2021- A great year in Homebuilding


It’s the first day of the year, and the very very first visitor to my hangar is old friend and DAR extraordinaire, Arnold Holmes. Let me tell you why this bodes very well for our branch of aviation.


Arnold and myself in my yard today. We have been friends for 25 years. If you look at the famous photo of my Pietenpol at Brodhead 2000, Arnold is standing there with me, as we had just flown it 1,300 miles from Daytona Beach. Arnold also hosted Corvair Colleges #17 , #25 and #29. Today Arnold owns a large maintenance facility in Leesburg FL, and is a very active DAR, working under the name “AV-MECH LLC.”


Arnold was on my airport to inspect a new homebuilt, (A Panther) and to issue its airworthiness cert. Yes, a new homebuilt on the first day of the year……..But wait for this……….Arnold certificated 97 aircraft last year, a record for him, and he is but one of several very active DAR’s operating in Florida. 2020 was actually a very good year in homebuilding, and most industry insiders believe that 2021 will be even better.


This is something of a mental disconnect to many people who may like homebuilts but are not active builders; How when Oshkosh and every other major airshow was cancelled in 2020, does homebuilding have a record productive year? The question answers itself: Maybe the two are not directly related.


Airshows are fun, but in the long arc of your time in aviation, they are really entertainment, they are not an achievement in your life, like the plane you are building in your shop. They are related, but if your personal balance favors entertainment, you will need to make a correction to get your plane to the Flightline. 2020 forced this correction on people by canceling all the entertainment. If airshows come back in 2021, you should know in advance what personal balance you will strike on how to invest your hours and dollars in aviation.




3 Replies to “2021- A great year in Homebuilding”

  1. Great observation William. 2020 certainly gave me the chance to finally cast off all the interruptions of work and whatever and get some serious building done. Was …almost… disappointed to get a new job with the new year and face getting back to that work. As my dad said when he retired “I can’t believe I ever had time for a job”. Hope to see you in ‘21.


  2. I can’t count the number of times over the past 20 years that I came home from a week-long show, and immediately wished I had spent those ten 18 hour days and all that money on my project.

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