As Sun ‘n Fun 2022 comes to a close, so does my daily reporting. This happens through long days and short nights. My sleep schedule can soon get back to normal. In an article already underway, I will make some forecasts for what we’ll see at AirVenture Oshkosh 2022 based on what was displayed at Sun ‘n Fun 2022. Watch for that in a couple days after I catch my breath. Meanwhile I’m expecting to go fly in the TL Sport Aircraft high wing TL-3000 Sirius and perhaps their retractable tandem Stream. I’m also scheduled to go fly the BOT SC07 Super Cruiser. I hope to have reports on these later in April. Meanwhile, here’s a final daily report from Sun ‘n Fun 2022… Savannah by ICP What is it about orange? Several people told Savannah rep’ Walter della Nebia that it attracted them. I felt similarly. I can’t explain it but the show airplane certainly looked great and drew plenty of visitors.
Phone: (864) 718-0320Walhalla, SC 29691 - USA
Sun ‘n Fun Day 2 — As Summertime Approaches, Light-Sport Seaplanes Draw Interest
* My definition of these terms is that a "seaplane" has a boat hull where a "floatplane" is straight or amphibious floats added to a landline. The terms are not used as official designations. Home page sunset view over Seamax LSA seaplane by Randee Laskewitz
Seaplane flying is a specialty within aviation but it is one that has steady appeal and develops passionate aviators. I prefer to modify that “gear-up landing” line to… “There are pilots who love seaplane flying and there are those will love it.” Be forewarned: Once you touch your seaplane* or floatplane* to the water, it may forever change you. If you think I’m being too dramatic, you probably haven’t flown off the water. Great, so it’s magical to see the countryside from a few hundred feet up. Even better, enjoy flying low across the clear, blue, warm waters of the Bahamas. Examine the shoreline of a big lake in a way you’d never do in a landplane. Compared to airports, seaplane pilots have many times more lakes or rivers able to handle a landing. All are fair game in an emergency and many U.S. waterways will permit normal water operations. Are you convinced yet?
Sun ‘n Fun 2018: Records Set, Sales Made, Customers Smiling
Thanks for Our Best Day EverShowing a high level of enthusiasm from readers of this website who could not attend Sun ‘n Fun, we set an all-time record* for website views Sunday, even as things wound down. With more days like today, this website can better reach aviation aviation enthusiasts with the message of Light-Sport Aircraft, light kit-built aircraft, and ultralight aircraft. I attribute this intensity to daily reporting of interesting aircraft. I will try to continue the pace next week at Aero Friedrichshafen. In addition, you will soon begin to enjoy numerous videos as Videoman Dave can edit them (a large task; please be patient). We have one day at home to wash clothes, repack, and leave the following day for a flight to Germany yet I would not trade this kind of work for anything. I look forward to seeing many friends and fans in Europe as well as reporting to Americans back home plus many readers all over the planet. It is amazing to use the technologies of just this last decade or so to provide such coverage. I’m honored to have this opportunity and I so appreciate your loyal readership. Thank you!
* Based on reader views from April 15, 2018, if this rate was sustained, ByDanJohnson.com would generate substantially more than a million views per year. While AOPA’s leading magazine, Pilot, may generate this many views in only a month or two, ByDanJohnson.com enjoys the attention of readers singularly interested in the aircraft we cover. No one is looking for warbirds or spam cans here.
Sun ‘n Fun 2018 is done. The show actually closed early at about 1 PM due to forecasts of severe weather. Within hours, a bustling event began to look like a ghost town. Despite the rushed finish, the event appeared to be a huge success. Reports were that it was a all-time record result for Sun ‘n Fun; we’ll wait to see the numbers to know more detail. My conversations with several vendors indicated strong sales interest and orders were taken, so customers and vendors both appear to be satisfied. I spoke to many fans at the show and our conversations demonstrate to me that light aviation is very alive and well. In fact, I see this as one of the most invigorated periods in recent years. The interest is broad based and includes Part 103 ultralight vehicles, gyroplanes, modestly priced Special LSA, and top-line LSA models. On the kit side, interest also appears strong enough that backlogs are growing.
