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.
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.
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.”
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: