Merlin PSA Quick-Build Kit Earns FAA 51% Approval

"The FAA's National Kit Evaluation Team (NKET) evaluated the Merlin's Quick Build Kit (QBK), and it passed by .01% -- You can't get more builder-friendly than that," says Aeromarine President Chip Erwin, from his build center in Florida, where two customers are completing their Merlin PSA kits right now. Two more customers are assembling Merlins at their home bases. Continue reading "Merlin PSA Quick-Build Kit Earns FAA 51% Approval"

Sitting in Airplanes

Inside the Merlin
Inside the Merlin

I sometimes like to think back on how much time I have spent sitting in airplanes. I am sure that it long ago passed the point where I'd talk about it in hours, days, or weeks - probably well into the units of "years." It has not always been me at the controls of course - I have countless hours sitting as a passenger in a transport, or an airliner, but oftentimes that time in back has been to get to somewhere that I can sit in the pilot's seat of a new and different airplane. Just this week I spent two solid days as a passenger, flying from the west coast to Florida for the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida. It was well worth the effort, because I got to try on some new airplanes for size at the show. Continue reading "Sitting in Airplanes"

Bearhawk LSA to Make its Sebring Debut

AUSTIN, TEXAS, JANUARY 12, 2015 - Bearhawk Aircraft announced today its Bearhawk LSA will make a first-time visit to the U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida, to be held January 14-17. The aircraft is the first Bearhawk LSA to be completed from a Quick Build kit. It will be on static display at the show and demonstration flights will be available to qualified buyers.

Bearhawk LSA
Bearhawk LSA

Bearhawk Aircraft owner Mark Goldberg completed the first Bearhawk LSA as a Quick Build kit. "We are proud to show the aviation community the most recent creation of renown Bearhawk design engineer Bob Barrows. While Bob has been flying his prototype Bearhawk LSA for two years, Bearhawk Aircraft has developed Quick Build kits for the design," stated Goldberg.

The Bearhawk LSA is a "rugged, sweet-handling airplane--much more stout than most LSAs," according to Goldberg. Designed for a gross weight of 1500 lbs. (with utility category strength), the Bearhawk LSA has a huge safety margin when flown at LSA gross weight of 1320 lbs.

This first Bearhawk LSA built from a Quick Build kit has an empty weight of 818 lbs. including starter and full electrical system. With full fuel (30 gallons), this Bearhawk LSA has 322 lbs. of useful load. At 75% power, the Bearhawk LSA has a cruise speed of 118 mph while burning under 6 GPH. Landing at 35 mph, most any strip will suffice for the Bearhawk LSA.

At AirVenture 2014 in Oshkosh, Bob Barrows competed in the Alaska STOL competition in his prototype LSA. Takeoff distance was 96 ft. with a landing distance of 130 ft.--excellent numbers for a plane with much faster cruise speed than all of the competition.

The Bearhawk LSA lets current, and future, Sport Pilots join in the pleasures of the Bearhawk clan. With its similar look and feel, the Bearhawk LSA is a clean-sheet design with an all-new airfoil, developed by Harry Riblett. Construction is similar to other Bearhawk aircraft, with fuselage and tail surfaces of welded 4130 chromoly frames covered in fabric. The all-aluminum, flush riveted wings are supported by single left- and right-hand struts.

Bearhawk Aircraft manufactures high-quality quick-build aircraft kits for the 4-Place Bearhawk, Bearhawk Patrol (2-place) and Bearhawk LSA (tandem). Designed by engineer Bob Barrows, the Bearhawk designs have in common excellent performance and superb flying characteristics. Bearhawks are known for their short field capability, higher than expected cruise speeds, and very gentle slow speed manners. For utility and recreational use, Bearhawk aircraft are flown by customers around the world.

For more information on Bearhawk Aircraft, visit, or contact Bearhawk at or 1-877-528-4776.

Kitplanes Looks at the Groppo Trail

groppo-trail-snipWell, it's not entirely new to Oshkosh, but the Italian company Groppo is launching a new marketing effort for its two-seat tandem Groppo Trail at an eye-catching price.  The Trail will be available as an E-LSA, an LSA, and an amateur-built kit, according to Steve Bassinger, who's representing Groppo in the U.S.  Think of it as an Italian Cub, and you'll be pretty close.

Continue reading "Kitplanes Looks at the Groppo Trail"

All-Metal, Folding-Wing Groppo Trail Now Available in U.S.

gruppo trailLone Palm Aero announced that the Groppo Trail LSA is now available in the United States. Designed by respected Italian engineer Nando Groppo, the tandem-seat Trail is very popular throughout Europe, with more than 110 aircraft sold so far. Experimental Light Sport (ELSA) and Experimental/Amateur-Built (E/A-B) kits start at $28,250. The ready-to-fly Special Light Sport (SLSA) Trail, usable by instructors for training and rental, is available for $79,900.

Continue reading "All-Metal, Folding-Wing Groppo Trail Now Available in U.S."

MVP.AERO announces Most Versatile Plane.



MVP.Aero is developing a carbon fiber folding-wing LSA amphibian that will be able to operate comfortably from smooth and rough strips, water, snow, and ice. The design's most compelling feature is that the forward canopy moves upward and back to sit atop the engine pylon. This frees up the nose of the MVP to resemble the front of a classic bass-type fishing boat. The flat forward surface is large enough for two people to stretch out and sleep after deploying a fitted tent and inflating a fitted air mattress. There's also a hammock that stretches between the rear of the engine pylon and the tail. A prop lock mechanism prevents someone from firing up the Rotax 912/914 engine with the hammock attached.

Continue reading "MVP.AERO announces Most Versatile Plane."