DeLand is Approaching… Video Deluge Brings Attention to Exhibitors You Will See
Mark Your Calendar… Videos: November 1st — Show: 2nd-3rd-4thAccording to a local newspaper, "More than 6,000 people are expected on the DeLand Municipal Airport Thursday, November 2 through Saturday, the 4th, to inspect more than 100 aircraft." The reporter went on to say that DeLand expects to "top the 1,000 flight operations recorded last year." Hours all three days are 9 AM to 5 PM. General admission for adults costs $20 each day, or $40 for a three-day pass. Lower prices are available for youth aged 11-17 and kids under 10 get in free. The entrance and free parking for DeLand Showcase are off Industrial Way on the northwest side of the airport. Here's the posting schedule for the gusher of videos you can watch. All these aircraft are expected at DeLand.
- Nov. 1, 2017 5 a.m. Tecnam Astore — Tecnam's low wing update that celebrated the 65th anniversary of this leading Light-Sport Aircraft producer from Italy. Tecnam is likely the world's leading producer of these aircraft and Astore is one of their newest. https://youtu.be/oTaWXgnZHUs
- Nov. 1, 2017 6 a.m. Zenith Aircraft — The 25-year-old kit company's CH 750 Cruzer is the speedier version of their ever-popular CH-701 and CH-750 models sometimes referred to as the Sky Jeep. It may not be shapeliest light aircraft but it can get out of the shortest airstrips. https://youtu.be/ioPY_PnMbMw
- Nov. 1, 2017 7 a.m. Aeroprakt A22 — From Ukraine comes one of the great bargains in light aviation with prices well below $100,000. The aircraft is also obvious for its major use of clear panels that assure wonderful visibility. Take the yoke and see for yourself. https://youtu.be/3qhbxWFdCFA
- Nov. 1, 2017 8 a.m. Aerotrek A220 A240 — The steady-Eddie of the LSA segment may be Aerotrek run by the ever-affable Rob Rollison. Through up years and down, Rob sells Aerotrek tricycles or taildraggers on a sane, predictable schedule that buyers appear to prefer. https://youtu.be/7ISH7ZqM4-Y
- Nov. 1, 2017 9 a.m. AutoGyro USA — One class of aircraft buys more Rotax 9-series engine than any other and by a good margin. That class is gyroplanes and AutoGyro is the largest producer. Now, Andy Wall is bringing the brand to America with a fresh, new look. https://youtu.be/2EUgcO5e5jg
- Nov. 1, 2017 10 a.m. Beringer Wheels and Brakes — Everyone likes get up and go but at the end of a flight you have to get down and stop. Beringer has leading expertise in abundance and offers beautiful, versatile systems to help you roll and brake smoothly. https://youtu.be/E7nVrcl2kz8
- Nov. 1, 2017 11 a.m. Ekolot Topaz — If Topaz has not caught your eye yet, you are in for a visual treat. Ekolot's smooth composite Topaz is as nicely appointed as they come and flies pleasantly to boot. Here's one that deserves your attention. https://youtu.be/c5tzmyiUgDE
- Nov. 1, 2017 12 p.m. Evektor Harmony — Harmony follows Evektor's SportStar, which will always enjoy the distinction as the very first Light-Sport Aircraft to win FAA acceptance. Harmony takes the highly evolved SportStar to a whole new altitude as one of the sector's best engineered aircraft. https://youtu.be/WtptDzfjx5o
- Nov. 1, 2017 1 p.m. Flight Design CTLS — For nearly every year Light-Sport Aircraft have been for sale, Flight Design's CT-series has lead the sales rankings and for good reason. It's fast, roomy, clean and smooth, and superbly equipped. At DeLand 2017, come meet the new group managing this venerable brand. https://youtu.be/wPpd6nuZ7YE
- Nov. 1, 2017 2 p.m. Groppo Trail — A lot of handsome airplanes originate in Italy, known for its stylish invention. Groppo's Trail is more the rough-and-ready version able to take on less improved airstrips. Now it's available in tricycle gear or taildragger form. https://youtu.be/6qZKtIkF0vQ
