Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Second (Chantz) Around

Just out of a 3-day stomach bug sick bed, I must still be a bit delirious 'cause that old Sinatra tune, "Love is wonderful, the second time around" keeps winding through my fuzzy brain.
No doubt I'm subconsciously morphing into music the news I got yesterday from old hang gliding pal and ultralight/light sport entrepreneur John Dunham that he's back, in the biz he made so successful in the '80s - Second Chantz Aerial Survival Equipment
His company sold more than 4,000 ballistic recovery systems when it was in operation, and has documented more than 70 saves worldwide.
You can read all the gore-y details on John's blog linked above but a brief bio must include his deep hang gliding/ultralight/LSA background as pilot, test pilot, instructor and savvy manufacturer/businessman from the early '70s.  He's an all-around talent, this guy!
John's Flight Design West biz in Nevada marketed several LSA including the Flight Design CT and the lovely (and we hope soon-to-be-resurrected) Lambada motorglider.
So welcome back John!
By email, he tells me the reinvigorated Second Chantz (which closed shop when he left mid-'90s) will:
* make and sell recovery systems for most LSA in operation and coming onto the market.

* repack, update and do scheduled service for ballistic recovery systems made by any manufacturer - including market leader BRS (More than 6,000 old systems require service, and new rockets!) Propellants do get "stale" over time...not good.  Can't save your neck with a dead load.
* market and sell Magnum ballistic recovery systems from Czech company Stratos 07, which makes several models for a variety of aircraft from hang gliders and trikes to LSA.
Around 100 Magnum systems are installed around the U.S. so far, on models from Remos, Flight Design/Europe, Samba, Lambada and more.
With his own Second Chantz line, John tells me "I'll offer a rocket system, and update older systems with new rockets...and be price competitive with BRS."
He's also resurrecting his compressed gas deployment propellant systems for all types of light aircraft.
"I will be working with new pressure cylinders that give me up to 6000 psi...twice the power we worked with 15 years ago!"
He hopes to develop 10,000 psi cylinders soon, which will  "do the job explosives do for bigger parachute systems, with cool nitrogen gas rockets."
John Dunham and Second Chantz look forward to giving BRS, and its "virtual monopoly" on the U.S. market, a friendly run for its money.
But he's in it for more than that: "It's what I know and love...and hearing or reading the words “Thanks for saving my Life” becomes addictive."

Friday, March 26, 2010

Meanwhile, Back At the Electric Ranch...

The Creative Solutions Alliance (CSA) is a nonprofit organization, founded by Erik Lindbergh, grandson of Charles "Lucky Lindy" Lindbergh, that just announced his creation of the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize (LEAP).
In stirring language as quoted to AOPA's Alton K. Marsh, Lindbergh says, "We are literally teaching the next generation to imagine and create their future."
The idea, as we've seen in the past with similar contests such as the Orteig Prize (1st Atlantic crossing won by Lindbergh) Kremer Prize (human powered flight - Gossamer Condor), and the X-Prize (1st private suborbital space flight), is to "promote the practical development of electric aircraft by recognizing specific advances in this emerging cleantech (sic) industry."
Prizes will be awarded for:
Best Electric Aircraft:  keyword in this category is practical, and it can be an Experimental, LSA or Certified aircraft.
Best Electric Aircraft Sub-System: component systems that advance the field of electric aircraft
Best Electric Aircraft Component Technology:  Individual components such as batteries, motors, power electronics etc.
Public Choice Award: We get to vote on our favorite, flying or not, "practical or not"!
The winners in each category will be announced at Oshkosh's EAA Airventure this summer.
Anybody want to take early odds on the Yuneec e430, already a design award winner?
Or the ElectraFlyer X, shown at right?
---images courtesy CSA and ElectraFlyer

Spring Buzzzzz...

Everybody laments the high cost of LSA ownership: here's an alternative...especially if you like true bugs-in-teeth aviating like our winged forefathers...uh, and foremothers of course...er, forepersons?  Sheesh.  Staying PC is so last week.
Manfred Ruhmer, the German hang glider world champion and one-time distance record holder of 435 miles (current record is 444 mi.!), has been working on his own electric-powered trike - named the Icaro 2000 Pit-Trike.
Chalk up that curious name to translation from the Italian.  Maybe it grabs the air like a pit bull?  Icaro's price page calls it Nano Trike - take your pick!
BTW, a "trike" is a wheeled undercarriage, powered by a pusher-prop powerplant, that allows a conventional foot-launched (or aero-towed) hang glider to fly under its own power.   

