The world’s only flying Lockheed Vega plans to fly to Oshkosh from its base in Arizona. Its post-restoration flight last December marked the first flight of a Vega in two decades. The aircraft type was made famous by aviators including Wiley Post, who flew one twice around the world, and Amelia Earhart, who piloted one on the first solo trans-Atlantic flight by a woman.
NASA will bring a Martin/General Dynamics WB-57F high-altitude research aircraft to Oshkosh, marking the type’s debut at the show. The WB-57 was a development of the B-57B, a license-built English Electric Canberra bomber that served in the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard into the 1970s. NASA’s four WB-57Fs are used for high altitude research up to 70,000 ft.
The world’s only remaining example of the North America P-64, developed as an export fighter version of the T-6 Texan trainer, is owned by the EAA AirVenture museum. EAA founder Paul Poberezny acquired the aircraft in 1964.
The P-64 fighter is seen here with Paul Poberezny’s P-51D.
U.S Customs and Border Protection operates a small fleet of Bombardier Dash 8 Q200s for maritime patrol and surveillance, equipped with multimode radar and electro-optical/infrared sensors. The first entered service in 2005, and one is on show at EAA AirVenture.
Full Lotus floats might not mean much to most aviators, but the latest model of the inflatable, retractable-wheel amphibious landing gear is toughened up to handle gravel, dirt and grass as well. Designed for aircraft up to 1,450 lb, such as the Kitfox and other light sport aircraft, they can be seen at Oshkosh. The versatile, plastic-shell floats are available now.
Cessna expects certification “soon” of its Turbo Skylane JT-A, powered by a Safran SMA SR305-230 turbodiesel engine. Deliveries will begin upon certification.
Cessna’s smaller sibling, the Skyhawk, has also been developed with a diesel engine as the Turbo Skyhawk JT-A. Details will be released here at AirVenture on Monday.
Credit: Mo Spuhler
The Italian all-metal, folding-wing Groppo Trail is making its EAA AirVenture debut. Powered by a 100 hp Rotax 912 ULS, the tandem-seat Groppo is available as an Experimental Light-Sport (ELSA) or amateur-built kit from $28,250. The ready-to-fly Special Light Sport (SLSA) Trail is available for $79,900. The wings can be folded in less than five minutes.
SkyCraft’s single-seat Minisport SD-1 claims to achieve 60 mpg at a cruise speed of 120 mph. Designed in the Czech Republic, utilizing wood and composites, it is now compliant with all ASTM requirements for Light Sport Aircraft, the company says. SkyCraft plans to produce fly-away aircraft after an FAA audit scheduled for September, at a price of $54,850. The Minisport is making its public debut at Oshkosh.
Minimalist flying is the goal offered by the Italian-made Aviad Zigolo MG12 with either a 25-hp piston engine or electric power. The aircraft is shown in both versions at EAA AirVenture by Chip Erwin’s Aeromarine-LSA, which is offering almost-ready-to-fly aircraft for $16,000. Aeromarine has just supplied the first Zigolo to China, and is setting up a Zigolo assembly facility in the AVIC R&D center in Jingmen to supply the Chinese market with Ready-to-Fly Zigolos.
How many new aircraft are barrel-rolled soon after their first flight? Well Sonex Aircraft joins the Boeing 707 and Avro Vulcan bomber with its JSX-2 SubSonex Personal Jet, for which it is gearing up for production of quick-build kits. The single-seat aircraft, powered by a 250-pounds-thrust PBS TJ-100 jet engine, will be demonstrated at EAA AirVenture. Check out the barrel-rolling at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg64aN3SV6g
Avfuel Corporation once again is sponsoring the attendance of the Yankee Air Museum’s B-17—the Yankee Lady—one of only 10 B-17s still flying. An Avfuel team of Yankee ladies will be on the wing of the airplane tossing prizes to the crowd at 2 pm every day.
The Flight Design C4, the first four-seater from the German builder of light sport aircraft, is expected to make its first flight by the end of August. A mockup is on show here. The aircraft is the first to incorporate a German government-funded modular SafetyBox cabin system that provides a protective cage around the occupants of a light aircraft. It combines crash absorber elements, stiff cabin structure with dedicated load paths for the majority of crash scenarios, seat installation and restraint systems, crash-optimized ergonomic designs, and enhanced fire protection.
Credit: Mo Spuhler
Cirrus Aircraft says it is attracting “tremendous interest from many agencies” for its sensor-equipped, special missions aircraft based on the Generation 5 SR22/SR22T. Dubbed the Cirrus Perception, the platform will be available in mid-2015. The aircraft is quickly reconfigurable from an airborne sensor /observation platform to standard mode.
“Special mission operators no longer need a large turbine aircraft or rotorcraft carrying heavy, antiquated technology. The Cirrus SR22/SR22T is an ideal platform that has no rival in terms of cost, systems integration, mission adaptability and flexibility,” the company says.
Credit: Mo Spuhler
While the Cirrus special missions aircraft on show at Oshkosh has a dummy FLIR, flight tests have been carried out with small, lightweight gyro-stabilized cameras and imaging sensors from Cloud Cap Technology of Hood River, Oregon.
Beechcraft and Cessna welcome aircraft campers to EAA AirVenture.
John was editor of Aviation Week's ShowNews for nearly two decades. He retired in 2020. His background in business journalism before joining Aviation Week includes stints at Reuters, the American Banker daily banking newspaper and as business news editor at the Milwaukee Journal and the Cincinnati Enquirer.