The Year Saw Its Share Of Innovation, But Some Companies
There was innovation in the world of sport avation in 2010, from
electric aircraft and jet gliders to new avionics that put the LSA
and homebuilt market on a par with some of the big boys. But there
was also tragedy, and the economy spelled the end to a few
companies doing interesting things at this end of the aviation
spectrum. Here are just some of the sport aviation stories covered
by ANN in 2010.
Less than a year after announcing it would be returning its
float production to North America, Zenair Ltd has began deliveries
light-weight all-aluminum floats.
American Legend Aircraft Company delivered the first
Legend AmphibCub-an amphibious float-equipped Legend Cub
certified as a light-sport aircraft. The AmphibCub was completed
and delivered to a customer in South Florida.
Legend Cub On Floats
The first lubricant developed specifically for use
in two stroke aviation engines, AeroShell Oil Sport PLUS 2, was
introduced by Shell Aviation at the US Sport Aviation Expo at
Belite Aircraft unveiled
two new versions based on its existing Belite '254' FAR Part
103 compliant ultralight aircraft at the annual US Sport Aviation
Expo in Sebring, Florida.
Garmin announced details for G3X
engine information system (EIS) and integrated autopilot
interface. The units are designed specifically for the G3X and are
an affordable way for experimental and light sport aircraft (LSA)
pilots to bring Garmin integration and quality into their
Piper took the wraps off its
all-new PiperSport. Piper said its entry into the Light Sport
Aviation segment speaks to Piper's heritage in bringing seminal,
entry-level airplanes to market while offering features and
performance normally found in more expensive, high-end
decided to withdraw several of its proposed changes to the
sport pilot and sport pilot instructor regulations following
comments made on the NPRM issued in 2009.
WACO Classic Aircraft says it has produced a first for single
engine General Aviation; an
all glass panel aircraft, the WACO YMF open cockpit biplane.
This plane is completely without a single round or analog
WACO Glass Cockpit
The Aircraft Factory, the South African company which is
developing the Sling LSA, said that ZU-TAF, the aircraft in which
company owners Mike Blyth and James Pitman circumnavigated the
globe during 2009,
went down in the ocean while conducting spin testing just off
the South African Kwa-Zulu Natal coast. Both pilots bailed out
released its report concerning the Zodiac CH 601 XL and CH 650
aircraft, which suffered several in-flight failures but which could
not be traced to any single root cause. The FAA suspended new
airworthiness approvals of both models of the aircraft in November
Skydiving gear manufacturers from around the world organized
the first ever
Skydive Expo, held March 11-14, 2010 at DeLand Municipal
Airport (KDED) northeast of Orlando, FL.
Rocket Racing League (RRL) said
test flights were conducted at the North Texas Regional Airport
(NTRA), marking the first time in history where two private-sector
manned rocket-powered vehicles were flown sequentially in the same
day by one crew with common ground support equipment in the same
Flight Design introduced the
CTLS Lite, which the company said substantially raised payload
while lowering the airplane's price.
Norman Surplus departed Larne Borough Council Sandy Bay Playing
Fields in his yellow MT03 - an open-cockpit tandem gyroplane - to
trip around the world that was planned to take him until well
into the summer.
Norman Surplus MT03 Gyroplane
The first Sirius SLSA from TL Ultralight became
available to fly. SportairUSA, LC, the North American
distributor for the Sirius and the Sting S3, offered introductory
flights at the North Little Rock, Arkansas, Municipal Airport
Red Bull Air Race World Championship pilot, Kirby Chambliss,
returned to the Detroit Riverfront to announce a
contest for local children to put their artistic talent on
LoPresti Aviation announced Tuesday that RJ Siegel would
take the helm as Chief Executive Officer at the new LoPresti
offices in Sebastian, Florida.
PS Engineering introduced an Experimental Audio Panel line. PS
Engineering says the PMA5000EX achieves a new level of
for the homebuilder.
Hartzell Propeller developed an
advanced structural composite propeller for aerobatic aircraft
using its proprietary ASC-II technology. The Claw 2.0
propeller has recently achieved FAA type certification, meeting all
of the propeller certification requirements.