- Nov. 1, 2017 3 p.m. Just Aircraft SuperSTOL — Just Aircraft was already well known for their popular Highlander but when designer Troy Woodland sharply upped the ante with SuperSTOL, eyes at airshows everywhere turned to watch this outstanding performer. Seeing is believing. https://youtu.be/bQFoznvOO_k
- Nov. 1, 2017 4 p.m. KitFox Light Sport Aircraft — One the industry's most familiar shapes is that of Kitfox, whose several models bear the original appearance even as the current company continues to refine and improve their models. Their airshow models are always superlatively finished. https://youtu.be/Gs2FUw0UsAg
- Nov. 1, 2017 5 p.m. SuperPetrel LS — This is one you tend not to forget as it is a very rare biplane seaplane. While it may have a unique look, it works as well on water as any light seaplane model I have flown. The Brazilian company has a base in Florida, not far from DeLand. https://youtu.be/Si2hkU_CwE8
- Nov. 1, 2017 6 p.m. Pipistrel Alpha — This Slovenian company is known for their smooth, slender (and long) winged models made entirely of composite structures. Alpha is their most affordable model and you should look it over carefully. https://youtu.be/litphoYQLOc
- Nov. 1, 2017 7 p.m. Powrachute Powered Parachute — Powered parachutes offer one of the best viewing platforms in all of light aviation. They are also easy to fly and have the lowest hourly requirement to get a Sport Pilot license. Powrachute is the biggest supplier and their models warrant careful examination. https://youtu.be/Rg42_i3EcEU
- Nov. 1, 2017 8 p.m. Progressive Aerodyne SeaRey — We enjoy several great LSA seaplanes but only one boasts a long track record with a large fleet and that is Searey. Made in kit form only for years, you can now buy one ready-to-fly. Searey is made near DeLand in Tavares, Florida ...right on a lake, of course. https://youtu.be/7O7t1nJGPxo
- Nov. 1, 2017 9 p.m. REV Part 103 Legal Ultralight Trike — Among trikes available, the most deluxe and finished model is Revo from Evolution Trikes. However, this Florida company also made the fabulous Part 103 Rev for those on a budget or just look for solo fun in a well-made trike. https://youtu.be/oMK8myarZ94
- Nov. 1, 2017 10 p.m. RV-12 light sport — From the world's largest producer of kit aircraft, Van's Aircraft can now offer a fully built Special LSA RV-12 version through a collaboration with longtime kit-building partner, Synergy Air. Most RV-12s have been sold as kits, at which Van's is deeply experienced. https://youtu.be/PwX8FbTWdNc
- Nov. 1, 2017 11 p.m. Sling Light Sport Aircraft — The Airplane Factory-USA represents the Sling models, including the two seat LSA model and a four seat Sling 4 model that is built as a kit. Both fly wonderfully and have proven themselves uniquely by flying around the world, multiple times. https://youtu.be/3W0xzh0F7yo
- Nov. 1, 2017 12 p.m. SportCruiser — Known to the general aviation crowd as the PiperSport (thanks to a brand they know well), SportCruiser was before and has been since Piper's involvement a good seller under its original name. https://youtu.be/QcjW_X2v9Y0
Live! Soon! Go!Catch all these videos anywhere you like, but even better, make plans now to attend DeLand Showcase 2017. The weather has cooled from summer heat but it should still be in the high '70s, low '80s so it should be a great time to look at airplanes and other gear. As you enjoy all these free videos, I encourage you to visit Videoman Dave's YouTube channel and click here to support the work. You can see most of these videos featuring Dan Johnson right here.
