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

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015: Boeing Plaza - Starship and Jet Cozy

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo Plaza at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2015 contained many aviation treasures, as noted in the current series of features.  Anything from modern military jets to World War II warbirds could be found on any given day.  The two aircraft featured today do not fit well in any conventional category, and have become icons due to their unique designs and development histories.  

The Starship was a collaboration between Beechcraft and Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites formed to create a business aircraft that would be bigger and more efficient than the King Air series in the early 1980s.  During the production of an 85% proof of concept aircraft by Scaled Composites, the design of the full-scale Starship was underway at Beechcraft.  Due to the use and certification of new composite materials in a business aircraft, and difficulties integrating subcontractors into the production process, the program slipped well behind schedule and costs mounted. The first production Starship was ready in late 1988, and 53 were produced before the program was cancelled.  At least 24 were destroyed after being bought back by Beechcraft, and five remain airworthy.  One of them, N514RS, was on display in Boeing Plaza and flew in the airshows (see future posting) by pilot/owner Robert Scherer of Aspen, CO.

The Cozy homebuilt aircraft began as a derivative of the Rutan Long-EZ that was designed by Nat Puffer in the mid 1980s.  Originally in a two-seat (side-by-side) pusher propeller canard configuration, later models have grown to accommodate three or four-seats.  Aircraft Spruce and Specialty is currently the sole distributor of CozyAircraft plans and supplies.  On display in Boeing Plaza was the Jet-powered Cozy, "Kerosene Dreams," powered by a 600lb. thrust GE T58 jet engine.  Owner Ryszard Zadow of Waller, Texas hoped to use the aircraft on display to bring attention to his initiative to establish a Rutan Aircraft Flying Museum.      


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