New: LSA, Turbine Prototype, Columbia 400 Air Show
A new prototype for what could be a future LSA was on exhibit by AviaDesign, a California company that provides mods for business aircraft. At first glance, with its round belly and top-mounted pusher prop, the A-16 Sport Falcon looks like a seaplane, but the fixed gear nixes that concept. Mark Ward said future versions of the aircraft will come with optional floats. The all-metal bird has flown twice so far, Ward said, and he's hoping for S-LSA approval by September. Also showing nearby was the Envoy, a six-seat cabin-class kitplane. An earlier prototype was on exhibit at Oshkosh last year, but the design is still evolving, spokesman Rienk Ayers told AVweb. He said it's about three months away from first flight. Sean D. Tucker debuted his air show program with the stock Columbia 400SL. All maneuvers demonstrated are within the Columbia's higher G limit load for utility category aircraft, the company said. Tucker's flawless routine featured wingovers, rolls, and a loop. Tucker said the maneuvers are carefully choreographed and require that he carefully monitor the G forces, the maximums of which are recorded during each flight. If the aircraft exceeds limits, it goes back to the factory for a complete checkout. The performance is designed to show the controlled capability of the Columbia, highlighting the Columbia's safety-through-performance philosophy, while also promoting Tucker's school, which targets executive-pilot upset training. Don't try this at home. Really.