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Building a Junior Ace


Active member
I haven't been very active here since I got back from FFEast. Part of this was burnout. I haven't been idle though.
I decided to one-up myself. I spent around 300 hours on my Spirit of St Louis model and came to the realization that rather than building one big model at 300 hours a year, I could devote that effort to building a real airplane. At 300 hours/year I could have a 1200hr aircraft built in 4 years. With that reasoning I started down the path toward homebuilding.

For various reasons I elected to build a Corben Junior Ace. This is the two seat variant of the Baby Ace. It's a wood wing and a welded steel fuselage covered in cloth. Often referred to as "rag and tube" construction.
I'm a theatrical carpenter by trade, so the wood work doesn't concern me too much, I just need to work to tighter tolerances than usual. I am a passable MIG welder, but for aircraft TIG or Oxy-fuel welding is preferred. I have an Ody-acetylene torch I'm practicing with here and there, but I'm no where near competent enough to weld the thin tubing in a fuselage yet. I plan on talking to a guy at my local EAA chapter about welding lessons.

I have a blog http://aviationcomingeventually.blogspot.com and a thread over on the EAA forums http://eaaforums.org/showthread.php?7943-Corben-Jr-ace-build to document my progress and process. Right now I'm 100 hours in and I have all 26 wing ribs nearly completed. The lower capstrips still need to be tapered for the trailing edge.



Biplane Guy
Wow! Great project! I always love to see a home built. It's pretty reasonable to plan 300 hours over 4 years, and if you stick to that time frame, I think it's very doable. Good luck! I hope to see her in the air!


Toothpick glider kid
I wish I could see your blog on my school laptop but everything is blocked. It took me two years to get the forums unblocked.

Either way I wish you luck with this build!