2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes

2008 Sweeps Plane

A work in progress

The paint, interior, and engine overhaul are complete. Come follow along as N208GG makes its way through the panel upgrade, and barnstorms around the country. Read more >>


Wow, what a winner! 

February 28

Karoline Amodeo, a 25-year-old private pilot from Hopewell Junction, N.Y., got the surprise of her life Feb. 28 on stage in front of hundreds of pilots attending the Women in Aviation Conference in Atlanta. Read More >>

Reaching the destination

December 25

Of all the news from general aviation in 2008, nothing was more important to the future of the industry than the advance of electronic flight information displays, or glass cockpits. And as 2008 also was the year of the Get Your Glass Sweepstakes, the winner of the Piper Archer will have the latest and greatest technology available to an airplane of this vintage. Read More >>

An airplane with a history

December 18

A fun aspect of owning an older airplane is piecing together its history. Finding out where in the country it’s been based, how many owners it’s had, and what sort of flying it’s done can be interesting and informative. Every year past owners of sweepstakes airplanes come forward, making our search that much easier. Read More >>

The finishing touches

December 11

It’s true that major work has been finished on the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer II, however it’s also true that work on an airplane is never really finished. All airplanes, especially those built in the boom time of the 1970s, need constant attention, and the Archer is no different. Read More >>

What would you do with the keys?

December 4

A few weeks ago I asked what would you do with the Piper Archer if you were the grand prize winner of the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes. The answers flooded in, and many of them were surprising. Read More >>

Everything else

November 27

In addition to a beautiful airplane that will propel the winner through the air in comfort, relative speed, and certainly with ease, the winner of the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes will also receive a number of additional personal items. Read More >>

How much for that?

November 20

While the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer was on display two weeks ago in San Jose, one of the questions most often asked was about value. Most who came by to see the finished airplane wanted to know how much it cost to refurbish it and how much it’s now worth. Unfortunately, there are no simple answers. Read More >>

Lessons of a long cross-country

November 13

Three days and 27 hours of flying from AOPA’s headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, to San Jose, California, for AOPA Expo last week taught us a lot about long cross-country trips. Between unusual radio conversation, local procedures, mountain flying, and weather, the entire trip was a great learning experience. Read More >>

The long cross country

November 6

After three days and 27 hours of flying, we’re here. The trip from AOPA headquarters in Frederick, MD, to San Jose, Calif., for Expo was generally uneventful, if not long. Read More >>

A cross-country adventure

October 30

Fall for most of us at AOPA means Expo and with the event in San Jose, Calif., this year, that means a cross-country adventure for the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer. Read More >>

Q & A Part II

October 23

Over the past few weeks I’ve received lots of great questions about all things sweepstakes. Included below are a few of my favorites, each of which is valuable for all to see. Please keep those questions coming. There are still more than two months of updates left before the giveaway! Read More >>

Sparkling new...again

October 16

If picking up a newly painted airplane from the paint shop is a wonderful experience, picking up a newly painted airplane that’s been detailed, well, that’s even sweeter. Yesterday we got to see the rebirth of the 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer and it’s never looked better. Read More >>

Let’s race

October 9

It was every kid’s dream. There we were, battling for position, weaving in and out, trying to get the upper hand on each other. Then finally, right before the finish line, I won. I savored the victory and it was sweet. Read More >>

Upgrading to 406 MHz

October 2

Of the many new and exciting pieces of equipment inside AOPA’s 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer is a 406 MHz emergency locator transmitter (ELT). Because satellite monitoring of 121.5 ELTs will end on February 1 next year, the decision to equip with a new digital, 406 ELT was easy. Read More >>

Where in the world is 208GG?

September 25

We’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks going into detail on AOPA’s Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer panel components. Over that time the Archer has been snug in a hangar awaiting its next adventure. Read More >>

Learning to fly glass

September 18

No one can deny that the past 10 years have been a period of rapid development for general aviation cockpits. The past five years have been particularly exciting, with new integrated electronic flight information displays working their way all the way down to light sport aircraft. But with this new technology, the industry is faced with a learning challenge. The vast majority of flight instructors don’t have experience in these systems, and even if they do, it’s usually only one type. And every type is different. Read More >>

In need of an adjustment

September 11

Does your airplane fly a little off? Does the ball lie comfortably out of the center, or is one wing always higher than the other to maintain straight flight? Maybe your rudder trim is pegged to one side and you still stomp like crazy on the pedal to keep the nose straight. We were experiencing some of these conditions with this year’s Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer, so we called a rigging expert to fix all its alignments. Read More >>

