|Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo|
Civil Air Patrol
Civil Air Patrol, the USAF Auxiliary, was officially created December 1, 1941 in response to the growing threat of German submarines off the U.S. coasts. Volunteers flew civilian aircraft to spot and attack submarines near shore, fly liaison missions, search and rescue and other support missions. Following World War II, the Civil Air Patrol was incorporated as a non-profit organization, and it became the USAF Auxiliary in 1948. The tradition of service continues today as the Civil Air Patrol serves the nation through its Emergency Services, Cadet Program and Aerospace Education missions.
Since 1984, Cirrus Aircraft has brought innovative aircraft design to the general aviation market. Its line of composite structure SR20 and SR22 models has set new standards in performance, reliability, safety (with Cirrus Airframe Parachute System) and crew comfort. The latest offering, the Vision SF50 personal jet, is nearing certification. Here we feature some views of the Cirrus exhibit and some aircraft arriving and departing during the week.
Commuter Craft has been developing the Innovator Multi-Vehicle Platform series of personal vehicles, including two air vehicles. The Innovator A aircraft is a kit-built Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) or higher-performance model (based on engine) constructed of composites and featuring a twin-tail, canard design. The Innovator A is currently in initial flight testing. The Innovator R Roadable Aircraft will feature foldable wings and suspension built to operate as a motorcycle on the road. An Innovator C Three Wheeled Vehicle is now in development. We were there to capture the setup of the Commuter Craft Exhibit and arrival of the aircraft.
Since 2011, the Melbourne, FL based company has been dedicated to marketing general aviation aircraft around the world. The Discovery 201 is a twin-engine, 6-passenger or utility aircraft built to operate from unimproved airstrips, water or snow. The 201 is a derivative of the Russian Sokol Avia Accord that failed to find a market following the collapse of the Soviet Union. The XL-2 is a steel and composite two-seat light aircraft built for economical and low-maintenance operation. The rights to produce the aircraft were acquired from Liberty Aerospace in 2014, and it will continue to be produced in the Melbourne, FL assembly plant along with the 201.
Draken International, based in Lakeland, FL, provides tactical support services to U.S. military forces using civilian tactical aircraft and crews. Services include adversary training for fighter squadrons, air to ground attack scenario training, buddy refueling training and certification, air defense threat simulation and other tactical forces support missions. Draken provides essential real-time tactical training services that prepare their military counterparts to defeat opposing forces while saving defense funds and wear and tear on current military assets. Draken also assembles and markets the Aero L-159 tactical jet.