Checking In – Deland, Florida


The Deland Sport Aviation Showcase wraps up our show attendance for this year, and as I leave Florida, I can think back on a good year of meeting builders and pilots of all things experimental throughout the year. I can honestly say that I’ve seen an uptick in shopping interest – and I believe that is reflected in sales of kits and accessories, if my vendor contacts are correct. That bodes well for the future, as new projects are being started, and old ones finished. That means more airplanes flying and more people enjoying the thrill of taking an airplane they built aloft!

Deland Aviation ShowcaseThis was my first trip to the three-year-old Deland show, and it was great to see many of the regular vendors make the trek to show their offerings. Bede Aircraft was their with their almost-finished BD-6, which is about to undergo testing. The CommuterCraft Innovator that many saw at Oshkosh is now fitted with flight controls and is almost set for DAR inspection so that it, to, can begin a flight test program. And both Garmin and Dynon made their way to the show to give shoppers a chance to try out their equipment.

As denizens of the northern climes settle in to the winter months, we expect that flying will taper off a bit for many – while at the same time, the southern fliers will continue to aviate to their hearts’ content. But we hope that everyone takes advantage of shorter days to spend more time in the workshops, building and finishing up aircraft for the future. I know that’s where I’ll be – my new Subsonex kit was delivered in my absence, and I look forward to unpacking and inventory when I get back home… but not before a stop in Oshkosh for the fall EAA committee and board meetings. There’s always something going on in experimental aviation!

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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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