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By Ian Brown, Editor, Bits and Pieces, EAA 657159
January 2016 - A member from the earliest EAA days is legend Russ Norman, from Hamilton, Ontario. I have yet to meet Mr. Norman but was delighted to read Gord McNulty’s article about him here in the Canadian Aviation Historical Society’s reprint that first appeared in a 2003 issue. I won’t repeat the content of Gord’s excellent writing except to say that Russ has had a phenomenal presence in the homebuilt-aircraft arena, going back to the earliest days of EAA. He has flown at least 40 types, and his latest homebuilt is an all-metal Mustang II. He fell in love with aviation in the Air Cadet program and started tinkering with gliders and rebuilding other aircraft, eventually moving on to building several aircraft from scratch.
If the EAA is to continue in strength, we need to be encouraging new aircraft builders—the creation of new “legends.” We jokingly refer to people who just continue building as “repeat offenders,” and I know several. What unites them all is a passion for the actual building process. Maybe 2016 will be the year for you to get involved in a new aircraft building project…or maybe to help someone else.
Snowbirds in formation
The legendary Snowbirds will be performing at AirVenture Oshkosh 2016. In fact, one of their pilots just showed up at EAA HQ recently. He was diverted due to weather and just thought he’d drop in. It sounds like they are really excited to be coming back to Oshkosh for their first show there since 1983. Your EAA Canadian Council will be working on finding ways to get closer to the Snowbirds in the next few months. For now let’s just say we’re excited too.
In the certified-aircraft arena, Mooney announced that the new proof-of-concept design, the M10T, which was announced at Airshow China 2014 in Zhuhai, had its first flight on December 23, 2016. The design is a three-seat, low-wing, carbon-fibre, fixed-gear aircraft with a Continental Technify CD-135 piston engine using Jet-A fuel. The diesel motor was originally manufactured by Thielert. The M10T is targeted to the training market, where Cessna has dominated for decades. A quick check shows that there are 14 service centres in Canada for this new motor.
The FAA has announced that all small unmanned aircraft (UAS) between 250 grams and 25 kilograms used for recreational purposes need to be registered by February 19, 2016. Apparently during the registration process the applicant will receive a registration number that must be marked on the outside of the aircraft. The focus is clearly on the hundreds of thousands of hobby aircraft, since it is not yet possible to register small unmanned aircraft for business use even if you wanted to. For now, there is no requirement in Canada for a similar registration process.
It’s not too soon to start getting excited about a trip to Oshkosh this year. EAA will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Van’s RV-6 design, and of course we’ll be looking forward to the Snowbirds. It could be the best Oshkosh ever; you might even say “legendary.”