Tuesday, October 20, 2009
From The Editor: Spreading The Word
Another passionate aviator is entrepreneur Randy Schlitter, founder of Rans Designs. His father was a crop duster and professional pilot, and although Randy almost went that direction, he instead opted to follow his love of riding bicycles and designing airplanes. The elder Schlitter always looked a little askance at Randy’s light aircraft designs, but when he was near the end of his life, Randy took him for a ride. He had to lift his father into the cockpit, but as soon as they started taxiing, Randy recalls, “My dad came to life and flew that airplane like he was a young man again. When we landed, he looked at me and remarked, ‘That’s the best one yet, son.’” This year marked the 25th anniversary of Rans Aircraft, and LSA Editor Jim Lawrence takes us to Randy’s factory in Hays, Kans., where he flies two LSA by Rans—the all-metal, low-wing S-19 and the S-7 Courier taildragger.
Another LSA that Jim flies this month is the Breezer II, a metal airplane built in Germany. The Breezer is a traditionally built, solid airplane that quietly holds its own against any of the bigger sellers, and Jim immediately took a liking to its solid qualities. During his photo session, the strong lines of the aircraft design reminded Jim of a 1950s-era fighter jet.
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