...Some Assembly Required, Some Certified...

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Four Winds Aircraft (craftsmanship required), the NewGlasair (craftsmanship required) company, and Canadian Foundair (the company has been around since 1996 and you can buy its FAR 23 certified product, finished) are all offering aircraft designed to get you from here to some remote paradise in high-winged piston powered glory. The Four Winds kit mates a very strong (plus nine, minus four) composite wing to a robust structural steel box hidden in a streamlined fuselage. Behind 310 hp, the four to six-seater will haul 1200 pounds for 1300 (statute) miles or shrink those miles down a bit for a 175 knot cruise. Foundair's 5-seat or utility BushHawkSP loads 1525 pounds (useful) behind a 300 hp IO-540 for an 880 nautical mile trip at or near 145 knots for $325,000. That follows the 750-foot ground roll. We expect to fly NewGlasair's Sportsman 2+2 this morning. Weather permitting, expect better insight, Friday. While Foundair offers the only finished product of this group, Four Winds adds individualized style to its mix -- or an interior designed by the same folks who did so for Cirrus. Expected to weigh in near $200,000 ... fancy avionics and time spent notwithstanding. Company representatives say that four almost-finished customer aircraft (the company has a comprehensive builder-assist program) are about to prove it ... while they churn out continuous improvement through a "C" model (on display was the very sleek "B" model).