Druine D.31A Turbulent - London, UK - sorslibertas.

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Feb 1, 2022

I am building a D.31A Turbulent, after dithering between several different designs, namely a scratch-built L-4 Cub (the LAA was worried about intellectual property issues), the Stampe SV-4 (too complex and expensive), the Druine D.5, and either the Druine D.31A Turbulent or the Jodel D.9.

I bought plans for the latter two designs, but ultimately decided on the Turb after paying a visit to the Tiger Club and their Turbulent Team - they were ever so helpful and welcoming to both me and my 9 year old son!

So far, I have formally registered the project with the LAA, found an inspector, made the first wood order, and started building the jig for the rudder.

As I live on a boat, the plan is to build the aircraft in small, bitesize chunks starting with the rudder, and worry about the large parts later on in the build (as I see it, the only parts I can’t build at home are the fuselage and wings, as well as the metal fittings) - although my inspector has reassured me by telling me he knows people on farms with empty barns he can put me in touch with. I will be able to dimension the wood at my local makerspace.

The biggest downside of building at home is the fact that as I don’t have much storage space, I can’t buy big batches of lumber, so will have to take the hit of shipping costs as I only buy the amount I need at the time.

I am currently an emergency nurse, but at various parts of my life I have worked as a human rights activist in Indonesia and East Timor, a journalist in Indonesia, and a humanitarian aid worker in Kashmir, Liberia, Zimbabwe, Papua New Guinea, Pakistan, Libya, South Sudan, Iraq, and most recently, Ukraine. I flew gliders as a kid, but stopped flying when I realised that the price of a flight was roughly the same as two cinema tickets, so spent my money on going on dates instead. My son told me, “Well, that was a mistake. You ended up breaking up with all of them anyway!”. Harsh, but fair.

Between work, finances, and family commitments, I am hoping to complete the build and get my PPL in the next five years or so.
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