How to Build an Airplane: Material, Time, & Cost Explained


When it comes to the question of how to build a plane, there are many answers because of the diverse approaches that most plane manufacturers take. According to statistics, there are about 30,000 homebuilt planes that are on the FAA registry. The same statistics show that there are another 30,000 planes that are already in making.

The individual builders have taken different approaches a reason why this question of how to build a plane can have multiple answers. Most of the people that have done the same usually get into a plan and eventually go on to buy aircraft grade materials.

After they have the plan and the airplane construction materials, they then take it to the next step to cut and roll it into shapes and the designs they want. So, in this guide, we are going to talk about the unique steps that someone can take to build a plane in different approaches.

Materials You Need

One thing is that different aircraft will need different materials. There are many instances where people use wood, fabric and several types of metals to make these planes. Some others use composite materials such as carbon-fiber and fiberglass.

Today, most planes are made using aluminum because it’s strong and at the same time lightweight. You might also consider other metals such as steel and titanium to make the planes. As you continue with the process, you will not avoid the use of steel hoses especially in transporting fuel and other fluids in the engine and other parts of the plane. You can learn more about stainless steel metals used on airplanes here –

Although Titanium is not always used, it’s as strong as steel and also mid-weight. So you just have to make up your mind on the type of material you want to use in this process.

It’s also easier to use composite materials such as graphite-epoxy because they are strong and lightweight. These materials are actually becoming more popular with time because they can weigh as little as half of the Aluminum.


This is one of the most common ways of making planes. The manufacturer will just buy a set of plans and eventually start hunting for aircraft grade materials. After this, the materials will be styled and designed to fit the needs at hand.

Although this process is common, it involves a lot of fabricating and assembly. This is why many people would consider it expensive and time-consuming.

For this reason, people would want to send off a check for a complete kit. The kit will contain many fabricated parts and eventually, the person will get large boxes with parts to assemble.

Regardless of the approach you take, what matters the most is the end results and the effectiveness of the plane. Building a plane in someone’s workshop would bring a lot of sense and a lot of experience.

Total Time To Build

This all depends on the time you commit to assemble the things together and to work on it. If at all you have wanted to complete the work as early as possible, then I am sure you would choose to hasten the process. Most people take something to do with 8 months to 1 year to complete the whole task. Though, there are some that take even as less as 6 months. This will depend on your labor and the quality of technology you are using.

 Making your plane at home doesn’t have a specific time that the project will end. Most of the people take years and others even never complete the task. There are challenges and most importantly legal procedures to follow before you fly your plane.

How to Start The Process

You have definitely heard people say that the process of making a plane is easy and involves very little work. Well, this is true but the fact remains that the little works involved are works of huge and sophisticated technologies that need a lot of precision.

Making a plane at home doesn’t have any rules of thumb, it just has to be something that people will compare with the traits of a plane. If it can fly and land, that’s it, that is a plane.

Making that reality may require a lot of your time, money and inoculation of other resources. The whole process also requires perseverance and tenacity. You also should have the know-how of how things are supposed to be.

As discussed earlier, it’s up to you to make up your mind whether you want to start a scratch building design or the Kit plane project. After that, gather all the materials you will need including steel, steel hoses, aluminum, wood, and many others. You also need some technological devices.

I don’t think there’s any magic used in making planes. All you have to do is to invest a lot of your last minute strength on the remaining 10% work of constructing that plane. It’s that simple, but then invest enough skills to make sure it flies.

What to Consider

Before you take that into your head, you first of all have to consider several things. Some of them are legal issues while others are personal factors that will have to rely heavily on your budget.


Are you ready and willing to incur the cost? Is the cost of constructing that Plane something you can afford? Do you think the flow of funding will continue until you complete the whole work? If the answer to all the questions is yes, then that’s it, start.


Do you have the right know-how and the skills needed to build that plane? Did you get those skills from school and what level of experience do you have? Factor all these things before you continue.

Legal issues

 You cannot just wake up and fly your plane over houses and crowds of people! That is even not acceptable, you have to first of all contact the right authorities for license and supervision as that goes on.

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