Our Top 10 Web Stories of 2023


Since 2024 is just rolling in the door and we’ve closed the books on ‘23, time to take a look at our most popular web stories from the last year. Technically, our top spot is access to our online aircraft and rotorcraft buyer’s guide, which is unique in the industry and forms the platform for our most popular print issue of the year. For the rest of our top-10 list, seven are related to engines. Not such a surprise, when you think about it: Among the top news stories for the last couple of  years has been the increase in prices for traditional aircraft engines along with their ever-lengthening lead times. And while we’re talking engines, get ready for the 2024 edition of our Engine Buyer’s Guide to start appearing online in the next two weeks.

Okay, then. The countdown.

JK-2 Nano Gyro10. JK-2 Nano Ultralight Gyroplane Introduces Hirth Engine

News from AirVenture this year included this piece by Steve Ashby, highlighting the JK-2’s adaptation of the Hirth two-stroke engine as an alternative to the Polini.

9. Robert Hagg’s Rotax-powered RV-4

Ken Scott’s feature on adaptation of the Rotax 915 iS to the RV-4 airframe garnered plenty of views in 2023. “Builders like Robert Haag have given us a look at what’s possible with a modern internal combustion engine, engineering skill and good craftsmanship,” Scott summed up.

8. TL Sport Sparker Introduction

Steve Ashby’s coverage from AirVenture included the introduction of the Sparker LSA. “The list price for a Sparker, with a Rotax 912 ULS and full panel is $320,500. A 915 turbo Rotax will end up closer to $370,000, but the fluctuating Euro may well lower the final price tag,” Ashby noted. He also said there were no Sparkers in the U.S., but we know one has arrived. We’ll fly it as soon as we can.

7. DeltaHawk Intro at AirVenture

The long-gestating, Jet A-fueled DeltaHawk engine received FAA certification in 2023 and was the subject of several stories throughout the year.

6. Van’s Announces Recovery Plan

One of our many stories covering Van’s Aircraft’s Chapter 11 filing late last year included this one, which predated the bankruptcy filing.

5. “Thump Air” Engine

Another of Steve Ashby’s gems from AirVenture this year covered the introduction of the Thump Air single-cylinder ultralight engine.

4. VW Engine Case Changes

This was part of Kerry Fores’ feature on Volkswagen-based engines to appear in 2023, and discussed how VW had finished supporting the Beetle’s engine parts in 2022, and what the alternatives looked like.

3. Viking Turbo Triple

Tom Wilson caught up with Viking Engines at AirVenture 2023 and was told all about the new 140-hp turbo engine being developed (based on a GM three-cylinder engine) to compete with Rotax’s 915 iS and 916 iS engines.

2. Yusimiti Engine

In truth, we almost missed this one, but Tom Wilson cast his gaze upon this conventional looking engine from Taiwan. The 110-hp engine hews to Lycoming architecture but has some significant differences.

1. 17 Kits for Under $25K

Proof that low cost alternatives are always popular, this feature, which was written in early 2020 and published that Spring, was our #1 web story in 2023. Just like it was in 2021. Some of the information is out of date, so we’ll start working on an updated version as soon as the New Year’s champagne wears off.

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Marc Cook
Marc Cook is a veteran special-interest journalist who started as a staffer at AOPA Pilot in the late 1980s. Marc has built two airplanes, an Aero Designs Pulsar XP and a Glasair Aviation Sportsman, and now owns a 180-hp, steam-gauge-adjacent GlaStar based in western Oregon. Marc has 5000 hours spread over 200-plus types and four decades of flying.


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