Soldiers in our country’s service too often sustain combat injuries that cost them the use of their limbs. What if they still want to learn to fly. Able Flight is one resource for such aspiring pilots. Another national project is Wounded Warriors and Renegade Light Sport Aircraft has worked with European LSA manufacturers B.O.T. Aircraft to create a hand controlled airplane for use in training such students. We interview Tommy Counihan about his experience in flying the B.O.T.
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Aero ’23 Day 2 — Handsome & Affordable… Introducing the All-Metal Belmont that May Fit Your Budget
Do you think you can find Latvia on a map? Do you know anything about the country? You’ll know more after reading this article.
I was underinformed about Latvia and had no awareness of its aviation capabilities. Hint: Latvia is east of Sweden, well north among the Eastern European countries. It is reasonably distant from hostilities in eastern Ukraine. One Latvian company’s ability to build a good-looking airplane is seen in nearby images.
I was alerted to visit Belmont by my journalist friend, Marino Boric, who suggested I have a look at Belmont primarily because it carries quite an agreeable price point: €96,000. At today’s exchange rate ($1 = €1.09), that translates to $105,000 before shipping and related transport expenses.
I realize everybody’s budget is different. Nonetheless, after the world has experienced at least 20% inflation over the Covid years (many experts believe inflation has been considerably higher), $105,000 for a airplane that looks like what you see in these images is, I believe, quite a bargain in 2023.
Nisus Gyro “Spacecraft” — Faceted Yet Sleek, Side-by-Side, and Loaded with Cleverness
All week at Sun and Fun 2023 my eye kept drifting to a rather distinctive gyroplane. We’ve seen side-by-side before (AutoGyro, Magni, and Rotorvox, the latter being closet to Nisus). I liked those for the same reason as most pilots. Generally, we enjoy sitting next to our cabin mate although some prefer the “dual solo” configuration of fore-and-aft tandem seating.
Since it wasn’t side by side that did it, was it the way the canopy seemed to hinge forward and nearly off? Was it the dual-boom empennage?
No, it was something much simpler.
Several years ago, Cadillac redesigned their line of luxury cars with what I’d call a “faceted” look, that is, body panels composed of straight or flat surfaces with angular lines (something like the “facets” that help a cut diamond catch the light). I had car-geek friends that simply hated Cadillac’s look.
6 Mosaic High Wing Light-Sport Aircraft — FAA’s Coming Rule Will Create “mLSA” Sector
Darkest before dawn? I hear growing concern about FAA’s new Mosaic regulation and what it will or won’t do. An increasing number of comments I hear are variations of these words — “FAA is never going to get this done, and if they do, it will be a crappy rule.”
Why so glum?
Maybe pilots are frustrated because FAA has delayed the release of Mosaic. This also happened almost 20 years ago with the Sport Pilot / Light-Sport Aircraft regulation. SP/LSA was anticipated for more than three years after the first announcement.
However, Mosaic is coming and this time we know more about it than most regulations. Why? Because FAA must involve ASTM committee members along the way. (More on this? See at end.*)
Earlier FAA rule writers did not reveal their work as broadly. Yet FAA is sufficiently pleased with industry consensus standards, ASTM’s work, that they will use it on the next generation of GA aircraft (think: Cessna, Cirrus, etc.).
Aeroprakt and Aeros Continue Manufacturing Despite Senseless Destruction in Ukraine
The following story is one that moved me and might affect you similarly. I consider all recreational aviators anywhere in the world as fellow flying enthusiasts. Maybe you do, too? Whatever we fly, pilots share a love of aviation, regardless of what language we speak or what currency we spend.
I am flooded with admiration for those airplane producers in Ukraine who have courageously continued even as bombs fall and missiles fly. I have visited three Ukraine producers (some years ago) and I can only try to imagine what they are experiencing today.
In this article I want to shine a light on courageous efforts by regular Ukraine citizens to continue making aircraft that bring satisfaction to pilots in America and many other countries.
Aero Hang Gliders
As you’ll hear in the first video below, I was told a compelling story about workers in Kyiv-based Aeros going to their factory pre-dawn, entering quietly, working with reduced lighting to be less conspicuous, and locking themselves in for the workday.
Midwest LSA Expo; Day 3 — Flying Orlican’s M-8 Eagle… a Perfect Flight School LSA?
