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Bigger, better, newer, newest: Expo's exhibit hall has it all

Bigger, better, newer, newest: Expo's exhibit hall has it all

Exhibit Hall at AOPA Expo 2007With 140,000 square feet of display space and 583 exhibitors in attendance, Expo's exhibit hall offered something for everyone. And attendees took full advantage of the opportunity to try out, put on, or play with the latest and greatest in everything from headsets and GPS receivers to glass-cockpit displays, enhanced vision systems, and simulators.

The SkyCatcher light sport aircraft was front and center as attendees entered the exhibit hall, and visitors found it hard to resist. Edwin Orta, his wife, Mahali Echevarria, and their son, Nathan Orta, stopped to admire the airplane and take a photo of Edwin posing in front of it. Orta flies a Cessna 172 in their home of Carolina, Puerto Rico.

A short stroll away, visitors clustered around a mockup of the PiperJet, lining up four and five deep to take a look inside. A visitor settled into the pilot's seat as his friend snapped a photo of him through the front window. Meanwhile, over at the Cirrus Design display, four people scrambled into Cirrus' The-Jet mockup and settled themselves as if going on a cross-country trip, adjusting the seats and checking the leg room.

For many members, getting to Expo is half of the fun. Michael Meadows of Houston said he flew his Cessna 172 up from the Lone Star State, a trip that took 12 hours. He said he's trying to fly to all four corners of the United States, and has already been to Florida and California. The Expo stopover is part of the northern leg, he said.

October 5, 2007

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