General Information and
Updated 22 January- Click the Picture to see what's new!
Pilot reports, Suggestions for
                builders, Magazine Bibliography, Fly Baby Bulletin
Reports on recent crashes, NTSB
                historical reports, safety updates
Technical Issues of Interest to
                Fly Baby Builders and Owners
A whole lot of Fly Baby pictures
Links to Fly Baby web pages
Tales from the Fly Baby world....
Data on Fly Baby engines,
                        including Harry Fenton's engine page Marketplace - For sale,
                        etc. A Biography of the
                        Designer of the Fly Baby Email Discussion List
                        on Yahoo
All About Two-Seat Fly
                        Babies What to look for when buying a used Fly
                        Baby Fly Baby model for Microsoft Flight

The Unofficial Fly Baby Home Page

Maintained by Ron Wanttaja (

This web page is for those interested in the Bowers Fly Baby homebuilt aircraft. This page is for information only, and is not affiliated with the owner of the rights to the Flybaby design.

What's New?

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General Information

This section discusses general aspects of the Fly Baby design.  Contents:
Why a Fly Baby?
Description and Specifications
Ordering Information
Wood and Welded Parts Suppliers
Some Real-World Performance Numbers
Cost Estimates
Results of the Builder Survey

Why a Fly Baby?

Face it. You can page through the Aerocrafter Guide , or pick your way through the KITPLANES December issue, and find a lot of homebuilts that are faster, sleeker, and newer than the Fly Baby.

Why not build one of them, instead of a 40-year-old-design?

The answer lies in your own flying habits.

Why do you want an airplane? Will you be making regular trips for long distances? Carrying passengers? Blasting up to high altitudes?

Or are you just looking for a fun, knockaround airplane? Something that doesn't cost much to own? Something that you can go sightseeing in without breaking the bank on fuel costs. Something more substantial than an ultralight or ultralight-based design.

Take an honest look at the way you fly an airplane now. Do you just make "Hundred Dollar Hamburger" runs on the weekends? Do you fly just for the joy of flight? Do you generally go by yourself?

Then maybe...MAYBE...a Fly Baby might be the plane for you.

They're cheap as dirt to operate. Our EAA Chapter operated Pete Bowers' prototype as a club airplane from 1987 to 1994. Rarely did our yearly maintenance bill exceed $100. That's not a typo... One Hundred Dollars. Most years, the total maintenance cost was less than $25. Insurance (liability only) for five pilots was $215/year. In the club, we charged $5/hour, dry, for flying the plane, and ran the thing on car gas ($1.20/gal, 5 gal/hour).

The major drawback: Fly Babies don't come in kits. You carve every piece of wood; bend every bit of metal. Yet the Fly Baby is designed to be as simple as possible to build. EAA Judges rate aircraft at Fly-Ins, not only on how well the builder did, but on how difficult the airplane was to build. The Fly Baby has ALWAYS occupied the "easiest" category...even in today's modern kit era. They go together like a big balsa-wood model. You don't even have to build-up ribs like most wood homebuilts. Instead, you stack up sheets of plywood and "gang-saw" them all at once on a bandsaw.

By not buying a kit, you save tons of money. Even today, one can probably build a Fly Baby (less engine) for $6,000 or less. Even though it doesn't come as a kit, a lot of the major parts (fuel tanks, engine mounts) come from the J-3 Cub, and companies like Wag-Aero and Univair still sell these parts.

It's not "Tab A into Slot B" kitbuilding. But the Fly Baby was the seminal EAA project; it was the first (and so far, only) design ever to win an EAA design competition. EAA essentially cut its teeth on Fly Babies. If you need help building one, assistance is as close as your nearest EAA Technical Counselor.

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Description and Specifications

The Fly Baby is a single-seat, open cockpit, folding-wing monoplane powered by engines ranging from 65 to 100 HP. It was originally designed in 1960 to compete in the first (and so far, only EAA design competition). It is built primarily of wood, with fabric covering. Most are powered by Continental A-65, C-75, C-85, or O-200 engines. Performance is sprightly; a bit better than that of, say, an Aeronca Champ.

