we build planes

A 21st century aircraft builder's log

Join a community of amateur, homebuilt aircraft builders, sharing their passions and hard-earned lessons

Pre-register for free access as soon as we take off. As an early adopter you can (optionally) participate in our "Test Pilot" program to help shape this into the most exciting and valuable resource for experimental amateur aircraft builders (and get a cool Test Pilot badge on your profile).

A network of builders' logs

Tips, tricks, pictures, videos, notes, and more

Answers before you even ask

Relevant posts automatically shown to you

A community of aviation enthusiasts

Connect with, teach, and learn from other enthusiastic airplane builders

So much to see...

Indulge in others' workshops, hangars, tool recommendations

A network of online builders' logs

Quick & Easy

Get your site set up and running in just minutes. If you already have a site, we'll help you transfer it.

list of posts
Manage your entries
Simple editor

Builder's log software allows you to easily post pictures, videos, notes, tips and tricks, or anything else related to your aircraft construction.

Editor
Simple editor lets you create and edit posts, drag-and-drop images, add videos, and more
Ask & answer questions
Build times

Automatically tally time spent on each section of your build

Keep track of build times
Build times, if you optionally enter them on your entries, will be automatically tallied and categorized

Answers before you even ask

Builder's assistant smart software

"Builder's assistant" feature ensures you have the right information right when you need it.

Amateur plane construction tips, pictures, and knowledge are automatically organized, and presented while you're building. For example, when posting about your Zenith 750 vertical fin, you'll see a tip that was voted helpful by others suggesting you shorten a particular rivet for a better fit.

Gain more confidence by seeing top-rated tips from others.
Your latest entry was wing skins. See these posts rated most helpful about Zenith 750 wings: ...
Helpful relevant posts are shown automatically as you build your plane

Amateur plane construction tips, pictures, and knowledge are automatically organized, and presented while you're building. For example, when posting about your Zenith 750 vertical fin, you'll see a tip that was voted helpful by others suggesting you shorten a particular rivet for a better fit.

Gain more confidence by seeing top-rated tips from others.

Smart sticky notes

Come across somebody else's post you think will be useful later? Add your own private sticky note for future reference. It'll be at your fingertips when building that part of the plane.

A community-driven knowledgebase for every part of every type of aircraft...

Forums are a great place to talk with other builders, but not great for preserving build-specific knowledge. Unlike forums where the info gets buried and becomes hard to search for, all information posted to We Build Planes is categorized by aircraft type, section, and other tags so it's readily available to anyone who needs it.

Amateur aircraft builders learn (and teach!) so many things, and it's often not related to specific aircraft. Find and share general-purpose tips about tooling, construction methods, workshop setup, workbenches, or anything else.

Flag posts as helpful
Helpful posts stand out

Not everything we post to our logs is useful to everyone, so flagging posts as helpful will ensure they stand out and more people see them.

An aviation & builders community

You can help the homebuilt community
  • Automatic library

    Online aircraft builder logs are automatically part of a library accessible by other builders in the We Build Planes community. You can also easily share your logs with family, friends or social media.

  • Give confidence

    Your posts help others gain more confidence when moving on to a section you've already tackled

  • Share mistakes

    Humbly share your mistakes and hard-earned lessons

Point out useful posts

When you find something useful, tap to recommend (+1 useful) to help it get seen by more people. See some great advice about a tool? Vote it generally useful. A good tip for this plane? Upvote it for this specific aircraft.

Community members interact on your posts with kudos, encouragement, or questions.
Community members can comment on your posts with kudos, encouragement, or questions.

So much to see...

Most of us would probably admit there's a lot of fun to be had seeing how other people set up their workshops and hangars, or their tool recommendations, and choices of upholstery and paint.

We Build Planes gives you an easy way to indulge your curiosity and tour others' workshops and hangars, and of course post your own.

Actually, you can browse and post anything. Have fun!

Frivolous dashboards

Because... why not? Who doesn't love graphs, and dials, and colors.

Frivolous dahsboards

Other builders love hearing more...

More than just a project - it's a passion only a builder could really understand. You surely have some experiences or stories that others would be interested in.

  • Showcase your hangar set up, or your tool collection preferences.
  • How did you get a perfectly level workbench?
  • Did you build your plane in the living room?
  • How do you keep your building momentum?
  • How did you move your plane to the airport?
  • What was your first flight like?
  • How did you convince your spouse?
  • How are you getting the family involved?
  • What was the factory tour like?
  • What was the highlight of the airshow?
  • Does your tail number have a special meaning?
  • Post a joke or a meme that would strike a homebuilder's funny bone.

