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EAA's Light Plane World
  ISSUE 8 AUGUST 2011  
From the Editor
Sparks Fly at AirVenture
By Dan Grunloh, Editor, Light Plane World

An historic event took place at Wittman Airport when, for the first time ever, two electric ultralights pushed up to the runway and went flying down on the Farm at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011. Someday they will have their own row for parking (likely with charging outlets), and vendors will display their wares for electric fliers in our commercial exhibit area. Some of the sparks I witnessed flying around this year were of a different nature. Read more

Dan Grunloh
Green Acres
Oshkosh - Be a Part of the Excitement!
By Dale Kramer, EAA 145132
Thirty-two years ago when I designed the Lazair ultralight, there was a buzz in the air, both at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida, and at EAA Oshkosh. It was a time when people came and openly shared their ideas in hopes of achieving the ultimate flying machine in this new area of very light powered flight. This year when I came back with my electric Lazair, I found a lot of buzz from people interested in the type of practical electric flight that I demonstrated. Read more Dale Kramer
Light Plane News
The Wandering Wench Arrives at AirVenture
Arty Trost, aka The Wandering Wench, arrived Monday, July 25, in the ultralight area at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011 after a 2,000-mile flight from Oregon in an open cockpit. Her aircraft was a Talon Typhoon, a design that is a descendent of the Drifter she flew from Oregon to Lakeland, Florida, in 2008. Ardy Trost
Arty is a motivational speaker who uses her flying experiences to help people in all walks of life to have "The Courage to Soar," which is her theme. Read more
AirVenture 2011 Ultralight and LSA Awards
Head ultralight/light plane judge Steve Buss and his fellow judges selected a Just Aircraft Highlander by Carl Bauknecht of New Richmond, Ohio, as the Grand Champion Light-Sport Aircraft and recipient of the Gold Lindy award. EAA awards highlight the accomplishments of EAA members, and the selection process follows official EAA judging guidelines.  Highlander
Six awards including two Lindys were earned by aircraft in the ultralight area. The Lindy trophy features a statue of Charles Lindbergh and is the most prestigious aircraft award in sport aviation. Read more
ASC Files Complaint Against the FAA With U.S. Department of Justice
Jim Stephenson, CEO of Aero Sports Connection Inc. (ASC), a national organization supporting ultralight and light-sport aviation, announced he has filed charges against the FAA with the U.S. Department of Justice.  ASC Logo
The complaint states the FAA has unilaterally attempted to changed the definition of powered paragliders and hang gliders in violation of its own standard practices when it issued a letter on December 13, 2010, prohibiting the use of wheels or landing gear on two-place powered paragliders operating under the ultralight training exemption. Read more
Lazair Achieves Electric-Powered Flight
Electric flight was a longtime dream for Dale Kramer, designer of the Lazair ultralight. Now his dream has come true. His current amphibious configuration found the flying success that evaded him in three previous electrification attempts. Kramer remembers few details of the first attempt, but the second sought to draw from electric flying model technology.  Lazair
"They were just coming out with the high-voltage controllers for model airplane engines, and they just weren't ready," Kramer said. "After I blew a couple I decided they weren't reliable enough." Read more
Hummel UltraCruiser Serial No. 1 Flown to AirVenture From New York
The original prototype all-metal UltraCruiser ultralight designed, built, and flown by Morry Hummel was flown to AirVenture from central New York state by its new owner, Kirk Mills. It was his first long cross-country flight. The engine is a two-cylinder 1/2 Volkswagen that gives the FAR 103-legal ultralight a range of nearly 150 miles.  Hummel
He planned to have some flying companions but ended up going solo. Read more
Kolb Firestar Side-by-Side Tricycle Conversion
AirVenture attendees visiting the Ultralight area may have walked right past a new design thinking it is just another Kolb Mark 3. Some do not even notice the nose wheel at first. It is actually the new Firestar 2 SS. Bryan Melborn from Kolb said the side-by-side configuration and tricycle gear were the most requested features, so they put them both on this new design.  Kolb Firestar
Existing Firestar owners will be able to purchase a fuselage kit to convert their Kolb to the new configuration. Read more
Salute to Quicksilver
Mike Ostrander passed a significant milestone at EAA AirVenture 2011: his 1,000th landing in his 1984 Quicksilver MX Sprint ultralight. A longtime EAA AirVenture attendee (this was his 40th convention) and past president of Ultralight Chapter 30 in Rantoul, Illinois, Ostrander is but one of the owners and pilots flying the 15,000 examples of Quicksilver aircraft built since conception of the original design.  1000 landings
Recognized as the most popular ultralight aircraft ever, Quicksilvers of all shapes, sizes, and colors were at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011 as part of a special salute. Read more
Radio Host Receives Bax Seat Trophy
Roy Beisswenger is lucky. When he can't be flying, he gets to talk or write about flying. As host of the Powered Sport Flying Radio Show and editor of its monthly magazine, Beisswenger received the Bax Seat Trophy during AirVenture 2011. Established by Flying Magazine, the award is given annually to a journalist who communicates the excitement and romance of grassroots aviation. Beisswenger's weekly two-hour radio show features interviews with representatives from the spectrum of powered sport aviation. Read more Roy Beisswenger
Sharon Wescott Never Met a Stranger
On Friday, July 29, 2011, friends of Sharon Wescott gathered at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh in front of the Ultralight Barn for a memorial to honor the pilot, flight instructor, and friend who succumbed to cancer in April of 2010.  Wescott group
Paul Mather, president of M-Squared Inc. and who organized the memorial, provided a laser-cut stainless-steel plaque that was fastened to a bench in the rest area in front of the barn. He and the others in attendance are only a few of the many people that knew her as the ultimate volunteer. Read more
Around the Patch
Just Fly - AirVenture 2011 Experience
As it turned out, this year was one of our most enjoyable times at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh and also one of the worst. In case you haven't heard the news, I'll save you the suspense and spoil the ending. My airplane was damaged in a freak, unexpected microburst that struck Wittman Airport Saturday afternoon, July 30. At the end of it all, honestly, I'm not sure how to feel. Read more Quicksilver
Light Plane and Ultralight Antenna Guide
Many pilots on the light side of aviation may start out with a setup as simple as this typical trike pilotís kneeboard. The radio, GPS, and intercom can be easily moved from one plane to the next, and it works well enough in the traffic pattern and near the airport. The desire to improve the reception may lead the pilot to attempt a variety of antenna solutions, some better than others. This guide is a laymanís survey of some of those options. Read more Kneeboard
Revo Trike Trip to AirVenture 2011
We had a fun trip flying from Florida to Oshkosh with lots of unique experiences. The extreme heat made for too much sweating on the ground and longer takeoffs. We made a lot of hops at 6,500 MSL and even 8,500 MSL to get over clouds and into calm colder air. The RV trailer broke down near Zephyrhills in Florida, so cameras, computers, and lots of other gear had to be left behind. Read more Revo trike
Videos from the light plane world
Light Plane World Videos

