Windecker Eagle Flies, Heads To China

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A newly restored Windecker Eagle, assembled by a team in Mooresville, North Carolina, is back in the air as the only flying model of its kind after sitting in storage for more than 30 years. The composite-built airplane’s first flight took place earlier this month, with the goal of logging 25 hours by the end of the year. After the test flights are completed, the team, headed by restorer Don Atchison, will box up the Eagle and ship it to China, where owner Wei Hang plans to manufacture more copies. The Windecker was FAA-certified in 1969, and despite its modern airframe design never went into large-scale production. 

The restorers told AVweb via email this week Hang has exclusive rights to production and the type certificate, and it will only be sold in Asia -- so it’s unlikely there will be any flying in North America. The team is “open to other types of restorations and to creating non-competitive prototypes.” Only eight copies of the Windecker were produced by designers Leo and Fairfax Windecker, who spent $20 million on its certification. They had developed and patented a new composite material for the airplane, but ran out of money soon after production began.