Bearhawk Aircraft Announces New Ownership

AUSTIN, TEXAS, MARCH 7, 2024 – Bearhawk Aircraft announced today a change of ownership for the kit-manufacturing company. Bearhawk Aircraft kits are renown for their superior strength, off-field capabilities and higher than expected cruise performance. New company owners will carry on the successes of Bearhawk kit-built aircraft, available in five distinct models.

Virgil Irwin, of Fairview Oklahoma, took delivery of Bearhawk Aircraft assets on February 2, 2024, initiating the company’s relocation from Texas to Oklahoma. For prior owner Mark Goldberg, focus has long been on the future success of the company, as well as the factory where kits are manufactured. Goldberg commented, “After turning 70 years old twenty months ago, I began to think it was time to let someone younger take charge of the company.”

Irwin entered into the Bearhawk world as a customer. “At the time, I was in search of a utility airplane that could serve overseas in a remote environment. I needed true off-airport capability with great cross-country performance.” Discussions with Goldberg commenced, and good timing allowed him to be the first kit customer for the Bearhawk Model 5, so named for being the 5th design from veteran design engineer Bob Barrows. Furthermore, the Model 5 is a 6-place aircraft with unique and outstanding qualities.

Irwin added, “As I began to build the airplane, I was blown away by the amazing craftsmanship that went into it and the potential that the entire Bearhawk line had. Barrows has without a doubt designed a line of aircraft that have carved out their own segment of the market.” Irwin posited one thought “a couple of times” while building the aircraft, “I wonder if Mark will be ready to retire soon?”

Goldberg called Irwin shortly after he began flying his newly completed Bearhawk Model 5 to ask if he would be interested in displaying the airplane at AirVenture Oshkosh 2023. Irwin accepted and in July headed to Oshkosh not knowing what was to come of the week. While getting to know each other at the show, “I [Irwin] shared my dreams of owning my own aircraft company one day with Mark, and that is when we started exploring the purchase of the company.”

In 2001, Goldberg started the kit manufacturing business in Mexico where he had a long-standing relationship with those now operating the factory. “I was blown away by the quality of construction, cleanliness of the factory, and overall work environment,” Irwin exclaimed on visiting the factory. “Mark truly did what many have failed to do.” Impressed by a manufacturing system that has been able to reliably produce quality aircraft, he credits Goldberg for having built the Bearhawk brand from the ground up, noting, “his hard work is evident throughout.”

Solidifying the relationship between the two, Goldberg had this to say about Irwin: “I became convinced of his abilities, honesty and willingness to do the hard work to take the company to the next level. Virgil will be a great captain to drive the company going forward.”

Irwin and his wife Mackenzie, now co-owners of Bearhawk Aircraft, have big plans for the company. Irwin elaborated, “We will be revising kit manuals, developing new products, and overall expanding the offerings that Bearhawk has for its customers. Our new facility in Fairview, Oklahoma, will be home to our demo planes, transition training, a build-assist center, warehousing, and so much more. We look forward to welcoming all to the new facility and we anticipate hosting several events throughout the year.”

Goldberg summarized, “I am especially appreciative of all the new friends made during these 23 years. This includes customers all over the world who are now friends, and vendors and others who have become much more than just business associates. I learned a tremendous amount from working with design engineer Bob Barrows whose engineering talent is just off the scale. My involvement with the company will continue as long as is needed to make the transition smooth and easy.”

All models in the Bearhawk lineup appeal to backcountry and cross-country flyers alike, and are designed to perform a variety of flying activities. The original 4-Place Bearhawk and new Model 5 fill a utility and transport role extremely well with their large cabins. The Bearhawk Patrol is a tandem two-place version that excels at accessing remote airstrips. The Bearhawk LSA is a lightweight design that meets current Sport Pilot requirements. The Bearhawk Companion is a side-by-side 2-place model with superior strength and payload capability. Each aircraft excels at stable slow flight and attains higher than expected cruise speeds. Bearhawk Aircraft manufactures high quality quick-build kits for all five models.

For more information on Bearhawk Aircraft, visit www.bearhawkaircraft.com, or contact Bearhawk at info@bearhawkaircraft.com or 580-744-9084.

– Bearhawk –

Virgil Irwin (left) and Mark Goldberg at AirVenture Oshkosh 2024.
Mark Goldberg (left) and Virgil Irwin at the Bearhawk Aircraft kit factory in Mexico.

Bearhawk 4-Place Aircraft Available With DeltaHawk Engine Option

AUSTIN, TEXAS, AUGUST 2, 2023 – Bearhawk Aircraft announced today the availability of the new DeltaHawk DHK180 jet fuel burning piston engine as an option for its signature Bearhawk 4-Place aircraft. DeltaHawk Engines Inc., based in Racine, Wisconsin, will develop a firewall forward package to complete the DHK180 engine installation on a Bearhawk aircraft.

The new DeltaHawk DHK180 engine recently received FAA Type Certification. This is the first small engine certified by the FAA since the 1960s. DeltaHawk is now starting its engine production process, and initial deliveries are planned for the first half of 2024.

The DHK180 is a revolutionary clean-sheet design delivering 180 horsepower at 2600 RPM. In addition to burning jet fuel, the engine offers ease of operation, high fuel efficiency, reduced maintenance, and superior altitude performance compared to traditional aircraft piston engines. Bearhawk Aircraft kits are known for their exemplary bush flying capabilities, rugged design, and all-around outstanding performance. The combined efforts of Bearhawk and DeltaHawk will break new ground in the piston aircraft market.

“We are contacted often by pilots all over the world in locations where 100LL avgas is unavailable or very expensive. For these builders, the DeltaHawk represents a great option. In addition, many builders in the U.S. want alternative engine choices. The economical and Jet A burning DeltaHawk will be attractive,” said Mark Goldberg, president of Bearhawk Aircraft.

Dennis Webb, an aircraft Engine DER at DeltaHawk directing the certification effort, added, “Bearhawk designs are extraordinary aircraft in terms of payload and STOL capability, combined with fast cruise speeds. The DeltaHawk DHK180 in a Bearhawk will significantly expand its capabilities, especially with regards to altitude performance, range, and lower cost of operation.”

The development of DeltaHawk’s new Bearhawk engine installation package is presently underway on a Bearhawk 4-Place. Both companies are excited about what the highly innovative new DHK180 engine, combined with the legendary performance of Bearhawk aircraft, will bring to Bearhawk builders and the flying community. While the Bearhawk is offered in kit form, or can be built from plans, the DHK180 is a certified engine with applications on both experimental and standard category certified aircraft.

