Posts Tagged ‘AirVenture’
EAA spokesman Dick Knapinski has confirmed that talks have taken place to have Yves Rossy, the Swiss pilot who flies with a wing on his back and a prayer in his brain, perform during EAA AirVenture 2013. His only flight controls are, like Superman, his body and a throttle for his jet engines. By adjusting his legs and moving his arms, he can perform a loop when and where he likes. He has flown in formation with a Douglas DC-3.
There are still details to complete, including an agreement with Rossy’s main sponsor, Breitling. “I am optimistic,” said Knapinski. Known as Jetman, the airline pilot uses four JetCat P200 jet engines intended for model airplanes. In this country, JetCat distributors grit their teeth and hope no one will attempt to copy Rossy’s carefully engineered flights. The engines are intended to power model airplanes, not humans. In Germany, where JetCat is headquartered, the company is an enthusiastic sponsor.
Rossy has flown down the Grand Canyon after the FAA classified him as an airplane. As this is written, he is preparing to perform at air shows in New Zealand. He has enough kerosene mixed with five percent turbine oil to fly 10 minutes. He averages 107 knots but has gone faster. When it is all over, he pops his Parachutes de France Spectra 230–another fine sponsor–and steers to a target on the ground. If he needs to dump the wing, it has its own automatic parachute, but usually he lands with the 66-pound wing still attached. The wing’s takeoff wing weight, accounting for the mixture of fuel and oil, is 121 pounds.
An FAA official in Milwaukee said Rossy’s act must still be approved for an AirVenture appearance. Previous approval by the FAA for Rossy to fly the Grand Canyon has no bearing on the AirVenture decision, the official said. However, starting the flight at a high altitude and ending with a pinpoint parachute landing are generally reassuring factors to FAA officials.
The DeSotel family of Luana, Iowa, has made EAA AirVenture a family vacation since 1970–make that a working vacation. They are all EAA volunteers, with Dad Wayne and Mom Sharon working outside at the main gate when the lines get long, and son Stacy issuing credentials to the media. Stacy keeps a model of the family plane with him that was carved by his Dad. Wayne DeSotel not only carved the model, he built the plane, a Piel Emeraude (think French CAP 10 and you’ll have the same airplane, only this one’s not aerobatic). Sharon had a crafts shop she shared with her husband while he built it, but was little encouragement. “I’ll never ride in that thing, and you’ll never finish it,” she said. She is happily wrong on both counts. “I just love the view. People who fly in small aircraft get to see how beautiful this country is.” It was her birthday when this photo was taken and she celebrated with a candle in a muffin the day before AirVenture 2012 began.
Update 6/10: Schedule slips — Terrafugia said it will not have one of its prototypes done in time to fly for EAA AirVenture. Instead, the earliest a test flight could occur is March 2012, and deliveries will occur no earlier than late 2012.
If you are going to EAA AirVenture, go to the new EAA Homebuilders Hangar at 8:15 a.m. Monday morning, July 26, and you’ll see it.
There is an extra 80 hp engine between the wheels, and the wheels are larger for use on the road. Due to center of gravity issues, the wheels need to be slide back to the tail on rails. The wings are then folded and you hop back into the pilot’s seat and drive away, using a steerable nosewheel. Be careful when parking, because one ding means a trip back to an authorized aircraft mechanic.
As this was written, the scooter-plane was at 9,000 feet on its way to Oshkosh for EAA AirVenture 2010. Is this cool or what?