Until mid-November, the association’s 2011 sweepstakes airplane—a 1974 Cessna 182 it’s calling the Crossover Classic—had been tucked away at Air Plains, a renowned engine conversion shop at the Wellington, Kan., airport. There, it received the first of its many upgrades, namely a 300-horsepower Continental IO-550 engine, Hartzell three-blade propeller, and Flint Aero wingtip fuel tanks.
It was up to sweepstakes project manager Tom Horne to fly the Crossover Classic from Wellington to Long Beach, Calif. Once at the big show, the re-engined Skylane got its chance to strut its stuff in front of AOPA members who may actually win this completely refurbished airplane—at next year’s Summit in Hartford, Conn.
Granted, the restoration project is still in its infancy, but did AOPA Live host Natasha Stenbock really have to call the airplane “ugly”? Please Natasha, suspend your judgment until six months from now! That’s when the Crossover Classic will have a new glass cockpit, a new interior, and a new paint job.
In a short video tour of the sweeps Skylane, AOPA Pilot Editor in Chief Tom Haines and editor-at-large Tom Horne explain some of the improvements to come. The video also captures the airplane’s previous owner reminiscing about his days with the airplane, and provides information about its new-found max cruise speeds with the new engine. Yes, it really can fly at 162 KTAS!
Keep up to date with the progress of the sweepstakes project in the Crossover Classic blog.