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EAA's Light Plane World
  ISSUE 9 AUGUST 2011  
From the Editor
Flying Is Flying
By Dan Grunloh, Editor, Light Plane World

You shouldn't tell a disabled person that he can't do something, unless you want him to go out and try to prove you wrong. David Sykes flew 11,400 miles with his wheelchair packed on his trike because a friend in a pub wagered he wouldn't do it. Vance Breese flipped his motorcycle at 265 mph and overcame a traumatic brain injury to become a pilot after doctors said his life was over. Read more

Dan Grunloh
Green Acres
The Answer
By Vance Breese, EAA 705840
I fly an open-cockpit tandem experimental gyroplane that was designed and built by Mark Givan who has no engineering background. It's slow and inefficient; when it rains we get wet. He named it The Predator, and it has the nose art from a Desert Storm A-10 without the gun sticking out of its mouth. I've found it doesn't fit the ideal of most fixed wing pilots. Read more Vance Breese
Light Plane News
David Sykes' Epic Flight Completed
British paraplegic pilot Dave Sykes has completed an 11,714-nautical-mile solo flight from York, England, to Sydney, Australia, in an open-cockpit, weight-shift-control P&M Aviation Quik. The trip, which began April 28, took four months and crossed over more than 18 countries. Dave doesn't have the use of his legs, so all takeoffs and landings were flown with one hand while the other hand was used to control a modified ground steering lever. Read more David Sykes
Polaris Flying Boat Seen Doing Loops Before Fatal Crash
This Polaris Polar Star inflatable flying boat, a weight-shift-control trike attached to an inflatable dingy, was photographed by people on a tour boat shortly before it crashed into the water about 11 miles north of Charleston, South Carolina, on July 20, 2011. Witnesses say it had completed a loop and was attempting another loop when at the top of the loop, at about 1,000 feet, it flipped over, the wings folded, and it plummeted into shallow water. 
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Polaris Flying Boat
Brazilian Students Build Record-Breaking Aircraft
A professor and students from the Brazilian University UFMG (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais) joined forces to design and build an aircraft called the CEA 308 that broke no less than four world records!  CEA 308
The records have been recently ratified by the FAI in the category of aircraft with piston engine, propeller, and total takeoff weight of up to 300 kilograms. The record flights were made in December 2010. Read more
Sonex Available for Transition Training
Sonex builder and CFI Scott Sheetz of Hamilton, Illinois, displayed his Jabaru-powered smoke-and-flame-painted Sonex at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011. He has obtained a LODA (Letter of Deviation Authority) to allow for compensated transition training in his experimental aircraft. His is the first FAA-approved transition trainer for Sonex aircraft.  Sonex
The highly customized aircraft is polished inside and out. It features a glass-panel cockpit, autopilot, and electric flaps, and is equipped for IFR flight. Read more
Joint Popular Rotorcraft Association/Powrachute Extravaganza Fly-In Successful
Two influential individuals from two completely different branches of sport aviation cooperated to organize and support a new kind of fly-in that reflects a trend toward more variety at fly-ins and air shows.  PRA
Rotorcraft and powered parachutes are about as different in their operations and requirements as it can get, and yet they fly together, share the same facilities, and support each other at this joint fly-in. It is their differences that help make it possible. 
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EAA Ultralight Chapter Gives Free T-Shirts to 88 Young Eagles
EAA Chapter UL30 (Illini Skyriders) sponsored a fly-in on July 16, 2011, at the Paxton Airport (1C1) in conjunction with EAA Chapter 29 members who provided Young Eagle rides at the event. Both chapters are located in the Champaign, Illinois, area. Most UL30 members fly ultralights or single-seat light experimental aircraft not suitable for Young Eagle rides, so they instead donated a specially made T-shirt to each of the kids who took a ride.
Read more
Young Eagles
Paul Sommers Wins Quicksilver Prize
Quicksilver builder Paul Sommers of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was the winner of the $500 cash drawing which was the culmination of the “Salute to Quicksilvers” down on the Farm in the ultralight area at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011. Quicksilver Manufacturing offered the cash drawing and gave away a free flight jacket each day to Quicksilver pilots who brought their aircraft to AirVenture for the tribute.  Quicksilver Prize
Paul built his Quicksilver MXL experimental light-sport aircraft basically from parts. Read more
Rod Machado’s Sport Pilot Handbook Announced
A new book is now available from Rod Machado, one of the nation’s top aviation educators and humorists. Three years in the making, Rod Machado’s Sport Pilot Handbook is a serious text written in his characteristic fun and witty style. The 582-page book contains more than 1,000 original color illustrations and photos and is intended to help pilots update their knowledge and prepare for FAA sport pilot exams and biennial flight reviews. Read more Rod Machado book
Sport Pilot Instruction Petition Available for Public Comment
The FAA has officially published the petition for rulemaking from the EAA, AOPA, NAFI, and GAMA that would allow sport pilot instruction hours to count toward higher certificates and ratings, and the public comment period is now open. In an interview September 6 with Roy Beisswenger on Powered Sport Flying Radio, EAA's Government & Advocacy Specialist David Oord said he believes the long delay was due to a technical oversight, and he explained why the change is important. 
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David Oord
Around the Patch
A Very Special Eipper GT400
If you saw Rick Pierson's Eipper GT400 Special at a fly-in somewhere, you might think it's merely a very beautiful version of this well-known design. Calling it a "Special" is an understatement once you begin to explore the extensive changes and improvements in the airplane. He worked very hard to reduce drag and to save weight to the point of using thin washers and thin stop nuts wherever feasible. The resulting performance of the aircraft is indeed extra special. Read more Eipper
VFR Corner - Very Fine Reading
I found Howard Hughes, Aviator by George J. Marrett a fascinating book to read. It offers us a glimpse into the mind of Hughes who aspired to be the world's greatest film producer, the best aviator, and the richest man. Hughes earned his pilot certificate at age 21, six months after Charles Lindbergh crossed the Atlantic. The author depicts the man as addicted to speed and risk taking. However, Hughes attention to detail was meticulous. He would have joined the EAA. Read more Book
Timeless Voices: Leonard Milholland
Leonard Milholland was born in Kansas City in 1924. As a boy, he was fascinated with airplanes. He spent his time building, flying, and crashing stick and tissue airplane models, and sneaking off to visit the hangars at Richards Field.  Timeless Voices
When World War II came along, Leonard enlisted in the Army Air Force, where he was eventually trained as an aircraft mechanic and gunner. He served the bulk of his time during the war based in Panama with a B-24 group stationed in the Canal Zone. After the war, he moved to Texas and worked for Shell Oil for thirty-three years. In 1970, Leonard began coming to the annual EAA convention in Oshkosh and has been a member ever since. He completed his first homebuilt, a Junior Ace, in 1974. Over the years he has built a number of airplanes, but Leonard is perhaps best known in the aviation world as the designer of the Legal Eagle ultralight. Today, Leonard sells plans for three original designs: the Legal Eagle, Double Eagle, and Legal Eagle XL, and is in the process of developing the LSA eligible Cabin Eagle. 
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From the EAA Forums
Here are the latest discussions from the EAA Forums:
Videos from the light plane world
Light Plane World Videos

