An old friend just brought home an airplane I’ve long admired. Bob Chase of California’s Perris Valley airport is the proud new owner of Soaring Gull 2000 No. 1 from Earthstar Aircraft designer Mark Beierle. Though its wingspan is only 28 feet (think: easy storage), Soaring Gull 2000 manages a 16:1 glide that will assure you can stay aloft on most days with decent thermal or ridge lift. The Gull 2000 single seater fuselage is fitted with a wing two bays (~ 2 ft.) longer than Earthstar’s two seat Odyssey. Because the airplane is small and efficient, the 133 square foot wing has plenty of area; she is said to soar quite well. My favorite old Cloud Dancer had 16:1 performance (on 40-ft. wings of the same area); I managed two hours engine off for every powered hour. I loved soaring it and I look forward to accepting Bob’s offer to fly his.
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