When AirVenture Oshkosh ends, you can almost hear a national sigh as if to denote the flying season is over. EAA’s magnificent summer celebration of flight leads to Labor Day and into fall. Fun flying in northern climates might begin to slow but in the southern half of the U.S., flying for fun is entering its best season. As if to prove the point, coming up soon: 15th annual Midwest LSA Expo, Zenith’s 32nd Annual Homecoming event follows the Expo, with even larger crowds, Aero Showcase’s second event is scheduled and being promoted, and down under — where Australis is exiting winter (yeah, weird, huh?) — big changes for Jabiru Midwest 2023 I’ve taken to shortening the event name to “Midwest (Year)” because I say or write it so often. This show — as you might expect, in the Midwest USA — has become a foundation of my aviation calendar. I only missed one year due to a hurricane in Florida where I live.
- 15th annual Midwest LSA Expo,
- Zenith's 32nd Annual Homecoming event follows the Expo, with even larger crowds,
- Aero Showcase's second event is scheduled and being promoted, and
- down under — where Australis is exiting winter (yeah, weird, huh?) — big changes for Jabiru
Midwest 2023I've taken to shortening the event name to "Midwest (Year)" because I say or write it so often. This show — as you might expect, in the Midwest USA — has become a foundation of my aviation calendar. I only missed one year due to a hurricane in Florida where I live. In Mount Vernon, Illinois, 2023 will be the 15th running of the Expo, and I have zero doubt it will happen again in 2024. At that time the Midwest LSA Expo in Mount Vernon (KMVN) will become the longest-running of all sector-specific shows. The previous granddaddy of such events, also the first, was Sebring, but that production shut down after it had accomplished its goals (article & follow-up). A lot of credit for Midwest's leadership goes to airport manager, Chris Collins, but he would be quick to state that there is a team behind him that supports the effort. He adopted the color orange and today when you attend the event, you can easily tell a volunteer because they are brightly garbed. After several years, Midwest has found all the right buttons to push to put on an intimate event that draws well year after year. Pilots love it because they can talk to aircraft representatives without a long wait and for as long as they want plus they can go for demo flights as easily as any place I've ever seen. Vendors love it because they can get those pilots up in their aircraft, which can often lead to a sale. Smiles on both ends. I will be giving not one but two talks on the new Mosaic regulation. I'm deep in work studying this large document and putting slides together. For those that cannot attend. I plan a video to follow. However, if you can attend, I urge you to join me in these discussions because I want to hear from you more than you want to hear from me.
Zenith's 32nd Homecoming
DeLand Showcase 2023 Announced
New Boss at Jabiru AustraliaU.S. Jabiru representative Scott Severen advised of news from down under in Australia where that country and New Zealand are now exiting their winter months. Founded in 1988 by Rod Stiff and Phil Ainsworth, the company is extremely rare in producing both airframes and engines under its brand. "Rod bought Phil out in 2005 and continued the adventure at Jabiru," wrote Mick Halloran, now Executive Director of Jabiru. "After thirty-five years of inspiration and perspiration, Jabiru stands as Australia’s premier aircraft manufacturer, with one of the world’s best affordable touring aircraft and even more remarkably, one of the few light aero engines in continuous production. Rod built a team that has delivered (at the time of writing) 2,124 aircraft and 7,223 engines, has a customer list that spans the world and a complex international supply chain." Mick summarized, "It’s a global enterprise run from a couple of sheds in Bundaberg (Queensland, Australia, on the country's east coast)." "Rod is responsible for the design of an original aircraft, an original engine, and has run an aircraft manufacturing company for 30+ years," Mick continued. "Any one of those, would in itself, be an incredible achievement. All three is quite extraordinary." "Two months ago, I took over the business," he wrote. He reported previous roles in the "big corporate world," at companies such as British Aerospace and Lockheed Martin. He worked in the USA and Europe as well as Australia, "on everything from the original design of the Joint Strike Fighter." "The last few years have left [Jabiru] with a mature design in the Gen4 engines and a timeless aircraft design with the J430/230/170 series." Scott Severen is working with Jabiru to prepare for Mosaic aircraft as the J430 has long been a four seat design in Australia. "Jabiru is one of the great Australian success stories. My job is to eventually leave it better than I found it, which is no small challenge given what Rod and the team have achieved," concluded Mick. "I am looking forward to the challenge, but most of all I look forward to meeting all of the good people who are the buyers, flyers, and fixers of Jabiru."