Noah and I met Michael early this morning to take a tour of American Champion Aircraft. Michael had talked to the folks from ACA at EAA a few weeks ago and he discovered that they were "in our backyard". He asked about tours of their facility and they said "sure; feel free to visit".
So today we met long time employee, Dale and he gave us an excellent tour and was so gracious with his time. It was excellent to see the process of building an airplane from start to finish. I loved seeing the old welding jigs, the old machine tools and the metal forming equipment. The aluminum welded fuel tanks with the cross tubes were gorgeous. The guy who does their aluminum welding was on vacation today, but I would have loved to have seen him at work.
We walked through every process area, and Dale was sure to point out all the interesting facts about each stage. Noah got to sit in a newly finished airplane and check out the navigation and instrumentation. Dale wrapped up the tour by showing us some images of the Bearcat replica that he's building FROM SCRATCH in his GARAGE. I felt extremely lazy after seeing the photos, but also inspired. I know Noah loved this tour as much as did because as we were driving home he mentioned multiple things that he learned from Dale and the tour. Thanks to Michael for setting this up for us to participate.