A fully integrated cockpit

September 4

They’re often an overlooked item in general aviation airplanes. They act as a solid workhorse in the background of new, technologically advanced avionics. But if someone asked you to trade your multifunction display or second radio for it, you’d never even consider it. That’s especially true if you fly for long periods of time on each trip. Yes, the modern autopilot is the panel’s sleeper. It’s a required piece of equipment for a fully integrated cockpit, and it does more to increase safety and reduce workload than almost anything else in the airplane. Read More >>

Don’t forget about the MFD

August 28

While much of the focus of this year’s Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer may be on the Aspen Avionics EFD1000 primary flight display, one PFD does not a full glass panel make. What’s missing from the picture? A multifunction display, of course. And the Archer features one of the best—the Avidyne EX500. Read More >>

Glass retrofit options

August 21

With the Aspen Avionics EFD1000 primary flight display now nestled front and center on AOPA’s 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer, we thought we would take you back a bit and talk about the decision process that led up to choosing the Aspen, and what other glass retrofit options are on the market today. Read More >>

Flying the Aspen Avionics EFD1000 PFD

August 14

The 2008 Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Archer is all about the panel. Specifically, it’s all about an average owner being able to retrofit an aircraft with aftermarket electronic flight information displays. The first company to put this within reach to most owners was Aspen Avionics when it received certification of its EFD1000 PFD in March of this year. Read More >>

Flying in style

August 7

The Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer is safely back in the hangar at home base in Frederick, Maryland, awaiting its next adventure. After taking us to Oshkosh and back for EAA AirVenture, and showing off for its fans the entire week, the airplane deserves the break. Read More >>

Buttoning up the squawks

July 24

If you have major instrument panel work done, there will be a few minor glitches. It’s unavoidable. Last week we talked about the minor issues with the AOPA Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer. Nothing presented itself as being an airworthiness issue. Rather, calibrations and some other minor tightening and tweaking were done to ensure the sweepstakes airplane is in top shape for our flight to Oshkosh next week, and beyond. Read More >>

Back in the shop

July 17

Let’s be clear. Any major refurbishment, be it an instrument panel or paint and interior, is going to have a few bugs. With so many complex systems, there is just no way to ensure that everything is going to work exactly as advertised on the first try. With that being said, the good folks at Penn Avionics in West Chester, Pa., took temporary custody of N208GG last week for some touch-up work. Read More >>

Getting the most out of your panel refurb

July 10

One reason we structure the yearly sweepstakes as a refurbishment project, as opposed to giving away a new airplane, is to hopefully inform and inspire members who may be undergoing some of the same challenges. The thought is that most owners of aging aircraft will upgrade or repair some component at some point in their journey. Along those lines, we’re going to talk about crafting and installing the perfect instrument panel this week. Read More >>

Backing up the power

July 3

So you bought an Aspen Avionics EFD1000 primary flight display? Congratulations. The question must be running through your mind, like it is everyone else who decides to outfit their aircraft with an instrument source powered by the electrical system—what happens when the power goes out? Read More >>

Making life easy

June 26

Life is good. After just a hair more than 15 hours of flying, I’m back at the home base in Frederick, Md. Last weekend we showed off the Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer to the dedicated bunch of Cherokee owners at the group’s annual fly-in at the Grand Glaze Airport in Osage Beach, Mo. Read More >>

The DER approval process

June 19

One of the great joys with the sweepstakes project is scheming and brainstorming the fantastic upgrades we perform on each airplane. While some of these upgrades are well known to the industry and can be installed with minimal paperwork hassle for the shop, some are original alterations. Read More >>

The sweeps comes home

June 12

AOPA’s eighteenth annual Fly-In and Open House was a big success last weekend. We estimate around 5,000 people came out for the event, in which one of the highlights was the Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer. By far the most-asked question was, “Is it finished?” Read More >>

The sweeps comes home

June 5

Yes, ladies and gentleman, it’s that time of the year again. AOPA will host its annual fly-in and open house this weekend at the association’s Frederick, Md., headquarters. Read More >>

Looking good in a one-piece

May 29

Now that work on the Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer has shifted to the instrument panel, the project is in the home stretch. But before Penn Avionics installs the actual instruments, they had to address what the instruments were actually going to mount upon. Read More >>

Next week: AOPA Fly-In and Open House preview

Installing the Aspen

May 22

At the cornerstone of this year’s sweepstakes panel is the Aspen Avionics EFD1000 PFD. It, along with the Avidyne EX500, is what makes up the glass in Get Your Glass Sweepstakes. Read More >>

Let the panel work begin

May 15

Refurbishing an instrument panel is a unique task. Not only does the installer have to be current on all the popular avionics and how they interact with each other, but he or she has to also understand basic electronics, including voltage, amps, ohms, and power. Read More >>

