Sunday, July 31, 2011

Farewell to Oshkosh 2011

By all accounts it's been a good show.  I talked with several LSA vendors who, despite the pitiful wrangling in Congress over the debt and general lack of a strong economic bounceback, either wrote some sales or were 90% certain they would.
 U.S. sales leader Flight Design even announced they'd written $11 million worth of business at the show.
 I talked with John Gilmore, the U.S. sales manager for Tom Peghiny's U.S. Flight Design operation, who briefed me on the new, four-seat, to-be-certified Flight Design C4 the other day (I'll post more in the next few days).
John also updated Dan Johnson today on the company's excellent numbers at the show:
"We have taken 40 orders for the new C4 plus another 8 orders for Light-Sport Aircraft here at AirVenture 2011," said John.
The C4 debuted in Europe in April and a full-scale mockup seen here was prominent in the display all week.  Historical note: Flight Design has topped the LSA sales leader board since the category was created in 2004, an impressive run due in large part to an excellent management style and top customer support and service.
Remos GX NXT upgrade model
I was up at the crack o' dawn to fly the new Remos NXT, which has some new features such as a new panel profile that gives more viewing room on top and more leg room underneath - very nice and it definitely feels roomier.  The avionics upgrade features Garmin Aera 500 GPS, and the Dynon SkyView glass cockpit with electronic flight instruments, embedded transponder, and engine monitoring.  Dynon is winning over cockpits left and right with the SkyView, and no wonder: it's got it all, at a price that's magnitudes cheaper than equivalent certified glassworks.
The NXT also refines placement of some control knobs in the cockpit and adds visors and air vents to keep things cool.
Personally my flight in beautiful, calm dawn air reinforced my impression from my flight report 18 months back that there is no finer LSA of the 30 or so I've flown so far in terms of sheer joyful handling.  I hadn't flown one in all that time, yet made two greaser landings with hardly any coaching from my demo host, Ryan Hernandez, who admirably handled the Oshkosh chores for Arkansas dealer Tommy Lee and his Adventure Flight dealership.
The Remos turns so smoothly, is so light on the controls yet not twitchy or oversensitive at all, and as I said back then, as soon as you lift off, you feel like you've been flying the airplane every day.  Really quite an achievement in aerodynamics for Remos.
It's beautiful interior is a testimony to the fit and finish of the entire plane.  In you're in the market for a comfortable, really fun-flying LSA, certainly put Remos on the list.  I know it's on my top ten (a list that constantly changes as I fly more airplanes...but Remos has stayed there since my first flight.
One closing note then on to the show, time to line up some last flights and say goodbye to friends and colleagues in the industry.
It's not an LSA-centric product, but this cute idea, Mutt Muffs, reminds us that any time we go flying with our sensitive-hearing furry friends means we want to help them enjoy the ride too.  'Nuff said.
Scroll down for more pix of the Remos GX NXT upgrade model below.
I'll have another pickup blog for Oshkosh probably in two-three days as I'm flying home in the new Evektor Harmony with AB Flight's Art Tarola
tomorrow...if we can get all our gear into one airplane!
Leading Edge intake for new cabin vents

Two SkyViews and an Aera 500...oh boy.

Top-notch interior features rearranged knobs, smoother workflow

Room With A View...what a wonderful age we live in.

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