Building an Airplane in One Week at AirVenture

Program sparks interest in homebuilding as volunteers build an airplane in seven days.

One Week Wonder AirVenture 2014

One Week Wonder AirVenture 2014

Volunteers are currently hard at work at EAA's One Week Wonder tent at AirVenture as they strive to build a Zenith CH75 Cruzer in just seven-days' time.

More than 1,000 volunteers have lent their hands to the program, which kicked off earlier this week on the showgrounds as One Week Wonder participants set up shop on Celebration Way. As of Thursday morning, the airplane was clearly taking shape, with the engine already on the mount and the airplane equipped with landing gear.

EAA's Charlie Becker, who's heading up the project, says the airplane is at the stage where "it's 90 percent done, 90 percent to go." The plan is to be done in time for an FAA inspection on Sunday, followed by taxiing the airplane before the Thunderbirds' performance.

According to Becker, the impetus for the program came when he and his colleagues were brainstorming the best way to promote homebuilding at the show and decided what better way than to build an airplane on site. A similar program was carried out at Oshkosh in 1976, and Becker says that they'll hopefully do it again every three to five years.

"My objective is to introduce a whole bunch of people to the concept of homebuilding," he says. The strategy appears to be working, with the One Week Wonder tent abuzz with activity and spectators, who are able to participate in the process themselves at various stations at the tent.

Once the airplane is complete, it will go on tour to promote homebuilding during the coming year and will serve as a testament to the fun and effort of the quick seven-day build.

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