I can always tell when Mike is thinking about airplanes. His eyes become distant and he gets quieter than usual. If we are taking a walk, his pace quickens and he won't even realize that he's left me in the dust. I once asked Mike how old he was when he became interested in airplanes and it turns out that this is a life-long obsession. I, on the other hand, know almost nothing about airplanes. I've spent many hours on commercial planes and have a vague understanding of some basic principles of flight, but for the most part, aviation is a foreign language to me.
Until I met Mike, I had no idea that you could actually build your own airplane. Who does that kind of thing? Apparently, lots of people build their own planes. I know this because every month we receive several magazines about home building, Mike religiously reads message boards where builders congregate, and there's even an international organization for aviation enthusiasts. I've known for years that we would build a plane someday, and now it seems that day has come. The tools have arrived, the work benches have been built, and the first kit is ordered.
Mike is excited (if a little nervous about such a big undertaking) and I'm supportive but pretty unsure about what's actually going to happen. That's one of the reasons I decide to start this blog. What is it actually like to help someone build an airplane? What do I need to learn? How can I be a help, rather than a hindrance, during this process? My second reason for documenting this process is that Mike and I have friends and family scattered across the world who might be interested in watching Mike realize one of his biggest dreams. I hope that I can provide a layman's perspective during this process so we can all understand what's happening.
I've posted the first round of photos below. Since these photos were taken, Mike has finished the work benches and moved all of his tools up to the hangar. We will be spending a lot of time at the hangar over the next several years, so we are getting Zoey used to be up there. She loves it when some of the other guys are there working on projects and she gets lots of attention. She's less excited when people are using power tools and likes to hide in the office to escape the noise.