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This year Sun N Fun in Florida and AERO in Germany overlapped so I had to choose where to be. Hmm German beer… easy choice. But first I flew the Merlin and the Zigolo to SNF. As the grass strip was not yet open I had to pretend I was in a real airplane when flying the Zigolo. It was a pleasant cross country to Lakeland but had to report negative call sign to the tower. They let me land anyway. 

First photo is of SNF but I left before the booth was completely set-up. Can’t say I miss the hot sun and/or the rain. Our AERO is indoors.

We displayed a Merlin and showed Zigolo videos plus plenty of posters. The big news for us is the first public look at the prototype Sportster PSA. It is basically a Merlin with the wing a bit lower. Same wing, same tail and same rear fuselage. Up front you might notice the Verner 5 cylinder radial engine. The 80hp this engine puts out is really a bit over the top for this size aircraft but how often do you hear complaints about too much power? Expect 2,000 FPM climb and 120 mph cruise and a great sound. For those more conventional we will also offer the HKS 700E engine. Expect to see the Sportster around next year. But you will already have to get in line behind John Hunter (above) who has a delivery position secured right after mine.

Here is a close up of the radial. It idles at 300 RMP. Next photo shows FAA tower personnel from Oshkosh enjoying a test-sit.

The Zigolo continues to build a following as it is a pretty nice UL especially for only $12k including the engine. Hard to beat that value and plenty of fun to fly.

The UK’s biggest general aviation magazine editors really loved the Sportster. Expect some press coverage:

Also here is what Mike Friend reports to Dan Johnson’s web page:

Affordable Sportster Single Seater Aircraft Coming to USA





Chip W. Erwin
South Lakeland Airport
Lakeland, FL

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