AOPA's Centennial of Flight Sweepstakes - Oct. 7 Photos and Commentary

November 11, 2009

Photos and Commentary

The pace is picking up

Oct. 7 � Work has accelerated to finish the AOPA Waco UPF-7 in time for AOPA Expo, which starts October 24. Once the parts come out of the paint booth, and nearly all of them are out, the aircraft will go together quickly, according to staff at Rare Aircraft in Owatonna, Minnesota. The only time-consuming task is to mount the engine and hook up all its wires and plumbing. For the moment, the engine rests on its wooden shipping pallet, the one used to ship it from Radial Engines near Oklahoma City. If you want to be cool, not to mention correct, refer to the color of our Waco as "Special Insignia Red." Once the airplane is painted red, black trim will be added with gold pinstripes. It was traditional for Waco aircraft to have black struts, and that is what the AOPA aircraft will have. It will get three coats of color. As for the panel, it will be traditional and historically accurate. The only nod towards present-day technology is a J.P. Instruments Fuel Scan 450 fuel computer that can show reserves remaining at the next destination, a PS Engineering PM 1200 Thundercom intercom designed for extremely noisy applications, and a Garmin 250XL nav/com with a 12-channel GPS receiver and a moving map. Other than that, the panels in front and back consist of basic engine and aircraft instruments, although a G meter is included. The aircraft is certified for VFR flight.