Crowdfunding the Epic

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Jon Ferguson

Well-Known Member
Dec 15, 2011
Harpers Ferry, WV
Sorry for the delayed response I was travelling this weekend meeting with a possible new landlady and setting up new digs for me and the Epic.

When I was growing up Dad and I rebuilt a Stinson and he and my mom managed a small FBO. The airport doesn't exist anymore at least not as an airport. I actually did most of the research for the abandoned airfield directory: Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Southwestern Missouri

It was a magical childhood for me. I was the airport kid you know. I made extra money washing and waxing planes and mowing 14 acres of runway etc. A lot of WWII vet's hung out there and were some of the finest men I've ever known. I was always bumming rides and even kept a logbook. I made my first landing when I was 11 and just big enough to reach the rudder pedals and see over the panel at the same time. My folks held air-shows and fly in pancake breakfasts. We never had much money unfortunately. My dad is a phenomenal pilot but business is a different skill set. So he ended up in the airlines to make ends meet. I think this career decision really precipitated my folks splitting up.

We moved away from the airport and that chapter of my life was done. I am still in touch with my dad but I don't get to see him much because he's always very far away. Currently he's in Hong Kong. Of course the military has kept me on the go too.

When TEAM came along and started giving away plans to the Minimax it sparked something in me and I started building wing ribs. When I began all the Minimax designs were single seaters. But just about the time I was finished with wing ribs David mentioned on Facebook that they were designing a new 2-place design. I have a son who is autistic and he loves airplanes just like I did and do. I decided the 2-place Epic would be the thing to build. It would be the catalyst that would carry our love of aviation from father to son to grandson.

My father loved the idea and has actually provided some of the resources to build already. I've done side jobs and whatnot to make a little extra money for kits and stuff too. Regardless of how crowdfunding goes I am committed to finishing this plane. It might take me longer but it will get built.

It's so important to keep not only the love of flight alive but homebuilding airplanes too. This young generation needs this. So I don't know if I made anybody cry but that's my story and it's 100% true.


Well-Known Member
Oct 8, 2014
My income is currently a fraction of yours and probably will remain so until you retire. I am going to start a life and business in a foreign country so that's going to eat resources that are already low. We should be up to the poverty level income within a year, 6 months if things actually go to plan for a change, then things get a bit easier. My aviation plans are to design and build an inexpensive ultralight over the next several years, then teach myself to fly it. Total cost should be lowish 4 figures. It called living within your means. I can't think why total strangers would pay me to have fun, much as I'd like them to. I suspect that you'll get a small amount of money and a lot of bad feeling if you go with this idea.I do support two artists in a very small way via Patreon, I've been enjoying their online art for years. I had a look at a crowdfunding site a while back. I left in disgust as the first project I found was someone wanting people to buy him an enormous lego set so that he could build it. I really don't think that that is in the spirit of crowdfunding.I'll happily give you free advice should you need some in an area I know something about.
Im worse off in that regard T_TA uni student with no job living trying to contend with HOSTILE aviation regulations.All engines must be overhauled when TBO arrives! Can you believe it?


Well-Known Member
May 21, 2008

Having spent the last 15 years working in disabilities, I wish you the best of success. I hope your dream of flying around with your son is a success.

Given the dream of flight is aimed at a truly worthy cause- giving flight time to those with disabilities, you will have more success in raising the funds. If you market it as a project directed at this particular aim.

I understand in the US there are many charities aimed at giving flight to youngsters and various other schemes for the disabilities- ie sailing, horseriding etc.

Maybe aim it as a foundation type idea that involves kids/young adults with disabilities and their parents/carers or interested parties to build simple aircraft together to share the wonder of flight.
The process of being involved in the building and flying of a aircraft would be a hugely satisfying accomplishment for many a person with a disability and a achievement that many able bodied amongst us can never do.

Crowd funding of this could be successful. Just give the people a reason to help and maybe some form of payoff at the end. You might have the names of all sponsors on the fuselage for example, offer a ride for all bigger sponsors or make it available for rides for kids with disabilities.

As I am in Australia and currently unemployed- I cannot help with money, but can encourage you.

There are many charities that you may also be able to approach for example- Rotary, Lions club and many others. They often have trouble finding great projects to support. With the right approach you might be surprised. With the assistance of a known charity extra help is often easier to find.

I wish you and your son the best in building the dream of flight.



Well-Known Member
Feb 5, 2008
Hi guys I am trying my hand at crowdfunding to see if I can raise money for my plane and lessons

Thanks for everything!
Wouldn't you have more success raising funds by standing on a street corner holding a sign? Basically, the same idea.


Well-Known Member
Jul 15, 2014
North Carolina
I couldn't find any reference to helping disabled people. It looks like OP just wants a plane to entertain himself and his family but wants other people to pay for it. If this is actually for more noble cause, I'll apologise. As an autistic person with an autistic partner, I've seen an awful lot of 'good cause' money get funneled away from where it really should go (help for disabled people). We don't get any help, we're just weirdos that people don't like because we lack 'social grease'. My fiancee is a lovely woman but has all the social skills of a brick to the face, she deals with that by staying away from people. I can assure you, life is not easy for us. Neither of us is conventionally employable, being self employed isn't so easy as I'm sure many of you know, add crap social skills and a poor sense of when someone is conning you and it's a whole lot harder.
It grates that a guy with a decent job is begging for money 'for a good cause' that is just an expensive toy for himself and his family. Much as I'd love an expensive toy, I've got much better places to blow 27k, like investing it for a reliable income (that'd be a steady 5-6k per year), or maybe not jumping from house to house that are in the bad parts of town. Once the locals have identified you as a weirdo, the rumours often get really interesting and stones can fly as a result. It takes quite a while for people to work out you're just one of those 'harmless' weirdos and stop breaking windows or shoving burning paper through your letterbox because someone told you that someone told them that you might be a paedophile/rapist/murderer etc. Praise be to the over-excitable media!
$27k from a fairy godmother would make it a lot more likely that we could actually have a kid, sod the plane.
I know I don't have the social skills to scrounge money, even with a viable business plan. I invested everything I've ever saved recently and am getting a 15% return per year. In a few months, that should rise to 25% and the capital value is also substantially up. That'll be $12k per year income. Woo, riches! Nobody will invest or lend me money though as I just can't do the greasy spiel to do so.
When I get interested in a subject, I often come up with stuff that other people will happily pay money for, my hobbies need to pay for themselves. Right now, an affordable torsional vibration measurement system is likely, but I have a wedding dress related product to do first. My own wedding looks set to indirectly pay for itself.