Wills Wing celebrates turning 40

willwing

At the lightest end of flying, one company in the USA excels like no other. For hang glider and paraglider enthusiasts the brand name Wills Wing is as good as it gets.

I have long known and admired the owners of this well-run California company so I am very pleased to offer my congratulations to Wills Wing on its 40th anniversary.

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Sebring Expo: A real game-changer

It used to be that January was one of the slowest months of the year. Freezing cold in the northern states combined with short days across the northern hemisphere to produce a sluggish month for all but transport or working aircraft. Recreational flying slowed to the pace of thick syrup pouring from a chilled bottle.

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First CTLSi with ADS-B

Flight Design CTLS

Aviators love abbreviations and one that has invaded light aviation recently is ADS-B. FAA’s Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast service brings two major benefits for aircraft that install new equipment: Free weather and traffic. LSA market leader Flight Design recently completed the first installation of this in one of its brand-new CTLSi models.

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Stick wigglers vs. glass panel geeks

Flight Design CTLS

After flying more than 350 different aircraft models, I’ve become reasonably adept at what some pilots call “stick wiggling.” The reference is for all the actions you take to physically fly the plane. This is about what’s required on very basically-equipped ultralight aircraft that I still love to fly. Modern LSA, however, typically offer loaded instrument panels and, while I check out stalls, flight qualities and landings of a LSA, I rarely get any time to play with the panel goodies.

Fortunately, a recent experience in a brand-new Flight Design CTLSi provided a three-hour window to wiggle the stick, plus a whole lot more. [Read more...]

General aviation in China

China_Airshow-Mermaid

In late November the southern China city of Zhuhai hosted a large collection of aircraft at Airshow China. We’ve been hearing about this once-closed country in matters of aviation so often, readers might be interested to see some photos taken by LAMA Europe’s Jan Fridrich.

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The effects of political wrangling on LSA

The new year is here and with it the effects of Congressional wrangling over the so-called fiscal cliff. Maybe the political leadership have found some temporary resolve, but eventually cuts appear inevitable.

Some aviation groups have gloomily predicted as much as $80 billion in GDP losses [Read more...]

Looking ahead to the Sebring LSA Expo

Sebring

The holidays approach like a lumbering airliner on final, sure and certain. With its arrival, aviation in America can take stock of the year and begin the anticipation for a new season to dawn once the days begin to lengthen. Winter in many northern states is a time of reduced recreational flying activity but (speaking as one who endured many Minnesota winters before permanently flying south) the short days and cold nights help to build excitement.

In the world of Light-Sport Aircraft and light recreational aircraft of all kinds, the focus now gathers on the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo, or more simply the Sebring LSA Expo. Last year’s event drew more than 16,000 visitors to a trade show oriented to help buyers view all the airplanes from which they can choose. [Read more...]