Already in the air?

  • Log your aircraft adventures to inspire other builders
  • Post photos and videos of your finished project
  • Share maintenance tips, upgrades, and characteristics of your plane

Even more info

  • It's free? What's the catch?

    Yes, you can use it completely free! This is something I think can be invaluable to airplane builders everywhere, so I decided to build and share it (see more about this in who's behind this, and why).

    There are monthly hosting fees and other operational costs, though. I will look for non-intrusive ways to cover these.

    For example, I think there could be some amazing opportunities for aircraft kit manufacturers, engine manufacturers, or other companies to get involved in the community to help defray those costs.

    I'm not fond of blatant advertising, but quality content (with a brand name attached) is great for everyone. Wouldn't it be nice to see -- right alongside builders' amateur tips, tricks, and lessons -- timely and relevant information from various industry leaders? e.g. an authoritative post on "How to integrate OurCo's Engine X with SuchAndSuch Kit Y".

    Another possibility: Most of these companies host their own builder portals (for authorized customers) with safety advisories, drawing updates, and other content. We can possibly make their lives easier by serving as an "official" portal for them, letting them stick to doing what they do so well.

    Classified ads for selling aircraft, hangars, etc may be another value-added service that can help keep the majority of site features free for everyone.

    I may also explore adding bonus paid-only features or other add-ons. There's no catch, though. I will never take away free features you previously had.

  • I have a builder's log already, will you help me transfer it?

    Absolutely! Anyone wanting to join this builders' community and transfer an existing website will get my help. In most cases I can do 99% of the work for you and you can simply start using it.

    Sometimes I may need your help to export from your previous site, if it has that option.

  • What if I don't like it. Can I take my posts and photos elsewhere?

    Yes! Vendor lock-in is a terrible thing. If you decide you want to move your builders log elsewhere, we will bundle up all your posts and photos in common reusable formats (HTML, Markdown, plain text, and/or JSON) so you can transfer your site elsewhere.

  • I like participating in online forums. Are you trying to replace that?

    No! In fact, forums and this site compliment each other perfectly. Forums are great for in-depth conversations, questions, and general socializing. These are transient in nature, though. When you need tips or help, you have to hope you searched for the right keywords, or hope that somebody with a memory of an old post happens to be online and responding on the forum today.

    We Build Planes, on the other hand, is meant to be a long-lasting resource for builders now and in the future. Its job is to make sure builders have the right information right when they need it.

    The two can work together nicely, too. When you want to share a great picture or tip from We Build Planes on your favorite forum, just use the link. Similarly if a great tip or invaluable advice is shared on the forum, make a note of it and tag it in your log with a link back to the forum so others can see it when they need it.

  • Who's behind this, and why?

    I, Mark A. Stratman (personal website, stratman@gmail.com), am building a Zenith 750 STOL and have been amazed at how vibrant and helpful I've found the Zenith and larger home builders communities. Along the way, any time I come across useful advise, tips, and experience I have been clipping and bookmarking them for later.

    Unfortunately It's been a difficult mess to manage and stay organized though. More than a couple times I've tackled part of my plane and forgot to check back at a forum post or builders log I had long ago noted. I have also struggled with a few different ways of creating and sharing my own builder's log, and felt there must be a better way.

    Since my day job has long been creating fantastic web and mobile software products, I naturally said: I can do SO MUCH better than the status quo. So here we are.

  • Where can I send feedback?

    Send any feedback, questions, or other thoughts to stratman@gmail.com. Your feedback is essential to this community reaching its full potential.

    If you're interested in being a Test pilot for the site, I'll add you to a list and you'll receive occasional surveys, requests for specific feedback, and early access to new features.

Comparison to other builder log options

The only modern online builders log software

We Build Planes stands alone as a modern, online builder's log software to help you build and showcase your plane in the 21st century.

  We Build Planes Kitlog Pro Wordpress, Wix, Weebly, etc Paper notebook, or phone photo album
Free? x sometimes
Helpful aircraft-specific building tips presented automatically? x x x
See others' general (not specific to aircraft) build tips? x x x
Connect with others in a community of builders? x x x
Easy to use and setup? sometimes x
Easily see others' posts about the section you're working on? not easily x x
Easily share with others? x
Modern and beautiful? x sometimes x
Custom website domain?
Optional (requires fees)
x x

Are you interested? Pre-register now

Or have questions?

If you're interested in joining, I'll send you an email when it's ready to launch. There is no commitment - I simply want to understand how much interest there is in a community and tool like this.