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These pages chronicle the progress of our project.

We decided to investigate the possibility of building our own aircraft. We own shares in a Piper Archer, but it is getting old, becoming increasingly costly to operate, and has restricted availability (owned by a group of 12 pilots). We rarely fly with more than 2 people so the luxury and cost of the 4 seater is not really necessary.

Our Piper Archer

We examined various options, and home building had a great appeal. It will be a real achievement, it is the lowest cost way of getting a brand new aircraft, we can fit it out exactly as we want it, and we can operate it at much lower cost with a small group (probably 3 or 4 people).

We chose the Europa for several reasons: It has a well proven track record (over 900 kits sold), they provide a good level of technical back up, the firm is based in the UK, it can be rigged and de-rigged easily if we want to store it away from an airfield, the performance is excellent (150 mph, ample payload, good range, excellent visibility, very stable to fly).

We visited the Europa factory in North Yorkshire. By the time we had a test flight, we were convinced it was the right decision.

Paid our deposit, delivery of the kit expected mid November.

Delivery brought forward to mid October. We are booked on the Europa weekend workshop on 18th October. Need to get cracking with preparing Peter's garage.

Garage cleared, started painting walls white.
Peter's girlfriend, Lyn, did most of this while Peter watched the Ryder Cup on the telly.

7 OCTOBER 2002
Peter sealed the garage floor with an old tin of sealant. Bought some nice shiny new garage floor paint.

10 OCTOBER 2002
Ian painted the floor. It looked really nice. It will take 48 hours to harden fully.