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Aviation Museum of NH Receives donation of a Homebuilt Biplane

The Aviation Museum of New Hampshire has received a donation of a Homebuilt Biplane, which is now on display at the museum. This is the first complete aircraft on display within the museum.

jim jacksoncropped

photo: James Jackson, builder


"Homebuilt" aircraft have existed as long as powered flight. Instead of relying on a factory for construction, homebuilts rely on superior craftsmanship and handwork by individuals, and are typically built in garages, basements or hangars, just like the Wright brothers did in 1903. According to the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA), this is the fastest growing segment of new, general aviation aircraft in the United States, with tens of thousands flying throughout the world. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) certifies these aircraft as "Experimental Amateur-Built Aircraft" and each year the Aviation Museum of NH hosts a fly-in of these aircraft to demonstrate the high quality and variety of aircraft produced in this category.

The EAA biplane donated to the museum was built by James Jackson of Brookline, NH. Jimwas fascinated by airplanes and flight since his childhood. He said, "My lifelong dream was to build my own aircraft. I built this biplane when I was a young man with a wife and child, living on a shoestring in a mobile home. This labor of love took five years, ten months and 14 days to complete."

According to the museum's Executive Director, Jessica Pappathan, the museum has two other general aviation aircraft within its collection, including a WT-9 Dynamic light-sport and an Aeronca aircraft. However, due to space limitations, this will be the first complete aircraft on display at the museum. "This biplane is a wonderful addition to the museum's collection. We are grateful to Mr. Jackson and his family for this donation. It will allow us to share with visitors the skill and techniques it takes to build these aircraft, and we hope that it inspires others, especially the next generation, to take an interest in aviation."

Thebiplane has a Lycoming O290G-125 HP engine. It has a wing span of 20 ft., length 17 ft., height 6 ft., empty weight 720 lbs., gross weight 1048 lbs., top speed 130 mph, cruise speed 110 mph, landing speed 52 mph, and a range of 250 miles.
The biplane was awarded "Best Appearing Home Built" at several fly-ins including the Reading Air show in Pennsylvania. He also won an "Outstanding Individual Achievement Award" from the Experimental Aircraft Association.

Jim Jackson was the lead designer for Piper aircraft for many years. He also worked for Dean Kamen at DEKA Research and Development in Manchester NH. He continues his lifelong passion for aviation building radio control models. Most of these are also built from scratch. Jim is a member of the Souhegan Aero Modelers club and the Aviation Museum of NH.

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new logoThe Gee Bee Model A Sport Plane (pictured on our logo) was the first plane built by the Granville brothers of Madison, New Hampshire in Boston, Massachusetts. They built nine in Springfield, Massachusetts followed by a series of sportsters (monoplanes) and finally leading to the famous Gee Bee supersportster racers, one of which established a new world land-air speed record. It was flown by James Doolittle. Click here to read more about the Gee Bees.


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