Neighborhood resident Ann Bauereis had some worries about the impending mess when her husband began his dream do-it-yourself project.
These fears weren’t unfounded: She had the wing of an airplane strewn across their bedroom rug.
And that was only the beginning of Bo Bauereis’ eight-year-project to build an airplane in his garage.
Bauereis recently finished the Glasair III sports airplane, a feat the longtime aviation buff believes makes him the only Dallas man to build a plane in his garage.
“What I wanted was something that my wife and I could slip away in and take long weekend trips,” Bauereis says.
The plane can fly 1,000 miles without stopping for a maintenance check and can go up to 260 miles per hour with a landing speed of 100 miles per hour.
How does one build such a sophisticated plane in a garage?
“As aviation buffs go, you just start reading,” Bauereis says. In 1989, he ordered a $30,000 kit that included the parts of a plane and instructions about putting them together.
The plane was built from Fiberglass, making gluing an integral part of the construction.
“They said it could be done in 2,500 hours,” says Bauereis, who adds that this figure doesn’t count time needed for studying the procedures.
“In reality, for someone who’s never done it before, you’re talking about 7,000 hours.”
After six years of working on the plane, Bauereis, who is vice president of May Financial Corp., decided it was time to turn the plane over to a professional for final adjustments.
So he made a deal with an engineer in Mesa, Ariz., to assemble the plane’s fuselage, and brought the completed wings, interior and landing gear to Mesa for finishing touches.
Bauereis says it cost $100,000 to $200,000 to finance his hand-crafted creation from beginning to end.
“As long as you keep it hankered and well-maintained, it should last 40 to 50 years,” Bauereis says.