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Autodidact

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Joined
Oct 21, 2009
Messages
4,513
Location
Oklahoma
So, the newest member joined in August, two months ago? Seems like we used to have new members more often than that. On the other hand, there's been no spam lately...
 

BBerson

Light Plane Philosopher
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Joined
Dec 16, 2007
Messages
15,362
Location
Port Townsend WA
I noticed that, jake2465 has been the new member for weeks.
Also the active member number has dropped.
 

cdlwingnut

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HBA Supporter
Log Member
Joined
May 25, 2015
Messages
538
Location
Iowa
though this is the flying season and not the building season, see if the activity doesn't pick up when the weather turns colder
 

Topaz

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Joined
Jul 29, 2005
Messages
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Orange County, California
I noticed that, jake2465 has been the new member for weeks.
Also the active member number has dropped.
The active members number dropped significantly when Nathan put up some blocks on web bots and such. "Active" means "logs in", not "writes posts." Same goes for the number of members online at any given time. We had some 'bot infestations. Nathan has been stamping them out.

It does seem like the number of people who are actively posting has dropped somewhat. That's just a personal observation. I don't think there's a tracking number for that.
 

choppergirl

Banned
Joined
Jan 30, 2015
Messages
1,682
Location
air-war.org
I, too, noticed that some of our most active contributors have gone silent. They may be sitting on a park bench like Forest Gump, and saying “That’s all I got to say about that”. :gig:
Get busy working flat out every day like a bat out of hell on your airplane project, or get busy squandering time on the internet.

Wait, wrong movie...

Is this park bench made of Spruce...? *looks furtively around*

I'm busting out of here, and taking the bench with me...
 
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Daleandee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 11, 2015
Messages
1,600
Location
SC
i read. pretty much ran out of things to say.
Sometimes participation is hard ... look at the recent postings on "Two seater without dual controls" and witness what some have referred to as a verbal bar fight. I'm OK with different opinions but at times the passion of a few to show that they always have the right answer makes me (and I believe others) back away from posting.

Again, I recently asked a question in the thread on "ADS-B" and got one good reply from BJC. The rest of the replies kinda went into the weeds over ground already covered & some seemed to wonder why in the world I would want to do such a thing.

So perhaps you have the correct name. I kinda do what I believe others are doing ... lurking. Most times I don't sign in I just come and scan the conversations.

FWIW,

Dale Williams
N319WF @ 6J2
Myunn - "daughter of Cleanex"
120 HP - 3.0 Corvair
Tail Wheel - Center Stick
Signature Finish 2200 Paint Job
159.4 hours / Status - Flying
 

RJW

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Joined
Feb 9, 2011
Messages
710
Location
Wisconsin and Kansas
When I joined HBA it seemed like posts showing a new concept appeared almost weekly. A lot of interesting airframe ideas as well as engine ideas and other stuff were continually popping up.

Back then the forum was designer and enthusiast friendly. People got excited about an idea they had and joined because HBA was a great place to discuss concepts. I think this is where a lot of the new membership originated.

Nowadays it seems the forum has shifted from design to practical problem solving. Enthusiasts (or dreamers as the doers here often refer to them) are pretty quickly put down. This must have some effect on new memberships.

I know hands-on stuff is necessary to get everybody flying. But the enthusiasts and designers made this place pretty fun and interesting. Now, instead of seeing and reading about new ideas for home built airplanes, a potential new member gets to read about somebody’s build table or clever little shop gadget.

Rob
 

BJC

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Joined
Oct 7, 2013
Messages
14,021
Location
97FL, Florida, USA
I believe that there is plenty of room and posting options for dreamers, builders, designers, doers, newbies, old farts, vendors and anyone else who is a homebuilt airplane enthusiast. But please consider a few comments:

Airplanes, engines propellers, etc., are bound by the laws of physics. When someone continues to argue in defiance of the physics that apply, he or she will, in my opinion, rightly be ignored.

