MOORESVILLE, N.C. — Sporting a new engine, new cowling, new gear, fuel tanks, avionics, and awaiting a new interior and fresh paint, the only Windecker Eagle in the world is headed for airworthy status again — after a half century of neglect.
The restoration, a project commissioned by Wei Hang, a Chinese entrepreneur, is bringing back the first composite aircraft certificated by the FAA.
The rebuild has taken longer than anticipated with little more than the original fiberglass airframe remaining.
“We found that virtually every piece of metal in the airframe had to be replaced,” said Don Atchison, head of the restoration team. “Remarkably, the fiberglass held up due to a UV protective coating that was applied at the time of manufacture. What’s fascinating is the list of new equipment that’s going into it. When it takes the active runway again, perhaps in the late summer, early fall, it will be a fascinating blend of the oldest composite airframe in the world enhanced by the most modern technologies in avionics and subsystems.”
The Windecker Eagle has four seats, a 1,400 pound useful load, an 84 gallon fuel capacity and it will cruise at 170-plus KTAS.
Here’s what will be new when it flies again:
- Engine: Continental Motors, IO-550-N 0:00 hours since major overhaul
- Propeller: New Hartzell PHC-J3Y1F-N7605B 3 blade composite
1. Garmin G3-X Touch Pilot and Co-Pilot EFIS displays
2. Garmin GTN-750
3. Garmin GTN-650
4. Garmin Digital Auto Pilot with “LVL” feature,
5. Garmin GTX 23 Mode S transponder (displays on G3-X)
6. Garmin GMA 35 Audio panel with intercom, 3LMB (displays on G3-X)
7. Garmin GDL ADS-B and GPS receiver
8. Garmin GSU 25 AHRS
9. Garmin heated AOA and pitot probe.
10. XM Satellite weather (displays on G3-X)
11. Dynon D10-A Standby EFIS/GPS displays for both Pilot and Co-pilot. Pilots side has emergency battery back up.
12. D&M 406 Emergency Locator Transmitter, GPS enabled.
13. Ray Allen 3 surface electric trim
14. Garmin Aera 500 battery powered GPS (portable)
- Hi-Tek Master Control Unit
2. Dual Hi-Teck alternators
3. Dual fed bus system with cross tie for starting and cross feed.
4. Quad battery installation for dual fed bus.
5. Ground power plug receptacle
6. Battery state of charge monitoring system.
7. Seamech Digital Air Conditioning and environmental controls for heat and defrost.
8. AmSafe airbag equipped shoulder harnesses.
9. LP Plastics “low e” solar gray glass
10. Cygnet Aerospace control yokes
11. OEM control lock
12. Aero LED lighting.
13. Tuned exhaust with dual heater muffs.
14. Custom seating.
15. Custom interior lighting.
16. Andair Throttle quadrant.
17. Andair Fuel Valve
18. Andair Emergency gear valve.
19. Andair fuel strainer
20. CJ Aviation 2 stage fuel pump.
21. Custom John Roncz cowling and spinner.
22. Carbon flight controls by Windecker.
23. New Cleveland Wheels and dual piston brakes.
24. New hydraulic power pack.
25. New airframe wiring.
26. New fuel bladders and filler system.
27. New hoses and plumbing.
28. New Urethane paint.
29. New leather interior.
30. New safety belts.