Walking onto the Showcase field this morning about 8 a.m., we were greeted with the sight of three powered paragliders having a great time plying the morning sky. Several folks were watching in envy, myself included; it looked like they were having a lot of fun!
And, having fun … and finding the right aircraft for your dreams … is what the DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase is all about. Visitors coming from this week’s NBAA Convention in Orlando were enjoying seeing the “other side of aviation.” “It’s good to see the sky and people having fun in the sky” was a sentiment shared by many of them.
Accolades continue to be voiced regarding the organization of this first-time show, with several exhibitors stating it’s as organized as well or better than many shows are after three or four years of operation. And, the weather has been wonderful! It’s cool enough now that Floridians are happy to come out to play … and it’s warm enough to bring smiles to those visiting from colder climes. Early November in north central Florida might be just the right time for an aviation event!
William Wynne, founder of FlyCorvair.com and a self-declared “serial homebuilder” was today’s special speaker. Like Charlie Becker yesterday, William focused on the homebuilding side of recreational aviation, calling it a great participatory sport. “Spectator sports like the recent World Series are fun to watch, but aviation is a participatory sport. Being involved is where the real fun is.” He observed that events like the DeLand Sport Aviation Showcase make it easier for would-be participants to get involved. “Shows like this one allow you to learn a lot about exactly what you need to know in a relaxed setting. You get to see the product up close, and take a demo flight … all of which is important in the decision-making process.”
William quoted Chris Heintz, patriarch of the Zenith Aircraft family, saying, “The real project in aircraft-building is the person; the airplane is a representative of the spirit of adventure that a person has … and for those looking for adventure in their lives, homebuilding offers a rich, deep field to mine.” And, he noted the feeling of satisfaction is unmatched. “I’ll admit it … when I finish a particular part of my airplane while working in my shop, before I shut the lights off and close the door for the night, I’ll turn and take one last look at my just completed part and think, ‘I built that.’”
Of course, there’s lots of airplane ogling still going on at the Showcase today and lots of airplanes flying demo and featured flights. Here’s more of the fun airplanes you could see by stopping by Showcase 2016 tomorrow:
Complete Showcase 2016 information is available at www.sportaviationshowcase.com. We hope to see you tomorrow … or next year!