Building an airplane – a photo/video montage

I put together a quick-and-dirty montage of photos and videos covering the period from the arrival and unpacking of the Zigolo kit to its first off-airport flight on October 8. Total viewing time is about 13 minutes.



At the close of the building phase of this project, I’d like to thank Craig Oswald for his crucial assistance during the intensive first week of the build and Jonathan Thom for his substantial ongoing role not only in the build itself but also in subsequent operations. The quality and speed of completion of this phase would not have been possible without their involvement.

And of course we would still be scratching our heads over a large pile of random parts if Chip Erwin (Aeromarine LSA), through his Builder Assist program, hadn’t flown twice to Madison to work with us for several intense days each on crucial parts of the build.  His involvement also gave me considerably greater confidence that the Zigolo wouldn’t fold up and crash the moment the wheels lifted off the runway (or worse, five minutes later!).

I’d also like to thank Bob Paulos and Gary Anderson once again for providing the perfect space at the Physical Sciences Laboratory in Stoughton. I have no idea where and how we would have built the airplane without it.

Sue Foldy in AOS patiently handled all of my orders for exotic materials and tools, and Sonja Johnson continues to help me navigate the reimbursement process.

Throughout 2016, Ben Griffiths in the UW-Madison Legal Affairs office, Hartley Murray in Purchasing Services, and Jim Bogan in Transportation Services were critical in navigating the university and state bureaucracies,  aided by helpful individuals in the Wisconsin Department of Administration (e.g., Cheryl Edgington), and culminating with a signed memo from Gov. Scott Walker authorizing the University to acquire its own airplane.

Last but not least, none of this would have been possible without the Ned P. Smith Professorships that were awarded to Ankur Desai and me; these collectively provided one half of the flexible funds that allowed us (and me in particular) to embark on this exotic quest, with the remaining half divided equally between Prof. Tristan L’Ecuyer’s flexible research funds and from our partners in the Space Science and Engineering Center, especially Hank Revercomb and Fred Best.

And now, on to the testing and operational phases!

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