June 27, 2013
What twin turboprop has centerline-mounted engines, a bizjet-quality cabin, and an oar and an anchor as standard equipment? That last bit about nautical gear should clinch it, but even veteran plane spotters may be in over their heads unless they can identify the Dornier Seastar. Far from frequently found afloat or in flight, a prototype of the PT-6-powered aircraft was prominently previewed at recent major aviation conventions. Dornier calls the Seastar “the most advanced amphibious seaplane in the world.” As of a 2010 AOPA Live interview, the price was $6 million.
A half-ton Dodge truck lines up on the centerline. As the pickup accelerates, the floatplane trailered behind it adds power, lifts off, banks left, and departs: just another floatplane launch by Joe Sprague of Cadillac Aircraft Services in Cadillac, Mich.
Public-use heliports aren't very plentiful, but those that are offer unique capabilities and a fun challenge.
Dinners at Waypoint Café at California's Camarillo Airport will have an outside dining option to watch airplanes and helicopters take off and land, and learn more about general aviation in the process.
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