The trike unit without hang glider wing lists between $11,000 and $15,000 US, reports my pal Dan Johnson, before shipping,
and you still have to add your own hang glider - another $3K to $6K.
Still, here's an electric-powered aircraft you can own for as little as $15,000 or so!
Before we go further, check out this video.  And note when the pilot (it's Ruhmer himself) shuts down the power while soaring in ridge lift over the trees.  The prop folds to streamline and the lightweight trike becomes a soaring machineNow we're talking!

Icaro produces the design as part of its Light Trike line.  It's a long-respected maker of hang gliders.
What's encouraging is this is yet another electric-powered aircraft to come to market.  Electric powered vehicles of all types are the coming thing, believe it.
Other notable electric projects we've talked about recently:
--- Several models from China's Yuneec (all-electric award-winning E430 SLSA, "paramotors" for paragliders, and another hang glider trike still in development, being test flown by another big hang glider name - France's Gerard Thevenot).
--- FlightStar's e-Spyder, in advanced development at Yuneec with Tom Peghiny's oversight (it's a modified FlightStar which Tom produces)
--- Randall Fishman's American-made ElectraFlyer Trike, ElectraFlyer C and ElectraFlyer X two-seat SLSA.
But unlike many others still coming to market, you can buy Icaro's trike now.
Prayer to: God/Santa/Gaia/Buddha/Jahweh et al.: please please please let Icaro show up at Sun 'n Fun so I can whangle a ride.  Or the newest eSpyder prototype.  Or the Yuneec e430 again.  Or all of them.
---images and video courtesy Icaro

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

New In-Cockpit HD Camera

I saw this bad boy at Sebring in January and was taken with its potential for flight schools, airplane dealers, insurance companies and plain old pilot fun.
Dave Graham of Gobosh introduced me to the go-getter guys behind it.  They call themselves Light Sport Group.
More details:
It's called the Contour HD A/V-ator Edition.
It's adapted from a popular HD helmet camera.
It shoots in full High Definition (1080P - P is for progressive, which is the smoother-viewing of two specs, the other being I, for interlaced).
My favorite feature (in addition to the HiDef) is the 135-degree lens that, if you mount the cam behind the pilot in a typical LSA, will show the entire cockpit, panel and what's outside the windscreen.
Here's a video from the company's website that speaks to the products merits all by itself:

The system includes the camera, Light Sport Group's proprietary noise-cancelling circuit, plug-and-play aviation headset adapters for clear cockpit audio, a Contour-specific suction cup mount, an 8GB SD memory card, and internal rechargeable battery.
The view allows clear, sharp views of panel instrument readouts.
It's a handy way to do lots of things: review student flights, document personal or practice flights, and the unit records ATC com, intercom chatter and aircraft alerts - good for documentation after any incidents, much like an airliner "black box".

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

X-Air Goes Factory Direct

Bend, Oregon's LSA builder X-Air, makers of the completely American-made X-Air LS - lowest-priced LSA out there at under $60,000 - is finding creative ways to keep the overhead low by selling the airplane directly out of its factory.
The company is upgrading the airplane in several ways, to be announced at Sun 'n Fun, and will offer demo flights, flight training, sales and service at the HQ in Bend.
And if you need another reason to go to Bend, it's a good town on the eastern side of the spectacular Cascade range.  I've spent time there over the years and always enjoyed its natural beauty.  The composite aircraft kitmaker Lancair is also located in Bend.
Matt Verdieck, X-Air's friendly GM who helped me demo the X-Air at Sebring (that flight report will be out soon in Plane & Pilot), says the company plans to set up flight centers around the country as well as keep selling through Sportsplanes.com.
"Ultimately," says Verdieck, "we hope to see the aircraft on the ramps of numerous flight training operations."
He goes on to comment on the economics of flying the Jabiru 80 hp-powered X-Air, which is a low-maintenance, fuel-sipping LSA to be sure.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Florida LSA Schools Coming On Line

Cessna's in the hunt for flight schools, like everybody else. Word comes via a city blog that Orlando Flight Training is ramping up a Sport Pilot training program that will use four Cessna SkyCatchers at its Kissimmee Gateway Airport facility.
The piece claims OFT is the first to offer the C-162 in Florida, and plans to have them operational this summer.

