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.
Safari has lowered the price for its complete Safari 400 kit to $133,400 (from $149,800). Moving welding functions from Canada to Florida in 2012 created significant savings for the company; those and other economies have allowed Safari to recalculate production costs and consequently lower costs for its customers.
Customers who place a deposit on a new Safari during January will also get to choose from a free Heliport Trailer, a custom leather interior or an avionics package valued at $5,000.
CHR International, Inc., purveyor of the Safari kit helicopter, has announced that the company has partnered with Camelot Aviation to provide pilot training for Safari owner/builders. Those who already own or are considering a Safari kit helicopter will be able to do most of their flight training in the Safari, the company says, and current rotorcraft pilots will be able to get the transition training they need to fly the Safari.
Says Bobby Baker, president of CHR International, Inc., “This partnership affords us the opportunity to offer our customers full flight training from beginning to end, including Commercial and CFI training. This is great for current and prospective customers who have never flown the Safari.” The company will also offer free introductory flights to prospective buyers that will showcase the aircraft.
Both Safari and Camelot Aviation are located in the Marianna, Florida, area.
I started this project in 1998 after a visit to Oshkosh. I built this Safari from plans doing the entire frame welding myself and opting for a customized R22 canopy instead of the classic "Baby Bell" bubble canopy reminiscent of the classic Bell 47. Murray Sweet, the founder and developer of the Safari Helicopter, commented that the workmanship, especially the welding, was far superior to that of the actual Safari kit factory models. Continue reading "Joe Senatori's Safari Helicopter"