Vision Featured Builder
This page will be used to highlight various Vision builders from time to
time. It is important to realize that these are planes being built by real
people just like you. Thanks is given to the people presented on this page
who have agreed to share their thoughts and projects.
Calvin Thorne, age 57.
My wife is Adele and we and our West Highland Terrier live on a four acre
parcel of land just outside of Cochrane Alberta, Canada. We have been living
here since 1990 when we had our house built here. Acreage living used to be
quite busy when we had horses, but now things are very easy to manage around
here with only the dog. I have 3 children from a previous marriage living in
Calgary just a short drive from us, a son Bryant, daughters Chelsea and
Ashley. They are aged 29, 26 and 24 years of age.
I am a communications technician and have been working for the major Telco
in our area for 27 years. A very rewarding occupation, which has seen
extreme changes in equipment over my years with the company “TELUS”. I am
now about 24 moths from retiring if I choose to do so and thus have many
options ahead on the horizon.
Aviation and Homebuilding:
I come from a family that has had some background in aviation. My uncle
spent a full military career flying for the Canadian air force. My father
began flying in WW2 and flew PBY Catalina and Sunderland Shorts on submarine
patrol for Canada based out of Pool England. He then went on to fly briefly
for BOAC (England) and then Queen Charlotte Airlines (British Columbia)
after the war. In about 1955 we moved to Calgary Alberta and he then
completed a 27 year flying career with Shell Oil Canada. That was many years
of bush flying and then right up to Citations as the requirements changed
over the years. Most oil companies only have a shell of what was once major
fleets years earlier. My father is 85 years old living with my mom on one of
the Gulf Islands of British Columbia. and are watching my aircraft build
with interest. I hold a commercial license with night, multi engine, and
instrument, ratings. I have about 1200 hours time and most of it being multi
engine in a twin Apache that I previously shared.
Homebuilding and my VISION EX:
Well plans #44 are sitting on my work bench. Plans purchased in 1998 started
a great voyage into aircraft building of which I had no personal experience
previously. What a great choice I made. Today I am just as excited to get
into the shop to work for a spell as I was when I first carved and bent my
first piece of foam. I chose this aircraft and figured that it would be a
retirement project. Nope, that changed within a couple of weeks of receiving
the plans. I decided it would be a great hobby project to put my efforts
into as I worked towards retirement instead. The golf clubs have been used
once since then. For me a hobby it is and that suits me the best. You can
turn bowls make jewellery, build cabinets, but for me it is build an
airplane that you will actually fly. I feel this scratch built plane gives
me the best option to be creative and make a piece of art that is all my
doing. This is much more work than a kit but the rewards at the end are
unbelievable. I joined our local RAA (Recreational Aircraft Association),
got to know the regular long term members and gleaned from them all the info
I needed to become a builder. They have been invaluable over the years and
now I help return the favour to others as I sit as president of our local
Calgary chapter of RAA. I have seen many of our club members celebrate their
first flights over the years and soon it will be my turn and boy am I
getting excited to see that day.
Current Status of #44
Please see my web page at http://users.xplornet.com/~vision/tailfeathers.html for current
status. Also please note that I believe in keeping an accurate log record of
all your building hours as you go. This is the only way to see that you are
making average progress over the years even if it is just weekends you have
time to work on it. You can see on my web page that my project will not take
much more time than many of the kits that you see completed.
I am very happy to have chosen composites, I believe the strength of the
finished airframe is far superior to aluminum and should last as long. Easy
to repair and easy to form complex compound curves. Surface will withstand
minor hail storms easily if you have to park outside. No special tool
inventory required, a small supply of regular home &garage shop tools are
most of what is needed.
Smart tool digital level, rotary Zip tool, laser level, bare hack saw blades
and basic medium weight poly construction plastic for preparing wet cloth
for applying to aircraft.
Keep on building!