Bearhawk aircraft models are available in 2-, 4- and 6-place configurations. All Bearhawk aircraft excel at accessing remote airstrips and are renown for their rugged construction and carrying capacity. Avipro / Bearhawk Aircraft manufactures high quality Quick Build kits for the Bearhawk 4-Place Model B, Bearhawk Patrol, Bearhawk Companion, Bearhawk LSA, and Bearhawk Model 5.

For more information on Bearhawk Aircraft, visit www.bearhawkaircraft.com, or contact Bearhawk at info@bearhawkaircraft.com or 1-877-528-4776, or 512-626-7886.

For more information on DeltaHawk Engines, visit www.deltahawk.com, or contact DeltaHawk at info@deltahawk.com or 1-888-434-2958, or 262-583-4500.

– Bearhawk –

Learning–About Flying—Can Be Fun

Eagle’s Nest Projects of North Texas Alights with STEM

In addition to studies, normal high school days are filled with spirited youth, sports, mingling and flirtations. In McKinney, Texas there’s yet another option, that of building an airplane. Liveried as learning and stowed under STEM curriculum, students in their final years of high school in the north Texas suburb can participate in the construction of an airplane—one that will fly with two persons on board. Under the auspices of Eagle’s Nest Projects, an independent nonprofit, the program espouses a scholastic attitude while adding entertainment and career objectives to the mix.

McKinney Independent School District (MISD) is in the sprawling metroplex of Dallas–Fort Worth, comprising three large high schools approaching 10,000 student enrollments. At MISD over 200 students participate in Eagle’s Nest where the program has clearly taken off.

In the current school year, number seven for the Eagle’s Nest / MISD partnership, the selected aircraft project is a freshly minted Legend Cub. It’s a distinctive aircraft which, purchased as a kit, conforms to a factory completed offering that has been flying since 2005. Among the pluses of this choice of project is its nearby manufacturer, American Legend Aircraft Company, who for their first time has stepped up to champion the Eagle’s Nest approach to inspiring young aviators.

Eagle’s Nest Fledglings

Regarding youth in aviation, building an actual airplane has shown to have the greatest of impact over other aviation experiences. Examples might include participation in an airshow, taking a first flight, or endeavoring into model aviation. While all are impressionable, the long term effects of building an airplane stand out with hands-on, all-consuming, and perhaps hypnotic appeal.

Eagle’s Nest and McKinney ISD selected a Legend Cub for their most recent STEM studies build-a-plane project.

For students in many such programs, building an airplane is an immersive, daily activity. Plus, there’s a hook, according to Eagle’s Nest Projects of North Texas director Phil Campbell, in that the students are committed to the program once enrolled. With an itinerary and a goal in sight, the end product is resolute. That the typical build-a-plane team member puts their heart and soul into such projects is a universally known tenet. Uniting build-a-plane projects with STEM is not a wholly new concept and in the two decades or more that the two schemes have existed, many forms have evolved.

The true beginnings of modern exploratory aircraft construction lie, to a measured degree, with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Formed in 1953, the organization serves to broaden knowledge of flight and its scientific discovery. With a focus on youth as the future of aviation, the AOPA Foundation (Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association) offers its free STEM curriculum to high school students across the U.S.

Opportunity and curriculum in place, the next step for youth is involvement, and Eagle’s Nest Projects is one such initiative. Success stories abound, and numerous aircraft are flying as a result. “Eagle’s Nest provides a hands-on approach, and this leads to retention,” according to Campbell.

At Eagle’s Nest Projects of North Texas, Phil Campbell is leading the charge. His role is multifaceted and, importantly, includes working directly with students. He is director by day, while in other parts he steps up to serve, like inestimable others, as a volunteer. Campbell must be an educator and mentor to all participants, be they student, teacher or volunteer. Admittedly, however, his primary function is one of inspiring youth. He concurs that the learning, STEM and aviation aspects follow accordingly.

Speaking of the current build project that began in 2020, Campbell acknowledges, “The Cub is taking longer than the familiar RV projects that we’ve completed in the past. I thought it would be faster, after all it is a historically simple airplane.” Among the most time consuming areas of this build is the fabric covering process. It can also be one of the most satisfying, as, with each layer, the airplane’s form evolves. Campbell envisions that with additional mentor team experience, future fabric work can proceed as quickly as applying sheet metal and the thousands of requisite rivets involved in a monocoque design such as the Van’s RV. He’s a believer and, as said, it’s his role to inspire.

Eagle’s Nest mentors get a lesson in aircraft covering at American Legend Aircraft Company.

In early 2022, Campbell had confirmed that all the fabrication, i.e. assembly work, of the Legend Cub build was done. With the major components subsequently painted, wings were mounted that Summer. He initially had hopes of displaying the team’s work at EAA’s mid-summer AirVenture gathering, However, reality set in and progress on the instrument panel took precedence.

While Campbell has maintained reliance on the Legend Aircraft factory, instrument panels decidedly oscillate towards a customized process. “So we ventured on our own,” he noted. “Legend did cut the panel on their CNC machine, and avionics were ordered through the company. They helped load test the circuits to determine breaker sizes.

“The panel was laid out and built with almost all Dynon [Avionics] products. While Dynon provided pre-built harnesses, students and mentors still looked at each connection in detail,” Campbell continued. “A intercom from PS Engineering was used since there’s no PTT (push-to-talk) on the Dynon radio.” According to the project director, “At present Legend customers are building primarily Garmin equipped panels. This was another reason we needed to rely on manufacturer’s support from Dynon and PS Engineering, which was excellent. All we’ve done at Eagle’s Nest prior to this project was with Dynon, so the foundation was familiar.”

State and Local Support

MISD is unique, operating one of the larger STEM programs in the country. Classes do get some funding through Texas’ CTE programs. But one drawback of the state aid is that help in the form of teachers is not always aviation specific. Campbell pointed out that presently at MISD one of the two STEM teachers has a robotics focus. Aviation being split among many career clusters within CTE, available resources are therefore divided. Meanwhile, programs of study are continuously being realigned to match Texas’ ever-changing economic landscape.

