Day three seems to be the day of rollouts of new aircraft models. While EAA faithful strolled through Aeroshell Square gawking and the newest and latest, in Vero Beach the new PiperJet made its first flight lasting about one hour while climing to 10,000 feet and accelerating to 160 knots.
What strikes me interesting about this is that Piper is some 37 years behind Cessna in the production of its first jet, with the first Citation 500s being produced in 1971. As Cessna plows ahead with the first general aviation aircraft for US consumption being manufactured in China the 162 Sky Catcher is trying to reintroduce the public to general aviation once again.
While fuel prices remain high other manufacturers are looking at the high end for personal aircraft while Cirrus rolls out its new Cirrus Vision SJ50 single engine jet aircraft. The Cirrus Jet flew a low pass over the airport and after landing rolled into Aeroshell Square to the oohs and aahs of the waiting crowd.
At the other end of general aviation pilots are scrounging for parts and building their own two seat taildraggers for under $ 10,000 through creative use of left over or used parts. At the EAA Affordable Flying Center EAA staffers fill onlookers questions with answers about all of the affordable aircraft on display ranging from ultralights to light sport aircraft.
Meanwhile a Nemesis NXT with a Lycoming Thunderbolt engine set a new speed record which stood for 19 years achieving a speed of 356 mph.
As usual the crowds are large and the skies are filled with activity all day long at AirVenture 2008, and if you have never been you really need to go at least once in your life.
Until next time keep your wings straight and level Hersch!