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Plans, kits, licensing, IP....


New Member
Dec 6, 2019
What gives a person the right to build a plane of a particular design? If you buy the plans to a kit plane, say a Vans RV or a Zenith, you have the right to scratch build that airplane right? Do you have the rights to build two airplanes from the same set of plans? You can build part of an airplane, say an enpennage, from either a kit or from scratch and sell it. But you can't pay for someone else to build it. How many enpannages can you build and sell before you are a professional builder? If you can't build multiple assemblies from one set of plans do you just need to buy the plans for each set you build?

It looks like the plans for a Zenith CH650 are $495. But the plans for the Van's aircraft are only $55. Do these plans give you the same rights? Are the Van's plans not as comprehensive, forcing a builder to buy kits instead of scratch building?

I would imagine if you started cranking out cloned kits of the aircraft working on one set of plans (or even a separate set for each new kit) that the kit manufacturer would take issue with that.

How does all this work? (I'm just curious.)