The Aerocomp News

Volume 3 Issue 1 ONLINE EDITION

Spring 1999

Sky Build Expands Builder Assistance Programs

Merritt Island, FL -
The sounds of electric drills and pneumatic grinders fill the air of Sky Build Ltd.’s recently expanded Aircraft Builders’ Center. Over 10,000 square feet of prime shop facilities, complete with tools, equipment, work benches, etc. are being utilized by hobbyists who like to build airplanes. On a typical day you might find a half dozen doctors, lawyers, teachers, tradesmen, or other recreational pilots bustling about their projects, fulfilling life-long ambitions of custom building and flying their own personal airplanes.

The Sky Build Aircraft Builders’ Center is the brainchild of Mr. Stephen Darrow, of Merritt Island, FL. Darrow, an experienced kit airplane builder who loves to share his expertise and knowledge with others, founded the center in 1997 to provide personalized tutoring and step-by-step guidance to less experienced hobbyists, most of them "first-time builders".

The popularity of the center, located just a few miles from Kennedy Space Center, is obvious. In just two short years it has moved three times, growing from a small 2400 square foot cubicle, to the expansive 10,000 square foot facilities in which it is currently housed.

skybuild.jpg (11090 bytes)
Sky Build, Ltd.’s New Aircraft Builder Center

The center’s parking lot is filled with cars and trucks whose license plates hail from places like New York, Minnesota, Illinois, etc. When they’re not busy in the shop, most builders stay in motor homes parked at various tourist camps along the beaches of Florida’s "Space Coast", while their families enjoy the more conventional Florida tourist destinations. Aircraft builders like the center for a variety of reasons. First is the obvious benefit of working in a well-equipped shop with expert advice and assistance close by. Second is the camaraderie and motivation that is provided by working shoulder-to-shoulder with fellow pilots on the "dream project" of a lifetime. It is common to see builders arriving at the shop as early as 5:30 am to get an early start on the day’s activities, while others frequently work late into the night on their airplanes.

Mr. Stephen Darrow, of Merritt Island, FLAt the Sky Build Aircraft Builders’ Center, aircraft builders are able to complete as much of their project as they wish. Darrow offers specialized 12- and 21-day Builder Assistance Programs, custom tailored to the specific needs of each customer. For those building composite airplanes, typical programs include hands-on training in proper workshop and tool usage, safety orientation, composite surface preparation, laminating techniques, resin familiarization and usage, structures and materials, etc. Upon completion of the 21 day program, most participants will have completed the bulk of the fiberglass work on their airplane, including fuselage assembly, wings, landing gear, tail surfaces, and control surfaces. Most clients complete at least 50% of their project under Darrow’s watchful eye. Some take their projects home to finish details like upholstery and painting, while others choose to stay on, finishing their engine and instrument panel installation in the center, too. A couple current builders intend to complete their entire airplane in the center, test-fly their airplanes from the runway alongside the building, and then fly their new airplanes back home to amaze their friends and fellow aviators.

Phone Sky Build at: 1 (321) 432-8119


Be sure to visit
the Aerocomp Display
at the incredible
Sun ‘n Fun '99
Fly-in and Exhibition
,
Lakeland, FL
April 11 - 17, 1999

For more information, contact:

Aerocomp, Inc.
2335 Newfound Harbor Drive
Merritt Island, FL 32952 USA
TEL/FAX: 1 (321) 453-6641

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The AEROCOMP News
is published quarterly by Aerocomp, Inc.
Copyright 1999.
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