...Plus Lots Of Light Jets

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The growth of the light-jet segment, so long in incubation, also gave an energy boost to this year's AirVenture. Two Eclipse jets flew every day, and a live jet with finished interior was open for visitors at the Eclipse tent, finally replacing the long-suffering mock-up. Also debuting were the Cessna Mustang and Honda's present, but otherwise yet mysterious, HondaJet experiment. Adam Aircraft flew its A700 jet prototype, which already has been flying for a couple of years. Epic unveiled its new jet design. And the jet that flew around the world on a tank of gas showed its lines to all at Aeroshell square. But the real heart of this show was the first homebuilt airplane into space, which occupied show central the whole week long. The spaceship was surrounded by crowds just about 24 hours a day, with fans and photographers making the most of the bright nighttime security lights to take some atmospheric shots. One security guard, asked if there was ever a time when somebody wasn't taking a picture of the ship, said, "Between about 3 and 3:30 [a.m.], there were a few minutes, I think."