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Ceci n'est pas une blog
by Glenn Franxman, Django Developer / Stunt Programmer.

Oh my god, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god!

posted: 2003-09-20 14:33:30 perma-link, RSS comments feed

I've spent much of my life jumping from hobby to hobby. I usually choose them based upon their uncommon practice. As of late, I've been picking hobbies that I think are dying. I got into wood working because I felt that everything was becoming mass produced and that people were loosing their ability to build things for themselves. I got into pipe smoking after realizing that smoking of all types was disappearing, pipe smoking most of all.

But now I've come across the ultimate hobby. Two years ago I joined the EAA ( Experimental Aviator s Association ) mostly as a way to get a sweet deal on my truck. The EAA was founded by the Wright brothers, ( no surprise ), and they were good friends with Henry Ford. The result is that, even now, Ford Motor Co extends a price discount to EAA members. As a member of the EAA, I decided to subscribe to their magazine. I learned a little about avation etc, but this was all during the 9/11 excitement, and you can imagine what kind of hit amateur aviation took after that.

Well, that's all about to change. At the end of this year, the Federal Department of Transportation is expected to authorize a new level of pilot and aircraft certification.

I've realized that I NEED AN AIRPLANE!

The Sport Pilot Initiative, as put forth by the FAA, is streamlining the licensing Aand the new class of aircraft are going to be much more affordable. Only 20 hours of training before you can go on your own. And unlike traditional cesna style craft which run about $150K, many of these aircraft are more like $50K, and some are much less expensive. There are tradeoffs, like speed, and range, but there are already 19 models being made by various manufacturers in preparation of an aviation renaissance sparked by these changes.

Here are some specs for the planes under this proposal:

Max takeoff weight: 1232 lb

Max stall speed in landing configuration: 44 mph ( 39 knots )

Max speed in level flight under continuous power: 132 mph ( 115 knots )

Cabin: 2 seater, unpressurized

Engine: single, nonturbine

Landing gear: fixed, but repositionable on sea planes

This is awesome! Kitfox has a seaplane version, and there are historic re-creations too! TigerMoth has a bi-plane and there is a Titan T-51 Mustang.

I'm going to have to do some research to get some decent links and picture for everyone to read.

Update: Here's what I'm likely persuing. I like the rear-facing propellor, open view and side-by-side seating. SkyBoy

But look at these! The Mustang look sawesome, but I think I prefer the wings to be mounted above me. The tornado looks like, but it's a one seater ...

If you're willing/capable many of these planes can be had for 10-20K. Very reasonable, but my shop is nowhere near big enough.

Here's the link for my local EAA chapter, which is based out of the SkyRanch Airport near downtone knoxville.

ac said on 2003-09-29 08:43:27:
They can fly in class b, c, and d airspace ( pretty much anywhere except class a ) The ceiling can vary, but the in 97 CVG made thier class B ( the 30 nautical miles surrounding CVG ) 8000 ft above sealevel. They are a little heavier than ultralites ( up to 1232 lbs ), but are still small craft so good weather flying is a good idea. You can get BPM's ( ballistic parachute modules ) that are basically a parachute for your plane - the landing will still be rough, but at least it won't be a free-falling death spiral!

travis said on 2003-09-28 23:09:14:
everybody was kung-fu flying! What are the ceilings on these things? And do they suffer the same problems in crosswinds that pretty much killed the aerolite (sp?) hobby?

jc said on 2003-09-22 10:13:52:
Now THAT looks like a sweet hobby.



Sana commented, on August 20, 2012 at 8:11 p.m.:

Great pics and videos. Thanks for posintg them.Bill has a lot of fun with his Pitts, and is very generous with offering rides. This is his relaxation. Day job is flying top of the line heavies for Delta/NW.Bill's use of a canvas aviator helmet is a great way to both give a nostalgic look and house the headset. Very neat. Where's your silk scarf?People who pay close attention might notice the approach to landing is done with the left wing tip down about 10 degrees and the plane skewed to the right about the same amount. With the nose in the air, this is the only way the pilot (in the aft seat) can see enough to line up with the runway. He brings it straight and level only a few seconds above the tarmac.Very neat tribute to the troops!Thanks.


Luna commented, on June 26, 2013 at 10:40 p.m.:

Old friend Ouch! Lucky for you it's too true to spend time ditinspug! And I enjoyed having you along too much to linger over a little faux pas! Keep those pix and posts coming! Hugs!!

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