Al Marsh

Should AOPA be at the NY Autoshow?

April 11, 2012 by Alton K. Marsh, Senior Editor, AOPA Pilot

¬†Terrafugia’s Cliff Allen reports more than 2,000 people have seen his flying car fold and unfold its wings. He’s finding pilot prospects.

Terrafugia at NY Autoshow

Here is his comment in an e-mail from the show:¬†” I’m talking with 5 to 10 people PER HOUR, about the Sport Pilot certificate.”¬†

Some are asking if all small planes fly at 30,000 feet, and if a pilot certificate takes years to complete. He is curing them of such misunderstandings and snapped the phone picture with this posting. The Terrafugia, Allen said, is getting the most press of all the vehicles at the show. Allen added that AOPA needs to attend car shows to attract new pilots to aviation.

5 Responses to “Should AOPA be at the NY Autoshow?”

  1. Gary Moore Says:

    what don’t you just ask the Terrafugia folks to provide AOPA interest forms….rather than spend our money having a presence there….

  2. Al Marsh Says:

    Hmm. Good idea.

  3. Terry Scott Says:

    A mile of highway vs. a mile of runway. Might upset a few car dealers. How about a three prong attack with Terrafugia, APOA and a local EAA? Then throw in a local airplane dealer. I’m surprized kitplanes are not represented at woodworking shows. Some of those home builts put pianos to shame.

  4. Benjamin Rolfe Says:

    Yes and know.
    I think it would be great venue to promote general aviation. The fact is many show goers, glancing at the mega-buck cars, would upon seeing an airplane assume it is also made of the unatanium. Many if not most would be surprised to find that they could own and operate a small airplane for less than what they probably spend on other activities. Show them how they can own and fly their own airplane for $500/month and they’d be surprised, and many would want to know more.

    The problem is I don’t think AOPA will (can?) tell that story. The recent past has had AOPA aligned with an industry apparently determined to kill itself off. The ligth sport disaster is a good case in point: in principle it was to make aviation affordable, instead it’s provided yet another kind of aircract priced out of reach, but with the special charm that it promots the very “international” model of small airplanes as expensice and largely useless toys. AOPA’s commitment to supporting the FAA’s “NextGen” is another exmaple of relegating “affordable” aviation to fourth class status and promoting a plan that puts an end to the kind of GA guys like me can afford.

    My guess is the majority of attendies at the autoshow are guys like me, hard working modestly succesful with some disposable income but not limitless funds. Many might, should they know how, forgoe a new car for a few years to fly. If only someone would show them how. It’s possible, I and most of the aviatorsI know do it. If AOPA could send that message – you don’t need $100,000s of gadgetry to have fun and go places – we could attract a lot of people to aviation and maybe if we did, slow the tide that seems bent on eradicating the modest airplane owner.

    Just my opinion.

  5. Oscar Hobbs Says:

    This blog site is great. How did you come up witht he idea?

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