Problem: The fleet of aircraft trainers in the USA is getting old. The familiar, reliable standard is the Cessna 172. While these are being made brand new, their base cost has risen to half a million dollars. Meanwhile, much more affordable vintage 172s normally have dated instrument panels and the airframe often looks well-worn. Built in the last decade or so, nearly all LSA have fully digital cockpits among other modern features. [Update 9/15/22 — see new info regarding trim. —DJ]
With their goal of getting a good pilot job, flight students that visit schools today want to pursue their training in something more contemporary. They definitely need experience with digital avionics as that’s what they’ll encounter in a professional cockpit.
“LSA are the future of flight instruction [airplanes],” stated Chip Griewahn. Before he sold the business, he operated a very successful flight school in the Savannah, Georgia area called Fly Corps Aviation.
Midwest LSA Expo; Day 2 — DAR’s Solo Is An Affordable and Modern Part 103 Ultralight
Some kind of remarkable thing happened here in Mt. Vernon, Illinois where the Midwest LSA Expo is taking place. Out of the 30 or 40 airplanes on display, no less than three of them are what I’ll call “next generation” Part 103 ultralight entries.
It would be amazing to see three new ones of any sort, but all three of these are modern. They all use contemporary materials yet they have all been shown to qualify for FAA’s simplest regulation.
The three are Chip Erwin’s Merlin Lite, the AVI Swan I wrote about yesterday, and today’s subject: AeroplanesDAR’s Solo. All three are impressive and all three break away from the common Part 103 ultralight using “tube and gusset” construction
Two years ago I reported on the Merlin Lite and the pace of its innovative development has quickened. Chip’s popular entry will soon enter into a new production agreement so the airplanes will be assembled here in the USA by a longtime reliable expert.
This July, Another Eagle Has Landed — Orlican’s New LSA Arrives in America
Fifty three years ago this month, Neil Armstrong made history when he declared first, “The Eagle has landed.” His words described a momentous occasion: humans about to set foot on the moon.
Orlican can’t claim such high ground but through two years of Covid dislocations, the Czech Republic developer finished their second-generation LSA and the first one in the U.S. was delivered to its first customer, a flight school.
Longtime LSA importer and reseller, Deon Lombard has been waiting as supply lines snarled and shipments were delayed. However, the European manufacturer persevered and the new model has crossed the Atlantic. Orlican’s Eagle has landed!
A New L600
In case Covid (understandably) fogged your brain, Orlican’s Eagle is a follow-on design. Americans and others have seen a very similar look before. It started with L600, which Deon has been selling in the U.S. for several years. Why the name “Legend?”
Look at the design.
Coaxial Helicopter that Meets Part 103… and You Can Afford It!
In a time of great spectator enthusiasm for STOL competitions, wouldn’t a VTOL be even better? If a super-short takeoff is cool, why not vertical takeoff?
Of course, most of the multicopter types — flying machines sometimes called eVTOLs — take off vertically but those are different, electric flying animals. Despite waves of breathless reporting by mainstream media types, eVTOLs are not yet ready for prime time. Even if you could buy one, you probably don’t want to pay for it. Most will be very expensive.
What if you could take off vertically this year and for a price you can actually afford?
Of course, rotary-wing enthusiasts can already choose a well-proven, made-in-the-USA helicopter that complies with Part 103 and is very affordable… for any aircraft type, but almost absurdly low-cost compared to conventional helicopters. I refer to the Mosquito XEL from Composite FX (see this video), which sells for $52,000 ready to fly or $42,000 in kit form.
All-American and Affordable — North Wing Has an Expert History in Washington State
Let’s return to affordable aviation after two wonderful shows full of shiny new aircraft. Turbine engines and sleek composite fuselages interest plenty of pilots but then most of us come back to reality and start looking at aircraft we can afford.
Some can pay the invoice on a high-end aircraft to enjoy its capabilities. That’s terrific. Who knows… you might score their used aircraft for a large discount in a few years. For many, though, new is nice yet something much more modest will suffice if it gets them safely up and down to enjoy the view of their surroundings or simply practice a few touch and goes. Any way you can fly is a good way, I’d say.
I’ve been around recreational aviation a while. So has been North Wing, the company formed by Kamron Blevins. He started building wings for trikes 26 years ago in 1996.
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