There’s also a career aspect to Eagle’s Nest / MISD / STEM and it is manifest with the help of local businesses in McKinney. These include iFly GPS, a developer of digital planning and navigation products for pilots, and Cirrus Aircraft, a aircraft manufacturer service center, at the local airport. Their support is much heralded. Cirrus has provided appreciable funding for the next RV-12 project slated for construction through Eagle’s Nest, according to Campbell. Both companies offer internships to students, and have gone on to hire MISD graduates.

Student Interest

On the student side, Campbell routinely welcomes those who are interested in flying and the A&P profession (Airframe and/or Powerplant licensed mechanic). He adds that other students tend to latch onto the learning environment, whether for entertainment or other aspects of the class, noting that many just like being around airplanes and this can open minds to a future in the field. Careers in aviation are broad and the shared knowledge of the industry offers a unique camaraderie.

A team of students and mentors stand beneath the freshly assembled fuselage and wing structures. Photo by Jim Wilson Photography.

The MISD program starts with students at the junior level. While many return their senior year, it really depends on their career path, according to Campbell. Some will drop the aviation elective because it’s not needed; some elect to only do a half-day program.

Initial perceptions are varied. One student remarked early on in the project, “I’m not flying an airplane built by high schoolers.” He wants to be an engineer, Campbell elucidated. Such sentiment is understandable, as problem solving instinct has an inherent need to be resolved, or processed, by “scientific” means in the thinker’s mind. Being involved in analysis, even fabrication, helps to remove perceptions of risk or doubt. An understanding of the process—in this case the complexities of building an airplane—can change one’s notion. As each project unfolds, apprehension is replaced with conviction and often enthusiasm.

A team of students prepare a landing gear leg with the assistance of experienced personnel from Legend Aircraft. Photo by Jim Wilson Photography.

Technique, Talent and Experience

With the current Legend Cub project being a departure from previous builds, Campbell cheers the support and guidance received from Legend Aircraft (located in Sulphur Springs, Texas). “Their response has been an outpouring of answers to questions all along the way. They make an awesome product,” he indicated. “Together we’ve discussed the difficulties in building such a project.” Laying, stitching and taping the fabric skin, but one example, can be consuming, requiring both technique and talent. There’s frequently a learning curve that is a challenge to both teach and master, particularly in one school semester.

A team of 15-20 students worked on the wings—a framework of aluminum webs and other hardware. During the fabric covering process, Campbell recognized, “Within the student team, one girl and one guy were phenomenal. They got knots down and led the other classmates in the exercise.” Covering requires dexterity, and even promotes artistry in the finished product. Coming in twos, wings consume a lot of time.

Having built multiple RV-12 kits prior, Campbell and several Eagle’s Nest mentors were want of learning something new. Hence, the “tube-and-fabric” Legend Cub was suggested. On this first of its kind, mentors were also students. While Campbell wished more experienced mentors had been available at the onset, the overall class lesson presented a catch-22 lesson. The monocoque all aluminum construction to which they were accustomed (with the RV-12 builds) introduced a dilemma in the form of the new tube-and-fabric process.

Students at Eagle’s Nest / MISD begin the covering process on a Legend Cub elevator surface.

Though the educator is there to impart knowledge and skills, the variety of qualifications rendered are often limited by availability. Legend Aircraft, as does any factory requiring a workforce with talent, experiences as much in their hiring and retaining. To increase retention employees are often trained at new tasks. It’s a phenomenon in the manufacturing trade worldwide. A visit to the factory (a field trip) and the lending of an employee to work with the Eagle’s Nest team offered great inspiration to the students of all ages and competency.

Students and mentors work to ensure each step of the build is performed to specification.

Free Flight

With semesters marking the end of each academic session for most youth, some do participate in the “off” months to continue the work. The drive to finish is ever present. Eagle’s Nest sets a goal of finishing and selling the airplane, thus enabling the start of another. Essentially, the funding cycle must continue in this manner.

While the project aircraft, on completion, is essentially the same as one built at the factory, it is expected to have a life of flying ahead. Perhaps it will be flown by a single pilot/owner for a generation or more. There’s also the possibility that hundreds of pilots will sit behind its controls and experience its joys. This particular aircraft is slated to go to Bruce Bohannon, a renown world record holding pilot and current owner of the highest time factory-built Legend Cub. Bohannon operates a flight school in the Houston area where he’s introduced many student pilots to flying.

In addition to its Dynon-centric instrument panel, with a SkyView HDX touch screen display, the completed Eagle’s Nest Project aircraft will feature an O200-D engine from Continental Motors, a staple of aviation for more than 80 years, and a composite propeller manufactured by Catto Propeller of Jackson, California.

Building Bumps-in-the-road

An extensive project, such as this one, is not without the common gotchas that beleaguer any aircraft builder. Setbacks can and do happen, such as supply delays, even price increases. Campbell noted that Legend Aircraft was highly supportive in buffering many of these issues for the Eagle’s Nest team. For instance, “The engine was procured before a 30-percent price increase went into effect,” said Campbell. Furthermore, normally stocked factory items were at the disposal of the build crew as needed.

Regarding the paint scheme, that was somewhat of an easy call, “To get people’s attention, we need a bright yellow Legend Cub,” Campbell articulated. He sees the project as a tool for keeping the Eagle’s Nest and STEM partnership visible in the minds of all. Further, it was decided that the painting step would take place at the Legend factory, without student involvement, short of a possible field trip. This is among the many things Campbell has learned over his years of building in order to avoid bumps.

When complete, the Eagle’s Nest / MISD program will have built a Legend Cub in classic yellow livery, one that will serve to instruct new pilots and bring enjoyment to many who browse and fly beneath its wings. Photo by Jim Wilson Photography.

Kitting and Curriculum

For its part, Eagle’s Nest handles the logistics to include funding and materials all the way through to FAA inspection and first flight. Where knowledge can be imparted under the STEM curriculum, many opportunities are warranted.

Kit building an aircraft comes with high expectations. Regardless that the kit is a known entity with numerous examples already built, the depth of the curriculum is still significant. Adjusting the curriculum is an ongoing endeavor. Making new friends, learning organizational skills, seeing the big picture, learning that no matter how much you know there’s always a lesson ahead.

While the concept of “kit” airplanes might alarm some, within the regulatory framework of the FAA such practices are well established. Not only do they meet the safety standards of commercial air transport, they often exceed them. The experimental foundation of aircraft construction provides ever-expanding knowledge. It is a two-way street for aircraft large and small.

