For 2011, AOPA has announced a departure from its last two sweepstakes. Next year’s sweepstakes will be a refurbishment project that transforms a plain-Jane 1970s-era Cessna 182 into a fire-breathing, STOL-equipped, thoroughly modernized airplane—complete with Garmin G500 avionics, top-of-the-line traffic- and weather-avoidance technology, and L-3’s Trilogy electronic standby instrumentation.
The past two sweepstakes projects involved recent-model or new airplanes, but this project takes the sweeps back to its roots. The “Crossover Classic” concept refers to this airplane’s unique equipment package. As usual, AOPA is going over the top on this restoration by swapping out the airplane’s stock 230-hp Continental engine and replacing it with Continental’s IO-550 of 300-hp. Mate that with Sierra Industries’ Robertson STOL kit, and a full brace of Garmin avionics, and much, much more, and you’ve got an airplane that will be as comfortable mixing it up with the big boys in busy terminal airspace as it is operating out of unimproved strips in the back country.
The first stop on the Crossover Classic’s renovation odyssey takes it to conversion experts Air Plains Services in Wellington, Kan. There, the new engine will be installed, along with a new Hartzell three-blade propeller and Flint Aero’s tip tanks. Then the airplane will go on display at this year’s AOPA Aviation Summit, held in Long Beach, Calif., from Nov. 11 through 13.
The lucky winner will be awarded the airplane at next year’s Summit, to be held in Hartford, Conn., from Sept. 22 to 24, 2011.
For blogs, photos, videos, and other updates on the Crossover Classic’s progress, plus a full listing of the project’s many contributors and eligibility requirements, see the website.