2016 Sebring Sport Aviation Expo
2016-01-23 The latest LSA and Ultralight. Photos by Jeff Goin &
Tim Kaiser except where noted.
The Sebring Sport Aviation Expo is working to become OSHkosk for LSA.
I hope it works, it sure seems headed that way.
Tim & I arrived on Friday in order to check out the show and do a
presentation on Powered Paragliding. Unfortunately the weather grew
ugly, with rain and red stuff on everyone's phone, so
there weren't many people there. For the first time ever, they actually
closed down the show right as my presentation began. Maybe I need to
improve the presentation? Someone came to the
hangar saying they were shutting down due to severe weather. We were in
a stout metal hangar, the group wanted to continue, so we did. We
were dry, and as safe as about anywhere, so why not?
I found a new technique to animate action using the projector. It's
more useful than making barking dogs, anyway.
They really dolled the place up for that big-show feel but it had a
very friendly atmosphere. Saturday's weather dumped a load of winter,
though, with strong winds and temperatures barely crawling out of the
40's. Uggh. Look at what people are wearing, and those crackling flags.
Thankfully Wed and Thur were nice.
Ooooh there was a lot of fascinating stuff including this mock-up of
something we all hope survives the tough birthing of a new airplane.
This one is a flying example of water-borne coolness.
The show ran through Saturday afternoon but what left
early was good weather. Saturday's 45 degree chill rode in on the Witches Tit express at 30
knots. A few brave souls did fly
but no paragliders.
Becket travels around in AOPA's nicely done Cessna 152. He was there
doing "Rusty Pilot Clinics" to help pilots rediscover their passion for
Eric Farewell, his brother James, Travis Burns of AviatorPPG and a
friend were the show's Paramotor contingent. Thankfully, they could fly
Wed and Thur because Fri and Sat were cold blowouts. Look at how they're
The "Drone Home" showed off craft from hand sized to almost human
sized. You could even make trial flights on what had to be the world's
most rugged little Radio Controlled quads.
I saw the coolest engines that will hopefully one day find their way
into paramotors. They're not wankels but do have 3 power strokes
per revolution which means a LOT of power per weight. Unfortunately, the
UK company, Orbital Power Ltd. had no interest in our market and, in fact, any kind
of manned application. That's why they were in the drone section. The
$17,000 engine I most enthused over burns jet fuel and manages 30 hp at
all of 8 pounds. Bummer I didn't get pictures of the thing.
HighlandsToday.com. FPNA's Yarara UAV.
It would be fun to land on the ramp, set the paramotor down, walk in
to the FBO and ask for fuel: "I'd like a top off of Jet-A, probably the
full 2 gallons, No Priest (a common additive) and would appreciate a
quick turn". If you've ever seen how fast fuel shoots out of those
trucks you'll uderstand their consternation.
Float Planes and Amphibs is using it on a military drone, the
Yarara UAV to be made in FL. They say it will offer nearly zero
vibration, loitering up to 18,000 feet, and run on less expensive, more
available jet fuel using its Orbital Power rotary engine. It may operate
We couldn't see the aerial goings on but that didn't turn out to
matter much, there were none. At least not while we were in the hotel.
But we did get a kick out of watching the enormous parade of race-car
wannabes. This hotel is all about racing. The racetrack is owned (and
possibly the hotel), by Don Panoz, who is most famous for inventing the
Nicotine Patch. Tim models one of the Elevator lounch couches below.
One the way down we ate at the Chop House in Lake Wales. Good food, fun
time, including artwork on the table.
We joke with each other about how we sometimes wind up reading our
phones. Mind you, we talk ALL THE TIME but, when I caught him on
Facebook, I had to pave a lane of guilt, asking him to point at his
phone while I snapped this picture.
Notice the finger.
It was a great trip. The fact is, Tim Rocks.