The Angel At Oshkosh

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While people were poring over Diamond's Twin Star in its front-and-center location at Oshkosh AirVenture last week, almost as much attention is being paid to a newly certified twin parked in the camping area a half mile from show center. The Angel Aircraft Corp. Model 44 would look a lot like many other piston twins except the 300-horsepower Lycomings are pointed backward. Closer inspection reveals a foot-thick wing at the leading edge with full-length flaperons. The Angel was designed by a missionary pilot who needed something to get into short, unimproved strips while packing a big payload. We're not sure why the props are behind the tires, either, but extensive tire guards clearly indicate designers' attempts to ensure the unimproved portion of a strip doesn't get kicked back into whirring blades. Minimum takeoff roll is 658 feet and minimum landing roll is 568 feet. It has a useful load of 1,920 pounds. Two production models and the prototype are flying. They sell for about $700,000. Although the Iowa company has obtained certification, it doesn't have the money to set up production so is looking for a buyer for the type certificate.