Getting started with building a kit airplane introduces design methodology, tools, and workspace parameters to those involved. Parts, construction, materials and processes all contribute to safety and to the study. Kits generally comprise a fuselage section (the safety cage), upon which the tail, wing and powerplant sections are mounted. Each element has a practical, i.e. scientific, element to its manufacture. Variety is evident in the many construction methods that have been used, and refined, since the early days of aviation.

Traditional construction methods include monocoque airframes of welded steel and riveted aluminum. Newer methods include reinforced composites. The outer surfaces, called skins, are of aluminum, sometimes composite materials, or reinforced and coated fabrics. Many of these methods can also be found in the automotive, nautical and sport manufacturing industries. The scientific studies are therefore applicable across of wide range of applications.

The McKinney Aviation Academy (MAA) is a preparatory program for studies in aviation, from model flying to careers. The academy was selected as the latest Eagle’s Nest project in the Fall of 2020. That’s when students in the third year course of MAA began learning how a Legend Cub is built.

Alongside academy instructors is a team of mentors who volunteer their time and expertise. They instruct students in the construction of amateur-built airplanes. Moreover, the learning extends to life skills and experiences. Connecting with an educator can impact the outlook of a student, making a long lasting, positive influence on the lives of the young men and women participating. Through the encouragement of the instructors, mentors and Eagle’s Nest leaders, students gain an experience they will remember for a lifetime. FMI: facebook.com/mckinneyaviationacademy

More Local Involvement

One key to the success of such programs is the aforementioned two-way flow it facilitates. Youth are introduced to both studies and to their real world application. When local businesses get involved they benefit from apprising and cultivating local talent for future employment. Students gain valuable exposure to workplaces and opportunities within industry relevant to their interests.

Namely, American Airlines’ representatives serve on the CTE Aviation Advisory Council at MISD. This partnership leads to pilot recruiting and a career path for talented individuals. The company participates in aviation days at the airport and works with students at the campus level. They host special field trips to American Airlines’ facilities. Providing information to high school counselors to aid students serves to educate them about professional opportunities at all levels within the company.

History on Repeat

The build-a-plane idea has been around since the 1960s, and today it involves much more than the reading, writing and arithmetic mantra of that era. Years ago, at Steen Aero Lab, a prototype aircraft designed by Lamar Steen was built by the high school shop class he taught. It was a conceptual airplane of original design and completed in just a year at Denver’s Manual High School. The project served to teach wood, tube and fabric construction skills. Over 400 of the award winning, popular, aerobatic, sporting, one and two-place biplane aircraft variations have been built since the prototype first flew in 1970.

Aviation Full Circle

“The task of introducing teenagers to aviation is not nearly as difficult or expensive as you might imagine. It is work, admittedly. It requires effort and planning and at least a handful of willing volunteers who can share the load,” stated aviation scribe Jamie Beckett. He added, “To hold the interest of the students and keep them motivated, I’ve found it best to procure an actual airplane to center the activities around… a project that would one day fly.”

Beckett is involved with the Aspiring Aviators Aero Club in central Florida. Working from an open hangar, he adds, “They see Cubs, Stearmans, Swifts and Champs taxi through their field of view.” He describes one student participant as filled with “youthful exuberance.” Those two words deftly summarize the build-a-plane concept. It’s an excellent way to satisfy the charge that learning should be fun.

The classic yellow Cub manufactured by American Legend Aircraft Company. Photo by Jim Wilson Photography.

Learning–About Flying—Can Be Fun

(long version)

Eagle’s Nest Projects of North Texas Alights with STEM

In addition to studies, normal high school days are filled with spirited youth, sports, mingling and flirtations. In McKinney, Texas there’s yet another option, one of building an airplane. Liveried as learning, stowed under STEM curriculum, students in their final years of high school in the north Texas suburb can participate in the construction of an airplane—one that will fly with two persons on board. Under the auspices of Eagle’s Nest Projects, an independent nonprofit, the program espouses a scholastic attitude while adding entertainment and career objectives to the mix.

McKinney Independent School District (MISD) is in the sprawling metroplex of Dallas–Fort Worth, comprising three large high schools approaching 10,000 student enrollments. At MISD over 200 students participate in Eagle’s Nest where the program has clearly taken off with blue skies in the forecast.

In the current school year, number seven for the Eagle’s Nest / MISD partnership, the selected aircraft project is a freshly minted Legend Cub. It’s a distinctive aircraft which, purchased as a kit, conforms to a factory completed offering that has been flying since 2005. Among the pluses of this choice of project is its nearby manufacturer, American Legend Aircraft Company, who for their first time has stepped up to champion the Eagle’s Nest approach to inspiring young aviators.

Regarding youth in aviation, build-a-plane projects have shown to have the greatest of impact over other aviation experiences. Examples might include participation in an airshow, taking a first flight (i.e. the EAA Young Eagles program), or endeavoring into model aviation. While all are impressionable, the long term effect of building an airplane stands out with its hands-on, all-consuming, and perhaps hypnotic appeal.

Eagle’s Nest and McKinney ISD selected a Legend Cub for their most recent STEM studies build-a-plane project.

For students in many such build programs, building an airplane is an immersive, daily activity. Plus, there’s a hook, according to Eagle’s Nest Projects of North Texas director Phil Campbell, in that the students are committed to the program once enrolled. With an itinerary and a goal in sight, the end product is resolute. That the typical builder puts their heart and soul into such projects is a universally known tenet.

Uniting build-a-plane projects with STEM is not a wholly new concept. However, in the two decades or more that the two schemes have existed, many forms have evolved.

Eagle’s Nest Fledglings

The true beginnings of modern exploratory aircraft construction lie to a measured degree with the Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA). Formed in 1953, the organization serves to broaden knowledge of flight and its scientific discovery. EAA’s succinctly named aeroeducate.org program strives to inspire, steer, and open doors to youth wishing to explore careers in aviation. While EAA has its roots in building, getting youth involved is a contemporary crusade, and one with vigorous initiative.

Not alone in affirming youth as the future of aviation, the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) has forged the You Can Fly program to bring exposure of aviation careers to high school students. Success is burgeoning as AOPA is setting the standards in course curriculum. Examples include Career Technical Education (CTE) pathways at the high school level. Courses such as Introduction to Aerospace, Principles of Flight, and Advanced Flight are provided free of charge and set up with the help of AOPA. Presently, the curriculum is being used at more than 280 high schools and growing. Field tested in Ada, Oklahoma, AOPA inspired many students to take flight lessons, while several attained their pilot’s license prior to graduating high school. Now in its sixth year, the program has both captured the interest of future aviators and taught students to become adept problem-solvers.