Garmin confirmed that it would soon be including
synthetic vision in the G300 and G3X. The G300 and G3X’s
synthetic vision, SVX, is specifically for experimental and light
Piper Aircraft President and CEO Kevin J. Gould handed over the
keys to the
very first PiperSport light-sport aircraft to three veteran
First Piper Sport Delivery
Both Garmin and EAA President Tom Poberezny confirmed reports
of the EAA leader's nomination for a Director's slot
on the board of Garmin Ltd.
On the one-hundredth anniversary of the first flight of an
airplane in Switzerland, a pair of European pilots departed an
airport in Sion, Switzerland intending to follow a
around the planet flying virtually identical Flight Design CTLS
aircraft as part of a team for the circumnavigation attempt.
The pilot of a kit-built jet successfully
made an emergency landing just short of the runway at Loveland,
Colorado after the plane's engine "blew up" in flight, causing the
airplane to lose at least a portion of one wing.
A four-person FAA National Kit Evaluation Team (NKET) concluded
its two day visit to Zenith Aircraft Company in Mexico, Missouri
Wednesday. The team was sent to determine whether the STOL CH 750
aircraft kit will officially allow an amateur-builder to
meet the "major portion" (or "51% percent") requirement.
There was a lot of head-scratching going on over the
online auction of Quartz Mountain Aerospace/Luscombe Aircraft
An experimental amateur-built Vans RV-10, N110TD, was
destroyed during an explosion after landing at Ridgeland
Airport (3J1), Ridgeland, South Carolina.
European scientists studied the eruption and ash plume from the
Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland with a tool that you might not
expect ... a specially equipped
Flight Design CT Supralite.
A 36-year-old North Carolina man made an unusual crossing of
the English Channel. He suspended himself in a specially-equipped
chair under a massive and colorful
cluster of helium balloons and drifted across the channel.
CubCrafters has received a new STC for their part-23 certified
Top Cub allowing
auto fuel to be used in the airplane.
Albuquerque-based Desert Aerospace, LLC has taken a piece of
each end of the aviation spectrum and
married them in a single aircraft. The company announced the
completion of certification tests flights of the new TST-14J
'BonusJet' two seat, self-launching sailplane.
incident during the testing of John Monnett's single-engine
sport jet program caused him to go back to the drawing board.
An initial NTSB accident summary indicates that the prototype
"Landed In The Grass Short Of The Runway, Oshkosh, WI."
The Cessna Model 162 Skycatcher was
named winner of the American Institute of Aeronautics and
Astronautics (AIAA) Piper General Aviation Award for
Pipstrel, a Slovenian aircraft builder, introduced the
Taurus LSA, which is said is the first ever high-performance
two-seat self-launching glider with all of the advantages of the
Terrafugia received an
exemption from the FAA to allow the Transition Roadable
Aircraft, or "Flying Car", a maximum takeoff weight (MTOW) of 1430
pounds (650 kg).
completed compliance with the ASTM F2339 standards for the Type
503 engine, which was no small task given the age of the design and
the complexity of the standard.
Gretchen Jahn was appointed
Chief Operating Officer for Remos Aircraft, the company
announced Wednesday. Ms. Jahn brings to Remos over 30 years of
entrepreneurial experience in manufacturing, IT and aviation
cancellation of the Red Bull Air Race in Budapest, due to
lengthy delays in the permissions process, turned out to be a bed
omen for the series. It later announced a
one-year hiatus from racing while the sport reorganizes and
looks at safety improvements to the aircraft.
FCC authorized NavWorx ADS600-B Transceiver. Introduced in
April, the ADS600-B incorporates both transmit and receive
capabilities of an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast
(ADS-B) Universal Access Transceiver (UAT) and is designed to meet
FAA TSO-C154c and targeted to the LSA/Homebuilt market.
Two skydivers, both with hundreds of jumps to their credit,
died after they
collided in mid-air about 100 feet above the ground and their
parachutes became entangled.
While much of the news from Oshkosh was
about the weather ... torrential rains flooded both airplane
parking and camping areas causing EAA to scramble to make alternate
arrangements ... one of the major stories to come out of the show
this year was the announcement that
Rod Hightower would succeed him as President of the
Zenith Aircraft Company announced a
design gross weight increase for the STOL CH 750 aircraft
design. The aircraft design gross weight has been increased from
1,320 lbs. to 1,440 lbs., adding significantly to the load carrying
capability of the “light sport utility” aircraft first
introduced at AirVenture in July 2008.