While a single-seat airplane, the Fly Baby isn't small. It has a wingspan just two feet less than a Cessna 150. It's got a big cockpit. Pete Bowers is six feet two inches tall, and I weigh about 250 pounds. That gives you an idea of the range of sizes that can be accommodated.

The Fly Baby can be built as a biplane as well as a monoplane. The two monoplane wing panels are replaced by four smaller ones, plus a center section for the top wing. The aircraft can be switched back and forth between versions in about an hour, but it does take a helper. The biplane, while cool in concept, doesn't really offer too much. It's slower, and the wings don't fold. Still, its swept-back upper wings make it look a bit like a Bucker or Tiger Moth in the air, so if you'd really rather have a biplane, the Fly Baby would do the trick.

My advice: Build a monoplane first, to have something to fly, and build the biplane wings in your spare time after the first flight. The biplane wings take longer to build, since there are four panels and a center section, and they're swept rather than straight. If you build the monoplane wings first, you'll have something to fly while building the extra wings.

The monoplane/biplane issue is more than a wing swap...there are some internal braces and external tangs that have to be added to the fuselage. You can do this once the fuselage is done (The prototype was converted after completion), but it is, of course, easier during construction.

Switching back and forth between the wings takes two people about an hour. This assumes the rigging has already been set. While I helped on a wing swap, I never flew the biplane version. Other than appearances, there isn't much advantage. It's slower, and glides at an even steeper angle.

In monoplane or biplane configuration, the Fly Baby does meet the US rules for Sport Pilot.  In the United States, you do not need an FAA medical to fly a Fly Baby.

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Some Real-World Performance Numbers

Howard Jones from Perth, Australia, was involved with the completion of an O-200 powered Fly Baby, and sent along the following performance figures. Note that this is with a 100 horsepower engine. These were the measured results from a field at 50 foot elevation during a 68-degree (F) day, with no wind:
Distance of ground run 265 feet/81 metres
lift off to 50' 450 feet/137 metres
total distance 715 feet/218 metres
add 30% safety factor = 925 feet/283 metres Take off Distance

Speed at 50ft 57 MPH/50 KIAS
50' to touchdown 640 feet/196 metres
ground roll 660 feet/201 metres (moderate braking)
add 30% safety factor = 1700 feet 516 metres recommended landing distance.
Suggested minimum runway distance for this aircraft:

 1975 feet/600 metres.
[RJW Note: This seems reasonable. A 2,000 foot runway is pretty much my threshold of "pucker factor". I've landed in shorter fields, but they take good concentration. If you've got unobstructed approaches, the 660-foot ground roll is definitely doable.]
Best rate of climb speed 57 MPH/50 knots IAS
recommended 69 MPH/60 Knots IAS
Takeoff safety speed 63 MPH/55 Knots IAS
[RJW Note: The best rate speed seems a bit slow. I've been using 65 MPH for best rate, but haven't actually run a flight test on it. I like the extra speed buffer over stall.]
Maximum level speed 112 MPH/97 knots IAS
maximum climb rate 1300 ft per minute at 50 KIAS
normal climb rate 1000 ft per minute at 60 KIAS
[RJW Note: Don't forget, these figures are with a 100 HP engine!]

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Bowers recommends Continentals between 65 and 85 horsepower. The biggest engine I've heard of is a Lycoming O-290 (~125 HP). The 'Baby isn't a fast airplane by any stretch of the imagination, so bigger engines don't really buy you much. You're better off with the lighter weight (and lower fuel burn) of the little Continentals.

On the subject of the Continentals, both 'Babies I've flown have been powered by the C-85. I've formated on A-65 powered versions. The performance difference was marked, especially considering I was heavier than the pilots flying the 65 HP versions. Tom Staples has replaced his A-65 with a C-85, and his daughter reports that his cruise went from 80 to 95 MPH and his rate of climb from 500 to 1000 FPM!

Other Engines

There's no reason at all you couldn't fly a Fly Baby on a Rotax 532 or 582. These engines are considerably lighter than the Continentals, though, so you'll need a longer engine mount for CG. Might look a bit goofy. These two engines are only 65 HP, though.