Opportunity and curriculum in place, the next step for youth is involvement, and Eagle’s Nest Projects is one such initiative. Success stories abound, and numerous aircraft are flying as a result. “Eagle’s Nest provides a hands-on approach, and this leads to retention,” according to Campbell.

Inspiration and Teaching

A variety of examples of aviation in the classroom have popped up all across the U.S. Their reach has expanded to even younger students, encouraging continuation into their teens. One is Wings Aerospace Pathways, affiliated with the Wings Over the Rockies Air & Space Museum, which involves students in grades 6–12 with one-day-per-week “Hangar Days.”

The Tehachapi Society of Pilots Build-a-Plane Program offers a hangar plus retired mechanics and engineers to mentor youth. In Fall 2021, the group completed a Zenith CH 750 aircraft build. Likened to a vocational program, which are no longer as common as they once were, the program teaches about construction techniques while students do the work building an airplane, a proven method to ensuring success later. With college engineering studies but one example, the hands-on experience helps in better understanding the concepts being taught.

STEM students in Project Pegasus at Gnoss Field Community Association, also in California, benefit from mentors from several nearby airports. The project focuses on students developing a work ethic and acknowledges that the future of aviation will come from them. Once the first airplane is financed and completed, the program is financially self-sustaining—a system followed by others. The team works closely with EAA Chapter 1232 providing expertise within the community to develop technical, logistical, organizational and interpersonal skills.

TeenFlight is a program based in Puyallup, Washington, and associated with EAA Chapter 326. Building airplanes since 2012, and offering classroom instruction since 2009, the program involves Van’s Aircraft founder Richard VanGrunsven, accounting for numerous RV-series aircraft projects being completed. Personal involvement by the founder led to the well-developed RV-12 model addition to his successful line of (sequentially numbered) kits.

Returning to McKinney, there’s a similar, yet outside the classroom group that calls themselves Tango Thirty One Aero Clube (sic). Eccentric spelling aside, the mission is simple… Clube members participate in aircraft restorations, maintenance and repairs on aircraft they can fly. The organization comprises both youth and experienced aviators.

Eagle’s Nest Projects

At Eagle’s Nest Projects of North Texas, Phil Campbell is leading the charge. His role is multifaceted and, importantly, includes working directly with students. He is director by day, while in other parts he steps up to serve, like inestimable others, as a volunteer. Campbell must be an educator and mentor to all participants, be they student, teacher or volunteer. Admittedly, however, his primary function is one of inspiring youth. He concurs that the learning, STEM and aviation aspects follow accordingly.

Speaking of the current build project that began in 2020, Campbell acknowledges, “The Cub is taking longer than the familiar RV projects that we’ve completed in the past. I thought it would be faster, after all it is a historically simple airplane.” Among the most time consuming areas of this type of construction is the fabric covering process. It can also be one of the most satisfying, as, with each layer, the airplane’s form evolves. Campbell envisions that with additional mentor team experience, future fabric work can proceed as quickly as applying sheet metal and the thousands of requisite rivets involved in a monocoque design such as the Van’s RV. He’s a believer, and, as said, it’s his role to inspire.

Eagle’s Nest mentors get a lesson in aircraft covering at American Legend Aircraft Company.

In early 2022, Campbell had confirmed that all the fabrication, i.e. assembly work of the Legend Cub build, was done. With the major components subsequently painted, wings were mounted that Summer. He initially had hopes of displaying the team’s work at EAA’s mid-summer AirVenture gathering, however, reality set in and progress on the instrument panel took precedence.

While Campbell has maintained reliance on the Legend factory, aircraft instrument panels decidedly oscillate towards a customized process. “So we ventured on our own,” he noted. “Legend did cut the panel on their CNC machine, and avionics were ordered through the company. They helped load test the circuits to determine breaker sizes.”

“The panel was laid out and built with almost all Dynon [Avionics] products. Dynon provided pre-built harnesses, but students, and mentors, still looked at each connection in detail,” Campbell continued. “A intercom from PS Engineering was used since there’s no PTT (push-to-talk) on the Dynon radio.” According to Campbell, at present Legend customers are building primarily Garmin equipped panels, “This was another reason we needed to rely on manufacturer’s support from Dynon and PS Engineering, which was excellent. All we’ve done at Eagle’s Nest previously is Dynon, so the foundation was familiar.”

State and Local Support

MISD is unique, operating one of the larger STEM programs in the country. Classes get some funding through Texas’ CTE programs. One drawback of the state aid is that help in the form of teachers is not always aviation specific. Presently at MISD, as Campbell noted, the other STEM teacher has a robotics focus. Aviation being split among many career clusters within CTE, the available resources must be divided. Programs of study are continuously being realigned to match Texas’ ever-changing economic landscape.

The career aspect of Eagle’s Nest / MISD / STEM is manifest with local businesses in McKinney, including iFly GPS, a developer of digital planning and navigation products for pilots, and Cirrus Aircraft, a aircraft manufacturer service center, at the airport. So local support is present and much heralded. Cirrus has provided appreciable funding for the next RV-12 slated for construction through Eagle’s Nest, according to Campbell. Both companies offer internships to students and have gone on to hire MISD graduates.

Student Interest

On the student side, Campbell routinely welcomes those who are interested in flying and the A&P profession (Airframe and/or Powerplant licensed mechanic). He adds that other students tend to latch onto the learning environment, whether for entertainment or other aspects of the class. Many just like being around airplanes and this can open minds to a future in the field. Careers in aviation are broad and the shared knowledge of the industry offers a unique camaraderie.

A team of students and mentors stand beneath the freshly assembled fuselage and wing structures. Photo by Jim Wilson Photography.

The MISD program starts with students at the junior level. While many return their senior year, it really depends on their career path, according to Campbell. Some will drop the aviation elective because it’s not needed; some elect to only do a half-day program.

Initial perceptions are varied. One student remarked early on in the project, “I’m not flying an airplane built by high schoolers.” He wants to be an engineer, Campbell elucidated. Such sentiment is understandable, as the problem solving instinct has an inherent disbelief that needs to be resolved, or processed, by “scientific” means in the thinker’s mind. Being involved in analysis, even fabrication, helps to remove perceptions of risk. An understanding of the process—in this case the complexities of building an airplane, be it large or small—can change one’s notion. As each project unfolds, apprehension is replaced with enthusiasm and conviction.