My video partner must be working around the clock as he prepared a blizzard of videos for release starting November 1st. As you see in the list below, 20 videos will soon be available. I hope you’ll enjoy them. Besides giving you info on various aircraft to see at the event, we hope to encourage you to attend DeLand #2. Videos are great and in them we try to ask the questions you would ask and to show you things you’d look for if you attended. Good as videos are, nothing substitutes for you being present to ask and look yourself. I hope you can. Videoman Dave and I will be on-site all three days of the event. We will likely be a blur in motion dashing from one fetching aircraft vendor to another to gather more article material and video interviews. We also hope to record more Video Pilot Reports, as we did last year.
Big to Small, Just Aircraft Pleases; Now, Check Out their Part 103 Ultralight Aircraft
Now Comes JustWe don't know too much about Just 103 yet but it won't take long before we get plenty more. Designer Troy Woodland — of SuperSTOL fame — said he almost got the new bird in the air before Oshkosh and will certainly do so in the next few weeks. It should be market ready by end of year. From some folks I'd find that a rather bold promise but Troy has a proven track record of getting flying machines to market. Up front, Troy mounted the Polini Thor 250 engine, which provides 37 horsepower at 7500 rpm. With an engine weight of barely over 40 pounds and the proper Part 103 airframe weight, this Thor engine should provide spirited performance. Fuel usage is very low; remember, these engines got popular on powered paragliders where the pilot carries engine and fuel on his or her back, so big gas tanks aren't needed. Troy went with a boom tube to the tailplane to keep weight down and to maintain a genuine ultralight look. Readers who have followed this sector may recognize both the Capella Javelin and TEAM's AirBike. (Also see this Zlin airplane.) The latter comparison is especially apt because this is one of those airplanes you get on rather than in. Pilots side astride the welded steel forward fuselage with their feet on the rudder pedals out in the breeze, although at a top allowed speed of 63 mph (55 knots), that breeze won't be particularly windy. Troy indicated they have done all the analysis and much of the testing (wings are done even though they weren't brought to Oshkosh). He is sure it will make the empty weight challenge of 254 pounds. Before it even flies, no price has been set, but with an engine price well under $4,000 and a simple airframe from a very established builder, it is reasonable to think Just 103 will be quite affordable. Stay tuned! * I did not write Part 103 vehicles are the lightest powered aircraft as Part 103 also covers hang gliders and paraglider, which are commonly unpowered.
If you know the Part 103 category of the FAA regulations, you know these are the lightest aircraft in aviation (that is, man-carrying aircraft; drones excepted).* After years of disappearing, Part 103 entries have come back more recently and at AirVenture Oshkosh 2017, we saw another. This is the Just Aircraft Superlite, except that name was never certain and has (since Oshkosh) been taken off the list as a model name. Until they put a fresh name on it, I will call it Just 103. Part 103, as most readers may know, requires no pilot certificate (really, none!). They also require no FAA registration or N-numbers. Since 1982, you need no aviation medical to fly one. Plus, they can be built ready-to-fly… or in kit form of any percentage. For 35 years now — the rule went effective in September of 1982 — Part 103 ultralight vehicles have been part of the aviation firmament.
Just Aircraft …No “Just” About It. SuperSTOL Leaps Aloft.
CubCrafters now leads the field for Special LSA (see this report to learn more) thanks significantly to their early installation of the 180 horsepower Titan engine. Outback Shock is starting making waves in the sky with their impressive entry. Outback with Shock options is sold in America by SportairUSA. Both these companies are to be congratulated for advancing the light aircraft field, but one aircraft really lit this space on fire: Just Aircraft and their ground-breaking SuperSTOL. Just Aircraft went beyond vintage appeal by extending SuperSTOL ability with several distinctive features. “The dual slatted wing significantly enhanced performance and slow flight control,” said design engineer Troy Woodland. His SuperSTOL wing design incorporates self-deploying leading edge slats and wide span Fowler flaps to increase stall range. SuperSTOL also uses vortex generators to further stretch slow flight performance and handling (photo). “This provides access to considerably more off-airport landing sites, making the SuperSTOL one of the most versatile backcountry machines out there,” Troy added.