Gyroplane Flight Over Rheine, Germany
A German gyroplane pilot demonstrates camera-on-pole technique that might also be useful for other aircraft, but be careful where you stick that thing. 
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Light Plane World Videos
Join soaring pilot Charlie Porter for some hazy afternoon flying in a Dragonfly ultralight trike with retractable landing gear for better soaring performance. 
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Submit light plane videos that you just had to watch again; and probably forwarded to your friends. Send them to
Featured Photo Galleries

Photo gallery

2011 Popular Rotorcraft Association Fly-In and Powrachute Extravaganza at Mentone
There was plenty of fun with rotors and chutes over the Mentone Airport in Indiana from August 2 to 6, along with a wide sampling of other types of aircraft. You will find a link to hundreds more photos from the event on the Popular Rotorcraft Association Facebook page. View the gallery

Q.  How does the propeller develop thrust?

A. The propeller is a rotating airfoil, subject to induced drag, stalls, and other aerodynamic principles that apply to any airfoil. It provides the necessary thrust to pull, or in some cases push, the aircraft through the air. The engine power is used to rotate the propeller, which in turn generates thrust very similar to the manner in which a wing produces lift. Read more

Powered Parachute
Q. What makes the powered parachute unique compared to other aircraft?

A. The powered parachute is a category of aircraft that flies in a manner unique among light-sport aircraft. Three significant differences separate the PPC from other types of light-sport aircraft (LSA). Read more

Weight Shift Trikes
Q. How would you define a weight shift trike?

A. Weight-shift control (WSC) aircraft means a powered aircraft with a framed pivoting wing and a fuselage controllable only in pitch and roll by the pilot's ability to change the aircraft's center of gravity (CG) with respect to the wing. Flight control of the aircraft depends on the wing's ability to deform flexibly rather than on the use of control surfaces.

Fixed-Wing Airplane
Q. What effect does CG location have on performance?

A. The effect of the position of the CG on the load imposed on an aircraft's wing in flight is significant to climb and cruising performance. An aircraft with forward loading is "heavier" and, consequently, slower than the same aircraft with the CG further aft. Read more

Q. What do the rudder pedals control on a gyroplane?

A. The rudder is operated by foot pedals in the cockpit and provides a means to control yaw movement of the aircraft. On a gyroplane, this control is achieved in a manner more similar to the rudder of an airplane than to the antitorque pedals of a helicopter. Read more

From the archives
Fixed Wing Pilot to Gyro Pilot - Experimenter, September 2002
From the archives
A fixed wing pilot with 25 years of experience explains some of the differences he encountered when transitioning to gyroplanes. He says the controls seem familiar, but they work differently and that it's not like riding a bicycle. Even though the article is only 9 years old, gyroplane technology has changed rapidly, and some of the newest machines could be quite different.  Read the article
All About Cylinders
Maintenance expert and EAA Sport Aviation columnist Mike Busch, A&P/IA, presents an informational webinar about cylinders - construction, failure modes (head cracks and separations, exhaust valve failure, barrel wear), maintenance-induced failures, factors affecting longevity, repair, replacement, top overhauls, and more.

All webinars begin at 7 p.m. CDT unless otherwise noted. To find out more about upcoming EAA webinars and to register, visit the webinars page. 

EAA gratefully acknowledges the support of Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co. for its generous sponsorship of the webinar programs.

Poll Question
Q. Have you ever flown, or would you fly, an unconventional aircraft such as a trike, powered parachute, or gyroplane?

Vote now

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