June 6, 2013
By Dave Hirschman
Waco Classic Aircraft Corp. officially unveiled the first conforming new production Great Lakes 2T-1A-2, an aerobatic biplane.
The company announced two years ago that it planned to reintroduce the Great Lakes 2T-1A-2, and it has modified the airplanes with metal wing spars, a roomier interior, strengthened landing gear, and new avionics. Customer deliveries are expected to begin in less than 90 days with an initial production rate of one per month.
The first Great Lakes biplane was produced in 1929, and the aircraft underwent many ownership and design changes before production stopped in 1985.
The 2T-1A-2 is powered by a 180-horsepower Lycoming AEIO-360 and Hartzell propeller. Avionics include a TRIG TY91 com radio, TRIG TT22 transponder, Garmin aera 500 touchscreen GPS with ADS-B weather and traffic, and a JPI EDM 930 fully electronic engine analyzer and performance computer.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
Aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin stirred the pot with an Oct. 15 announcement that compact fusion could power vehicles, even aircraft, within a decade. Skeptics were quick to speak up, while Lockheed filed for patents and hopes to find partners in government, academia, and industry.
Elbit Systems has upgraded infrared systems that see through darkness and weather for nearly visual landings and takeoffs, as well as taxi operations.
This year has not yet come to a close, but my mind is on January 1, 2020. That’s when the FAA has mandated that aircraft must be equipped for ADS-B Out in order to operate in airspace where a Mode C transponder is required today.
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