Sunday, April 8, 2012

Sun-N-Fun 2012

Sun-n-Fun 2012 came and went without the storm and tornado that marked the 2011 event.  The weather was beautiful and preliminary reports are that there were days of record crowds.  If you have not attended this event or have not attended in a few years, you should makes plans now to attend 2013.  I saw Canyon Country Ultralight Club friend Jim Sweeney.  Jim has conducted three Sport Pilot Ground Schools for our club over the past several years.  He was working with Hilton Software, the "Wing X Pro" folks  Sometimes you get a surprise when walking through the vendors.  We were walking past the Gleim Publication booth and had a gentleman hand us a nice bag to place the materials in that we had picked up at other vendors.  I looked at the gentleman's name badge and it was Dr. Irvin Gleim himself!!!  For most of you, you will recognize the name Gleim as one of the leading publishers of training materials.
I also had a chance to have a brief visit with Mark Henley of the Team Aeroshell Acrobatic Team.  He has flown in airshows for over 20 years and asked what plane I fly.  When I said it was a former 2-seat ultralight trainer he said that he flies a Breezy.  He said flying a small airplane was what fun flying was all about.   That was kind of a neat thing.  You can see these guys flying at  You can check out Breezys web site at

Team Aeroshell

Paradise City!!

For long time attendees Paradise City is a ghost town compared to the days that it burst at its seams with all kinds of ultralight aircraft.  Even though it is far from its former busy area it is still quite a fun place to visit.  You can visit with the manufactures and get an intro. flight without much difficulty.  What a great way to see the grounds at Sun-N-Fun and get a chance to get your hands on the controls of some very neat aircraft.  Next year there are rumors that the Light Sport Mall and Chopptertown may be co-located in Paradise city.

One of the nicest planes at Paradise City was the plane above.  It was well equipped and pretty reasonable, price wise, as far as LSA's go.  It was powered by a 85 hp Jabiru 2200.  They also have powered them with Rotax 582's and 912's.  It looks like a lot of plane to be powered by a 582!

American Aerochutes Coke Eagle

This is the grandfather of ultralights.  Based on a hang glider platform this original ultralight has been at SNF in the past.  We got a chance to see it fly in a pretty good wind.  It flew under pretty good control which had to be due to her pilots ability. What a simply simple design and a scary design for those of us who do not know how she flies.

LSA Mall

There were quite a few interesting aircraft at the Light Sport Mall.  Float planes, tail dragger's, gyrocopters, tri-cycle gear, folding wings and even a bi-plane.  This category has done a good job of offering aircraft that GA offers only on a smaller and lighter platform.  Below are just a few examples.

This Calidur Auto Gyro could be your for about $60K

The FK 12 Comet.  This is the only Light Sport Bi-Plane in production.

Powered parachutes are getting to be a fairly rare sight at these shows.
Powrachute continues to lead the industry with 100 hp Rotax powered PPC's that sell for up to $30K.

The Flight Design CT is one of the most popular LSA's.  This aircraft is being used by Law Enforcement.

An amphibious light sport. This raises the fun factor way up.  100hp, light sport, modern avionics's, water, wow!!

Other Interesting Aircraft

The Commemorative Air force does a great job of preserving some of our national treasures.  FiFi is a
B-29 that is still flying.  What a sight to see this bird fly!  Check this site out


War bird Bi-Wing.  The most notable thing missing in the War Bird area was long time judge and Canyon Pilots Association Member Bill "Doc" Mitchell.

Nice single engine Seebee.

Twin Seabee.  These are pretty cool airplanes.  Looks like a handful.

A very nice, well beautifully built Vans RV 9.

The next three photos are of the only true ultralight helicopter being manufactured today.

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