Presidents Report – August 2023

Not a lot to report locally this month so I thought I would take a look at announcements and goings on at the EAA Oshkosh convention that has just concluded.

This year was the 70th edition of the show, a far cry from the first in September 1953 where just 21 aircraft and 150 people attended.

2023 is the year several homebuilt first flight anniversaries were celebrated. Here is a list:

  • Midget Mustang- 75 years
  • Wittman Tailwind- 70 years
  • Thorp T-18- 60 years
  • Sorrell Hyperbipe- 50 years
  • Sonex- 25 years
  • Vans RV10- 20 years.

I know all these aircraft so I must be getting old!

It was also 50 years since the end of hostilities in Vietnam so there were many displays to honour the Vietnam veterans.

A big announcement that will filter down to Australian pilots in time is the FAA proposal for a complete revamp of the LSA category of aircraft. The Modernization of Special Airworthiness Certification (MOSAIC) seeks to update the category to make it safer and more broadly appealing. A summary appears below:

  • The 1320lb maximum weight limit is scrapped with just a maximum stall speed applied. This increases to 54Kts up from 45kts which indirectly may allow weights up to 3000lbs.
  • Maximum allowable cruise speed is increased from 120kts to 250kts!
  • 4 seat aircraft will be allowed.
  • Technology restrictions will be relaxed allowing use of equipment like constant speed propellors, retractable undercarriage, electric power, eVTOL technology and fly by wire controls.

Introduction is likely to be in 2025. A great thing going forward. How long it takes to filter through to the Australian RAAUS is anyone’s guess as we still patiently await 760KG approval!

Other announcements include:

  • First public demonstration flight of an eVTOL autonomous vehicle. The Wisk Generation 5 has 12 electric lift motors and 1 forward propulsion pusher electric motor and no pilot. One wonders what duration will be achieved with current battery technology.
  • The Diamond DA-50 RG was flown from Austria, across the Atlantic to Oshkosh to receive its FAA Type certificate approval. It has a single 300hp Jet fuel burning Turbo Diesel engine pushing it along at 172 kts cruise with 5 people on board.
  • Piper Aircraft announced the sale of 97 revamped new build Piper Archer DX diesel powered aircraft to 4 flying training schools. One school is in USA and three in India, a future growth area for aviation pilot training. Not bad for an aircraft design that had its first flight in 1960!
  • And finally, Boeing released its 20 year forecast for crewing the airline industry. 650,000 Pilots, 700,000 technicians and nearly 1 million cabin crew. Time to start engaging your grandchildren in aviation!

The August club meeting will be hosted by Chris Moore in my absence as I will be trekking around Australia in my RV-7A for the next month. 

Our speaker will be Peter Jolly.  Peter has a broad aviation background embracing a RAAF flying career, glider pilot and Sport Aircraft Association of Australia founding member. He has built a Jabiru aircraft. Come and hear his story.

Blue Skies,


Every takeoff is optional but every landing is mandatory