April 18, 2012
By Alton K. Marsh
Joseph W. Gigante, founder of STOL Aircraft in Norwood, Mass., where he designed and produced all multiengine conversions of the famous Twin Bee amphibious aircraft, has died at 95 at his home in Westwood, Mass.
The company began as United Consultants Corp. The initials of that company remain as the designation today of the Republic/STOL UC-1 Twin Bee. You can see a video on AOPA Online of one of his aircraft flying at the Jones Brothers and Company Air and Sea Adventures in Tavares, Fla. The aircraft is used for rides and training.
Gigante spent 30 years at his company before retiring in 1992. He received an aeronautical engineering degree from New York University and worked for Helio Aircraft in Norwood before starting his company. Born in 1916, he was the son of Italian immigrants.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
Time is running out for potential tailwheel pilots to bid on a package of tailwheel training at Lakeland, Florida-based Tailwheels Etc.—including two hours in a 1940 Stearman Kaydet biplane—in this year’s AOPA Foundation online auction.
Dassault Aviation on Dec. 17 rolled out the first of its new line of ultra-long-range business jets—the Falcon 8X.
Christmas will be a bit more festive for the 460 residents of Tangier Island, a remote fishing village on a tiny spit of land in the Chesapeake Bay, thanks to a group of general aviation pilots.
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