The Electric Lazair
This EAA Video about the Electric Lazair with John Nicholson includes an interview with builder Dale Kramer and, for a time, was the third most popular video from AirVenture 2011. 
Watch the video

Light Plane World Videos
Earthstar Electric Gull 2000
Mark Beierle flew his Electric Gull 2000 at the Arlington 2011 Fly-In. Listen to the sound of the 36-coil, 42-magnet motor as it winds up, pulling 217 volts for takeoff. It can fly for 1.5 hours at a cruise speed of 65 mph. 
Watch the video
Light Plane World Videos
First Water Takeoff of the Electric Amphibious Lazair
On July 18, 2011, Dale Kramer's Lazair became the first electric aircraft to make a water takeoff. This video of historic flight from Keuka Lake, Hammonsport, New York, captures the unique sound of the twin-engine electric ultralight. 
Watch the video
Submit light plane videos that you just had to watch again; and probably forwarded to your friends. Send them to
Featured Photo Galleries

Photo gallery

Light Planes and Ultralights of AirVenture 2011
Any photo album of the light plane activity at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh would naturally reflect the diversity of aircraft being flown on the light end of the sport aviation spectrum and also show the sense of fun that prevails down on the Farm in the ultralight area.
View the gallery

Q.  Why is it necessary to de-carbon my two-cycle engine?

A. Two-cycle engines are lubricated by oil that is mixed with the fuel-air mixture. During the combustion process, deposits referred to as carbon can form as the result of unburned oil or undesirable elements of the fuel-oil mix. 
Read more

Powered Parachute
Q. How is level flight maintained in a turn?

A. To maintain altitude during a turn, you must directly coordinate the amount of steering input with the amount of throttle increase because of the loss in vertical lift. To make a shallow turn, only a modest amount of steering control input and throttle increase is required. Read more

Weight Shift Trikes
Q. What effect does the carriage have in pitch stability?

A. The wing design is the main contributing factor for pitch stability and moments, but the carriage design can also influence the pitching moment of the WSC aircraft. Read more

Fixed-Wing Airplane
Q. What is the crab method for control on a crosswind approach to landing?

A. The crab method is executed by establishing a heading (crab) toward the wind with the wings level so the airplane's ground track remains aligned with the centerline of the runway. This crab angle is maintained until just prior to touchdown, when the longitudinal axis of the airplane must be aligned with the runway to avoid sideward contact of the wheels with the runway. Read more

Q. What is a hovering turn?

A. A hovering turn is a maneuver performed at hovering altitude in which the nose of the helicopter is rotated either left or right while maintaining position over a reference point on the surface. Read more

From the archives
Ultralights on the Water Experimenter, January 1996
From the archives
Norm Petersen wrote this definitive history of the Vette Seaplane Base which has been a part of the EAA experience for over 30 years. He focused on light plane and ultralight activity at the annual "Splash-In," featuring the story of Laverne Dence who flew his 1984 Maxair Drifter on floats to Oshkosh from New York in 1995. (Laverne still flies a Drifter on floats today.) Read the article
Curious About EAA's New Chapter Websites? Watch This Webinar!
The new EAA chapter websites have been created. Okay, now what? How do you begin taking your chapter's website to the next level? Join EAA's Hal Bryan as he takes you through a tour of the websites and explains some of the quick steps you can take to customize your chapter's site.

All webinars begin at 7 p.m. CDT unless otherwise noted. To find out more about upcoming EAA webinars and to register, visit the webinars page. 

EAA gratefully acknowledges the support of Aircraft Spruce and Specialty Co. for its generous sponsorship of the webinar programs.

Poll Question
Q. What's your favorite aircraft from EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2011?

Vote now

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