Just Aircraft — SuperSTOL with 180-hp Titan (2016)
Just Aircraft turns heads everywhere when they first introduced the SuperSTOL (STOL stands for short takeoff and landing). With a 100-horsepower Rotax 912, the aircraft was an awesome performer. Yet they saw even more potential. After installing a 180 horsepower, six cylinder UL Power 520i, they tackled installing the similarly potent motor from Continental, the Titan X-340. When Just Aircraft engineer Tory Woodland planned the installation, he realized they’d have to extend the fuselage to assure the right weight balance and control. They added two feet to the length but the climb rate is an astonishing 3,000 feet per minute. Hear more on this video.
GA Deliveries Decline Yet Tecnam Performs Well
Every quarter, like clockwork, the General Aviation Manufacturers Association (GAMA), issues its delivery report. I’ve used their data in the past (see HERE) and I appreciate the work they do for the GA producer community. For the past few years, these reports have not exactly been a bright spot, with fairly small numbers of aircraft reported delivered and trends sloping downward. Thanks to my LAMA associate in Europe, Jan Fridrich, ByDanJohnson.com also reports airplane activity, although Jan and I use FAA registration data modified only by our intimate knowledge of the light aircraft industry. Both GAMA and LAMA must interpret some info as these data sources are more slippery than you might think. For each organization the best info is that which you can distill over years of reporting. If the detail may have potential errors (usually small) the long term trends are more reliable. I want to give you a small glimpse at GAMA’s numbers for the first nine months of 2016.
Just Aircraft SuperSTOL — Big Sky Aviation Builder Assist
Building a kit is part of the American aviation dream but it isn't for everyone. However, it is something anyone can learn. In this video we interview a husband and wife team -- Hutch and wife Ann -- who went to Just Aircraft to build their SuperSTOL (they are seated in the airplane for this video). Now, for those of you who aren't sure you can dedicate the time, Big Sky has an answer for you: come visit them and they'll give you expert assistance.
Building a kit is part of the American aviation dream but it isn’t for everyone. However, it is something anyone can learn. In this video we interview a husband and wife team — Hutch and wife Ann — who went to Just Aircraft to build their SuperSTOL (they are seated in the airplane for this video). Now, for those of you who aren’t sure you can dedicate the time, Big Sky has an answer for you: come visit them and they’ll give you expert assistance.
Just Aircraft — Highlander SUPERSTOL (2013)
Just Aircraft's SuperSTOL was a major hit on the Paradise City runway at Sun 'n Fun 2013. In this video we continue our review of this amazing aircraft as we interview principal designer Troy Woodland. We go fly the aircraft; with cameras on the wing and even the tailwheel, you can verify its unusual performance that allows you to land with the joystick full aft. Watch the video to hear some of its secrets.
Just Aircraft’s SuperSTOL was a major hit on the Paradise City runway at Sun ‘n Fun 2013. In this video we continue our review of this amazing aircraft as we interview principal designer Troy Woodland. We go fly the aircraft; with cameras on the wing and even the tailwheel, you can verify its unusual performance that allows you to land with the joystick full aft. Watch the video to hear some of its secrets.
Just Aircraft — Highlander SUPERSTOL
An aircraft that grabbed everyone's attention at AirVenture 2012 was the new Highlander Superstol from the South Carolina company. Here's a video you want to watch as we show touchdown after touchdown to show just how that marvelous gear with the 20-inch range (measured at the spindle). In flight footage also shows the automatic slats in operation and our interview of Troy Woodland will tell you how they did it all. You'll enjoy this one!
