The most diverse group of aircraft ever featured at an AOPA Fly-In were on display at Frederick Municipal Airport. A couple of them made their debuts.
With its V-tail and single jet engine, the Eclipse 400 cut an impressive shape at the static display. It looked like it would be as happy in the air as in the sea with its radical contours. The four-place 400 will be priced at $1.35 million in June 2008 dollars. It sat next to its big sister, the Eclipse 500.
Also making its debut at an aviation event was a Cirrus SR22 with the new Garmin Perspective integrated cockpit option. It includes a bright blue emergency switch called LVL to return the airplane to straight-and-level flight. Cirrus made its first customer delivery earlier in the week.
Of the 45 aircraft on display, there was everything from light sport aircraft (LSA) to jets and from gliders to turboprops.
While avgas prices were on a lot of minds, trends in the industry were apparent. LSA manufacturers continue to see older aircraft owners stepping down from Mooneys and Bonanzas over concerns about medical certificates. Following the computer industry, avionics are evolving rapidly. More and more LSAs are going out of factory doors with dual flight displays and autopilots.