EAA Young Eagles are now able to
stay connected to the aviation world and enjoy a variety of
benefits at no cost through the EAA Student Membership supported by
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University.
re-started his attempt to be the first to fly an gyrocopter
around the globe and achieve a world record.
Popular Rotorcraft Association's convention wrapped up with an
awards banquet in Mentone, Indiana, and got a noteworthy commitment
from Dr. Bruce Charnov, a professor emeritus from Hofstra
University who has richly documented the history of the autogyro
dating back to the early development by Juan de la Cierva in the
Michael Combs toured the country just a few years after being
seriously ill, and he did it
in an LSA.
The EAA AirVenture Museum in Oshkosh, WI, again
earned accreditation from the American Association of Museums,
recognizing its commitment to excellence and high professional
Dallas-based IndUS Aviation continued to move forward with Dr.
Yuanyang Gao, representing the Chinese city of Weinan and Mr. Ning
An, president of China's IPI Information Technology to
move production of the Thorpedo Light Sport Aircraft to the new
LuYangHu General Aviation Development Zone in Weinan, China.
A somewhat disjointed attempt to become 'the first gyrocopter
flight around the world' was
put on hold, again, because of anticipated extreme weather in
the Bearing Sea and North Atlantic.
The Executive Director of Sebring Regional Airport (KSEF) asked
the Highlands County, FL Tourist Development Council for a grant to
bring FAA controllers to the airport for 2011 U.S. Sport
Aviation Expo in January.
The Terrafugia Transition Roadable Aircraft ... or "Flying Car"
... moved a step closer to
a garage near you, as the company began setting up for for
low-volume production in a 19,000 sq. ft. facility in Woburn,
If you've ever wondered what it might be like to compete in the
Reno Air Races, this may be
the closest thing to getting into the cockpit. 3D Entertainment
Films said it will be producing "Air Racers 3D: Forces of Flight"
alongside the film's original partners, Pretend Entertainment and
A balloon flying in the Gordon Bennett race designated USA2,
went missing. The pilots listed on board have been identified
as American citizens, Richard Abruzzo and Carol Rymer-Davis.
The first 'Flying Car (LSA)'
received a green light from the FAA to begin production. The
Orlando office of the FAA issued an historic Special Light Sport
Aircraft airworthiness certificate to Itec, a Central Florida
Christian Non-Profit humanitarian organization, for their unique
land, air, water and snow capable vehicle.
Infinity Entertainment Inc. and PSD-International joined forces
to bring the Turbine Toucan, the highest performance biplane in
to the virtual world.
Flying his Glasair III at the 2010 National Championship Air
Races in Stead, Nevada, Jeff Lavelle set a blistering new
Sport Class qualifying record, setting the bar up at 362.481
Reports indicated that the first America's Challenge Gas
Balloon to land did so because
it was shot at by someone as it flew at about 800' AGL over
The final balloon aloft in the
America’s Challenge distance race for gas balloons landed
safely on the U.S./Canadian border. Albuquerque’s Barbara
Fricke and Peter Cuneo flew 1,350 miles (2,173 km) in approximately
57 hours and 30 minutes.
Legal wranglings caused plans for the so-called "Space Dive"
to be shelved, after promoter Daniel Hogan filed a suit in
April, saying Red Bull had stolen plans for the stunt which he says
he pitched to the company in 2004.
A woman involved in a romantic triangle was found
guilty of murder in Belgium for rigging her rival's parachute
When residents of Talkeetna, Alaska learned of a proposed new
Build A Plane program where local high school students combine
classroom learning with hands-on efforts to build a real airplane,
word spread through the town immediately.
The Chairman of the US Sport Aviation Expo, which is set for
January 20-23, at Sebring Regional Airport in central Florida, said
that exhibitor response seems
as good as or better than in years past.
The Skycatcher seemed to be catching on. The company says that
production of the 162 Skycatcher has
continued to grow through 2010, with the 50th aircraft on its
way this week to the U.S. reassembly facility and more expected to
be shipped by the end of the year.
added two Certified Build Centers: Zero Gravity Builders
Studio, of Richland, WA, and The CubWorks, of Lewistown, MT, to
their Certified Build Center network.
Sonex Aircraft said their E-Flight Initiative proof-of-concept
electric-powered Waiex aircraft
achieved its first flight at Wittman Regional Airport in