Recreational pilots know the Drifter well, as one of the most durable and fun flying airplanes in the light aviation fleet. A range has been built and Lockwood Aircraft can offer kits on an ordered basis for most models, including the deluxe Rotax 912-powered Super Drifter. On wheels or floats, Drifter is a great aerial sports car. Outside the USA, Drifter has proven its tough and long-lasting design by perform workhorse duties like banner towing or tourism flights.
While they'll be happy to ship you a Drifter kit, Lockwood Aircraft's closest attention is paid to their one-of-a-kind AirCam. This marvelous machine (I earned my multiple-engine rating in an AirCam) has attracted an intensely loyal following from nearly 200 owners who enjoy its unique flying characteristics. AirCam can fly low — in good safety — over terrain that has others flying too high to see the detail well. The design was developed for National Geographic filming over the dense jungles of Africa. AirCam operates so effectively on one engine that it can even takeoff with one engine, a feat unheard of among twin-engine aircraft. This superb ability from a sporting aircraft gives AirCam a safety margin. In flight, shutting down one engine barely changes the flight characteristics, making twin engine operation well within the capability of most pilots.
If going aloft for the fantastic view is one of the special experiences of flying, then going aloft in an AirCam is about as good as it gets. Flying low over terrain you'd never consider in another aircraft, crossing bodies of water (or forests in Africa) and the confidence to see America from an altitude that lets you take it all in are but a few reasons to think AirCam. As a twin-engine aircraft, AirCam isn't a Light-Sport. You must build the kit and fly it as an Experimental Amateur-Built aircraft. Team Lockwood is well prepared to help with the task, offering a Super Quick Build kit and backing that with some the light aircraft industry's finest technical support. Twin Rotax engines use less than 10 gallons an hour and run with exceptional smoothness thanks to Lockwood's careful design. If you haven't flown an AirCam you have not experienced all aviation has to offer. My advice? Take a demo flight ASAP!
Video review: AirCam — Twin Engine Kit Aircraft
This unusual looking aircraft is a twin engine taildragger. While fascinating, those two characteristics might make you wonder if you can handle it.
Most pilots never probably have witnessed the testing a wing endures before designers and regulators will sign off on it, signaling that it has been adequately stressed so that pilots can depend on it.
Video review: Lockwood Aircraft — AirCam
The amazing, incredible AirCam … one aircraft you fly in ways you’d never fly in another airplane.
Video review: Rotax 912 iS (injected) Engine on AirCam
In 2012, Rotax brought out their new fuel-injected 912 iS engine.
In a show as vast at EAA’s AirVenture Oshkosh, it is presumptuous to attempt covering everything of interest.
Updated 11/5/15 with video at end …
We went. We flew (and flew).
What would you like for a Christmas present, perhaps if you won big in a lottery?
I’ve been on a couple AirCam outings and I have two points about them: (1) Owners of this unusual airplane are often fairly well-off people and see a golden opportunity when invited by the good planners at Lockwood Aircraft; and, (2) These pilots know how to have fun with their airplanes, flying to some delicious locations.
Company fly-ins are surprisingly rare despite offering a useful tool to propel new sales, to stimulate interest and camaraderie among existing owners, and to invigorate enjoyment of flying machines.
Pilot report: Super Drifter 912 Is Back Home
Things can change and yet stay the same. You can comprehend this paradox by considering the tandem 2-seat Drifter.
CESSNA’S DISCOVER FLYING
I met new business leader for the Skycatcher LSA, Tracy Leopold, at Sun ‘n Fun 2012 where she confirmed the Wichita giant’s support for their lightest aircraft, now being assembled in Independence alongside other Cessna models.
Lockwood Aircraft‘s Super Drifter open-cockpit kitbuilt plane, the resurrection of the Drifter design that was the basic concept for Phil Lockwood’s AirCam twin-engine airplane, (a unique camera platform first created for National Geographic), is getting a new set of tailfeathers.
Air-Cam isn’t a Light-Sport Aircraft because it has two engines. OK, it’s also a shade heavy but if Air-Cam could, it would be a LSA.
Among all airplanes I’ve flown the AirCam may be the most fascinating.
A&P acceptance (or lack thereof) is a leading reason for Cessna’s decision to use the Continental O-200D in Skycatcher.
When I first met Phil Lockwood, he was selling Drifters. That was more than 20 years ago.
Pilot report: Super Drifter
The original Drifter was one of the ultralight industry’s flagship aircraft.
Pilot report: Super Drifter XL with Rotax 912
Considered by many to be a workhorse, the Super Drifter XL shows refinement and features that make it seem like a “luxury ultralight.” Leza AirCam, the newly renamed producer of this venerable ultralight, has equipped the top-of-the-line model with nearly every option in their price list.