Tuesday, May 25, 2010
From The Editor: Contrails & Cubs, Gear & Gators
At Sun ’n Fun, Senior Editor Bill Cox flew a number of new aircraft. One that really excited him, and the rest of us, was the piston version of the Lancair Evolution. The four-seat, pressurized homebuilt, which is intended to follow the path to certification, is powered by a new Lycoming iE2 computer-controlled engine that’s rated for an impressive max 400 hp for climb and is expected to reach 270 knots at FL280. As a testament to the aircraft’s docile handling characteristics, on Bill’s first flight, he performed a formation takeoff, flying wing on a 110-knot photoship that Jim Lawrence was shooting from.
When not in shutterbug mode, Jim flew as many new LSA as he could (look for his pilot reports in upcoming months), and roamed the show grounds in search of the best new gear and products. He came across some pretty cool stuff. For inside the cockpit, there’s the HD video camcorder from Contour HD, and Lightspeed announced a new mid-range headset, the Sierra, complete with one of our favorite features, Bluetooth connectivity for your cell phone. In this issue, Jim shares his 10 top finds.
Not too far away, Marc Lee was getting his feet wet at Jack Brown’s Seaplane Base. Based in Winter Haven, the school boasts a fleet of classic J-3 Cubs in an idyllic setting—well, except perhaps for the occasional alligator—right in the middle of what they like to call their “land of 1,000 lakes.” After logging 4.9 hours of “pure freedom and fun!” with instructor Nick Veltre and a 0.8-hour checkride with flight-school owner and designated examiner Jon Brown, Marc earned his seaplane rating in just two days! Even if you don’t have access to floats back home, the training hones your stick-and-rudder skills and counts as a BFR. As I was writing this, I received an e-mail from Marc that speaks for itself: “I loved the seaplane flying so much that I’m going to try and go back to Jack Brown’s every year and do a few hours of recurrent training…just because it’s a blast!”
Labels: Aircraft Bargains, Columns, Features, Journeys, LSAs, People and Places, Shared Ownership, Fractional Ownership, Ownership, Pilot Talk, Aircraft Ownership