Volkswagens are too anemic. Draggy airplanes need large propellers, and your typical VW ends up with a little 42" toothpick to be able to turn the 3400 RPM where it produces 65 HP. VW-powered 'Babies have flown, but the owners soon convert them to Continentals.

An 85-HP Rotax 912 (four cylinder four stroke) would be ideal, if you've got the $9,000 or so to buy one.

Personally, I'm somewhat taken by some of the smaller auto-engine conversions. I've met the designer of the Stratus Subaru conversion a number of times, and think the engine has excellent possibilities as a Fly Baby powerplant.

An examination of Fly Baby engine options can be found on the Engines page.

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Ordering Information

All right:  Short version first.  I am selling a "50th Anniversary" edition of the plans, which include both the monoplane and biplane sections.  To order,  email me at .  Cost is still $145, postage included (to anywhere in the world).  I can do Paypal if you wish, tell me when you send the email and I'll send the Paypal address to you.  Otherwise, US checks are OK (PayPal only for international customers).

This isn't just a photocopy of Pete's plans...Frank Stutzman scanned the text in and ran an OCR process.  I formatted Frank's files to re-create the original layout of the written portion of the plans.  This is new text digitally printed, no more faded pages and Pete's handwriting darkening up some sections so you're able to read it.  I scanned in Pete's artwork at 400 dpi.

You can see a sample at:

This is the first 50 pages of the manual, including the entire Fuselage construction section.  Please download only if you have a high-speed connection...the file is 11 megs.  Note that this is a "low resolution" PDF conversion (to keep it small) so the artwork looks worse than the printed product.

The Long Version

The person who owns the rights to the Fly Baby has disappeared.  Several folks had ordered plans over a year ago, and never received anything.

I do not have permission of the rights-holder to sell plans.  I'm holding back a $25 royalty from each set for her, should she ever contact me.  If she tells me to quit selling plans, I will quit.

Why am I doing this?  A couple of reasons.  First, I'm a real fan of the design, and HATE to see it not be available.

Second... Before he died, Pete Bowers asked me to keep the Fly Baby available.  I'm doing so.

The business aspect of the plans-sales process has never worked all that well.  The address previously supplied for ordering plans wasn't that of the rights-holder....the addressee would cash the checks, and forward the orders and money to the rightsholder.  She would collect orders for several months, then make a run to the copy shop.  The biggest problem is that there was no insight into WHEN plans might be shipped.  The rightsholder was very difficult to get hold email, phone number and address changed several times.

For as long as I'm allowed to sell plans (see the second paragraph under "The Long Version" above), I hope to make the process more business-like.  I am maintaining a stock of plans.  When you email me, I'll give you the payment address if I have copies in stock.  I won't let you send me money unless I physically have plans to send you.  I typically ship orders within three days of receiving payment; they're going to go out Priority Mail, so it should only take 2-3 days to get anywhere in the US.

If I'm out of stock and I have an order, I usually go to the copy shop the next weekend and run off five or ten copies.  So you won't have to wait long, if I don't have copies at that time.

When I receive the Paypal notice or your check, I'll email you to confirm.  If you DON'T hear from me in a reasonable amount of time, please check.back.  We've had cases where the checks haven't arrived, or Paypal didn't email the notice of payment.

Call me biased, but I think this is the best version of the plans since Pete's original issue.  Like I mention above, this is a new production, not just a photocopy of an original set.   I haven't changed Pete's words, but I've added a few amplifying comments to reflect the changes since the 1960s.  While the in-plans templates aren't to correct scale, most of them are simple and you can easily re-draw them to the proper size.

In addition, templates have been generated by the user community.  You can download them on the templates and generate you generate full-scale drawings of the ribs and the metal parts.

Also, remember that the EAA published instructions for building Fly Babies in the early '60s.  If you are a member, you can access and save these articles for free (and if you aren't a member, it costs only $40 or so).  I've set up a web page to discuss this process.  It includes a complete list of revisions that need to be done to the figures included in the EAA articles.

