Several Florida airports have been active during the recession in their efforts to pull new clients. We reported earlier such projects but went to visit one of these over the last weekend. Renegade Light Sport Aircraft had an open house staged in their gargantuan 71,000 square foot hangar and offices on the Fort Pierce airport. Perhaps 200 attended and enjoyed proprietor Doc’ Bailey’s expertise with the barbecue grill. Certainly the facility is mighty impressive as a base of operations. Besides vast square footage, climate controlled work areas are available as is a paint booth and drying kiln. Renegade will be some time filling this large space but Doc’ reported a very special price offer with owner financing that compelled him to move from rented facilities in Missouri. Meanwhile we reviewed projects for the Lil’ Rascal carbon fiber version of the Pitts S1 to plans for the first all-American-built Falcon. Several crates with Lycoming O-233 engines were no surprise as that’s been a focus of this ambitious outfit. Best of luck in their hefty new quarters to Renegade.
As we flew to Fort Pierce (south of Vero Beach, home to Piper … a fact made obvious by a giant “Piper” logo atop the large hangar), we also flew by Melborne, Florida. This location is home to PhoenixAir USA and boss Jim Lee. He was pleased to report to us that his sleek motorglider “won the Sun n Fun Best Commercial LSA award this year.” Jim also said his steady sales “have continued post-show, with three sales coming from folks we flew with at Sun ‘n Fun!” Along with many others who exhibited or operated in the upgraded location, Jim added, “The Paradise City area was great, and the ability to fly during the show was invaluable.” At Sun ‘n Fun and again at Aero, I heard from many manufacturers or sellers that business in 2013 is already better than in all of 2012. Many attribute this to a rising stock market and home prices on the increase. Everyone was cautious about his trend continuing but when buyers’ assets are growing a willingness to invest in new airplanes appears to follow.
My collaborator at Lightsport and Ultralight Flyer continues a furious pace of posting new videos from Sun ‘n Fun and Aero. You can now view seven new movies including our productions for Randall Fishman’s ULS electric motorglider; news about a Rotax warranty offer; the Sam LS after its test flight; Renegade’s Lil’ Rascal project; the world-girdling, cross-country-flying Sling from The Airplane Factory; the ever-charming and extremely well priced Aerolite 103; and, a preview of the Midwest LSA Expo for 2013. Enjoy!
Watch for many more videos still to come from Sun ‘n Fun and Aero on our LSA Videos page. All videos are provided without cost.