Technical Articles

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TECH TIP: Restorations – Metal Parts and Pieces - by Ron Alexander, VAA 27150 Over the past few months we have been taking a look at the process of restoring an antique or classic airplane. Wood and metal are two primary types of materials used on many older airplanes. We have talked about inspecting and repairing wooden surfaces. Now let’s take a look at […]
TECH TIP: Maintaining a Production Airplane, Part 3 - by Ron Alexander, VAA 27150 This is the final in a series of articles naming the maintenance items you can legally perform as an aircraft owner. The first 8 items are discussed in the previous article. Item number 9—“Refinishing decorative coating of fuselage, balloon baskets, wing tail group surfaces ( excluding balanced control surfaces ), […]
TECH TIP: Maintaining a Production Airplane – Part Two - by Ron Alexander, VAA 27150 In part one of our discussion on maintaining a production airplane, I provided an overview. We will now discuss the actual maintenance items that you can legally perform on your production airplane as the aircraft owner. Item number 1—“removal, installation, and repair of landing gear tires.” This preventive maintenance item […]
TECH TIP: Maintaining a Production Airplane – Part One - by Ron Alexander, VAA 27150 What about those of us who own a production airplane with a standard airworthiness certificate? Can we legally maintain that airplane? If so, what does the FAA allow us to do? Can we document it in the aircraft logbook? Where can we find more information concerning what can be done […]
TECH TIP: Wood Glues and Finishing Wood Surfaces - by Ron Alexander,VAA 27150 WOOD GLUE Certainly, the type of glue used in wood construction is of the utmost importance. Glue is the material used almost exclusively as a means of joining wood in aircraft construction. A component part is considered joined satisfactorily if the strength of the glue joint is approximately equal to the […]
TECH TIP: Aircraft Plywood - by Ron Alexander,VAA 27150 Upon examining the problems associated with selecting wood for use in your airplane, it is apparent that you must become familiar with how to properly inspect wood prior to installation. The previous articles provide an in-depth look at the types of wood you can use, the common defects found in these […]
TECH TIP: Inspecting Wood – Part Two - Inspecting and Repairing Older Wood By Ron Alexander, VAA 27150 In my last article I discussed the basics regarding what to look for when inspecting wood. Common wood defects were presented along with how to detect them. Inspection techniques during the restoration process are somewhat different. The basics still apply but other problems may be […]
TECH TIP: Restorations – Inspecting and Repairing Wood - by Ron Alexander, VAA 27150 Having discussed in previous articles the process of finding an airplane to restore and what to look for prior to purchasing, it is now time to actually begin work on the project. Since many antique airplanes are made of wooden parts, let’s begin by discussing aircraft wood. Inspecting Aircraft Wood […]
Ron Alexander Restoring an Airplane – Part Two - by Ron Alexander, VAA 27150 Finding a Project There exist a surprising number of classic and antique airplanes that are available for restoration. The first place I would recommend looking is in Trade-A-Plane or online at Each has an antique section in addition to other sections such as Aeronca, Citabria, Piper, Stearman, Waco, etc. […]