AirVenture Whatsit?

It was this head-on view that first captured our attention in Homebuilt Camping. Thinking we might be looking at a 7/8 scale Navion we had to go take a look.

You're forgiven if you thought Homebuilt Camping at AirVenture was an RV fly-in. The Van Grunsven aluminum squad so out numbers all other designs that anything different--other than a Thorp T-18--really stands out. Continue reading "AirVenture Whatsit?"



AirVenture is long over, but we're still digging out from the information deluge the show provides. A good example is the Aerocreeper, an adjustable height design that looks perfect for those "too short to kneel, too tall to sit up" jobs under our airplanes. We saw it while running through one of the display hangars and couldn't resist a quick peek. Continue reading "Aerocreeper"

Dark Aero 1

Ryley Karl demonstrates the split rudder of the Dark Aero 1. The rudder is cable controlled and provides both rudder and speed brake functions.

First time exhibitors, Dark Aero is three brothers with an engineering bent and a promising kit plane in the works. Called Dark Aero 1, the all-new design is completely carbon fiber, designed around the UL Power 520iS 6-cylinder engine (the first North American airframe we can think of designed around a UL Power engine) and is set for first flight in July 2019. Continue reading "Dark Aero 1"

Authentic Sopwith & Gnome

Rated at 100 hp, the CAMS Gnome rotary displaces nearly 13-liters and actually produces 125 hp at 1125 rpm along with an impressive 578 lb-ft of torque. It retails for $62,000 FOB Blenheim, New Zealand.

If you've had the rare chance to closely examine a World War I aircraft it soon became obvious why so few early warbirds have been seriously recreated. The products of an age of low-paid labor and easy access to skills and hardware long lost to history, building an authentic continuation aircraft has proven a job mainly too large even for the most dedicated and reasonably funded enthusiast.

Continue reading "Authentic Sopwith & Gnome"

Whispering Again

The Whisper X350 has a low, wide stance and is available as a quick build kit for $49,500. Options include tricycle gear, BRS parachute, dual controls instead of center stick and even more fuel capacity. It's designed for 160 - 200 hp.

Delbert Sinor of Ozark Mountain Aviation gave us the latest on the Whisper, a 2-place side-by-side kit from South Africa. Sinor offers a builder assist center for Whisper builders. Continue reading "Whispering Again"

Timber Tiger Ryan-A-Like

From any angle the Timber Tiger says "Ryan." The five percent small scale is essentially indistinguishable without an original Ryan nearby.

So, what's a nice Ryan like this doing in the homebuilt display at AirVenture? Looking the part, obviously, and yes, it is not a Ryan. It's the new Timber Tiger ST-L, a 95-percent, Light Sport homage to the art deco Ryan. Continue reading "Timber Tiger Ryan-A-Like"