While we're at it, let's highlight a few more Sport Pilot ops in the Sunshine State:

• Another Sport Pilot training program at Apopka is Grizzly Aviation Services. It also uses a Gobosh 700S, which rents out at $97/hr.

• Yet another Orlando-area operation is Orlando-Gateway Sport Pilot Training LLC, which gets things done out of Kissimmee Airport with a Remos GX and a SportCruiser.

Mike Z. Sport Aviation, soon to have two more German Breezers to train on, has been in operation for some time down in Plant City, between Lakeland and Tampa on I-4. Mike Zidziunas does it all: training, maintenance, Rotax repair.

Lockwood Aviation in Sebring has been in the game for some time too. They have several LSA: Tecnam P92 Echo Super and P2002 Sierra and Flight Design CTSW and CTLS, as well as a Cessna 152 and Cessna 172. Parent company Lockwood Aviation Supply is the U.S. go-to location for anything and everything to do with Rotax engines.

First Landings has an operational program at Orlando Apopka Airport that uses a Remos G3 and a Gobosh 700S for training. Rates are $100/hr wet ($95 block)

Know of other Sport Pilot training ops in Florida? Let me know!
---photos courtesy First Landings and Breezer Aircraft

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sun 'n Fun Countdown

Two items today as we gin up for the 36th annual Sun 'n Fun Fly-In & Expo (that's the official handle - it's Sun 'n Fun for short).
The big show runs in Lakeland, FL from April 13-18.
Like EAA's Oshkosh AirVenture, you can float your flyin' boat with enough pure aviation overload to give you a hangover. Samples of everything that flies are there, so rock on, wing crazies!
-- Piper wasn't just blowing smoke when it said it would deliver PiperSports starting in April. The PiperSport Facebook photo page has pix of the first production models coming off the Czech factory assembly line, and U.S.-bound.
I hope to fly or at least talk to new owners there to see if Piper's made any mods yet.
-- I'm happy to report the LSA Mall will set up again this year.
Sun 'n Fun, like AirVenture, can be overwhelming. Finding exhibitors, even if you walk your legs off searching, can be difficult.
My pal Dan Johnson cooked up the LSA Mall idea back in 2006. He runs it with super gal-pal Randee.
It's an outside promenade, just past the entrance gate to the show.
Having bunches of top LSAs all in the same area not only saves on shoe leather, but of course gives you great opportunities to compare airplanes you're interested in.
LSA reps have caught on too. They realize it's better for LSA-hungry folks to find them in one central place.
The Mall will again have a Rotax display with a rep to answer questions about the ubiquitous power plant.
A Jabiru powerplant will also be on display.
SeaMax and SeaRey amphibs, PiperSport, Flight Design, Arion Lightning and many others have already confirmed.
Go by and say hello to Dan, Randee and other LAMA staff : they're terrific folks.
And Dan in particular knows more about LSA than the next ten people, no lie.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Canadian Bakin'

Here's something I hadn't thought about since I've never flown an LSA into Canada: EAA reports that Transport Canada (aka TC) is doing what Canadians are famous for: acting friendly.
TC is simplifying and cheapifying LSA flight from the US into Canada.
TC has a new Standardized Validation form that bestows the same operating limitations on LSA that have been in place for American experimentally built aircraft.
In the past, pilots here at home had to call up TC, receive permission to operate an LSA in Canada, get validation paperwork issued to keep in the plane, then pay a $100 fee.
Now, all that our neighborly Olympic hockey champs require is a download of the Standardised Validation form, compliance with customs requirements, and LSA pilots are good to fly into maple leaf country.
Best news? The $100 fee has been dropped.
There is one catch, and it's a potential deal breaker for many older pilots.
U.S. pilots must have a private pilot certificate with a valid 3rd class or better medical.
That means Sport Pilot license holders with only a driver's license can't legally fly into Canada.
But wait - there's more! According to Randy Hansen, EAA's director of government relations, FAA and TC are working toward Canada allowing all U.S. Sport Pilot licensees the same privilege of operating in its airspace.
You can oggle and download the Validation form here.
And if you're going to Oshkosh Airventure this year, there's a Transport Canada booth in the Federal Pavilion where Hansen suggest pilots can go to learn more about the program...and while you're at it, urge them to allow every flavor of Sport Pilot to fly LSA into the Great North.
It's good for Canadian business, and American business too, as it will increase exposure of LSA up thar.
Fringe benefit: Canadians are a great and friendly people too, and fun to fly with.
---composite image courtesy...me!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Spring Be A-coming!