A team of students prepare a landing gear leg with the assistance of experienced personnel from Legend Aircraft. Photo by Jim Wilson Photography.

Mentors and Leaders

Proximity to important aviation and space operations results in numerous professional pilots and engineers living in a community, along with others who enjoy flying, i.e. those “interested in all things airplanes.” These like-minded people enjoy sharing their passion through involvement with build-a-plane projects.

While currently serving as the only the project lead with Eagle’s Nest Projects of North Texas, Phil Campbell collaborates with an assigned teacher. The effort to command the attention of teenage students in a workshop environment is a tall task. This is where other instructors, in particular, mentors and volunteer participants, work to steer the interests of students. Exposure alone to the unique workplace is, at times, enough to captivate most. “Though some flee, what has been learned is that it’s best to point them in the direction they are drawn,” says Campbell.

Eagle’s Nest is a nationwide organization with four Texas locations in McKinney, Conroe, Granbury and Clear Lake / League City. With twenty RV-12 projects having been completed, the strength of the program is self-evident. According to Campbell, all of those projects were made possible by the organization’s now retiring (for a second time!) president, Ernie Butcher. “Ernie is an amazing man and none of this would be possible without his generosity throughout the years he spent with Eagle’s Nest,” he lauded.

Technique, Talent and Experience

With the current Legend Cub project being a departure from previous kit aircraft builds, Campbell cheers the support and guidance received from Legend Aircraft (located in Sulphur Springs, Texas). “Their response has been an outpouring of answers to questions all along the way. They make an awesome product,” he indicated. “Together we’ve discussed the difficulties in building such a project.” Laying, stitching and taping the fabric skin, as an example, can be consuming, requiring both technique and talent. There’s a learning curve that is a challenge to teach and master, particularly in one school semester.

A team of 15-20 students worked on the wings, a framework of aluminum webs and other hardware. During the fabric covering process, Campbell recognized, “Within the student team, one girl and one guy were phenomenal. They got knots down and led the other classmates in the exercise.” Covering requires dexterity, and even promotes artistry in the finished product. Coming in twos, wings consume a lot of time.

Having built multiple RV-12 kits prior, Campbell and several Eagle’s Nest mentors were want of learning something new. Hence, the “tube-and-fabric” Legend Cub was suggested. On this first of its kind, mentors were also students—equals but for the passage of time. While Campbell wished more experienced mentors had been available at the onset, the overall class lesson presented a catch-22 lesson. The monocoque construction to which they were accustomed (with the RV-12 builds) introduced a dilemma in the form of the new tube-and-fabric process.

Students at Eagle’s Nest / MISD begin the covering process on a Legend Cub elevator surface.

Though the educator is there to impart knowledge and skills, the variety of qualifications rendered are often limited by availability. Legend Aircraft, as does any factory with a talented workforce, experiences as much in their hiring and retaining. To increase retention employees are often trained at new tasks. It’s a phenomenon in the manufacturing trade worldwide. A visit to the factory (a field trip) and the lending of an employee to work with the Eagle’s Nest team offered great inspiration to the students of all ages and competency.

Students and mentors work to ensure each step of the build is performed to specification.

Free Flight

With semesters marking the end of each academic session for most youth, some do participate in the “off” months to continue the work. The drive to finish is ever present. Eagle’s Nest sets a goal of finishing and selling the airplane, thus enabling the start of another. Essentially, the funding cycle must continue in this manner.

While the project aircraft, on completion, is essentially the same as one built at the factory, it is expected to have a life of flying ahead. Perhaps it will be flown by a single pilot/owner for a generation or more. There’s also the possibility that hundreds of pilots will sit behind its controls and experience its joys. This particular aircraft is slated to go to Bruce Bohannon, a renown world record holding pilot and current owner of the highest time factory-built Legend Cub. Bohannon operates a flight school in the Houston area where he’s introduced many student pilots to flying.

In addition to its Dynon-centric instrument panel, with a SkyView HDX touch screen display, the completed Eagle’s Nest Project aircraft will feature an O200-D engine from Continental Motors, a staple of aviation for more than 80 years, and a composite propeller manufactured by Catto Propeller of Jackson, California.

Building Bumps-in-the-road

An extensive project, such as this one, is not without the common gotchas that beleaguer most aircraft builders. Setbacks can and do happen, such as supply delays, even price increases. Campbell noted that Legend Aircraft was highly supportive in buffering many of these issues for the Eagle’s Nest team. For instance, “The engine was procured before a 30-percent price increase went into effect,” said Campbell. Furthermore, normally stocked factory items were at the disposal of the build crew as needed.

The paint scheme was somewhat an easy call, “To get people’s attention, we need a bright yellow Legend Cub,” Campbell articulated. He sees the project as a tool for keeping the Eagle’s Nest and STEM partnership visible in the minds of all. Further, it was decided that the painting step would take place at the Legend factory, without student involvement, short of a possible field trip. This is among the many things Campbell has learned over his years of building in order to avoid bumps.

When complete, the Eagle’s Nest / MISD program will have built a Legend Cub in classic yellow livery, one that will serve to instruct new pilots and bring enjoyment to many who browse and fly beneath its wings. Photo by Jim Wilson Photography.

Kitting and Curriculum

For its part, Eagle’s Nest handles the logistics to include funding and materials all the way through to FAA inspection and first flight. Where knowledge can be imparted under the STEM curriculum, many opportunities are warranted.

Kit building an aircraft comes with high expectations. Regardless that the kit is a known entity with numerous examples already built, the depth of the curriculum is significant. Adjusting the curriculum is an ongoing endeavor. Making new friends, learning organizational skills, seeing the big picture, learning that no matter how much you know there’s always a new lesson ahead.

While the concept of “kit” airplanes might alarm some. Within the regulatory framework of the FAA such practices are well established. Not only do they meet the safety standards of commercial air transport they often exceed them. The experimental foundation of aircraft construction provides ever-expanding knowledge. It is a two-way street for aircraft large and small.

Getting started with building a kit airplane introduces design methodology, tools, and workspace parameters to those involved. Parts, construction, materials, and processes all contribute to safety and to the study. Kits generally comprise a fuselage section (the safety cage), upon which the tail, wing and powerplant sections are mounted. Each element has a practical, i.e. scientific, element to its manufacture. Variety is evident in the many construction methods that have been used, and refined, since the early days of aviation.

