... AND Predicts a Record Year
2006 marks a
significant milestone in the history of Extra Aircraft as it
celebrates its 25th anniversary in aviation manufacturing and the
potential for a record-breaking production schedule.
“Extra Aircraft really started by accident”, says
Walter Extra, mechanical engineer and founder of Extra
“I just wanted to take my competition flying to another
level so I went to work designing and building the first Extra
Ever since Extra introduced his first aircraft in 1981, it has
been an extraordinary ride for the world-class aerobatic champion.
The success of his first aircraft prompted him to achieve new
heights by making what every aerobatic pilot wants—a more
powerful aircraft. By modifying the airframe and changing to a
six-cylinder, 290-horsepower Lycoming engine, creating the EA-260.
It was subsequently the plane that helped produce national titles
for legendry aerobatic pilot Patty Wagstaff.
Less than a year after developing the EA-260, Walter went back
to the drawing board to develop a two-seater—the now
“I had only used carbon fiber on a limited basis with my
first two aircraft,” said Extra.
“Because I was creating more weight with the two-seater,
it was only logical to use more carbon fiber. It kept the aircraft
as light as possible without sacrificing its aerobatic
The same year the EA-300 was introduced, three pilots flew it in
the 1988 World Aerobatic Championships. Today the 300-series
aircraft are mostly carbon fiber, are the only unlimited category
planes certified to plus or minus 10 G’s, and have commanded
a world-wide reputation among pilots.
In 2005, Extra Aircraft again pushed the aerobatic envelope by
unveiling its latest 300-series model, the EA-300LP, a
lighter-weight high performance plane that gives pilots a distinct
“Expect even bigger things in 2006 and in the years to
come from Extra,” said Ken Weaver, president of Extra
“Extra Aircraft has been around for 25 years because our
customers know our constant uncompromising commitment to
manufacturing a superior aircraft without sacrificing
Extra Aircraft’s roots may be in aerobatic planes;
however, the company is making a name for itself among
business-class airplanes as well. The move started in 1998 with the
EA-400, a six-seat piston aircraft, and now the turbo-prop version,
the EA-500. The EA-500 will start rolling off the production line
by the second quarter of this year, providing a safe, efficient and
luxurious business and touring plane to the aviation community.
“I am proud of every single plane that has come out of our
factory over the past 25 years,” said Extra.
“And I am honored to be able to continue making and flying
in these exceptional aircraft. What more could a person
Extra Aircraft is a premier aircraft manufacturing company
headquartered in Lancaster, Pa., with a manufacturing plant in
Germany. Founded in the 1980s by veteran aerobatic pilot Walter
Extra, Extra Aircraft became a U.S.-owned and -operated company in
2003. The Extra product line includes six highly specialized
models: the EA-200, EA-300L, EA-300S, and EA-300LP aerobatic
aircraft, as well as the EA-400 and EA-500, business and touring