An aircraft that grabbed everyone’s attention at AirVenture 2012 was the new Highlander Superstol from the South Carolina company. Here’s a video you want to watch as we show touchdown after touchdown to show just how that marvelous gear with the 20-inch range (measured at the spindle). In flight footage also shows the automatic slats in operation and our interview of Troy Woodland will tell you how they did it all. You’ll enjoy this one!
Just Aircraft — Highlander
An all-American design, the Just Aircraft Highlander is more than "just" an aircraft. Here's a rugged taildragger that can carry quite a load and can land on unimproved airstrips... or perhaps alongside that trout stream you always wanted to fish. Beyond its utility, Highlander is roomy to let you sleep in it. (Note: Contrary to my memory test on camera, I do have a pilot report on Highlander.)
An all-American design, the Just Aircraft Highlander is more than “just” an aircraft. Here’s a rugged taildragger that can carry quite a load and can land on unimproved airstrips… or perhaps alongside that trout stream you always wanted to fish. Beyond its utility, Highlander is roomy to let you sleep in it. (Note: Contrary to my memory test on camera, I do have a pilot report on Highlander.)
SuperSTOL Gets Superpower with Titan’s 180 Horses
Article updated 2/16/16 — In a freshly-edited video (see at end), Just Aircraft key fellows Gary Schmidt and Troy Townsend provide extra comments and we add additional footage of SuperSTOL climbing strongly with the Titan. Even before Continental Motors took over the former ECi, that company’s Titan engine has been turning heads. CubCrafters was first to this party, installing the 180-horsepower engine on their Cubalike LSA, demonstrating very short takeoff rolls before climbing steeply. Since then, quite a few other producers have embraced the potent engine and more are coming. This development is sufficiently interesting that I am at work on an article about three “divisions” of powerplants for LSA, light kits, and ultralights. However, all other users of the Titan are unlike Just Aircraft’s SuperSTOL, which itself has turned many a head at airshow demonstrations. SuperSTOL was able to rivet pilots’ attention when it performed with the 100-horsepower Rotax 912, so imagine the neck-snapping twists that will occur when people get a chance to see how this moveable-slats airplane on tall, telescoping gear performs with 180 horses doing the pulling.
American Exports: LSA Like Just’s SuperSTOL
If you’ve read a newspaper or watched TV in the last couple decades, you might think America only imports stuff, mostly from China. Of course, that is ridiculously simplistic and just plain wrong but constant repetition of incorrect news may eventually convince people that it is the truth. At one time, it seemed all Light-Sport Aircraft also came from overseas. Indeed, in the earliest days of Light-Sport Aircraft, rules in Europe allowed fully-built aircraft that were very similar so those producers could more quickly enter the new sector. In 2005 and 2006, more than two-thirds of all LSA were imported. While imports remain a strong and important supply of worthy aircraft, an increasing number are now produced in the USA. American companies have caught up and are now arguably pulling ahead. This is true in the innovation of design, in production of ready-to-fly SLSA and in the kit market where American companies were always the strongest and have remained so.
Aircraft of Copperstate 2015 Continued (Part 2)
In this Copperstate Part 2 article we resume the list of aircraft Videoman Dave and I reviewed at the show south of Phoenix, Arizona in Casa Grande. To remind you, this was the 43rd running of this show that invites all sorts of aircraft — and many dozens did fly in each day plus others did fly-over demonstrations. However, Copperstate generates a particularly strong response from manufacturers and representatives of Light-Sport Aircraft, light kit aircraft, and utralights. That makes it a must-go show for our team at ByDanJohnson.com and Dave’s SportAviationMagazine.com YouTube channel that so many of you seem to enjoy. Like other shows, many of you approached us at the event and expressed your ongoing interest in the video content we create. We are very pleased about your loyal viewership and will continue to work hard to build our growing video library … already at 400+ videos and moving steadily to 500 and beyond.