Here's a few quick hits since I've been so long winded the last couple posts.
We hit almost 70 degrees yesterday here in upstate NY. Wow! Snow's mostly gone. Flyin' fever is setting in.
-- From Texas comes news that Michael Combs has left on a last warm-up trip in his Remos GX before embarking next month on a 50-state tour.
He's dubbed the project, sponsored by Remos and other commercial and private donors, “Flight for the Human Spirit”.
He intends for the project to serve as a "beacon" to remind us all of the need to never give up on our dreams. For background, here's my blog piece from last Oct.
The trip starts from Salina, Kansas on April 5: here's a map of his route.
Salina is where the late, great Steve Fossett took off for his successful solo, nonstop globe-girdler in 2005.
-- The annual Sun 'n Fun spring bash is ramping up. Check here for who's coming at this always-fantastic airshow based in Lakeland, FL.
-- My blogmate Dan Johnson looked at FAA's crystal ball-gazing forecast of LSA growth on his SPLOG recently, so I'll send you there rather than duplicate his masterful summary.
Short tell: FAA's numbers are kinda strange, but the agency predicts steady growth ahead for LSA, and GA.
Stay tuned!
---photo courtesy Michael Combs

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Precursors Of Longevity

Modern life, especially in our wonderful country, places a powerful premium on achieving top dog status.
I've had a pet notion for many years that the Academy Awards should give over trying to pick one best picture/actor/actress/director etc. and just give the five or ten nominees Oscars for being the best of the year.
------- photo: Tom Peghiny (left) and Nat. Sales Mgr. John Gilmore
I feel the same about LSA: achieving, then maintaining numero uno status is often a fruitless chase. One bad sales year and you're number three. God a'mighty! Not number three!
Of course, you could be clever like the AVIS rent-a-car CEO who made his company number one by extolling the virtues of a company always striving to be the best: ("We're #2: We Try Harder!")
BTW, that CEO had the largest single-masted yacht in the world built for him. It towers 292 feet high and charters for $375,000 per week! You could hide a double-decker British bus inside its hull.
BTW2: Somebody just built one that's even bigger. That means former Mr. Avis's boat is now...#2.
Oh, the irony.
Back to LSA: If you're shopping for a light sport airplane, of course you'll check out the market leaders. There's always a sense of "safety" in numbers.
Of course, sales numbers can lie. Look at one of the best sellers, the Zodiac 601XL and 650 models. They've had several fatal in-flight structural failures.
Not to pick on them: AMD and Zenith Air, producers of the SLSA and kit versions of the Zodiac, have been working very responsibly at correcting the problems.
My point is this: it takes a huge commitment to successfully build and market a safe and attractive airplane, then to support your customers through thick and thin.
And even then there's no guarantee you'll achieve number one status, or stay there for long.
Personally, I'm more interested in the actions a company takes to stay viable in the crowded, economically challenged, ever-changing market place.
I want to know that a company takes care of its customers.
To whit, my "one of the best" Oscars to Flight Design. Yes, it's been the overall market leader for the last several years, though that status is challenged daily by 105 other competing designs.
But it has endured for, I think, one primary reason: the company, both its German parent and the U.S. HQ, has never felt content to rest on its laurels.
Of course, that concept begins and ends with quality airplanes.
The CT line has been a worldwide and U.S. winner for years.
And the new all-metal MC, (look for my flight report in the next issue of Plane & Pilot), looks to be another success.
------ photo: Flight Design MC
Flight Design airplanes are beautifully engineered and built. They perform well throughout the entire LSA speed regime and are comfortable and enjoyable to fly.
But a company ultimately rises or falls on the dynamics of its leadership.
Tom Peghiny, Flight Design USA's Prez, is known in the industry as a dead-serious company leader who understands the key elements to staying at the top of the heap: marketing strategies that emphasize the strengths of your product, maintaining a lean, mean profile during tough economic times, and growing a nationwide training/service/repair infrastructure that supports customers once they've bought your airplane.
Two recent news items make my case. I'll summarize, and you can follow the links below:
  1. Flight Design's new "Transition Syllabus". Key Concept: five hour instruction aimed at thoroughly transitioning existing GA pilots to LSA flight; free to new CTLS buyers; available through CT-qualified flight instructors for all models of the CT line.
  2. The CTLS "Lite", a new version of the top-performing mainstay of the company's product line. Key phrases: $20,000 lower price; higher payload (through a reduction of more than 50 lbs. of non-structural airframe weight and slimmed-down avionics packages).
Being Numero Uno is important. It takes great airplanes to lead the pack, and there are many exciting, well-built models out there from several companies such as Remos, American Legend, Cessna, Piper, Tecnam and many many more.
So give me a good airplane, of course, but also give me a company that's in it to win it: not top dog status alone, but an abiding respect from the marketplace that's reflected in steady sales, year after year.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Electric Wins Design Award