Ron Wanttaja (

Free Biplane Plans Download

I started the plans-production process with doing an electronic conversion of the Biplane supplement.  What the heck, might as well make them available from a free download.

There are two versions.  The "Informational" copy is a fairly low-resolution PDF, and it best suited for just taking a look at them.  The "High Resolution" set has the imagery in far better detail, but the whole download is about 20 megs.  Might take a while.

Informational Copy
High-Resolution Copy

Note that, in neither set, are the templates properly sized.  You'll have to redraw them.  The rib templates are includes in the set available for free downloading on the Templates page. 

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Here's a list of suppliers that carry Fly Baby-specific sort of parts. This doesn't constitute an endorsement; this isn't an "approved" list. But they might be good starting point. The customer must make his or her own decision as to the airworthiness and value of the items mentioned.

Those who like to get an idea of the total order size required can check out this attempt at a representative materials list.  It's in Microsoft Excel format.

Several Fly Baby builders have been working with Ray Landis (president and also a pilot) of Advanced Manufacturing Systems (Decatur, AL) to fabricate new Fly Baby metal parts.  Folks report excellent workmanship and fast response.  Contact Ray at 256-350-8386.

Andrew Budek-Schmeisser is now selling welded Fly Baby components, from a single piece to a full-blown set. 

Aircraft Spruce and Specialty sells practically all the individual components, and Materials Kits to provide all the raw materials.

Wicks Aircraft is a well-liked supplier of a wide variety of homebuilding materials.  They also have Materials Kits.

Some Wood Sources:

B&D Plywood, in Tacoma, Washington is a good source for plywood.
Crosscut Hardwoods in Portland, Oregon sells marine plywood
Chesapeake Light Craft sells boat kits, but supposedly has some of the lowest wood prices around
Boulter Plywood is located near Boston, and is recommended by one of our New England builders.
McCormick Lumber and Cabinetry is in Madison, WI.  They carry Sitka Spruce.
Probably the best source of Fly Baby goodies are unfinished projects and Fly Markets. There are still a number of unfinished projects out there...I once called on one that was essentially complete, less engine. The owner wanted only $1,000 for it.

Also Available:  Downloads/Reprints of The Fly Baby Bulletin

Back in the late '60s, Hayden Ferguson published a newsletter for Fly Baby builders.  Hayden has kindly provided me with a clean copy of all the newsletters, and permission to reprint them.

This are of pretty good interest to Fly Baby builders.  There are a number of hints and suggestions, and a total of 200 pages (printed double-sided, so there are only 100 sheets).  Be advised there is an equal amount of "What Joe Smith is working on now" sort of information...vital and informative when the newsletter is mailed out, but of less use to builders thirty years later.  It's fun to read, though.

Steve Pitts took the old Bulletins and converted them to Adobe Acrobat format (.PDF).  You can now download them for free.  Also, I've still got a few hard copies left, if you would prefer.   I'm selling these for $20, US Postage paid. Email me for ordering information.

Cost Estimates

Building Cost (Updated Sept 2006)

One of the main reasons the Fly Baby was so popular in the 1960s is its low-cost construction.  Back then, aircraft-quality wood was still in wide production, and huge stocks of aircraft hardware (like turnbuckles) had been produced during the war and were still being sold at low prices.

Unfortunately, in the 45 years since, things have changed.  It used to be that wood was cheap but alumimum was expensive; that's no longer the case.  The surplus turnbuckles are long gone, and the new production stuff is quite a bit costlier.

In September, 2006, Dirk Chubbic of San Jose, California, took the bull by the horns:

"I got my Aircraft Spruce and Specialty catalogue recently and spent some time pricing FB construction.  I started with the materials list from Ron's site and plugged in prices from AS&S, using the lowest prices when a choice was necessary (e.g. cad plated vs. stainless bolts).

"The total was about $8,125.

"Of course, that doesn't include engine, fuel tank/lines, prop, instruments, covering, paint or even glue.  It's just the airframe and fittings.  Of course, a good scrounge/bargan hunter can do it for less, but I think that's a good benchmark, just in case somebody asks."

