I recently picked up Ronald J. Wanttaja’s excellent book, Kit Airplane Construction. I wanted something that would give me a general overview of what I was getting myself into, and this book fit the bill.
The book covers several important pre-build considerations that the newbie might overlook, such as production alternatives to kitplanes, finances, available workshop space, required investment in tools, individual skill set, and realistic time required.
The bulk of the book gives an overview of the four main types of construction projects: (1) Composite; (2) Metal Monocoque; (3) Steel/Aluminum Tube, and; (4) Wood and Fabric. There’s also a discussion of fastener types and uses, cables and accessories, and priming and painting. The final chapters discuss rigging, final inspection, paperwork, ground testing, and first flight.
Overall, Wanttaja provides a solid introduction to kit building, and while it won’t walk you through building an RV empennage, it will give you an idea of what to expect over the course of your project.