A couple quick items today to keep the props spinnin' and the wings liftin'.
A few weeks back I posted here about the Yuneec e430 all-electric LSA and it's entry as a finalist in the Brit Insurance Design Museum Award. I know; sounds kind of doofy, but in fact is a very prestigious affair.
Anyway, word comes today that Yuneec won the top prize in the Transport category, beating out, among others, Mercedes Benz, Honda and Nissan!
Congratulations to Yuneec for this unexpected accolade, which can only help enhance LSA awareness around the world.
Companion item:
EAA posted some info on its upcoming AirVenture program and electric aircraft are going to play a key role.
Guess where I'll be at least part of the time? Hitting the electric showcase flights as well as display booths relating to the new technology.
Here's an excerpt from the release linked above for the show (July 26 to Aug 1):
"The innovation and technology of the emerging era of electric-powered
aircraft will be a major part of EAA AirVenture," opens the blurb.
Key words: "major part". That's strong language for a show that works so hard to cover the entire spectrum of aviation every year.
In addition to afternoon showcase flights every day, there will be evening flight demos and displays and forums in AirVenture's Aviation Learning Center.
"Hosting the pioneering technology of electric aircraft is a natural for EAA AirVenture," said Tom Poberezny, EAA president and AirVenture chairman.
Look for Yuneec to be back, along with Sonex Aircraft and it's electric-powered homebuilt, Tom Peghiny's eSpyder ultralight, at least one other electric ultralight I know of that's still hush-hush, and projects like after-market hybrid/electric aircraft powerplants such as Bye Energy's Green Flight project which is ramping up on Colorado's Front Range.
As we saw back in the early '80s, when EAA gave the emerging ultralight aircraft concept its place in the spotlight, the organization will be solidly promoting "green" flight innovations.
EAA petitioned FAA in 2008 to allow electric motors as powerplants for LSA, as there is no specific provision for same at this time.
For those of you overseas or planning to go there, the big European aviation show, Aero Friedrichshafen, kicks off in Germany next month just before Sun 'n Fun. The show always has lots of exciting new developments.
---photos courtesy Yuneec Ltd. and Bye Engineering

Friday, March 12, 2010

Remembering Howard Levy

One of the truly super guys in aviation has passed away, I'm sad to say.
Howard Levy, whom I thought of as a permanent and indestructible fixture of aviation photography, is up doing air to air shooting with his own set of wings now.
Howie left us at 88 last week, after a long and celebrated career of 72 years shooting the airplanes he
loved so much.
I first met him at Oshkosh a couple decades ago. He was a mainstay then at Kitplanes and Private Pilot.
Over the many decades he aimed a camera at flying machines, he also sold to Smithsonian Magazine, Sport Pilot, Air Progress, Jane's All the World's Aircraft, AOPA Pilot and a hangar full of other publications. He was also a staff editor at Look magazine for 25 years, something I hadn't known, and once mentored a young up-and-comer named Stanley Kubrick, who went on to become the legendary film director.
Kitplanes gave him a Silver Anniversary Lifetime Achievement Award, one of several accolades he earned.
Howard was a founding member of the American Aviation Historical Society in 1956 and the Aviation/Space Writers Association.
He shot for the Army Air Corps in WWII in Africa, Sicily and Italy and was still shooting last year at the airshows.
I'll remember his quick smile and exuberant good nature always.
Thanks Howard for all the many many thousands of terrific images. You'll be missed by everybody who had the good fortune to know you.

