April 9, 2013
By Benét J. Wilson
The AOPA Sweepstakes airplane, a 1963 Debonair, debuted at the Sun ’n Fun International Fly-In and Expo. The team at Santa Fe Aero Services worked overtime to install the aircraft’s brand-new, upgraded instrument panel in time for AOPA Pilot Editor at Large Tom Horne to fly the Debonair to Lakeland, Fla., in time for the show.
Features on the vintage aircraft include a special panel insert that will hold an iPad Mini that will be tied into the three-screen Aspen Evolution 2500 avionics panel, a Garmin GDL 88 dual-channel datalink transceiver, and a new National AirParts’ 70-amp alternator.
“It’s a great aircraft to get me from here to there. Jeb Burnside of the Uncontrolled Airspace podcast owns a Debonair and took me and my video gear to Oshkosh with only one stop. We had no stops on the way home,” said Dave Allen, producer of the OtherPeoplesAirplanes.com video podcast. He stopped by AOPA’s tent April 9 to check out the Debonair. “This is the kind of plane I’d like to have if I could own my own airplane. It’s perfect for me to haul my video gear. As it sits right now, it’s my kind of airplane.”
AOPA’s Sweepstakes Debonair gets hauled into place for Sun ’n Fun.
AOPA eNewsletter and Social Media Editor Benét J. Wilson joined AOPA in 2011. She is working on her private pilot certificate.
Sun n Fun,
A state-of-the art medical facility on remote Tangier Island in the Chesapeake Bay serves as a lasting memorial to the late Dr. David B. Nichols’ dedication to providing medical care to the community for 30 years. Now, Nichols’ aviation legacy—flying a Cessna 182 or Robinson R44 to the island every Thursday to provide that care—is set in stone.
Daher-Socata announced that it had installed the first Garmin G600 and GTN 750 avionics in one of its 2004 TBM 700C2 airplanes.
The Perlan Project is less than a year away from the first flight of a glider being built to ride waves near the edge of space. While construction continues in Oregon, the team’s pilots are staying proficient in more ordinary aircraft.
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