Since the Fly Baby is plans-built (e.g., no complete kit) the cost of construction varies from builder to builder. Some folks opt for all new hardware, some haunt the Fly Markets for good deals.  As Dirk says, his pricing assumes new parts (albeit the lowest-cost new parts) exclusively.  If you scrounge, or buy partially-completed aircraft, you can do a lot better.

The price can go higher, too.. If you decide to add stuff like an electrical system, radios, and a transponder, you'll add quite a bit to the cost of the airframe.

As far as engines go, check Trade-A-Plane for prices. A good C-85 will probably run ~$3,000-$4,000. A run-out will go for quite a bit less, and you can overhaul it yourself. A wood prop will run $600 or so.

Operating Costs

Fly Babies are very cheap to run. I'll give you my costs as an example.

(Updated June 2001)

My C-85 burns ~5 gallons an hour of $1.60/gallon car gas. That's $8 an hour, plus a bit more for oil.

I have an open hangar that costs $155 per month.  I currently chose to pay the whole expense myself, but in the past I've shared my hangar with another airplane and cut the hangar costs in half.

Liability insurance (only) costs about $525/year. Adding $10,000 not-in-flight coverage bumps that to about $700, and going whole hog for in-flight coverage adds another $100. Liability plus hull coverage (ground and flight), then, costs me a total of $800. (Keep in mind...while I'm not that high in total hours, I've got a LOT of Fly Baby time. Your liability coverage should be about the same, but hull coverage will probably be higher.)

My first year of ownership has had some unusual expenses, like the need to replace the radio. On the old, no-electrical-system Fly Baby, we spent ~$25-$100 or so a year.

So: If we assume I fly 50 hours per year, my total costs come to: Gas: 50 hours x 5 gal/hour x 1.60gal, or about $400. Hangar: 12 x $155, total $1860 Insurance: $800 (full coverage) Maintenance: $150.

Total yearly cost: About $3210.  If I still shared the hangar, my total yearly cost would be just $2200.  Hourly rate:  $44 wet, and I can fly anytime I want.

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Links to other Web Pages on Fly Babies and Fly Baby-Like homebuilts:

Builder/Rebuilder Pages and Blogs

Other Sites of Interest

Social Media Index

For overall categories of information on these pages, go back to the top of this page.  This index provides a bit of cross-referencing, where a given topic might be discussed in several places.


Aerobatics and the Fly Baby:  An Editorial


Detailed Report: N2695
Detailed Report:  N96MG
Detailed Report:  N101LX
NTSB Summaries
Avionics (See Also Electronics)
Panel-Mounting a Handheld Radio
Antennas for Fly Babies
Wind-Powered Generators
Ron's Avionics Box
Building an Adaptor to Use a Commercial Headset with an Aircraft Radio
Converting a Russian Helmet - Part 1 and Part 2
Instrument Panel Pictures
Homemade Under-Helmet Headset
Free Biplane Plans Download
The Fly Baby Biplane

Aerobatics and the Fly Baby:  An Editorial
All Those Wires!  A look at alternative wing-bracing schemes
Overall Discussion
A Look at Wing-Failure Accidents:
A Wing-Folding Guide
A strut-braced Fly Baby, courtesy of Miguel Tschopp's web page.  This airplane was built in Argentina, and Miguel's web page includes the official drawings needed for approval by the local FAA-equivalent.
Split-Axle Landing Gear
Cantilever wings (eliminating the bracing wires)
Every year, I generate a calendar that features Fly Baby pictures.

