With all of the turmoil surrounding Hawker Beechcraft these days, it’s time to pause, take a breath, and look at one of Beech’s most beautiful offerings: the Staggerwing. “For most pilots, the Beech Staggerwing reigns as the classic to beat all classics,” says AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne in his October 1999 pilot report. And he’s right. Instantly recognizable–almost as much as the Piper Cub–the airplane was formally known as the “negative stagger Beech,” but you and I (and everybody else) just call it the Staggerwing.—Jill W. Tallman
Posts Tagged ‘Photo of the Day’
Italy-based manufacturer Tecnam arrived on U.S. shores with Light Sport aircraft offerings the P92 Echo Super (high wing) and the P2002 Sierra (low wing). Its next offering was a bit of a departure: a light twin that flies behind two four-cylinder four-stroke liquid-cooled 98-horsepower Rotax 912S3 engines. AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne dubbed it “an economy light, light twin” in his April 2010 pilot report. Horne noticed a similarity between the P2006T and the Partenavia line of high-wing twins, and said that’s because Partenavia designers also conceived the P2006T as well as the Vulcanair.—Jill W. Tallman
Many of the volunteers who signed on to become military pilots in World War II took primary training in a Stearman Kaydet. The rest were trained in the Fairchild Cornell and the airplane you see above–the Ryan STA-3KR Recruit, aka the PT-22. Pilots who know the PT-22 say it made a better trainer than the Stearman or the Fairchild, because it was more demanding and less forgiving. Barry Schiff flew the PT-22 for the June 2008 AOPA Pilot magazine. Here, Mike Fizer photographed Jay Becker’s 1942 PT-22–an Oshkosh Grand Champion–flying off the coast of Santa Monica.
Our Hover Power blogger Tim McAdams says the Robinson R66, the company’s first turbine helicopter, feels a little bigger and a little heavier than the piston-powered R44. Its cabin is about eight inches wider than that of the R44. It uses a T-bar cyclic, which means transitioning from the R44 is eaiser. In a full pilot report for the December 2010 AOPA Pilot, McAdams pointed out that the R66 has a sleeker profile along with a Bell JetRanger-style baggage compartment located under the transmission deck. It can hold 300 pounds and “one design objective was for it to be large enough to carry two sets of golf clubs.”—Jill W. Tallman
The Kestrel composite turboprop was originally designed in the United Kingdom by Farnborough Aircraft Corp. In 2009, Alan Kalpmeier, founder of Cirrus Aircraft, brought the airplane to the United States. Kestrel Aircraft Co. now has manufacturing facilities in Maine and Wisconsin. Dave Hirschman interviewed Klapmeier for the February 2011 AOPA Pilot.
What’s better than a single hot air balloon? Dozens, all in one location. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta takes place this year Oct. 6-14, promising daily dawn patrols and morning glows, a mass ascension such as the one shown here, a race, twilight glows, fireworks, and more. Find out more at the website ( http://www.balloonfiesta.com/ ).
AOPA’s 2006 sweepstakes aircraft was the Win a Six in ’06–a 1967 Cherokee 6 260. Refurbishments to the avionics included an Avidyne TAS600 traffic alert system, a Sandel SN3500 electronic horizontal situation indicator, and an S-TEC System Fifty-Five X autopilot and flight control system. A new interior gave the Six a club seating configuration. A five-color custom paint job was the icing on this beautiful cake. AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne discusses the project here ( http://www.aopa.org/sweeps/2006/ ).—Jill W. Tallman
This Waco, photographed near Kentmoor Airpark in Stevensville, Marlyand, is not only a beautiful specimen of a biplane—she’s a cover girl as well. She graced one of the covers of AOPA’s paper Airports Directory. The shot actually used for the directory cover shows her on final to the turf runway at Kentmorr. The airspace over the Chesapeake Bay is her playground in this photo.—Jill W. Tallman