When someone posts a concept and asks for opinions, there will be plenty of opinions. They should be accepted as opinion. Trying to understand someone’s opinion is an appropriate endeavor; critizing an opinion, or becoming offended by an opinion, is not.

When someone posts their design for a unique combination of levers, pulleys and falling weights that will stay in motion forever, they should expect to be taken to task. This is, after all, a discussion forum about aerodynamics, structures, performance, stability and control, piloting, thermodynamics, i.e., technical subjects, so do your homework. Proper decorum still should be maintained.

My experience with technical people is that the capable ones are confident, and openly accept challenges to their design decisions, objectively evaluate those challenges, and, when appropriate, willingly incorporate changes. Accordingly, I have a level of expectation that posters should be able to react to challenges and defend their posts themselves. Things get messy when several people are trying to tell us what another poster really meant. Not everyone is comfortable with that, but that is the nature of the beast.

I have made fewer posts recently than I once did. Lots of subjects cycle through, and frequently I am not motivated to answer / discuss a subject for the third or fourth time. It is good that newer HBAers do answer, because the OP deserves an answer.

Likewise, I am reluctant to provide answers to technical questions on a public forum. That is due in small part to laziness, but in larger part due to decades of engineering experience and concerns about liability.

There seems to be more hangar flying discussions than design discussions. I enjoy both, but would really like to see more design discussions. I enjoy the build logs with photos.


BJC
 

Little Scrapper

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Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,986
Location
Wisconsin
If new members want to join and ask questions and dream there's absolutely nothing stopping them here. This forum is extremely accepting towards anyone who joins. I can't think of a single example that could prove otherwise.

For me, I recently have scaled back my posting but that's just a seasonal thing for me. I'll be back in to airplane mode shortly. I do check the forum every day I don't see many topics that pull my attention.
 

Topaz

Super Moderator
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Jul 29, 2005
Messages
14,752
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Orange County, California
If new members want to join and ask questions and dream there's absolutely nothing stopping them here. This forum is extremely accepting towards anyone who joins....
I wish that were really true. It's gotten a little better than it was last year, but then it's still a lot worse than it was five years ago. Biggest change? Our loss of Orion. He had a gift not only of a deep and thorough understanding of design issues, but also a way of pointing out the flaws in someone's plan that encouraged them to keep the plan and fix the flaws. I can think of two members that have Orion's touch in that way. One is very rarely online anymore due to a personal tragedy, and the other routinely gets challenged in his area of professional, corporation-level expertise by people who really haven't a clue what they're talking about. That's rough to watch. Since Orion's passing, the tenor of the forum's response to new ideas has been to tell the person how their idea is bad and shouldn't be attempted at all. "Go get a nice kit and get building today, and stop this foolish idea. You're just wasting your time."

Overall, I agree with RJW that the emphasis of the forum has shifted from design to building, and that's a double-edged sword, IMHO. On the one hand, it's all "academic" if nothing gets built. Actually building something is a critical part of the process, but so is basic research. Without research, without new, sometimes "stupid" ideas, nothing new is born. Some here seem to think that nothing new is needed, and that what we've got is all anyone could ever want. The "only building matters" attitude has gotten to the point that, in the last year, I've seen direct posts to the effect that if you're not actually building an airplane today you shouldn't be allowed on HBA at all. I've been told myself to "save the designing for later and just build an existing kit." The membership dog-piled and nay-sayed a NASA reasearcher so badly a couple-three years ago that he's never come back. All he wanted to do was share his team's research project and preliminary results with the us, and he was blasted out of the forum to such an extent that just before he left he was being accused of ripping off the general public by doing the research at all, it was so "useless" or ill-founded. I managed to coax one long-term member, who has extensive design and fabrication experience with a significant aerospace-prime R&D house, back to HBA after he got fed up with it all and left. Well, the forum proved him right and me wrong and he's gone again, this time for good. We've lost several really knowledgeable members simply because of the way the forum treats "design" in the last five years. The PM's are depressing to read. I'm sure you'll also note that most of the remaining "design oriented" members aren't nearly as active any more. Why bother, when we're told repeatedly that "building right now" is the only legitimate reason for the forum to exist? I'm not as happy here as I once was, either. I'm getting tired of the "if you're not building today you're a worthless dreamer" attitude I see developing. That's hyperbole, of course, but not by much. Now, I don't think there is anyone here actively trying to be hostile or mean to those interested in design. I do think some here don't think much of design and think the entire forum should be dedicated purely to building airplanes. Well, it's Jake's forum, not theirs, and HBA has had an "Airplane Design" section since day one.