Ear Protection
Warmth and general comfort
Eric Whittred's Seat Design
Fly Babies for the Big and Tall
The Webmaster's New Clothes
The Belly Inspection Panel
How to Add a Canopy
Converting a surplus Russian flying helmet to Fly Baby use
Follow-Up:  Adding IPOD ear buds to the Russian helmet
Elevator Trim
How to add a baggage compartment
A Skosh More Room.  A simple modification that gives you another inch of legroom.
Trim Systems:
Fly Baby rigging and trim
Adding a classic elevator trim system
Adding a Paddle-Type trim system
Do-It-Yourself Ejection Seat
Leather Jackets for the Open-Cockpit Aviator
Modifying the cockpit coaming for more room.
Building an under-helmet headset.
All about Leather Helmets
Battery installation
Panel-mounting a Handheld Radio
Ron's avionics box
Wind Generators
Surviving Without an Electrical System
A low-cost radio antenna
Instrument Panel Pictures
Installing an Electronic Tachometer
Rebulding a Fly Baby Electrical System
Including lots of good information for those working from scratch
Installing BNC Connectors
Building an under-helmet headset.
Improving the volume level when using a handheld radio with aviation headsets
The Engines Page
Engine Options
Maintenance Problem Reports
Survey Results on Engine Selections
Harry Fenton on Engines
Starter Clutch Problems
Remote-Release Tail Hooks as a Hand-Propping Aid
Battery selection and location
Trouble-shooting electrical system problems
Adding an auxiliary fuel Tank
Flight Simulator
Fly Baby Model for Microsoft Flight Simulator
Fly Baby Model for Vehicle Simulator
A Radio-Controlled Fly Baby for $40
Flying Advice/Reports:
Aerobatics and the Fly Baby:  An Editorial
Flying Advice (General)
Nouvelle Classique (pilot report by webmaster)
Punkin (Biplane pilot report by Chris Eulberg)
Jerry David's account of the first flight of his OWN Fly Baby Bipe
Chuck Davis' report of his first flight in the Fly Baby he bought.
Preflight/Pretakeoff Checklists
The Fly Baby and Sport Pilot
Fly Baby Bulletin downloads.  Pilot reports, builder reports, etc. from the 1960s.
Folding Wings
A Wing-Folding Guide
For Sale
Aircraft and Components
T-Shirts and other Gear
Pre-Buy Inspections for Used Fly Babies
Panel Photos
Installing an Electronic Tachometer
Building a Fun Meter

Landing Gear and Brakes
How the landing gear is part of the wing bracing system
How about tri-cycle gear?
Rolling your own Goodyear brake pads
Tailpost Problems and their Correction.
A discussion on split axles.
Drew Fidoe on care and feeding of Maule SFSA tailwheels.
Rotating Tires
Split-Axle Landing Gear
What Size Tires for a Fly Baby?
Replacing Goodyear Wheels with Grove Wheels

Light Sport Aircraft
The Fly Baby and Sport Pilot
Magazine Articles
Nouvelle Classique (KITPLANES pilot report by webmaster)
Fly Baby Bulletin downloads.  Pilot reports, builder reports, etc. from the 1960s.
Fly Baby Model for Microsoft Flight Simulator
Ordering Jacket Patches
Painting a Fly Baby with Latex house paint
Drew's Ten-Year Update
Three-View Drawing for working on paint schemes (works better if you right-click and save to your own disk)
Getting the WWII Army Air Force markings right.
A Poem for Old Tail Dragger Pilots, by Wendell Davenport
He Wanted to Fly, by Robert Gellock
Index to Fly Baby Photo Albums
"Altered States" - Doctored photos
Arlington 40th Anniversary Event
Flabob 40th Anniversary Event
Fly Baby-related Artwork
Three-View Drawing
Insrument Panels
Fly Baby Persona for Firefox
Not photos, but sketches of a Fly Baby under construction
Slightly Weird Pictures.  Like "Altered States", but not edited.
Pilot Reports
List of Pilot Reports
A Record-Breaking Fly Baby
Pilot Operations Handbook (POH).  That's a Word version so you can edit it and insert your own values.  Here's a PDF for those who just want to look at it.
Fly Baby vs. Pietenpol
Plans and Parts:
Building a Fly Baby using the free EAA Magazine Articles
Ordering Plans
Commercial Suppliers
Making your own Goodyear brake pads
Cheap 'n Easy Gap Seals
Materials List
List of Plan Revisions
Templates for Fly Baby Parts
Free Biplane Plans Download
Survey Results on Propeller Selections
Propeller Selection:  That Ol' Black Magic
Rebuilding a Fly Baby
This Old Plane  - Drew Fidoe's rebuilding notes
Aerobatics and the Fly Baby:  An Editorial
Condition Inpspection Checklist
The Safety Page
Fly Baby Weight and Balance Spreadsheet
Pilot Operations Handbook (POH).  That's a Word version so you can edit it and insert your own values.  Here's a PDF for those who just want to look at it.
Heat-Induced control jamming.
Fly Baby model for Microsoft Flight Simulator
Fly Baby Model for Vehicle Simulator
Sport Pilot
The Fly Baby and Sport Pilot
The Stories Page
Structural Issues
The Bracing Page
English translation of Finnish Load-Test Report
Plans Sales
Commercial Vendors
Materials List (Excel Spreadsheet)
Drew Fidoe on the care and feeding of the Maule Tailwheel.  PDF File.
Tail Post Repair
Tailwheel Springs
Technical Issues
The Advice Page (for folks new to the Fly Baby world)
Tech Talk (more in-depth technical material)
List of Plans Revisions
The Fly Baby and Sport Pilot
This Old Plane - Drew Fidoe's Restoration Notes
Fly Baby Bulletin downloads.  Pilot reports, builder reports, etc. from the 1960s.
Adding elevator trim
Adding an auxiliary fuel Tank
Fly Baby rigging and trim
The Templates Page
Tires, Wheels, and Axles (See also "Tailwheels")
Tire Rotation on Fly Babies
Split Axles
Tailwheel Springs
Tire and Wheel Selection for Fly Babies
Replacing Goodyear Wheels
Trailer required for carrying a Fly Baby
Trim and Rigging:

