American Champion 8KCAB offers some of the best aerobatic talent in the two-seat, sportplane class
Rich, I know you can’t see the ball from the back seat, but if you could, you’d be rolling with laughter,” I said. I was flying Rich Manor’s new Super Decathlon in left-echelon formation 20 feet from our old friend Saratoga SP photo ship, and my lazy feet were out of practice at flying an airplane with considerable adverse yaw. The ball bounced back and forth out of its cage as I maneuvered on the Saratoga, the slip indicator only occasionally stopping in the center. It had been several years since I’d flown a Super Decathlon, and my rusty technique showed. Gotta unlearn those bad habits, I thought. Too many hours in Mooneys/Bonanzas/Malibus/Centurions and other modern designs that forgive poor rudder coordination.
The chief of the four-seat Cherokees still holds its own as a heavy hauler
Cherokees have always had a deserved reputation as the most docile singles in the sky. Flown to the bottom of their speed envelope, they have practically no stall at all. Systems are so simple, even magazine writers can manage them, and control response is slow enough to keep the most ham-handed pilot out of trouble.
Retired, but not ready to slow down—just like its owner
How often has your significant other told you, no, ordered you to get out of the house and go flying? After seeing her husband mow the lawn in different directions for the third time in a week, D Frechette figured that flying was just what her husband, Roger, needed. A retired Massachusetts state trooper, Roger was not, shall we say, challenged with landscaping.
Cessna Turned a Lot of Heads When it took its New Baby on the Road
In October of last year, Cessna rolled out the 2004 Skylane for dealers to see. The newest 182 featured new paint on the outside, but something truly remarkable on the inside: an all-glass cockpit via the Garmin G1000 Integrated Avionics System. Cessna took orders for more than 300 of the new Skylanes in 24 hours, leaving them with the enviable problem of looking for ways to increase the production run to meet the demand.
An executive turbine with a fun personality sets out to fulfill a mission in the Grand Canyon
Pilots dream about having more than one airplane. They’d like one that’s comfortable and fast for serious cross-countries and another that’s nimble enough to even play in the dirt for the sheer fun of flying. As long as we’re dreaming, let’s include a ridiculously huge useful load, enough to carry a boatload of friends or family, and whatever toys and goodies the mission requires.
With an increase in useful load and some refinements to the avionics, Piper’s turbine Meridian continues to evolve
When New Piper first took the wraps off its Meridian, they set some rather lofty performance goals for their first single-engine turboprop. They needed to. Their target buyer was someone who would be moving up from either a high-end piston single or twin. They also wanted the Meridian’s performance and capabilities to attract owners who were already flying older turboprops, like King Airs and Cheyennes, but who may be in the mood for a new airplane that gave them the performance they were used to, while cutting their fuel and engine-maintenance bills virtually in half.
The people who put certified composites on the map now offer an entry-level airplane with an all-glass panel
Downscaling an existing model isn’t a new trick. Piper has done it a number of times with the Cherokee 140 and Warrior. Maule offered a less powerful, nosewheel trainer version of its M7 bush bird taildragger. SOCATA continues to produce an entry-level model in the Tampico, essentially the same airplane as the Trinidad sans retractable gear and constant-speed prop, and with 90 less hp.
Piper’s trusty twin was just a starting point for this revitalized PA-34 modification
Kim Bass is an unusual pilot with an unusual airplane. Bass is a Hollywood screenwriter who manages to survive in one of the world’s most cutthroat businesses. Bass has been writing TV and motion-picture screenplays for 13 years, taking scripts from concept to treatment to pilot and sometimes all the way to production. Amazingly, he has yet to file bankruptcy even once.
A Garmin glass panel brings a fresh view for Cessna
Cessna naysayers would complain that the company’s line of high-wing singles has changed little since its inception, save a continuing, but sometimes diminutive, evolution of enhancement and refinement.
How an accidental friendship led to an Oshkosh champion
The grass around the 1958 Beech Travel Air was beaten down, trampled by thousands of feet, wearing a path around the wings and tail of N100BH. When you see this kind of wear and tear on the ground at Oshkosh, where more than 2,000 show planes sit proudly in the sun, it’s a sure sign that something special has arrived.
Great news for pilots! Look at the airplanes you can buy for $30,000 or less!
Affordable classics might seem an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms, but in fact, there are more of them available than you might imagine. Before we could home in on the top 10, however, we had to define exactly what we meant by “affordable” and “classic.”