Compiled By The Staff and Readership of the Aero-News Network
and Aero-TV-- Part 1
For quite a while, we have recognized the highs and lows
inherent in the general and sport aviation community -- and yes,
we’ve had a bit of fun in the process. There are but a few
places where that is more a propos than at a major event like the
Oshkosh Fly-In -- a place where one can take a solid read on the
heart and soul of aviation. It's hard to know what really is going
to make a difference and what really qualifies as exceptional
unless you've been watching this industry carefully for several
years... as we have.
Over the last few years, ANN readers remarks have been heavily
incorporated into ALL aspects of this report, and not just the
Aircraft awards and such. Their contributions have been carefully
considered and (in many cases) incorporated into our annual
The full list of our Annual Best Plane of the Year Selections
(tentatively announced after Oshkosh and finalized at year's end)
will await the end of the year. So; here are our picks for the Best
and Worst of this year's Oshkosh... and why we think so...
The “Big” Story: Tom Poberezny
Retires. It happened in the blink of an eye or so it
seemed... with little warning and even less fanfare, Tom Poberezny
called an end to a life-long career of service to the aviation
world and while we were not always in agreement, these is not
question that he his love for aviation was genuine and his impact,
The Story We Wished We Could Have Missed: The
continued deceptions, fabrications and excuses of Cirrus
Aircraft. Yes, I know we’ve beat this drum fairly
strongly (and you haven't heard the worst of it)... but this is a
company that is embarrassing this industry in a number of ways and
will do amazingly vicious things to keep from having to explain
itself -- and worse than that, few want to speak out against this
noise for apparent fear of being the next victim of CA’s hate
campaign. The original Cirrus entity, Cirrus Design (started and
motivated, principally, by Alan Klapmeier), was a company that GA
could and should be proud of... but this Cirrus, under the command
of Brent Wouters scares us. This can not be where the future of GA
is heading... if so, we’re sunk.
|Why Has Cirrus Taken Such A
Best Aircraft of Show (Overall): Boeing
Dreamliner. It was an amazing sight... quiet, majestic and
as technologically innovative as anything the airline industry is
likely to see for a decade or more. When B787 001 came to Oshkosh,
it was the chance for the entire world of aviation to celebrate yet
another mammoth achievement in the furtherance of American aviation
|The Dreamliner makes an
appearance at Oshkosh!!!
Runners-Up: Airship Ventures
Zeppelin. This LTA-ship flew over 2100 miles to display at
AirVenture. New, neat, unique, and super-maneuverable.
Best Ultralight/Ultralight Trainer: E-Lazair.
This aircraft showed the true promise of a revolution that is yet
to begin... affordable electric sport aircraft. While E-Flight will
have much to prove to the aviation world in terms of its ability to
work commercially, we think that the first real adopters of
E-Flight tech will be the sport aviation world... which will
welcome it with open arms.
| An Electric
Best "Affordable Flyer": Sonex Ltd.
‘Onex’. For just plain flying around with no
greater mission than having fun, we’d be hard-pressed to
recommend something more economical and accessible than John
Monnett’s amazing little ‘Onex’... a slightly
thinner cousin to the two seat Sonex and its cousins, the Onex can
be built for about $25K, and offers folding wings, sport acro
capability, LSA adherence and more gigglesper gallon of avgas than
just about anything we know. The Sonex bunch have their eyes
clearly on keeping as many people in the flying game as affordably
as possible... and the Onex is right on point.
|The Onex can be built for
Runner-Up: Plans built Legal
Eagle. Cheap to build and cross-country capable. With this
aircraft, everybody can now afford to realize their dream of
dancing with the sky.
Best "LSA": Kitfox A/C Kitfox SLSA. For less
than $90K, you can get a stunningly rendered LSA that is an
out-growth of one of the most popular SportPlanes of all time.
Delightful to fly, economical to boot, and offering folding wings,
as well as a choice of conventional or trike gear, the Kitfox SLSA
comprises one of the best values in the LSA business... and if the
rest of the industry was this competitive, there would be a far
healthier industry to write about. We have no idea why there
aren’t thousands of these things out there... so get yours
quick before everyone figures out that this is one of the best
bargains in sport aviation.
|The Kitfox SLSA comprises
one of the best values in the LSA business...
Best High Performance Kit Aircraft:
Lancair Evolution. Looks and performs better than
similar factory aircraft. Available in either recip or turbine
favors, this is the aircraft that should have been put into
production by the late and lamented Lancair/Columbia Aircraft
Best Rotorcraft: Honeybee Gyroplanes. A
systematic program to move you from student to expert with the
aircraft to match. Really fun to fly!
| Affordable and FUN...
The Honeybee Gyroplane!
Best Certified Aircraft (At Oshkosh): Eclipse EA500
Total Eclipse. It’s fast, its cost-effective (for a
jet), its beautiful, and its done. The original vision expressed
years ago for the amazing dream of a true Very Light jet is now
done and available to anyone with the right pocketbook. This is a
magnificent machine and its becoming obvious that its best days are
yet to come...
|Eclipse EA500 Total
Oshkosh Show Stealer: Boeing Dreamliner. Huge,
quiet, powerful. Destined for supremacy in the sky. Coming to an
airport near you...
I Gotta Get Me One Of These: Lockwood AirCam. Panoramic
view and a oneness with the sky in complete safety. Extremely
enjoyable to fly, especially with floats. This is one of Jim
Campbell’s favorite airplanes of all time.
|One of Jim's favorite
birds...The Lockwood AirCam
Best Construction: Lancair Evolution built by Bob
Wolstenholme. Most beautiful finish exterior and interior.
The Carbon Fiber accents are just beautiful. Sez, ANN’s John
Ylinen, ‘If I had the $; this would be my dream aircraft
Best Panel: (A Tie) Avidyne Release 9, and/or Aspen
Evolution cockpit. Both these systems have much to
recommend them and boast exquisite efforts to make them easy to
use, exciting capabilities and are backed by companies that not
only get these panels ‘right’ from the get-go, but
continue to evolve and develop them both in delightful ways. Our
next airplane will have either of these systems on board... or we
won’t buy it.
|Two extraordinary ways to
fly -- Aspen's Entegra Release 9 and Aspen's truly amazing (and
cost-effective) Evolution Glass panels
Best Upgrade: Aerostar Jet. A reciprocating
engined aircraft turned into a high-flying jet aircraft with
undeniable sex appeal. What every "Aerostarphile" dreams
|A high-flying jet aircraft
with undeniable sex appeal
--- More To