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Wisconsin men build airplane from scratch

September 12, 2011, 04:13 pm

Two men from Oshkosh, Wisconsin, are building a four seat, Bearhawk airplane in the basement of one of their homes, according to the Oshkosh Northwestern, and are using the internet to broadcast their project, making it an enormous collaboration.

The two friends - Brady Lane, a journalist at the Experimental Aircraft Association and Caleb Ihrig, a mechanical engineer - shared an interest in aviation and brainstormed a way to obtain an airplane they could share and use for camping trips. The pair settled on a Bearhawk model.

"It's like the SUV of airplanes," Ihrig told the source. "It's not the fastest, it's not the best looking, but you can haul the whole family, land in a field and go camping."

The men expect the entire project to take a little more than seven years, a total of between 2,000 and 3,000 working hours, Ihrig noted.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, there were 4,469 private licensed pilots in Wisconsin in 2010, accounting for about 44 percent of all the pilot licenses active in the state that year.

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