington State in late 2009, the Waiex project has been stalled. There are numerous reasons for this, which will be familiar to many long-term builders:

  • Moving disrupts your shop: setting up in a new location often means refitting the shop, finding new workflows, etc., not the least of which has been dealing with wet floors in the basement garage six months out of the year.
  • Moving increases your workload for home repairs, remodeling, etc., leaving less time to work on "hobbies."
  • We have other hobbies, which also needed spaces, supplies, and equipment resettled. We've even acquired a few more.
  • We have been unable to sell our old house during the housing market burst, recession, and long, slow recovery, so we've taken on much more paid work than we intended. The concept of retirement is becoming a relic of the 20th century.
  • Children and grandchildren moved in with us in our new home, due to job changes: as many builders have found, toddlers and metalwork don't mix, especially if the aircraft shop is in an attached garage. They moved into their new house after ten months, but much of the ensuing six months have been spent finishing our own suspended moving-in process.
  • It takes time to develop new relationships with the local aviation community. Although we're still actively involved with our old EAA chapter in Montana, we are just now seeking out other builders in Washington. No builder is an island--we all need encouragement and support from others. Of note, I did get some stick time from the right seat of an RV-9A in the spring of 2011, my first time to handle aircraft controls in flight for more than 40 years. Thanks, Earl.

Now, the project hasn't been completely forgotten or shelved: We did attend Jabiru's excellent engine maintenance course in Shelbyville, Tennessee in September, 2010. Unfortunately, September/October was in the middle of an intensive work project, and the process of shifting the living arrangements back to single-family mode. Flooding, furnace repairs, and six weeks "on the road" in the last three months of the year combined to dampen the homebuilding momentum.

Some serious shop reorganization is in order in the next few months, after whch we expect to set up a regular schedule for working on the plane every day we're home. The plane will get finished. We originally planned to finish it before retirement, which is still a goal. We just didn't realize "retirement" would evolve into self-employment and longer hours.

Copyright 2005-2019: Larye D. Parkins
Last updated: 16 September, 2019.

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