Here’s another quick update from new friend, Mike Friend, who is covering Aero along with Roy Beisswenger. I so appreciate these two gentlemen assisting with this wonderful show that I’m having to miss. Fortunately, we are furiously making new videos at Sun ‘n Fun and I am gathering more story material for this website. —DJ Chip Erwin is at it again! Unlike Dan Johnson, Chip Erwin decided to skip Sun ‘n Fun and come to Aero 2017. Aeromarine is going to introduce a fun new retro Sportster for the price of a ground-bound Harley Davidson. Crowds have been flocking around the charming little single seater powered by the Czech Verner Scarlett 5 cylinder motor of 80 horsepower. With an open canopy and an empty weight of 440 pounds or 200 kilograms, Sportster should prove to be a real retro rocket ride. Chip is thinking he will be able to offer the airplane next year for $35,000 including a two week builder assist program at his Florida base.
The grand show called Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany (that I’m not at… darn!) is happening at the same time as Sun ‘n Fun. Fortunately I have some reporters who offered to help and one of them is Mike Friend. Thanks to Mike, I can offer a report on an electric aircraft, at which the German show always does magnificently. His article follows. —DJ The future looks electric. What if your love in aviation is aerobatic flying? That game is about to change. Hangar 55, a new Swiss company, has introduced an electric version of the delightful Silence Twister with financial support from the Hamilton watch company. Equipped with a prototype Siemens electric motor of around 90 horsepower, and with Kokam battery cells from Korea, the airplane delivers 20 minutes of smooth — and quiet — aerobatics. Pilot Nicolas Ivanov reports that after flying this airplane, everything else seems old fashioned. Battery power seems ideal for applications where endurance is not required, at least until the next generation of batteries becomes available.