Designing the panel

May 8

Designing an instrument panel, the actual work of deciding which instrument goes where and which radio goes in what slot, should be an easy task. It should be all about the needs of the pilot. But there are always complications. There are always snags that make it harder than it should be. Read More >>

Coming to a panel for you

May 1

Now that Oxford Aviation in Oxford, Maine, is finished repainting and refurbishing the interior of AOPA’s Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Piper Archer, and Penn Yan Aero has overhauled the Lycoming O-360-A4M engine, it’s time to get down to business on the panel.  Read More >>

Those burning questions

April 24

It’s mid-April and we’re approximately one-third of the way through this year’s sweepstakes project, Get Your Glass. Of course, those who have been following along dutifully here each week know that work on the 1976 Piper Archer is almost complete. It’s going so fast we can’t keep up online! Read More >>

Running the numbers

April 17

It was another successful Sun ’n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Fla., last week. Members were really excited about the airplane, and many had questions about specific components or additions we’ve made to it thus far. Read More >>

What the members are saying...

April 10

It’s almost finished. In fact it practically looks finished. Your sweepstakes airplane is in the final throes of a complete makeover, accented with a new panel featuring some of the best liquid crystal (glass) displays the industry has to offer. Read More >>

Meet your new sweepstakes airplane

April 3

It’s almost finished. In fact it practically looks finished. Your sweepstakes airplane is in the final throes of a complete makeover, accented with a new panel featuring some of the best liquid crystal (glass) displays the industry has to offer. Read More >>

Sprucing up the airframe

March 27

Past sweepstakes projects have sometimes neglected the airframe. It’s understandable when you consider we’re trying to address the paint, interior, engine, and panel in only one year. Read More >>

Accessories are included

March 20

When it comes to the business up front, most owners only consider the engine. But engine accessories and other peripheral components have a major impact on aircraft safety, efficiency, and general cost. Read More >>

An overhaul for you

March 13

The business end. The work horse. The powerplant. All are colloquialisms for one key part that defines an airplane—the engine. In the context of AOPA’s “Get Your Glass Sweepstakes” Archer, that engine is a Lycoming O-360-A4M, one of the most popular light aircraft engines ever built. Read More >>

Keep it down in there

March 6

Airplanes are nothing if not loud. In the case of piston-engine general aviation airplanes, the noise usually penetrates straight to the interior. That might be cool if you’re flying a P-51 Mustang, but on a long cross-country flight in a four-seater, the quieter the better. Read More >>

Building an interior

February 28

The inside of an aircraft is an interesting place. Not only do the components have to meld traits such as durability, low weight, and quality, they have to look good too. Read More >>

Inside the machine

February 21

As the skilled technicians at Oxford Aviation work this week to rebuild the interior of AOPA’s Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Archer, let’s look at some of the interior appointments yet to come, and recap what’s been done to the inside of the airplane. Read More >>

Perfect paint

February 14

The time has finally arrived. Starting earlier this week and continuing into next week, the Get Your Glass Sweepstakes Archer is getting repainted. Although the process leading up to the application of the paint coats is time consuming and very important to the final outcome, this short period when the paint is applied is crucial. Read More >>

To reskin or not to reskin

February 7

Last week we talked about the nasty surprises that can crop up after an airplane is free from its paint. While some owners come away with having to do no additional work after the airplane is stripped, many aren’t so lucky. Unfortunately, we were part of the latter group. Read More >>

And the winner is...

January 31

Before we get to the winning scheme, we wanted to take a look at the initial painting process and talk about what N22ZT has gone through up to this point, and what your airplane would go through to obtain that perfect paint job. Read More >>

A success story

January 24

Picking a good shop to do extensive work on an airplane is incredibly difficult. Most owners spend more money on a paint job, interior refinish, and engine work than they do on a new car. And you can drive a new car. Picking a shop comes down to reputation, references, and, usually, a first impression. Read More >>

Buying the perfect airplane

January 17

Every buyer has his or her own definition of the “perfect” airplane. In AOPA’s case, the perfect sweepstakes airplane is dirty, well-worn, run-out, but overall mechanically sound. On top of that, our “perfect” airplane has to be cheap to get the best value for the membership. Read More >>

It’s all about the glass

January 1

Welcome to the new year and your new sweepstakes airplane—a completely refurbished, glass-panel-equipped 1976 Piper Archer II. The year 2008 is all about AOPA’s Get Your Glass Sweepstakes. This year marks something new in the modern history of the AOPA sweepstakes airplanes. Read More >>