Traditional construction methods include monocoque airframes of welded steel and riveted aluminum. Newer methods include reinforced composites. The outer surfaces, called skins, are of aluminum, sometimes composite materials, or reinforced and coated fabrics. Many of these methods can also be found in the automotive, nautical and sport manufacturing industries. The scientific studies are therefore applicable across of wide range of applications.

The McKinney Aviation Academy (MAA) is a preparatory program for studies in aviation, from model flying to careers. The academy was selected as the latest Eagle’s Nest project in the Fall of 2020. That’s when students in the third year course of MAA began learning how a Legend Cub is built.

Alongside academy instructors is a team of mentors who volunteer their time and expertise. They instruct students in the construction of amateur-built airplanes. Moreover, the learning extends to life skills and experiences. Connecting with an educator can impact the outlook of a student, making a long lasting, positive influence on the lives of the young men and women participating. Through the encouragement of the instructors, mentors and Eagle’s Nest leaders, students gain an experience they will remember for a lifetime. facebook.com/mckinneyaviationacademy

More Local Involvement

One key to the success of such programs is the aforementioned two-way flow it facilitates. Youth are introduced to both studies and to their real world application. When local businesses get involved they benefit from apprising and cultivating local talent for future employment. Students gain valuable exposure to workplaces and opportunities within industry relevant to their interests.

Namely, American Airlines’ representatives serve on the CTE Aviation Advisory Council at MISD. This partnership leads to pilot recruiting and a career path for talented individuals. The company participates in aviation days at the airport and works with students at the campus level. They host special field trips to American Airlines’ facilities. Providing information to high school counselors to aid students serves to educate them about professional opportunities at all levels within the company.

Additional partnerships have been formed with Southwest Airlines. One with Monarch Air, for example, provided on-airport space for a project and classroom. In the past, LeTourneau University in Longview, Texas, coordinated with streamlining pilot, engineering, and aeronautical science studies. Such degree path programs confirm that aviation is more than flying.

History on Repeat

The build-a-plane idea has been around since the 1960s, and today it involves much more than the reading, writing and arithmetic mantra of that era. Years ago, at Steen Aero Lab, a prototype aircraft designed by Lamar Steen was built by the high school shop class he taught. It was a conceptual airplane of original design and completed in just a year at Denver’s Manual High School. The project served to teach wood, tube and fabric construction skills. Over 400 of the award winning, popular, aerobatic, sporting, one and two-place biplane aircraft variations have been built since the prototype first flew in 1970.

Aviation Full Circle

“The task of introducing teenagers to aviation is not nearly as difficult or expensive as you might imagine. It is work, admittedly. It requires effort and planning and at least a handful of willing volunteers who can share the load,” noted Jamie Beckett, the always poignant aviation wordsmith. He added, “To hold the interest of the students and keep them motivated, I’ve found it best to procure an actual airplane to center the activities around… a project that would one day fly.”

Beckett is involved with the Aspiring Aviators Aero Club in central Florida. Working from an open hangar, he adds, “They see Cubs, Stearmans, Swifts and Champs taxi through their field of view.” He describes one student participant as filled with “youthful exuberance.” Those two words deftly summarize the build-a-plane concept. It’s an excellent way to satisfy the charge that learning should be fun.

The classic yellow Cub manufactured by American Legend Aircraft Company. Photo by Jim Wilson Photography.

This article was published in Texas Aviation STEM Magazine, September 2023.

From the Cockpit, Behind the Glass, Unravelling the Electronics Mystery

For now 27 years and counting, veteran repair station owner Ronny Salamon has been helping customers enhance the value of owning and operating their airplanes, all directly from the cockpit. In part, his efforts have involved addressing the seemingly complex mysteries of avionics, resolving issues with finicky electronics, and verifying and certifying required instruments and related equipment.

Today, Salamon is consumed with assisting operators in retrofitting new instrument panels into their aircraft, thereby making new the capabilities and functionality of airframes with time to spare. Avionics services are a win-win for the pilot and aircraft operator, putting more tools in the places they need them the most.

With today’s frenzied focus on the electronic cockpit, nearly every pilot-owner has some amount of wanderlust for a glinting new glass cockpit. Digital instrumentation for pilots has progressed lightyears since the pre-silicon era of analog gauging and assessment.

Salamon transitioned into his latest business venture in San Antonio, Texas, somewhat by chance, if not by good fortune (though not without recognizing his achievements to back it up). It all started in Laredo, Texas, in 1980, largely due to his twin brother getting married there, he concedes. Originally from Israel, Salamon built an extensive resume prior in his Eastern Mediterranean homeland.

Texas was a good choice, admittedly, as the state is a major market for aircraft ownership. In fact, it’s among the top three states for private aviation. These include California, Texas, and Florida, all home to more private aircraft and the accompanying support businesses than any other U.S. state. For what it’s worth, California and Texas are at a near tie for first in the ranking.

Graduating from university as an electronics engineer, Salamon would go on to serve in the Israeli Air Force. His assignments in aircraft maintenance included work on F-4s and F-15s, the world renown tactical fighters and pursuit aircraft of military celebrity, among others. Following military service Salamon was employed with commercial airlines in Israel and later in bench tech services where he solved a broad range of electronics related issues.

Salamon established Avionics Services International in 1988 whereupon he obtained a FAA Part 145 Repair Station certificate, No. S78R151N, for his firm Platinum Aviation LLC. He relocated from Laredo to Kerrville (both in South Texas) in 1996, then to San Antonio in 2018, in part due to opportunities of the larger market there, but also related to his growing role as an authorized Garmin dealer. Avionics Services International (ASI), under the aegis of Platinum Aviation, serves as the sole Garmin aviation dealer for the greater San Antonio area. As a service center dedicated to avionics, ASI performs work on aircraft of all sizes and equipped with avionics from a variety of manufacturers.

Ronny Salamon discusses product delivery with Garmin’s Kelly Keller.

Electronics Technology

If of the mindset that all technology sprouts from silicon valley, or perhaps up and down the U.S. West Coast, say Seattle (Boeing) or Los Angeles (Lockheed, Northrup, etc.), maybe even Kansas (Textron) or Cape Canaveral (NASA), well think again. Aerospace world leadership, in terms of innovative technology, specifically the majority of satellite, defense and electronics technology development worldwide, springs by and large from Israel.

Israel’s Ministry of Economy and Industry boasts that Israeli technologies integrate the world’s most advanced fighter aircraft, including the Lockheed Martin F-35 and F-16, Boeing F-15 and F/A-18, Eurofighter Typhoon, and more. The country also leads in UAV production and space-launch capability. Israel Aerospace Industries, a manufacturing concern established 70 years ago, delivered the country’s first tactical aircraft, and today produces aerial and astronautic systems for both military and civilian use.

