The Very First Customer Built Panther Sport Takes Flight!! 6 comments


SPA is pleased (ecstatic really!) to announce that today, 8/5/2015 at 9AM EST, the first customer built Panther Sport, N109L Built by Robert (Bob) Woolley, took it’s maiden flight. N109L is a Sport version of the Panther with the short wing and a Lycoming 0-320 engine.

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It was inspected and received its air-worthiness certificate Monday 8/3/15. After a few final checks Bob performed the first flight from Haller Airpark in North FL. The SPA crew was on hand for moral support and documentation. The flight was chased by our mutual good friend Dave Dollarhide in his RV-4 and lasted 25 minutes. Spectators commented that while the Panther has a large presence on the ground, it was noticeably smaller than the RV-4 in flight. No official performance numbers yet, but it looked great, and certainly will be a hot rod when it has finished the test program. In the coming weeks Bob will be making some small adjustments, like adding pitch to the Whirlwind Ground adjustable propeller, adjusting controls, and inspecting the airframe as his testing continues.

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SPA presented Bob with a plaque in honor of his accomplishment. Dan Weseman said “We owe a lot to our first 50 builders. We have learned so much in the past 2 years, and our builders have been very patient along the way, and have given extremely positive feedback. It’s great to see the hard work pay off! We wish Bob (and all our builders) success, Safe flying, and a heartfelt thank you for working with us on the Panther program.”

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SPA will publish the performance specs when Bob has good data.

There are, at the time of this release, 65 total Panther builders.  We expect a half dozen of Panthers to fly by the end of the year.  Team SPA is certainly living the dream and helping others make it a reality – right now!

Please see the video below or click the link:

First Customer Built Panther Sport Maiden Flight


Share your thoughts

6 thoughts on “The Very First Customer Built Panther Sport Takes Flight!!

  • Rick Holland

    Fantastic. Congrats to Bob, Rachel and Dan. This Panther is beautiful, especially the cowling/prop/spinner, will be incredible after paint. Think I will start looking a little harder for that used O-320 for my Panther.

  • Mike List

    WOOHOO!! Congratulations everyone and what a looker! The plane that is, Bob. You’re gonna need a wider canopy to hold that smile! Watch out RV crowd! Mike, Mary, Anna, and Jenny List

  • Stan Johnson

    I’m sure all concerned are very happy with the outcome of all of your work. I’ve followed the progress at SPA for the last 18 months or so. I’m a student pilot that sincerely hopes that there might be a Panther or Cougar in my future. Keep up the good work and Kudos to all.

    Cheers,
    Stan J.

  • Axel Wegener

    Congrats! The aircraft is a beauty and you both Rachel and Dan also the builder (Bob Wooley) has obviously done an outstanding job.
    I like the flying videos, also having great fun see it flying that well. If I’am allowed to express one wish – keep the aircraft affordable for the big crowd, its a winner… Good luck also on your build Rick (Holland).

    Blue skies and
    Kind regards

    Axel Wegener, Germany
    (ThatcherCX4 builder,
    A-Bird Design)