Fly Baby rigging and trim
Adding a classic elevator trim system
Adding a Paddle-Type trim system

In-Flight Videos with external cameras
Links to Youtube and other videos
Link to the Fly Baby Webinar hosted by EAA

Design Weight (See the text on the figure)
Survey Results on Empty Weights
Typical weight of individual components
Plexiglas or Lexan?  One-Piece or Three-Piece?
How to Add A Canopy
Wood Selection and Testing (PDF file)
Wood Suppliers
Wood Construction Links
Robert "Veeduber" Hoover's Blog

What's New

January 22nd, 2017

Drew Fidoe wrote up a ten year update on the use of Latex house paint to cover his Fly Baby.

While we're at it, it's the 20th anniversary of Drew's airplane being crushed by a hangar.

One question I get asked is about eliminating the bracing wires and going to a cantilever wing.  Don't get your hopes up....

Picture this time is of Fulton Cook's Fly taken by Mr. Hubbard.

December 29th, 2016
Download and print the 2017 Fly Baby Calendar!.

November 12th, 2016
Continuing to update the Adventures in Amplitude web page, discussing how to improve the volume level from handheld radios.   Some schematics and details of actual construction added.

October 2 2016

Some information on improving the volume level of aviation headsets when plugged into handheld radios.

Picture taken of Ben Kaufman's Fly Baby, soon after completion.

September 17 2016
John Tiner is back home, safe and sound.  Check out the full story of his Round Trip from St. Louis to Canada.

September 11 2016
Cover Photo:  Hans Teijgeler bought this Fly Baby in Canada in 2014, and shipped it home to the Netherlands. 

Added a couple of shots to Slightly Weird Pictures

September 3 2016
John Hudson Tiner is on his way from St. Louis to Canada by Fly Baby

Drew Fidoe sent in some drop-dead air-to-air of his Fly Baby

A new addition to Slightly Weird Pictures.

August 6 2016
Howard Holman fixed up and repainted his Fly Baby, and sent new pictures.

July 31 2016
Cover photo is Chris Brown's Fly Baby, taken at the Arlington Fly-In a few years back.

Added a story about Flying with an Old Friend.

Added a web page showing a collection of (unaltered, but often posed) Slightly Weird Pictures involving Fly Babies.

Added a drawing showing a "New Fly Baby Version" to the Altered States page.

Just got done replacing my "Tiny Tach", and added an update to that web page.

