Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil, Fred Harl and Leo Cachat - The Aero Experience Team

Friday, February 24, 2017

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016: Experimental Aircraft - Sonex

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 featured a large exhibit from Sonex Aircraft.  The Sonex display was full of colorful examples of the signature shapes we have come to expect from the company led by John Monnette. 

Aircraft included here are the Sonex and Waiex, Onex, and SubSonex with its mini jet engine.  Bob Carlton flies the SubSonex in airshows around the country, and St. Louis area pilot John Murphy has flown the third customer-built example recently.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Air Associates of Missouri Becomes Computer Aided Testing Services Center in St. Louis

By Carmelo Turdo St. Louis area has gained a new FAA written exam Computer-Aided Testing Services (CATS) Center, Air Associates of Missouri.  Currently the only such center in the St. Louis area, Air Associates of Missouri has added this service to their comprehensive flight training program.  Having a CATS Center back in St. Louis will help candidates complete a variety of FAA exams without traveling a significant distance from their local operations bases. 

Air Associates of Missouri photo

"Air Associates of Missouri has been authorized to provide the St. Louis flying community with FAA written testing services, through CATS," Air Associates of Missouri General Manager Lisa Lynch announced today.  She added that the services will be available after Monday, February 27. 

Air Associates of Missouri has made scheduling the FAA exams easy:

Call Air Associates of Missouri at 636-536-1341 to schedule testing directly, or register through the CATS website or call them at 1-800-947-4228.

Air Associates of Missouri testing hours are: 
Sun:   7am - 11am
Mon:  7am - 4pm
Tues: 7am - 4pm
Thur:  7am - 4pm
Fri:     By appointment only

Air Associates is the Midwest Aviation choice for pilot training, especially now as the commercial airline pilot shortage is approaching crisis proportions. Will YOU be one of the next generation of aviators? Contact Air Associates to get started! 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016: Experimental Aircraft - Eagle's Nest Project and H.A.W.K. Aviators

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 again featured experimental aircraft assembled and flown by organized groups.  On display in the Homebuilts Area were some of the Eagle's Nest Project RV-12 LSA aircraft that were built by high school students mentored by Eagle's Nest Project STEM leaders.  Since 2010, Eagle's Nest Project teams have been building RV-12 aircraft, with the incentive of awarding up to 20 hours of flight instruction to student participants who complete the program.  The Eagle's Nest Project provides a positive, character-building experience for high school students in addition to the acquisition and application of valuable skills.  

A similar program, H.A.W.K. Aviators, or High Country Aviation Workshop, is part of EAA Chapter 800 at Mack Mesa Airport in Colorado.  Members assist high school age students in building and flying the aircraft, and participate in the Young Eagles flights.  On display was the Dakota Hawk that was first flown just weeks before following a rebuild by team members.     


Friday, February 17, 2017

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016: Experimental Aircraft - Scaled Classics

By Carmelo Turdo aircraft come in many shapes and sizes - some are rather odd looking but most are fairly conventional.  Others are scaled-down likenesses of existing military or warbird types, designed to give the owner an economical way to fly in "reasonable facsimile" of the desired aircraft.  There are three models of warbird replicas featured here - Flying Legend Italia Tucano, the Thunder Mustang, and the similar Titan T-51.

The Flying Legend Italia line of scaled replicas includes several models of the Tucano, including the LSA pictured above, and the Hawker Hurricane.  The Tucano LSA is powered by a Rotax 912 or 914 engine, and cruises at 120kts (maximum 178kts).  There are dealers around the world, with two in the U.S.

The Thunder Mustang and the Titan T-51 are very similar from the outside, though there are basic differences.  The Thunder Mustang seen above, with an example from Blue Thunder Racing, is made from a kit of composite materials.  The racing example, flown by John Parker, features a 640hp Falconer engine and cruises at over 300kts.   
The Titan T-51D and T-51B pictured below are constructed of conventional aluminum materials and powered by a Rotax 912 or 914 class engine.  The Austinburg, OH-based company has dealers throughout the U.S. and around the world.