Dropping in on Glasair

Glasair's Assembly hangar, with two airplanes going through the Two-Week-to-Taxi program.
Glasair's Assembly hangar, with two airplanes going through the Two-Week-to-Taxi program.

I had the opportunity to pop up to Arlington, Washington the other day to visit Glasair, maker of the Sportsman and home of their Two Week to Taxi program. I hitched a ride with engineers from Click-Bond, a company famous for aerospace fasteners, based near my home in Carson City. Click-Bond employees - along with the winners of GAMA's "Build-A-Plane" competition will be building a Sportsman in June, and we'll be following along as they learn about homebuilding while showing just how many places they can use Click-bond nutplates, stand-offs, and other goodies. Anyone who has ever built using standard riveted on nutplates will appreciate not having to drill, deburr, and countersink for AN3 rivets, as these little gems glue on using a special adhesive that is used throughout commercial and military aviation. (My first exposure to their products was during training for the International Space Station program, where we used their products as hole patches in case of hull breeches by micrometeoroids.) Continue reading "Dropping in on Glasair"

Advanced Aero Components Acquires Glasair II and III Assets

Nigel Mott of Glasair Aviation USA and Ian Baker of Advanced Aero Components.

Glasair Aviation USA, LLC. and Advanced Aero Components "AAC" announced the sale of product line assets for the Glasair II and III models.

According to Ian Baker, AAC CEO, the company plans to rejuvenate the product line - new kits will be available in an infused carbon fiber version creating a much lighter, stronger airframe while reducing build times. In addition, existing AAC modifications will be incorporated into the aircraft. Continue reading "Advanced Aero Components Acquires Glasair II and III Assets"

Glasair Aviation Retires the Glasair Model

Glasair Aviation is alive and well selling Sportsman kits and continuing with their popular two-weeks-to-taxi program, however the eponymous Glasair airplane is now officially retired. The last kit is sold, the molds are shot, so the end has come. The plane that invented "fast glass" is no more. They will continue to grace the skies for many years to come, but anyone who wants to build one will have to scour the resale market for kits or parts. Continue reading "Glasair Aviation Retires the Glasair Model"

Alperin Sportsman

I completed construction of the Glasair Sportsman on November 1, 2016 in the Two Week to Taxi program at Glasair Aviation and received the airworthiness certificate the next day. The plane remained at Glasair Aviation and had the required 40 hours of test flying completed and was then sent to the paint shop. The finishing touches and final preparation were done by the Glasair technicians and the plane was once again test flown and made ready for our arrival last week to take delivery.

Scott Alperin (right) ready to depart on an adventure across the country with Robert Metelko.

Continue reading "Alperin Sportsman"

Sport Gold Final

This is the only view Sport Gold competitors saw of Jeff LaVelle’s Glasair III all week. Power is supplied by a Lycoming IO-580 built by Ly-Con and turboed by Grant Semanskee.
This is the only view Sport Gold competitors saw of Jeff LaVelle’s Glasair III all week. Power is supplied by a Lycoming IO-580 built by Ly-Con and turboed by Grant Semanskee.

Even if the results are often predictable and there might not be wingtip-to-wingtip combat, the Sport Gold final is one of the most anticipated contests at the National Air Races. Gold races are the money races; it's where there's nothing left to save, reputations are made and scores settled. In Sport Gold highly modified engines in experimental racers are pushed to what is hoped is their rpm, pressure and temperature limits and left there for 48 suspenseful miles. Many don’t make it, and to stand among the gathered crew chiefs huddled in their designated viewing area is to be among the quiet and anxious. Continue reading "Sport Gold Final"