---image of Howard courtesy his friend Glenn Stott. Airplanes...by Howard Levy, of course

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Phoenix Motorglider To Debut at Sun 'n Fun 2010?

Last year, I almost got to do a flight report on one of the most enjoyable airplanes I've ever flown: an Urban Air Lambada SLSA motorglider.

Alas, before the magazine could schedule the story, two (not one, but two) Lambadas broke up in flight, both in very strong soaring conditions.
The design was immediately suspect of course, though plenty of load tests on the Czech Republic design both before and after the incidents had failed to show any structural weakness.
Both pilots used their onboard ballistic parachutes by the way, which saved both their lives. That's yet another strong argument right there for onboard parachute systems: no way would they have survived otherwise.
One breakup was evidently a case of pilot overspeeding - way overspeeding, and during 1500 fpm soaring conditions to boot. Yikes. The other is still under investigation but pilot error is suspect there too.
But the sudden bad news and financial struggles made it look like curtains for the home company, although the picture is more promising now for the Lambada's return.

Meanwhile, the magazine story was postponed.
Now comes news from Jim Lee, who reps the Lambada and the popular Evektor SportStar series of SLSA.
Jim says a new motorglider, the Phoenix, (suitably named) is about to glide onto the scene.
Also produced in Czech land, this new bird as you can see is a beauty.
Jim, a soft spoken guy not given to sales hyperbole, emailed me with this: "The Phoenix will take the US by storm!"

On his blog he's put up some tasty pictures and talks a bit about the airplane, which he hopes to have here

in time for Sun 'n Fun April 13-18.
He also promised me a flight on it for a story for the mag!
Pardon me while I tremble slightly with joy.
I won't repeat everything on Jim's blog, except this:
You could call it a "souped up Lambada". It is a two seat, 15 meter span aircraft which will be certified as an S-LSA.
Sure is a looker, and Phoenix has better performance and ergonomics, is roomier and I better stop now before I get overexcited.

---photos courtesy Jim Lee and Phoenix Air

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Post-Vacation Oopsie

Just when I thought I was approaching perfection in human form, an anonymous reader wrote while I vacationed in the Caribbean (yes, it was sublime) to call attention to a goof I made a few posts back.
Time to restart the truth engine and put things right.
In that post I used the phrase "produced wholly in the U.S." when I described the all metal Eagle EA-100 SLSA, a newly constructed version of which, as I reported, is being shipped soon to Great Barrington, MA up here in the thawing northeast.
Or as we call it this time of year, Mudville.
Guess my name's mud now too. I was misinformed and didn't doublecheck my facts. Time to strap me to a chopper blade and start 'er up!
Although the airplane is completely assembled here in the U.S., the major components are manufactured in Colombia, So. America.
Here's the blurb directly from Eagle's website:

The airplane was originally designed and built by IBIS Aircraft S.A. in Columbia (sic), South America. 100’s of aircraft have been produced by IBIS since then with no failures associated with the airplane. Eagle Aviation has successfully acquired the rights to produce the airplane and certify it in the US as the EA-100 S-LSA. Eagle Aviation is the manufacture (sic) and builder of the airplane for the US. Assembly, avionics, engine, gear, testing and certification are all completed here in Oshkosh.

The important things to know are that the main components including welded chrome-moly steel frame, aluminum wing and fuselage skins and other major sub-assemblies are fabricated in South America.
Once they arrive at Eagle's factory in Oshkosh, WI., the airplane is actually constructed, avionics installed, and it's test flown.
The process is much more than a typical overseas-built SLSA which arrives completely or mostly finished, then reassembled here, custom outfitted for the customer, test flown and delivered.
That takes a few hours instead of weeks as in Eagle's case, because the factory is actually doing the majority of the construction, much like an experimental amateur built owner would with a kit airplane.
As my reader diligently pointed out, it's only fair to acknowledge those companies like American Legend and Rans among many others which are indeed wholly or substantially American-made and of course contribute directly to the economic recovery by employing U.S. citizens (as well as keeping prices down), so my apologies for clouding the issue.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

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