Welcome to this website which is all about the construction of an airplane. But more about that later. In case you don’t know me, my name is John Trautschold and I’ve been flying light aircraft since I first received my license way back in 1976! It’s incredible that I’ve been flying now for 40 accident-free years. The majority of my flying has been in Piper Cherokees, a workhorse of the general aviation industry. I started my lessons in a Cherokee 140 (N6313W, which I eventually purchased from the flying club) at Capitol Airport (02C) west of Milwaukee, WI. I also spent some time flying the club’s Piper Arrow as well as their Cessna 172.
A few years later I married my wife, Kathy, and after we decided to start a family the decision was made to upgrade to a slightly larger and faster airplane so that we could use it for family trips. I traded in the 140 for a Cherokee 180 back in 1982, N7489W, which I still own and fly to this day. This airplane has been all over the country. We’ve used it for trips from the midwest to the east coast of Virginia and Florida. We’ve flown it to Canada and to other locations within the midwest. We’d moved from Wisconsin to Palatine, IL in 1983 after changing to a job in downtown Chicago. I retired from that job in 2013 and after some planning, decided to move into a custom hangar/home in Payson, AZ. The longest cross country flight ever for N7489W (at least with me piloting it) was from my previous home airport (DuPage Airport - KDPA in West Chicago) to our new home airport in Payson (KPAN). And after spending all of its life sitting out in the heat and cold and storms and snow, it’s finally parked in a nice warm and dry hangar here in Payson. And the old 180 doesn’t at all mind that it’s sharing that space now with a brand new airplane under construction, a Velocity XL.
Construction of this Velocity XL, Serial Number xx, began in September of 2016. It is being built by yours truly. This is the first aircraft I’ve built, although I have a lot of experience with other types of construction.
A Velocity XL is a fiberglass composite aircraft. It uses a canard for its main control surface in place of a traditional tail, which gives the airplane a “cool factor”. The main, swept wings are in back of the canard and provide for easy access via gull wing doors for the pilot and passengers. It’s a 4-seat airplane. The aircraft is also considered a “pusher”, meaning that the engine is in the rear instead of in the front.
See above for a sample XL. This is a retractable gear version of the airplane. I’m buildng a fixed gear aircraft. This photo comes from the Velocity Aircraft website.
Construction of this aircraft is supposed to take around 1600 hours for an experienced builder. We’ll see how long it actually takes! Make sure to check in here periodically to see how it’s coming. I’ll be posting a lot of construction photos as well as comments on my progress. Click here to see how the wings are built.
If you have a question about my project or would just like to drop me a note, please use the form below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks!