Experimenter

February 2013

Experimenter is a magazine created by EAA for people who build airplanes. We will report on amateur-built aircraft as well as ultralights and other light aircraft.

Issue link: https://experimenter.epubxp.com/i/108002

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Runner were all derived or evolved from the first Avid Flyer introduced in 1983. The plans-built Sky Pup was my favorite of that time because of its low cost. Around 500 were completed and flown, and there is still an active builder community at groups.Yahoo.com/group/Skypup-club. If you've never seen a Sky Pup in flight, watch this YouTube video of my own Sky Pup flying at Oshkosh a few years later. It's a real hoot to fly. The diminutive Paraplane powered parachute by inventor Steve Snyder created a sensation when it was flown at Lakeland and Oshkosh in 1983. Reaction from the aviation community was mixed as spectators marveled at the novel sight of parachute climbing under power, and experts openly doubted the claim that it could not stall. The critics could not have imagined that eventually 10,000 or more powered parachutes would be built including the latest 100-hp special lightsport aircraft (S-LSA) factory-built versions. The sport of powered parachuting was born 30 years ago. A few of the original Paraplanes are still flying, and we invite enthusiasts to bring them and any of the other designs turning 30 years old this year to our birthday party at AirVenture 2013. The Great Ultralight Weigh-In June 9, 1983 – The FAA sent a letter to field officials outlining increased enforcement procedures for the ultralight regulations established just 10 months earlier. It recommended the establishment of technical standards committees that could verify compliance with FAR 103 using charts and tables, and to clarify the details about the parachute allowance, wide seats, and other details. This information was later published as Advisory Circular 103.17. However, the letter also included guidance to FAA inspectors as to when and where to inspect ultralights. The document recommended the inspectors conduct such investigations in conjunction with other activities, such as monitoring air shows and fly-ins. Within three weeks, then EAA Ultralight Association President Bob Ring announced that all ultralights would be weighed at Oshkosh '83 before they could be flown. It was an unusual move and sure to be unpopular, but the threat of FAA enforcement at the convention may have been a factor. Tents were set up and teams of volunteers established. I worked on one of those teams and can confirm that more than 100 ultralights did indeed weigh less than the 254-pound weight limit (though some did so with help of a chute allowance). Weigh- Te original Challenger ultralight on display at Oshkosh '83 was powered by a 25-hp KFM engine. Photography by Dan Grunloh EAA Experimenter 35

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