July 16 2016
Today's cover photo is Kurt Grubert's 'RNAS Experimental Scout FB1B' (RNAS refers to the Royal Navy Air Service, the British Navy's air arm during the Great War).   He's been flying the modified Fly Baby biplane for over a year with no problems. He'll be at Brodhead and Oshkosh this summer.

Chris Higbee is selling his very nice Fly Baby.

Had a project for sale listed, too, but that sold quickly....

I now have a new flying helmet, for flying in hail....or engaging in "Balloons and Blunderbusses" Duels.

December 2015

Want to look at a different Fly Baby every month?  Download the new Calendar!

A brand new, beautiful Fly Baby Latvia!

For the second time in ~40 years, I get stranded.

I built a new Fun Meter for my Fly Baby for about five bucks....

A video crew documents a fly-in in Holland, and gets a lot of nice shots of Hans Teijgeler's Fly Baby.

Gasp!  Could Ron actually have a normal Flying Day where nothing weird or unusual happened???

July 2015

Forgot to mention:  New write-up on trailering your Fly Baby.

Kurt Grubert's new WWI-replica Fly Baby flew earlier this year, and it's a doozy!

A couple other great new plans in the Pictures section, too.

Two cases of great new artwork.  Leslie Allen's painting and Hans Teijgeler's fantastic shot of his Fly Baby silhouetted at dusk.

Had an interesting case of control plane got so hot the ailerons started sticking.

A neat video, showing the twenty-year journey of a Fly Baby from Washington state to Alaska and back.

And a batch of new stories!

December 2014

Here's the link to the new Calendar!  Download it and print it out for pennies.....

Did you know that a Fly Baby once set an official world record?  Read about Bob Carlisle and the "City of Norfolk".

Well, it finally happened:  A Fly Baby with a Volkswagen engine!

Ever see a Fly Baby on skis?  Now's your chance!  There's also a bit of a goofy video there that I took with a tiny key fob camera.

With the increasing emphasis on generation of Fly Baby Pilot Operating Handbooks, I've written a generic POH for Fly Babies.  Modify it to suit your own aircraft.  Here's a PDF version if you just want to browse.

Video games have Cheat Codes and so, sometimes, do Fly Babies.  Doesn't make you invulnerable to stupidity, though....

Oh, and I've now got some big nose art stickers featuring Roscoe.  See the For Sale page....

September 2014

Gracious... a ton of new stuff added.

A bit of history, and some details about the Fly Baby Biplane.

Speaking history, there's been a bit of speculation about painting Fly Babies like WWI German aircraftAch du Lieber, there's even a German version of Roscoe!

Completing the "Pilot Clothing" subject, here's a write-up on Leather Helmets.  Also, the Goggles page has been updated. 

This is cool...Mike England's friend Ken Gratton is drawing sketches of Mike's Fly-Baby-In-Progress.

Why is my Fly Baby named "Moonraker"?  At last, the truth is revealed.   It's one of several new stories added.

More pictures?  Of course, including Roy Taylor's gorgeous British Fly Baby.

Fly Baby owner and cancer survivor Brian "Brain" Kissenger has written a book "Life Short - Fly Now", with his Fly Baby on the cover!  It's available from Amazon.

Video of the Great War Display Team that includes the "Junkers" Fly Babies.  Also, CNN did a photo feature on the Team.

26 April 2014

I've always wanted a headset that I could wear under a regular leather flying helmet.  Here's how to build one for as little as $100!

We've got low-wing Fly Babies, we've got biplane Fly Babies, and Pete Bowers one discussed Parasol-winged Fly Babies.  Until now, no one even considered a MID-wing Fly Baby...and this faux Morane looks pretty good!

Altered States, the collected of fantasy Fly Baby versions, has been updated...including a Fly Baby with a trapeze hook for attaching to dirigibles!

Also in Altered States, check out the "historical photos" where a certain Fly Baby seems to be popping up....

Several new stories, too.  I talk about Fly Babies Blending In, cold weather flying is faced again in The Red Nose of Courage, two old friends meet by accident in Two Ships, Passing, and weather gets a bit weird, in Eye of the Fog.

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