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GN-1/ Pietenpol Aircamper


I recently acquired a set of GN-1 Aircamper plans.  After some coercion from my dad I finally decided to build the sucker.  A very simple plane to build.  No funky angles with struts or cabane fittings.  Basic wood/fabric construction.

Power comes from a 65-90 horse engine.  I'm going to use a 100hp Corvair engine.  J-3 Cub landing gear and fuel tank and Aeronca control stick assembly are also used. 

I'll be posting pictures as I go so check back in the coming months!


I made a 3D model of the Aircamper to try out some paint schemes.
I really like this one!  click pics to see larger.


The first wing rib was completed today.  It's made from 1/4" x 1/2" Sitka spruce and 1/16" plywood gussets.  It's a framed up rib glued together with T-88 epoxy and gussets are glued and nailed with 1/4" 20 gauge aircraft nails. The nails are really only there to hold the gussets until the glue sets.  You could pull them out afterwards if you wanted but it's not worth the effort.  I'm now waiting on a wood order from Aircraft Spruce.  Now only about 23 more ribs to go!  


I finished making my workbench that I'm going to make the tail section on.  The horizontal stabilizer has a 90" span so a 4x8 sheet of 3/4" MDF works great.   I have to draw out the plans since the plans I have are not full scale.  I got some butcher paper and my T-Square and now I'm ready to draw.  Going to start that today.  Hopefully my wood order will come in in 2 or 3 weeks.  I'm running out of things to do!


I placed my order for the metal parts kit today.  It comes with all brackets and metal mounts. Pre-welded and Zinc Chromated ready to install.  Price...  $1300.  Now all I need is the wood and I'm good for a few months.  Hoping to see the wood this week or next week.  I also bought a few instruments.  One of them an Encoding Altimeter.  Would you believe I got it in almost new condition with yellow tag for $230!!!  That's like $1500 off!  woohoo!  I also have a turn and bank indicator as well as airspeed.  ohhh  I also picked up a new Nikon Coolpix 995 digital camera.  The images it takes are staggering!  I'll be using it to document my building process.  When I get some pics taken I'll post them...  you'll be amazed at the quality of the image. 3.4 megapixel and all the adjustable parameters that an SLR would have.  $800 but well worth it.


From now on the construction entries will be found in the "Log" section of the site.  I'll be keeping track of everything I do along with pictures there.  General notes and discussion will still be found here.


I think I've been scammed! I placed my order for metal parts from Replicraft Aviation ($1300) over 2 1/2 months ago and I never received all the parts.  I got two small boxes from them which contained about 50% of my order.  Numerous attempts to contact them have been futile. I notified my credit card company and got the charge reversed, but I still need to have some metal parts made.


I purchased a set of Aeronca Champ rudder pedals and interlink cables from ebay this week.  Got all 4 pedals and 2 cables for $78!  What a steal!  Also scrounged up J-3 landing gear legs and shock tubes. Found the legs for $300 and shock tubes for $200.  All I need now are channel spreaders and spreader struts.


I bought an 80% complete GN-1!  All framed up and on the gear.  All done except motor, instruments and covering.

I came across an ad on the internet for it and jumped on it.  I'm going to take the metal parts and AN hardware off it that I need, and save the airframe for GN-1 #2!


I went up to Oroville, CA and picked up the GN-1 this past weekend.  A long drive at about 14 hours, but worth it!

I posted some pics of the GN-1 here -  GN-1 #2 Pics


I FINALLY got the landing gear center cabane vee back from the welder yesterday as well as the other landing gear parts back from the powder coating shop. The powder coat job is impeccable! Beautiful wet glossy white!  Still waiting on the shop to finish the control stick and rudder pedals in silver.


An acquaintance of mine, Joe Carter, and his 16 yr old daughter were killed this morning in his Fisher Celebrity biplane.  Apparently one of the wings failed and his plane spun out of control.  It's really sad because he was such a cool guy.  It just goes to show you how quickly life can change for anyone. More info on the accident can be found here.


It's been too hot to work on the garage so I decided to built a small electric powered radio controlled version of my Air Camper.  It's a 1/7th scale (46" wingspan) "Speed 400" class model. Covered it to look like my full-size will.  Flies much like a real Air Camper.  Pull the power and all that drag brings her down. See it here.


I purchased a 1965 110hp Corvair engine today.  Engine is in good shape.  No major rust, and it turns over just fine.  Will be rebuilding it soon! for more info on Corvairs in airplanes see the Master himself, William Wynne at  www.flycorvair.com


ok....  it's been almost a year since I updated this page...  it's pathetic and I apologize...  The Aircamper is coming along nicely!  I am just about finished with the wing center section and will begin building the wings this winter. The Corvair engine is coming along but doing so slowly.  I have almost everything I need to build the engine.   Just waiting to get the jugs bored to .020 over.


Still working on the Corvair engine.  I now have about 98% of all the parts needed to finish it up.  It's time to assemble the engine and get it running!  Hoping to have a running engine by December.


Corvair is still in progress.  It's coming along VERY well.  I am still shooting to run it by the middle to end of November.  Check the log for up to date pics.


Corvair is ALIVE!!  I fired it up for the first time today.  Still needs some tuning but it looks like this thing is gonna be an awesome powerplant.


Installed the elevator and rudder controls and cables.  It's cool to see things moved when you move the stick and pedals!


I bought another GN-1. Yes, I did it again!  This one is in much better shape than the last.  Built well and includes alot of goodies.  The plan is to use the wings.  This will cut my build time down by at least 9 months.  I pick up the plane in 2 days.  I'm stoked!!!!!


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