Going Digital

Whether supplementing, or replacing entirely, primary flight instruments, from portable electronics to panel-embedded touch screen displays, the go-to standard today is digital. In truth, the wide range of options available to pilots can be disorienting. It takes know-how, in addition to experience, to sort through what’s best for any given combination of pilot, airplane and, importantly, mission.

Being an authorized Garmin dealer for over 20 years, ASI has both the knowledge and proficiency to tackle the often complex issues of cockpit maintenance. Salamon and his crew are specifically dedicated to the avionics arena and, moreover, their professionalism shines. Providing innovative solutions for all of general aviation including business aviation and rotorcraft, advanced air mobility, government and defense implementations and, indeed, commercial air carrier customers, their list of satisfied customers is extensive.

Without a doubt Garmin’s current aviation product line has revolutionized flight and its systems are now quintessential to pilots, aircraft owners and operators worldwide. ASI knows well Garmin’s aviation lineup, and that’s where a healthy part of the company’s focus remains. As an example, ASI recently completed legacy Beechcraft, turboprop Piper, and classic Mooney panels with all new touch screen flight displays. The new installations completely transformed the cockpits of these early model, revered airframes.

Mooney panel upgraded with Garmin GTN 750Xi GPS/Nav/Comm/MFD and 650Xi touchscreens.

Veterans in Avionics

Being well established in the avionics services industry, Salamon’s team at ASI is able to inspect, repair, overhaul and replace instruments, radios and related airframe components. The company is supported by knowledgable avionics veterans, including Roel Rogerio, a U.S. Army veteran and former employee of San Antonio-based firms Ahr Aviation and Hawker-Beechcraft (both now defunct). Another is Ryan Busby, previously associated with Salamon in the Rio Grande Valley (Laredo-McAllen) where he worked at McCreery Aviation in McAllen. In the interim Busby refined his avionics knowledge at Bombardier in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, before returning to Texas.

Ryan Busby looking on as equipment is prepped for installation.

ASI’s services run the gamut of cockpit electronics, and in summary include…

  • Panel design and installation
  • IFR / RVSM certification (including altimeter and transponder validation)
  • Integration of new and legacy avionics
  • In general, equipment testing and diagnostics, radio, navigation, autopilot, engine, etc.

According to ASI, “Bench level repairs are made when appropriate, as well as needed equipment changeovers.” Additionally, equipment can be sent out to OEM or specialized technicians, with which ASI is long familiar, to ensure manufacturer’s compliance and implied guarantees.

The Big Move

In their most recent relocation, ASI chose San Antonio as it is a prominent hub for aviation. The city has, in fact, a long aviation history. It is the birthplace of military aviation, notable for the army’s first, and only at the time, airplane that flew on March 2, 1910, at Ft. Sam Houston there.

The rest is history, as they say, including that of San Antonio legend Dee Howard who was an innovator in converting used military aircraft into cabin class conveyances suited for corporate consumption. Many of the outstanding aviation businesses that exist in San Antonio today, including numerous smaller shops, have sprung from the city’s military and corporate roots. One such shop was Ahr Aviation (a.k.a. Ahr Avionics) that operated out of San Antonio International Airport (KSAT), beginning in 1984, until its namesake retired.

While ASI serves San Antonio exclusively as a Garmin authorized dealer, the company’s reach extends beyond the central U.S. The company offers mobile services and facilitates owners and maintenance operations practically anywhere demand calls. Salamon follows a mobile service mantra, “We will come to you. We work with many local maintenance shops in San Antonio, also in Laredo, Georgetown, and Corpus Christi, for example. However, if a project takes us out of state we are able to do that, as we have done in the past.”

Roel Rogerio, an avionics veteran, lays out an instrument panel at ASI.

Skyplace FBO at KSAT

Every new project presents a challenge to ASI, and every day its unraveling is exactly what you see in their bustling offices at KSAT. Skyplace is the name on the hangar, and it shows prominently on the ramp side which is in fact San Antonio’s newest FBO (skyplacefbo.com). The facility is quite expansive, and was formerly the headquarters of Sino-Swearingen Aircraft Company. At present it’s filled with aircraft both transitioning through or based there.

A discernible vibe is present amidst the activity in and out of the two large hangar doors. From a visit to the Platinum/ASI offices, to taking delivery of freshly updated or overhauled cockpit, collectively it’s energizing. If full service and complete satisfaction are what you expect, at ASI that’s exactly what you’ll get.

Legacy in Concert with Modern

The glass panel avionics boom emerged from the airlines in the 1990s. “Glass,” perhaps more aptly touchscreen, has become pervasive in the general aviation cockpit ever since. Through the years Salamon worked extensively with legacy avionics manufacturers, including Collins. From this period he maintains a wealth of knowledge on integration, coupling that with new generations of products.

Ronny Salamon, president of Avionics Services International at KSAT in San Antonio, Texas.

Part 145 Approved

To be in the avionics business, one must be a repair station. This is a maxim that applies worldwide. “Avionics is what we do, it’s not a sideline to maintenance and repair. And for us, this is the most important thing to getting the job done right,” says Salamon.

A directive of Part 145 approval is maintaining a quality management system with specific capability to perform the “maintenance” task. What this means is that an organization is both certificated to perform the work, while being capable and qualified to do so. Namely in the area of avionics, ASI is focused on this as its core business.

The Cockpit of the Future

Tomorrow is going to be about more than the digital cockpit, ADS-B, or moving maps for that matter. Meanwhile, though, the emphasis is on the technology that we have at our fingertips. Tools in the cockpit have become paramount to the owner/operator/pilot, and perhaps in ways not yet imagined.

Aircraft electronics is a burgeoning industry and it will continue to address many of the problems with aviation today, not the least of which are fuels, traffic flows in increasingly diverse airspace, artificial intelligence, and access. Whatever the cockpits of the future bring, ASI is prepared to help its customers realize them.

One final thought offered by Salamon, that is decidedly traditional in a business sense, “It is important for us to see the work through to the end, that is until the customer is satisfied with their new panel, its functionality and beneficial operation.” Prepared to unravel the electronics mystery, Ronny Salamon with his team at Avionics Services International are putting new capabilities and added functionality into the cockpit for today’s aviators.

This article was published in Avionics News magazine, September 2023.