We had an amazing show with EAA AirVenture 2013! We met so many enthusiastic builders, potential builders and aviation lovers. We met up with old friends who have been following the Panther progress over the last two years and they were so impressed with how great the Panther looks in person and how far we have come. We also introduced the Panther to some new friends who instantly appreciated what the Panther brings to the aviation market.
I am writing this up as we are headed back to Florida. We have stopped in a very nice KOA campground right outside of Dayton, Ohio – the birth place of aviation. While we were at Oshkosh a representative from Airplane Plastics talked to us about the opportunity to take a look at our canopy. As some of you know we have been working through getting two more inches of head room in the Panther.
The Panther has many seat adjustments. There are 8 settings for the seat bottom – allowing you to move the seat back forward and aft. The seat bottom is at about a 35 degree angle, so moving it forward also moves the pilot up in the seat. The seat back adjusts in 8 positions to lean the pilots back angle forward and aft. The rudder pedals have 3 adjustments in the cockpit and 3 in the forward fuselage allowing for 9 different positions. With all of this said, we still would like 2 more inches for those super tall guys that have the long torso. We can accommodate even the tallest pilots with the canopy we have now. As you can see from the gentlemen below who were each 6’6″ tall.
Even with all of these adjustments available, we had a few very tall guys with a long torso that hit their head on the top of the canopy. So, while we were near Airplane Plastics Dan and Paul took the Panther canopy over to them for a their review.
Airplane Plastics is very easy to work with and we will see if the height to width ratio is something they can do. They are willing to blow a test canopy for us when we are ready. The issue is their cost is higher than what we are getting currently. We will also be working more with Todd’s Canopies. Todd has a canopy already blown that we will be trying as soon as we get back to FL.
Now we are headed to the famous Wright-Patterson National Air Force Museum!