Innovators display technology, seek deals at new pavilion

July 31, 2013

The Nimbus EOS XI has qualities of an airplane, hang glider, and airship.

An unmanned aircraft that combines characteristics of an airplane, hang glider, and dirigible; a diesel-electric hybrid amphibian; and Jetman are among the exhibitors granted free space in the EAA Innovations Pavilion, a new feature for EAA AirVenture in 2013.

Experimental Aircraft Association Chairman Jack Pelton said at the ribbon cutting July 29 that the new pavilion represents what EAA is all about: innovation. EAA founder Paul Poberezny embodied innovation when he got people believing they could build their own airplane and do it cost-effectively, he said.

Companies competed for the 15 free exhibitor spots in the pavilion. EAA Vice President for Donor and Business Relations Elissa Lines said the selection committee wanted to exhibit startups and new technology, promote entrepreneurs and connect them with capital, and connect younger kids with technology. She explained that the vision was to have a couple of anchor companies and bring in startups to showcase new ideas. Exhibitors range from the Kickstarter-supported Synergy “box-tail” airplane project to large aerospace companies such as Boeing and Lockheed Martin.

In the new pavilion, which replaces the smaller display of previous years and now takes center stage at the EAA Member Square near Phillips 66 Plaza, attendees can find the eSpyder electric airplane, the helium-filled Nimbus EOS XI unmanned aircraft, MakerPlane, the diesel-electric Equator amphibious airplane, and AeroInnovate, which hosted a “pitch and mingle” on July 30.