If you are on the one hand packed by the aviator virus and at the same time enjoy crafting, at some point the idea comes up that you could also build a plane yourself. In the run-up, I had scoured the internet for used aircraft and aircraft countless times and explored what kind of plane could suit me. At some point I stumbled on a type of aircraft called Cherry BX2, a construction from Switzerland, sporty with retractable landing gear and only available as a DIY. In 2010, I got in touch with the previous Cherry supervisor Wolfgang Spang, informed me about effort and costs. Wolfgang gave me the advice to look at a project from Switzerland for sale. I made the decision: It has to be. Fortunately, I did not know at the time what this decision means - endless hours of work, sweat, dust, rashes (absolutely necessary to follow protective measures), sleepless nights. Vorneweg, but then at some point the self-built aircraft is ready in the garage, with mandatory nameplate and the manufacturer's specifications with its own name on it, as aircraft ID D-ENTG your own initials, then you are already very proud. And it's a great feeling that you made it. But in turn.

In summer 2010 we started. The cherry is built according to plans and is therefore not a KIT. Everything is made from scratch according to a drawing set and a description of 200 pages. The plan set is quite cheap and my project did not start from zero. The aircraft in the "Echo" class is a light-motor aircraft, 2-seater next to each other, in composite construction of wood, styrofoam, glass fibers and epoxy resin. Low-wing aircraft with quick-detachable wings and retractable nose wheel chassis; Flaps whose movements are transmitted to a reduced extent to the aileron; Pendulum elevator with anti-icing flap; Steerable nose wheel with hollow rubber spring; Main feathers made of glass rovings with wood core; hydraulic brakes operated simultaneously with hand lever; Full view capot, sliding forward; Rudder with ropes, heights and ailerons driven by rods. As a drive, I opted for a motorcycle engine BMW GS1200 two cylinder boxer with 100 hp. In principle, a sturdy engine, built a thousand times, cheap, economical with injection system, but no classic aircraft engine. The effort for the entire construction period is estimated at 3,000 to 5,000 hours. To finish the plane, I needed a strategy. My strategy was: workshop directly in or near the house; Do something every day - and if it's only half an hour; Morgenstund 'has gold in the mouth, get up at 4 o'clock and work before work. At the weekend, there were already 5 hours together, until the rest of the family got into gear; The family was allowed to come in spite of the time-consuming hobbies not too short; Build a network and connect with other Cherry farmers around the world to get efficient solutions and help. You do not need to repeat the mistakes others have made. At some point I then put it up to count the working hours. It starts with the production of metal parts. As a skilled toolmaker, things are moving fast on the lathe and milling machine. Continue with the wood works. Already a thing in itself. Here exact work is very much in demand. In addition, the correct processing of the adhesive while maintaining the correct temperatures. Much is built twice, because the experience is missing, you have never built a plane before or you are just not satisfied. Everything has to be perfect and secure. The work takes two years. Then it starts with the finish of the surfaces. A never-ending story. Slowly I get a skin allergy and respiratory problems. Epoxy is not exactly healthy, and after so much work, skin peels as you look at the containers. Here one must not neglect the occupational safety. At some point, however, this work is done, and the painting of the parts is pending. It's great if the plane still stands in front of you without a drive. The next phase is the construction of the engine mount and the installation of the drive unit, electronics, wiring of the instruments. In any case, everything is very diverse and you learn to do it creepy. In the fall everything was packed on a trailer and driven to my examiner to Aschaffenburg. There the final acceptance took place in December 2013. Everything is okay.

After the ground trial at the beginning of 2014, the coveted papers from the LBA will come in April 2014: VVZ, Provisional Traffic Permit "Permit to Fly" with the approval of the test pilots Thomas & Thomas, Kämmerer & Gschwind. I will not take the first flight. On 4 May 2014 ... it is so far, no wind, bright blue sky. When I tell my wife in the morning before the first flight, in the car, the fire extinguisher, a first aid kit and a brand ax, it falls down the jaw. Nevertheless, she has confidence in me and in my work. My wife on safe ground, my aviation friends in the tower and on the square are in constant call readiness. Parachute attracted and rolled onto the track. Now it gets serious. Flaps set and full throttle. The plane sets in motion, and as it should be, he takes off from the middle of the track. Still careful rudder, a few circles above the square. Already the first test of the retractable landing gear and after just over half an hour again the approach to the 08. The first landing, actually no problem, the Cherry flies like another plane. After landing comes next to the relief but a huge joy. Was fear in the game? Not really, more of a high concentration on the first flight. In the evening and the night before again and again the thoughts: Did I think of everything and forget nothing? Since then, I fly with the VVZ, the Provisional Traffic Permit to carry out the flight testing. There are many more delicate tests such as fluttering, minimum travel and landing configuration speeds and cornering. So far everything went smoothly. How does the cherry fly? The Cherry responds to tax movements very well, is fast and manoeuvrable, but especially in stubborn weather their attention. When landing at higher load you need because of the small span of only 7 meters enough speed, so they do not sit too abruptly. Otherwise, she has a good-natured behavior even when intercepting Stall Speed. In the air you hardly need rudder when cornering because of the balanced aileron. What was tricky in the trial? The BMW Motorrad engine first needs a lot of attention and tuning, such as the heat dissipation, which makes the monitoring of all temperatures necessary. Other points were the reinforcement of the engine-transmission attachment and the monitoring of the centrifugal clutch. Now everything seems to fit, and the engine spoils with a fuel consumption of just 11 L / h @ 100 kts or 16.5 L / h @ 120 kts and jumps right off in icy temperatures. With "Full Throttle" it's all about the thing with> 130kt - which is really fun. The testing including sound insulation is done, the operating manual is revised and the follow-up flight of an LBA pilot, which made a trip to Brunswick necessary, is done. Flying I had a lot of fun with the Cherry on excursions in the surrounding area and on tours to southern France, Austria Wangerooge and Bulgaria. The plane is made for traveling. Would I build an airplane again? Flying is fun, and crafting is also part of it for me. A wood plane only according to plans and with a not developed for flying engine, but is already associated with some effort. Anyway, it's done has been great fun and now is flown. The crafting continues anyway.