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 ‘Piper Cub’
Some airplanes turn heads on the ramp. This one undoubtedly makes all the boaters’ heads swivel–even those who are accustomed to seeing Piper Cubs on floats. The Beriev Be-103 is a light ampibian aircraft that hails from Russia. Some Facebook commenters expressed confusion about the placement of the wings, which are close to the water. Barry Schiff, who flew the airplane for AOPA Pilot magazine, says it performs and handles extraordinarily well on water. Those wings displace water to help keep the airplane float and take maximum advantage of ground effect during takeoff and landing–no flaps needed. Read more in Barry’s pilot report in the October 2004 AOPA Pilot.
A friend of mine once owned an Aeronca Champ, which she affectionately called “The Happy Champ.” I’m not sure whether it earned its nickname because of its appearance or because of the emotions it inspired in her and others. In any event, the Champ is a popular member of the tailwheel family. While it doesn’t have the legion of fans that Piper Cubs boast, pilots new to tailwheel training enjoy the Champ because it’s a little more forgiving and it doesn’t sit up quite so high, making its forward view a bit better.–Jill W. Tallman
With some of the world’s best aviation photography at our disposal, it’s time to share a little with our blog readers.Today’s photo of the day is a nod to Meredith Tcherniavsky and Dana Holladay, who are flying the lower 48 in their vintage Cub. They launched on July 1 and you can follow their progress on their website, on Facebook, and on Twitter.—Jill W. Tallman
Usually airshows such as Sun ‘n Fun and EAA Airventure in Oshkosh are dominated by news from aircraft manufacturers, GPS makers, and headset companies. Rarely is flight training ever discussed or featured. This year’s Sun ‘n Fun was different. There were a number of exciting announcements, including some from AOPA. Here’s a wrap-up:
When a simulator company announces the biggest nonairplane order of any company at Sun ‘n Fun, you take notice. Redbird is growing at a breakneck pace, and the company’s $1 million sale to a Brazilian customer was some of the top news of the show. With the simulated ATC program Parrot now shipping, look for more to come.
You probably know King Schools from the company’s video training. Now they are getting into the business of requalifying flight instructors. A new Flight Instructor Refresher Clinic will be aimed not at traditional content, such as FARs and aerodynamics, but rather on soft subjects, such as how to make sure your students pass the checkride, and how to get better at teaching risk management. I couldn’t be more excited about this. Flight instructors treat FIRCs much like students treat the written test. It’s a hurdle with little applicability to the real world. I’m hoping the King Schools course is a good step toward changing that.
Of course I had to throw in AOPA’s news. The association is doubling down on its efforts to grow the pilot population. We’re creating a center within the organization dedicated to the flight training initiative, and strengthening the pilot community. It’s a sign of the association’s commitment to fixing the problems we face.
As another part of the press conference, we announced the latest winners to the flight training scholarship program. There are some great stories here, so make sure you take a look and apply again later this year if you didn’t win this time.
Every pilot in the world, and many people who aren’t pilots, recognize the Piper J-3 Cub. Finally, someone who leads Piper Aircraft recognizes them as well. For far too long the company has ignored its flight training heritage and has not embraced its roots. People have a deep love and affection for the Cub, and while Piper has known enough to sell a few hats and T-shirts around the iconic brand, it’s done nothing to further capitalize on the good feelings the Cub brings about. For the first time in some years, Piper displayed a Cub at the show. No, don’t get too excited because it will be a cold day in product liability litigation before the company will manufacturer them again, but at least they are telling us they get it. And to top it off, new President Simon Caldecott said, “I want to get Piper heavy back into the training business.”
Didn’t win a flight training scholarship from AOPA? Try again with Sennheiser. The headset company is launching its Live Your Dream campaign, which provides eight $1,500 scholarships. Applications will open in May.
Did you go to Sun ‘n Fun this year? What did you think about the show? What was your impression for those who went for the first time?—Ian J. Twombly