We provide a system whereby members can build an aircraft in the comfort of their own home (or wherever they choose) from either a set of plans or from a kit of parts.
Every year around 100 newly-constructed aircraft are added to the LAA fleet, with members generally taking around 1 to 4 years to complete their kit projects. A whole range of aircraft is available to build, from single-seaters to four-seaters, aerobatic to amphibian, and WWI replica triplanes to gyroplanes. The LAA is tasked with ensuring that the designs members build meet minimum airworthiness requirements, appropriate to the type. A link to the list of LAA accepted types can be found below, along with a list of plans-built types and new types that are being worked on.
Proposals for accepting other designs of aircraft can be put to the LAA, and a number of such types are accepted each year following a review of their airworthiness, amongst other things. This requires a member to champion the type through the process, arranging for the necessary technical information to be passed to the Engineering department and to build and test the first example.
Similarly, it is possible for a member to build an aircraft of their own design. LAA provides support for this (see the Designing aircraft section), but due to limited resources only the most promising/developed designs can be advanced through the system.
One of the founding principles of the LAA is to provide for members wishing to build their own aircraft, either for their own education or to enable them to own an affordable aircraft.
Of course, whichever type you choose it is usually possible to customise it to your liking using the LAA’s modification system. So if it’s an elaborate avionics suite that takes your fancy or an automotive engine conversion, there’s a route to investigating whether it’s possible.
If you like the idea of building, but feel you lack the skills, then there are courses on various aspects of aircraft building to help bring you up to speed. Your Inspector is also a fantastic mine of information and generally will be your first port of call for technical information. Of course, the LAA also has a pool of full-time engineers who can be contacted for advice.