The Team

The MakerPlane team are passionate about aviation, open source and the maker movement!

Contributors and volunteers to the project come from all over the world proving that this is truly a global initiative.   Stay tuned as we update this page with bios of the leading contributors to the MakerPlane project.



John Nicol

John Nicol, Founder MakerPlaneJohn is the founder of MakerPlane. A pilot, aircraft homebuilder and maker. A former New Zealand Army Officer, he has also been in the high-tech industry as an executive in the Public Safety and Defence industries in New Zealand and Canada including as CEO of a Canadian Top 40 Defence company. John left Lockheed Martin in 2012 as a Principal Engineer and was involved in the launch to market of the Lockheed Martin Prepar3D flight simulation product. John lives just north of Ottawa, Canada with his wife and son.


Jeffrey Meyer

Jeffrey is the lead aeronautical engineer responsible for the MakerPlane v1.0 LSA design and has over 40 years general engineering experience. He has a BSc. Mechanical Engineering and MSc. Aeronautical Engineering from the Technion, Israel Institute of Technology. Jeffrey is currently an adjunct lecturer in the Aerospace Engineering Facility of the Technion. Jeffrey says, "If it flies I like it, but also dabble in electronics, software development, R/C modeling, and teaching kids and university students about aero modeling. Private pilot and glider pilot licenses, long expired – too expensive and troublesome over here."


Vern Little

Vern Little comes from the semiconductor and networking equipment industry. As a founder of one of Canada’s largest semiconductor companies, he has expertise in building successful companies including engineering, marketing, business development and venture fundraising in Canada and the US. Vern retired as a director of product research with ten US patents and has built two aircraft—an RV-9A and a Harmon Rocket II. As the principal of Vx-Aviation, Vern pioneered the use of d-sub packages that contain complex avionics functions and generic wiring hubs that reduce aircraft wiring cost and complexity. Vern is a technology business mentor in Victoria, BC.


Dave Covert

Dave is a software developer and business owner with a BSc. Computer Science and a BSc. Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M University. In the past twenty years Dave has worked for Microsoft and started two technology companies (sold one). He is a SEL pilot who once owned a Grumman AA-5, and with interests in Augmented Reality, CAD/CAM, 3D printing, and fly-by-wire technologies, now finds himself lusting after a LSA to try some ideas out on. His guiding principle in aviation is ‘Flying should be easy.’ Dave lives in the country about 30 miles south of Houston, Texas.


Phil Birkelbach

Phil has a degree in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Texas A&M University and is a Project Engineer for a company that designs and builds control systems for the offshore oil and gas production industry. He lives in Waller, a small town 30 miles NW of Houston Texas, with his lovely wife and way too many animals. He learned to fly when I was 13 years old and soloed a glider at 14. Phil has a PPL with SEL and Glider ratings. He built his RV-7 from 2001 thru 2005.



More to follow!…….