A Bright Shiny Morning


AirVenture 2017 is still officially a little less than 24 hours away, but you can’t tell that if you look at the smiles and enthusiasm of the thousands of aviators already streaming in to Oshkosh to establish their camps, set up booths, and greet old friends. Sunday wake-up came with bright blue skies and the sounds of airplanes as the clearing weather is bringing in a steady stream of machines from all over–the satellite picture showing nothing but open sky over the entire state of Wisconsin.

We are anticipating a great week, with many new product announcements sprinkled in to the fellowship of the world’s biggest fly-in. We’re seeing a marked trend in the number of companies that have served the experimental world for years now breaking new ground in the certified world as they share the benefits of new avionics and autopilots with the venerable old Cessnas and Pipers that have struggled along with mechanical round gauges for so long. As many have anticipated, there have been an explosion of announcements for new ADS-B products (both IN and OUT) that are going to be more convenient to install and use, as well as lower priced. We are seeing new aircraft designs–some from our long-standing kit companies, some from new companies across the pond–and some designs grabbed form the archives for good machines that never found a market, but might do so now. It’s an exciting time to be in Experimental Aviation as well as for those in the certified world!

The are lists of gatherings as long as your arm–formal type clubs, informal type clubs, manufacturer’s gatherings for their loyal customers,–and all of those over and above the many events scheduled by the EAA, the host of this magnificent event. Yes, it is going to be a busy week full of tough choices for those who just can’t stand to mis out on anything. We’re looking forward to brining a taste of all this wonderful madness to our many readers who can’t make it to the Midwest this week, and we hope you’ll join us for the ride. We promise to burn a little Avgas and eat a few brats in your spirit!

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Paul Dye
Paul Dye, KITPLANES® Editor at Large, retired as a Lead Flight Director for NASA’s Human Space Flight program, with 40 years of aerospace experience on everything from Cubs to the Space Shuttle. An avid homebuilder, he began flying and working on airplanes as a teen and has experience with a wide range of construction techniques and materials. He flies an RV-8 and SubSonex jet that he built, an RV-3 that he built with his pilot wife, as well as a Dream Tundra and an electric Xenos motorglider they completed. Currently, they are building an F1 Rocket. A commercially licensed pilot, he has logged over 6000 hours in many different types of aircraft and is an A&P, FAA DAR, EAA Tech Counselor and Flight Advisor; he was formerly a member of the Homebuilder’s Council. He consults and collaborates in aerospace operations and flight-testing projects across the country.


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