A native of the San Francisco area, Zeke Smith received his BS, MS, and Engineer degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford. His first engineering job was with Douglas Aircraft Company in Santa Monica, CA, where he helped design the Nike missile.
After a 30-year engineering career in the IBM Development Laboratories, he retired early and worked for a wide range of Silicon Valley clients as a free-lance technical writer for 11 years. He worked with the late Rex Taylor of Eloy, AZ, as a builder of the Task Research kit for the molded-glass Dragonfly aircraft (a Burt Rutan design derivative).
As an active EAA member and engineer, he understood the advantages of composites and was surprised at how little they were used by builders. He wrote the first edition of Understanding Aircraft Composite Construction, to explain the basic principles to builders and to the broader community to promote the application of composites for homebuilt aircraft construction. It is now in its second edition.
His interest in the potential of high-quality composite sandwich techniques for the home shop led him to write Advanced Composite Techniques. In it, he describes in detail methods which the reader can apply in practical situations. He has given workshops at California EAA fly-ins and chapter meetings. Steve Rahm, designer of the Vision aircraft, was an important consultant.
Zeke flew a Beech Sundowner for seventeen years. At present, he is adapting a classic Wittman design as a Light Sport Aircraft, to use the cored-skin techniques described in the two books.
Zeke welcomes email from the builder community.
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