Best Benefit Ever: Build Your Own Plane

The Experimental Aircraft Association teams up with a popular software maker to offer members a free version of an industry design app.

What is it? The Experimental Aircraft Association, a group for aviation enthusiasts (many of whom build their own planes), has partnered with the software manufacturer SolidWorks to provide EAA members free access to a version of the company’s popular design app: the SolidWorks Student Design Kit—EAA Maker Edition. App users will get access to a user forum and an array of related benefits.

Why it works: The benefit is a significant upgrade for EAA members, who range from hobbyists to professional aircraft designers, and it helps to standardize work onto a single platform. “Since its humble beginnings in Paul and Audrey [Poberezny]’s basement, EAA has inspired, enabled, and defended our members’ right to take a dream sketched on a napkin at the dinner table to first flight and beyond,” EAA Chairman and CEO Jack Pelton said in a news release. “SolidWorks is the industry standard for computer-aided design.”

Other perks: Other EAA benefits include the member magazine SportAviation, access to insurance and financing for aircraft, free admission to a number of museums, and education offerings for those looking to build a plane of their own. Overall, not a bad way to get airborne.

(Handout photo)

Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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