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,
Bell Helicopter put a new engine in its 407, got a larger payload, and upgraded avionics. It attracted a new customer.
Garmin International has updated its Garmin Pilot app for Apple devices with helicopter routes and obstacles along routes.
The "Splash of the Day" award for the opening day of Heli-Expo 2015 in Orlando must surely go to Airbus Helicopters for its big reveal of the H160 mid-sized helicopter.
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