Now, to be utterly clear, I'm NOT saying that "builders" and "doers" are unwanted here. The act of building is absolutely important to homebuilt aviation. Not trying to shoot down those of you who have a particular love of building and don't have much interest in design. The practical how-to aspect of the forum has really grown because you guys are here, and that's an absolute positive for HBA. What I'm saying, and what others are asking, is that you let there be room for other aspects of homebuilt aviation as well. Designers, even dreamers, have their place here, too, whether that's of interest to you or not. If parts of someone's dream are dangerous, or has already been tried and shown to be a bad road, then help them fix the parts and fulfill their dream instead of shooting them down completely and telling them to go get a nice kit to build. For some of us, design is as important as building and, whether you agree with that yourself or not, it's just as valid and important as how to make a good weld or which tools you use to build your kitplane. It deserves a place here without the kind of attitudes it's been receiving the last five years. When design was the larger emphasis here, HBA had a larger active membership, and was really going strong. Sure, we had our share of village idiots peddling their way to the stars on Home-Depot cardboard, but we had a lot of good ideas, too. A few threads are still alive in the old vein, and they tend to be the largest and longest the forum sees.

This is an internet forum. It exists to promote the exchange of stories, tips, lessons-learned, and ideas. Last five years, that last one seems to be whittled ever farther and farther down. Personally, I think that's a real shame, and I think it reflects in the declining membership and active-member numbers. Some of that decline is definitely Nathan's purge of 'bots, but the number of real-person posts and the number of real-person "faces" I see here has certainly gone down as well.
 
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cdlwingnut

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Joined
May 25, 2015
Messages
538
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Iowa
It is sad to hear that peoples ideas no matter how out there are shot down outright,
I have been know to shoot out an idea on many occasions knowing it won't work, but maybe it will spark an idea in someone else or perhaps someone will say you know if you change x to y just maybe.
 

Little Scrapper

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Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,986
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Wisconsin
I feel like I'm missing something, what ideas get shot down? Can someone show me an example and link or something?
 

Hephaestus

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 25, 2014
Messages
2,344
Location
YMM
Part of it is all the dead threads that used to have photobucket images that now 404...

Yeah I miss the dreamers ;) they made the forum fun.
 

poormansairforce

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Joined
Mar 28, 2017
Messages
1,181
Location
Just an Ohioan
It is sad to hear that peoples ideas no matter how out there are shot down outright,
I have been know to shoot out an idea on many occasions knowing it won't work, but maybe it will spark an idea in someone else or perhaps someone will say you know if you change x to y just maybe.
I am one of those dreamers and have a pretty good imagination but I probably​ wouldn't post many of my ideas here since I do not have the experience many others do. I do love solving problems but original designs, not sure if I'm comfortable with posting them. For me, new ideas however weird can stimulate thinking outside the box creating a solution to an existing problem. That's the value in it.
 

Little Scrapper

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Log Member
Joined
Jan 3, 2014
Messages
5,986
Location
Wisconsin
I wish that were really true. It's gotten a little better than it was last year, but then it's still a lot worse than it was five years ago. Biggest change? Our loss of Orion. He had a gift not only of a deep and thorough understanding of design issues, but also a way of pointing out the flaws in someone's plan that encouraged them to keep the plan and fix the flaws. I can think of two members that have Orion's touch in that way. One is very rarely online anymore due to a personal tragedy, and the other routinely gets challenged in his area of professional, corporation-level expertise by people who really haven't a clue what they're talking about. That's rough to watch. Since Orion's passing, the tenor of the forum's response to new ideas has been to tell the person how their idea is bad and shouldn't be attempted at all. "Go get a nice kit and get building today, and stop this foolish idea. You're just wasting your time."

Overall, I agree with RJW that the emphasis of the forum has shifted from design to building, and that's a double-edged sword, IMHO. On the one hand, it's all "academic" if nothing gets built. Actually building something is a critical part of the process, but so is basic research. Without research, without new, sometimes "stupid" ideas, nothing new is born. Some here seem to think that nothing new is needed, and that what we've got is all anyone could ever want. The "only building matters" attitude has gotten to the point that, in the last year, I've seen direct posts to the effect that if you're not actually building an airplane today you shouldn't be allowed on HBA at all. I've been told myself to "save the designing for later and just build an existing kit." The membership dog-piled and nay-sayed a NASA reasearcher so badly a couple-three years ago that he's never come back. All he wanted to do was share his team's research project and preliminary results with the us, and he was blasted out of the forum to such an extent that just before he left he was being accused of ripping off the general public by doing the research at all, it was so "useless" or ill-founded. I managed to coax one long-term member, who has extensive design and fabrication experience with a significant aerospace-prime R&D house, back to HBA after he got fed up with it all and left. Well, the forum proved him right and me wrong and he's gone again, this time for good. We've lost several really knowledgeable members simply because of the way the forum treats "design" in the last five years. The PM's are depressing to read. I'm sure you'll also note that most of the remaining "design oriented" members aren't nearly as active any more. Why bother, when we're told repeatedly that "building right now" is the only legitimate reason for the forum to exist? I'm not as happy here as I once was, either. I'm getting tired of the "if you're not building today you're a worthless dreamer" attitude I see developing. That's hyperbole, of course, but not by much. Now, I don't think there is anyone here actively trying to be hostile or mean to those interested in design. I do think some here don't think much of design and think the entire forum should be dedicated purely to building airplanes. Well, it's Jake's forum, not theirs, and HBA has had an "Airplane Design" section since day one.

Now, to be utterly clear, I'm NOT saying that "builders" and "doers" are unwanted here. The act of building is absolutely important to homebuilt aviation. Not trying to shoot down those of you who have a particular love of building and don't have much interest in design. The practical how-to aspect of the forum has really grown because you guys are here, and that's an absolute positive for HBA. What I'm saying, and what others are asking, is that you let there be room for other aspects of homebuilt aviation as well. Designers, even dreamers, have their place here, too, whether that's of interest to you or not. If parts of someone's dream are dangerous, or has already been tried and shown to be a bad road, then help them fix the parts and fulfill their dream instead of shooting them down completely and telling them to go get a nice kit to build. For some of us, design is as important as building and, whether you agree with that yourself or not, it's just as valid and important as how to make a good weld or which tools you use to build your kitplane. It deserves a place here without the kind of attitudes it's been receiving the last five years. When design was the larger emphasis here, HBA had a larger active membership, and was really going strong. Sure, we had our share of village idiots peddling their way to the stars on Home-Depot cardboard, but we had a lot of good ideas, too. A few threads are still alive in the old vein, and they tend to be the largest and longest the forum sees.

This is an internet forum. It exists to promote the exchange of stories, tips, lessons-learned, and ideas. Last five years, that last one seems to be whittled ever farther and farther down. Personally, I think that's a real shame, and I think it reflects in the declining membership and active-member numbers. Some of that decline is definitely Nathan's purge of 'bots, but the number of real-person posts and the number of real-person "faces" I see here has certainly gone down as well.
I had to read this a couple times to grasp it. I see things differently, hopefully I'm allowed to.

Very few airplanes are being built here, at the EAA and across the planet. Very very few, in fact that's a serious problem we always talk about isn't it? The decline of homebuilding?

So where is the real growth? Dreamers? Probably.

I know nothing of design but I do dream and I seem to make my dreams happen by doing, it's the next logical stage. The real decline I personally see on the forum are people who talk about design then do nothing, it's cronic. Of course, that's expected I suppose because life is generally like that I've found. There's a few people who design on this forum and actually keep it going, the doers. That's impressive to me, I admire those folks.

I avoid the design section because that's not in my wheelhouse or sphere of confidence. In some other threads where the same people dream ideas up for years and then drop it it's hard to get enthusiastic about the idea because we all know it's a dead end road in less than a week.

If the goal is to grow aviation how is that accomplished? At some point it comes down to people who commit in both design and building, a rare trait indeed.

People who build are able to share progress, it builds community and grows aviation, not a bad thing. I love the ideas stage, everything I've done in life started as a dream or a thought before I committed to completing it. It's an important step, but to focus on the "idea" aspect is a tough row to hoe.

If a new member here starts a thread with a new idea and has never flown well, I totally understand the posters who recommended to first get grounded in the sport of aviation.

If someone has a real honest idea and really believes in it why would they leave? I think the door swings both ways, In life anyone with a idea or a dream will encounter opposition, it's virtually guaranteed, ya gotta have somewhat thick skin anytime you're willing to break from the norm. I do not believe for a single second that has any bearing on new membership.

Again, there's not many builders here, there's literally just a handful and most are quiet. On Instagram and Facebook I follow over 200 builders who post daily, most builders are NOT on forums, the dreamers are. There's a absolute ton of dreamers here. Just keep in mind, of the hundreds or thousands of members here there's only a dozen who post here. That's it, about a dozen, that's 12. It's almost always the same people. The polls reflect that.
 

Giggi

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Joined
Jun 9, 2014
Messages
113
Location
New Hampshire, USA
I am one of those dreamers and have a pretty good imagination but I probably​ wouldn't post many of my ideas here since I do not have the experience many others do. I do love solving problems but original designs, not sure if I'm comfortable with posting them. For me, new ideas however weird can stimulate thinking outside the box creating a solution to an existing problem. That's the value in it.
I think the napkin sketch thread is for that sort of thing: http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27417
You can post any idea you want in there without anyone analyzing it too deeply
 

Little Scrapper

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Jan 3, 2014
Messages
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Wisconsin
I think the napkin sketch thread is for that sort of thing: http://www.homebuiltairplanes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=27417
You can post any idea you want in there without anyone analyzing it too deeply
That's exactly right. That's a unique thread over 15 pages and over 20 different individuals involved (rare) where there's no hostility. I don't see the issue, let r rip with all the ideas you want, nobody is stopping anyone.
 

rbrochey

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Joined
Oct 17, 2010
Messages
1,569
Location
Gallup, New Mexico USA
In many ways it's just a sign of the times. I check out other threads for aviation and other things and they seem to be all slipping through the cracks with fewer and fewer posts... then are gone. Partly it's because you can only reinvent the wheel so many times... it's still gonna be round more or less. Most builders seem to be be building designs that are a half a century or more old... I'm a dreamer and I'm building a plane but my age group is slowly dwindling away and the many of our youth prefer virtual reality to the actual reality of building something to hold your dreams... like a sport plane. I believe hanger flying is the most popular thread in here because along with dreams we need some camaraderie... just chats and discussions with those who share a passion... and to me that's just as important as building ... like talks centering around the large spiders that live next to our planes in the hanger or back yard. Not to sound like a geriatric doom and gloomer but it's a sign of the times.
 
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