Just Aircraft SuperSTOL “Stretched”
Boeing does it. Why not Just Aircraft? Of course, a stretched Boeing only transports more people somewhere. The experience is not more fun … maybe less so. Flying in a Just airplane will put a huge grin on your face and now it is a lot more likely to do so. Having experienced SuperSTOL with 100 horsepower, I can’t wait to get a shot at one with (trumpets blare here) 180 horsepower. Hoo-Rah! “To accommodate larger engines,” the company announced, “we introduce our new SuperSTOL Stretch XL.” By adding an extra two feet to the aft section of the fuselage and six inches up front, the SuperSTOL Stretch XL can now accommodate the new UL Power 520 engine series or Lycoming’s O-320 engine series that outputs 150-160 hp. A plain old — but still exciting — SuperSTOL is powered by the 100 horsepower Rotax 912 which weighs approximately 165 pounds, with accessories, or the 115 hp Rotax 914, weighing 175 pounds.
7 Aircraft to Look for at Sebring 2015
We’re off to the races … OK, the race track … OK, we’re off to Sebring, which happens to be alongside the Sebring International Raceway. Yep. It’s January so it’s again time for the Sebring Expo, this time number 11, the 2015 edition of the popular Florida show. I’ll be onsite for the four days, which this year is one day sooner, running Wednesday through Saturday. The plan makes it easier for vendors to stay to the end on Saturday and still have time to get home on Sunday so they can be back in their businesses on Monday. Every time I head to a show people contact me, including journalists from publications that don’t follow Light-Sport, light kits, ultralights, or light GA as closely as we do). The question is always the same. What new aircraft or products will we see at the show? …Uh, let me think.
Midwest LSA Expo 2014 Highlights
The sixth annual Midwest LSA Expo just concluded. These LSA-only events offer a more intimate setting where you can speak at length with an aircraft or other product representative. They don’t offer the dense traffic of the big shows but the valued trade off is that nearly everyone who shows is interested. People came from as far as California and I witnessed many demo flights. The Mt. Vernon airport is as good as it gets for this purpose with easy access to big broad runways and plenty of open airspace. Lead by energetic Chris Collins, a team of volunteers made it work again. When the event isn’t swallowing all their time these folks have a little fun. Don’t worry about the nearby picture; TSA and Homeland Security can calm down. This was a planned promotional venture on the side of a great new restaurant called Rare, a chop house.
Post-Oshkosh 2013 Quick Review
At the big show EAA likes to call the Summer Celebration of Flight, we rove the grounds seeking new airplanes, new engines or propulsion systems, new panel gear, updated models and more. In this very fast tour, we’ll zoom around AirVenture for a glance at some airplanes and components that caught our attention. In subsequent posts we’ll delve a bit more deeply into certain ideas we thought were novel. All photos accompanying this article are courtesy of Light Sport and Ultralight Flyer, producer of the 300+ videos you can find on this website. Rans showed off their new S-20 Raven. Those who thought designer and company boss Randy Schlitter got stuck on S-19 were wrong (it’s never wise to think he’s done designing). His new Raven combines elements of the S-6 and S-7, namely the side-by-side seating of the S-6, with the welded spaceframe and superwide door of the S-7.
Post-AirVenture 2014 News Review
Summer’s big show is over and most aviation business folks are back home having that love/hate affair with email that piled up while we worked the event. On whole, the success story is strong. Airplanes sold, crowds were good, accidents were few, and the weather was not smoking hot like it has been in years past (though brief rain showers kept folks dashing for cover on occasion). EAA says attendance was up from last year, that the numbers of airplanes was higher, and that campgrounds reached capacity by midweek. EAA’s special 10th Anniversary of Sport Pilot/Light-Sport Aircraft Exhibit drew well all week with 17 aircraft representing all sectors within the SP/LSA space. Visitors could hardly miss the wonderfully central space AirVenture planners offered for this one-year display. With the front corners presenting a bright green Van’s RV-12 plus the freshly debuted MVP seaplane attendees were practically compelled to wander the space and see all the flying machines.