|Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo|
United States Air Force
The United States Air Force brought the "Performance Lab" exhibit, featuring a large recruiting trailer and an F-16 painted in the Thunderbirds scheme. Attendees can participate in challenging activities and see their performance ranked among others. The F-16 comes in a semi trailer, but that does not diminish the effect of having the aircraft on display. This and similar exhibits are managed by civilian contractors, and include military staff at the recruiting location.
Vans Aircraft is legendary in the experimental (kit built) aircraft world. The dream of Richard VanGrunsven, Vans Aircraft began clean with the RV-3 plans in 1972, and 8000+ kits later, the family of RVs has grown to the RV-14 and counting. The aircraft are two-seat, except for the RV-10 (4-seat), and generally come in conventional gear (tail wheel) and tricycle gear (number + A) configurations, with a variety of powerplant and cockpit instrumentation options. Here we feature the exhibit and several examples in the RV model family.
Viking Aircraft Engines
Viking Aircraft Engines markets Honda-based aircraft engine conversions for use in experimental (kit built) aircraft. The exhibit featured Zenith aircraft, though the engines can be used by those made by Vans, Sonex and other popular manufacturers. Viking promises that the mass-produced Honda auto engines have superior power to weight and parts supplies compared to aircraft-specific models.
Vitatoe Aviation (Vitatoe Industries) provides engine supplemental type certificate conversions for Cessna aircraft. Updates to the engines include Hartzell propellers, cross-flow tuned induction system and turbo-normalization. These modifications increase available horsepower and provide more efficient operation over time.
Waco Aircraft Corporation
The present Waco Aircraft Corporation is an outgrowth of the Classic Aircraft Corporation of Lansing, MI formed to remanufacture the classic Waco YMF. The YMF Classic appeared in 1986, and the YMF-5C and -D Super have become the new standard. The Great Lakes 2T-1A-2 is also a popular product remanufactured by Waco. The Battle-Creek, MI-based Waco has affiliates world-wide.
The Wipaire exhibit is always an impressive site - those aircraft sitting high on floats with their tiny wheels keeping them off the ground. But Wipaire does more than Wipline float conversions for aircraft up to the size of the Cessna Caravan and Quest Kodiac. Other services include interior and exterior refinishing and modifications, avionics, AirGlide Ski conversions and other maintenance and FBO services.
The Mexico, MO-based Zenith Aircraft Company produces the CH650 and CH701/750 series of experimental (kit built) light sport aircraft. The company formed in 1992 to manufacture and market the designs of Chris Heintz and has grown into a leader in light sport aircraft incorporating STOL (short takeoff and landing) performance. The company is known for its customer focus, including regular build events and open houses at the factory.