Discover DeLand, Florida, and Affordable Flying for FUN!
The 3rd Annual DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase this week chock-full of planes, ultralights, gyrocopters, and vintage warbirds. The focus was on kit type planes, small affordable two-passenger aircraft in the $150,000 to $200,000 ranges.
First up the Commuter Craft Innovator™ a two-place, side-by-side carbon fiber kit-aircraft featuring an exceptionally roomy cabin, large luggage capacity, long range and state of the art safety characteristics.
A private pilot and designer of the Innovator carbon fiber kit that can be built in 3 months, Richard Hogan, said concept development began in 2001 and the first flight was fourteen years later in 2015. Hogan said they flew their first RC (remote control) test article in 2010.
The Innovator price ranges from $148,000 to $209,000 and hits 200+ MPH.
This IA-CS model has a constant speed Titan IO-370 motor with a 72″ propeller where speed is increased through prop pitch changes. With top speeds at 217 MPH, this model has a range of 940 miles cruising on a 20’8″ body lifting on a 23’8″ wingspan. The 200 HP motor can lift the Innovator off the ground in 700 feet of runway.
From Commuter Crafts website:
- The 63-inch wide cabin offers exceptional room to accommodate pilots of all sizes
- The cockpit canopy provides generous headroom
- The seat back and rudder pedals are both adjustable for people ranging from 5’2” to 6’9” in height, and occupants weighing over 300 pounds are easily accommodated
- Controls are positioned for natural and comfortable use
- Comfortable and supportive reclining seats promote diligent flight
- Generous armrests and a 10-inch wide console between the seats provide maximum comfort
- Stall and spin resistant configuration. The canard stalls first, lowering the nose and preventing main wing stall.
- Slow Landing Speeds, reducing the kinetic energy on touchdown
- Visibility is greatly increased with the Innovator’s low-profile dash
- Cushioned side panels and enclosure increases occupant safety
- Optional air-bag seatbelts are available
- An optional ballistic parachute provides the last failsafe
- Slow landing speeds allow the Innovator to land on shorter airfields, increasing your destination options
- Robust main gear allows for landing on grass fields
- 24 cubic feet of baggage space to accommodate any type of trip
- 960-mile range significantly reduces trip time by eliminating the need for refueling stops
You can learn about Commuter Craft’s ‘Building Process’ at this link. Link
Velocity Aircraft in Sebastian, FL manufactures another 200+ MPH XL Model long-range aircraft with an overall body length of 20′, a wingspan of 31″ needs only 1,400 feet to take off.
The original model was designed and built by Danny Maher the first flight was in 1985. The Swing family purchased a Velocity kit adding a retractable landing gear and the rest is history. Maher and the Swing’s developed a great relationship and the Swing’s purchased the company from Maher in 1992 and moved from Dayton, Ohio to Sebastian, FL.
One of the more popular demonstrations is that of the Short Take-Off & Landing, STOL, aircraft. The world record for a landing is 9’5″ set at the Valdez Fly-In, Alaska. Below is a slightly different variant to the record holder but this STOL craft can stop quickly.
There were vendors selling jewelry, great truck food, and the DeLand Fire Department gave the kids tours of their fire truck.
Safety is always a top priority at an airshow and Deland Sport Aviation Showcase organizers do an outstanding job ensuring the pilots, passengers, attendees, and volunteers are safe at all times. The pilot briefing in the mornings conducted by the air traffic controller was critical to keeping all flights within their sectors and to work with the normal fixed operations and one of the busiest skydiving centers in the world. Weather was outstanding, VFR with a nice chilly breeze.
The air traffic control ATC was being operated in a mobile unit that communicated directly with pilots as they taxied, and during takeoffs and landings. They also managed shuttle carts crossing the active runways from an aircraft staging area to the showcase area.
To see a short video click here. Murfam Post – You Tube
November 3, 2018 Written by: Scott Murray