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 and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Great Plains Air Expo Brings Major Aircraft Brands to Spirit of St. Louis Airport

By Carmelo Turdo
Event Sites (GPAE graphic)
The Great Plains Air Expo, an annual tour of dealers from the major general aviation manufacturers across the Midwest, made a stop at Spirit of St. Louis Airport yesterday.  The event was hosted by KCAC Aviation, a full-service fixed based operator (FBO) that also offers other aviation services to individual and corporate customers.  The Aero Experience was once again on the ramp to see the current offerings from the major aircraft brands and get some feedback on the available aircraft models on display.    

Jeff Baber from Innovation Aircraft Sales, a Certified CubCrafters Sales Center, operates from nearby Creve Coeur Airport and serves a nine-state Midwest region.  Baber brought a two-seat, CubCrafters CC11-160 Carbon Cub SS to the Great Plains Air Expo (the aircraft was also available at the Midwest LSA Expo earlier this year).  The Carbon Cub SS is a light sport aircraft (LSA) that brings the Piper Cub into the modern age with computer-aided design and carbon-fiber materials used in the airframe.  It is capable of impressive short-field and climb performance.  There are many options for cockpit instrumentation and color schemes.  Sales of the three basic models of Carbon Cub aircraft have been robust, delivering a high resale value for the pre-owned market and a six-month backlog for new deliveries.
Flexible panel design allows for choice of avionics packages

On the other end of the size spectrum, the Quest Kodiak 100 stood tall over most of the other aircraft on the ramp.  The Kodiak was designed from the outset to provide access to out of the way places around the world for 10 passengers or 3500lb. useful load (nearly the same as the empty weight).  The aircraft can take off from unimproved strips of only 1,000 feet at full gross weight and fly a variety of missions including passenger and cargo transport, aerial mapping, medevac, surveillance, search and rescue, parachute operations and humanitarian relief.  The proven P&W PT6-34 turboprop engine provides reliable power with minimal maintenance requirements, and modern avionics give the pilot safe access to just about anywhere.  Options include external cargo pod and floats.  Joe McBee from Mid-Continent Aviation Services in Wichita, KS explained the features of the aircraft and its impressive service record since production began in late 2007.  The Quest Kodiak will be featured in The Aero Experience coverage of EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2014 later this fall.

Another unique get-anywhere aircraft on display is the Aviat A-1C Husky, a certified (non-LSA) design that also serves as an upgrade from the famous Piper Cub concept.  Jim Taylor from McCreery Aviation in McAllen, TX was available to discuss the aircraft's features.  The Husky offers impressive performance and modern cockpit technology, along with other practical options such as tundra tires, floats and skis for bush operations.  The aircraft's bold yellow paint and large Husky graphic on the tail made an aesthetic statement as well!

Other aircraft were also available on display, including:

Beechcraft G58 Baron and King Air 250

Cessna Citation M2 and T206H Turbo Stationair

Cirrus SR22T 2015 Special Edition Accelero Preview

Diamond Aircraft DA40 Diamond Star 

Pilatus PC-12/47

Piper PA-46 Meridian

No comments: