Belite Aircraft President and CEO James Wiebe has won the 2011 August Raspet Award, one of the most prestigious honors bestowed by the Experimental Aircraft Association each year. Wiebe has joined a lofty club of individuals that includes the first winner of the award, John Thorpe, and other notables with surnames ranging from Wittman to Pietenpol, Bengelis to Rutan.
The award is named for the late Dr. August "Gus" Raspet, a professor at Mississippi State University and avid light aircraft enthusiast. Raspet was instrumental in elevating the aeronautical engineering program at Mississippi A&M College, as it was originally known, into one of the nation's preeminent aerophysics research centers. Since 1960, the Dr. August Raspet Memorial Award has been presented every year to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of light aircraft design.
Wiebe's contributions to aviation include a set of extreme (and we are talking grams here) ultralight solid-state flight instruments, carbon-fiber technology in aircraft structures, and his innovative in-line water sensing unit for fuel systems.