News and commentary about homebuilt/experimental aviation from the editors of Kitplanes Magazine.
Author: Nigel Speedy
Nigel Speedy started flying helicopters with the Australian Army and is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School. He currently instructs at the National Test Pilot School in Mojave, California. Nigel enjoys flying his Van's RV-8 and the freedom of E/A-B to experiment.
I spent the a few hours wandering the warbirds area this morning looking in vain for a Sea Fury, my favorite of that era, but a couple of Spitfires kept me happy. After a bit of break it was off to the kit manufacturers area in search of a plane for my girlfriend. She quite liked the Panther and Lightning so perhaps I will be roped in for some builder assistance sometime in the future.
For a couple of hours, I visited with Safari Helicopters crew, one of small number of helicopter kit manufacturers.
Bad weather hampered arrivals on Sunday morning but around 2pm the skies cleared and paved the way for folks to make it the last few miles into Oshkosh. The arrival into Oshkosh is not to be taken lightly. There are specific procedures to follow the possibility of landing on several runways and the requirement to make a spot landing, literally. Continue reading "Getting in through the traffic jam"
Well the trip to Oshkosh is well under way. Departing Friday afternoon from Tehachapi in California I stopped in Tucson to pick up Stephanie. Saturday, we had a lazy two flight trip up to Denver to stay with friends. Sunday, we set off more or less direct to Oshkosh. First stop was at Norfolk, Nebraska (KOFK), nice airport with two long runways in good condition, cheap fuel and an airport café. All in all, a good place to stop. I have found out through trial and error that it is best to feed the crew at regular intervals.
At Sun 'n Fun I had the opportunity to meet with Bobby and Delane Baker, the owners of Safari Helicopters. The Safari Helicopter line has a long history dating back to 1954--started by Harold "Pop" Emigh and the original Commuter which evolved into the Commuter II. The rights were bought by Murray Sweet and production was taken to Canada under the 'Canadian Home Rotors' brand name. A machinist by trade Murray made many evolutionary improvements to the helicopter and took it to Oshkosh in 1995. Due to the visual similarities with a Bell-47 the type became known as the "Baby Belle" but was later renamed the Safari. Continue reading "Safari 500 at Sun 'n Fun"
Awoke to beautiful airshow weather today. The facilities at Homebuilt Camping are pretty fine, hot showers and a comfortable hospitality tent were a suitable donation gets you a dry place to sit, tables, charging and snacks.