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

Friday, March 10, 2017

EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016: Experimental Aircraft - Something for Everyone

Fred Harl and Carmelo Turdo Aero Experience winds down our coverage of the experimental aircraft we saw at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016 with a selection of the remaining and varied designs.  They offer choices of construction materials and powerplants.  Some resemble vintage types while others have a modern look.  We hope you enjoy the last look at experimental aircraft, and come back for more coverage as we move on to general aviation. 

Bentzen Sport

Rob and Laura Bach own the only 1961 Bentzen Sport that was created by the Bentzen Brothers out of a Piper Cub and miscellaneous parts from other types.  It was obtained through a friend from the Bentzen estate sale in 2014, and after some work it was flying again.  It performs well even with the 65HP engine, and carries the logo that answers everyone's question: "It's a 1961 Bentzen Sport!"

Europa Aircraft Tail Wheel Conversion

Europa Aircraft of York, UK has been producing small composite touring aircraft, known for their Monowheel design, since the 1990s.  There is a tail wheel conversion of this relatively rare aircraft featured here, though many are equipped with the tricycle gear arrangement. 

Falco F.8L

The F.8L was originally designed by Stelio Frati in 1955 and manufactured in Italy.  It was offered in kit form through the Sequoia Aircraft Company that has since closed its doors.   The all-wood construction uses spruce with birch plywood skins, creating a very strong airframe. 

Harmon Rocket II

The Harmon Rocket II is a two-place, modified Vans RV-4 using parts supplied by John Harmon.  Starting with the RV-4 kit, the builder uses Harmon parts were directed along the building process.  Vans Aircraft does not endorse this modification.

HP Aircraft HP-18J

The HP-18 is an aluminum construction sailplane designed for the homebuilder.  It comes from a long line of competition sailplanes designed by Richard Schreder, who was known for his friendliness to fellow aviators interested in building his aircraft.  He established Williams County Airport in Bryan Ohio from his personal airfield.

Ken Rand KR-2S

The KR-2S is the latest model of the wood and foam/fiberglass composite aircraft from Ken Rand.  It includes a stretched fuselage for a larger two-seat cockpit and variety of engine choices.  Kits include major pre-molded parts and conventional or tricycle landing gear options.  

Mustang Aircraft Mustang II

The Mustang II is an all-metal, twin-seat design that comes in pre-drilled and quick-build kits.  It is roomy, fast and fully aerobatic.  Robert Bushby created the design from the Midget Mustang and Mustang I models, and it debuted at the 1965 EAA Convention.  Originally sold in plan form before the kits, over 400 have been built.  There is also a folding wing option.

Revolution Aviation Tango

Revolution Aviation of Willister, FL produces six models of fiberglass homebuilt aircraft, including the Tango two-seater featured here.  The builder-friendly Tango can reach 215mph and cruise 1200 miles.  Other models offer more powerful engines, and a four-seat extended range RAI-6 XR doubles the cruise range of the Tango.

Sonerai I Racer

The Sonerai I racer shown was built by Jeff Lange and features a custom 2110cc engine installation.  The Sonerai is constructed of steel tubing with aluminum wings, and it was designed to meet racing requirements.  The Sonerai series by John Monnett first appeared at the 1971 EAA Convention, followed in 1973 by the Sonerai II and later models.  It is usually powered by a converted VW engine, and the Sonerai II Stretch offers more room for a second seat.

Swearingen SX-300

Ed Swearingen's SX-300 stands out in the crowd, looking fast even on the ground.  Kits were available from 1984-1989, and about 80 were sold.  Parts are still available for the current owners.  The all-metal design succeeded in provided a very fast, aesthetically pleasing aircraft, but it proved too complex for most homebuilders.  SX-300s illustrated participated in the AirVenture Cup Race: 15 - David and Diana Baldwin and 10 - Keith Phillips.


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