After years of hard work and testing, the plane is finally done and has been put to the test. The goal was to build a plane that could fly far, fast, and heavy. It comes from a kit plane manufacturer know as Compair and you build it together with a company known as Composite Technologies. We built it from the ground up with exploration, filming and fishing in mind.
Synonymous with remote destinations are long distances, spotty weather, and short runways. We needed a reliable plane that could be loaded to the gills, travel far and fast, and still be able to set down in some of the shortest and roughest air strips. Modifications to the wings, flaps, and prop were implemented to give the aircraft a substantial payload while maintaining a modest stall speed. Meet the newest Spanish "Fly."
Sanding down the ribs that make the wings fat and provide the lift that carries the large payloads.........mostly camera, fishing and diving gear!
The plane was built in stages, wing stage then fuselage, then controls, engine and finally avionics.
The Maiden Voyage was to a place called Ambergris Cay. A good friend and local capt. Rush Maltz told me of this remote island in the far southeastern Bahamas, it just seemed like perfect test run for the plane. After a few weeks of planning it was time to gather our gear and load up. With a truck load of gear to fit in the plane, we had to be careful in keeping the center of gravity and load balanced. Too much weight in the front or rear, the plane doesn't fly right.
After a few high speed test taxis up the runway, it was time to see if this thing was really going to get off the ground. Full of fuel and gear,(about 1.5 tons of usefull load) and taking off from a short runway with obstacles and power lines at both ends,I think everyone was a little nervous about pushing all the numbers to the limit. Then we were wheels up with half the runway to spare. Off to a good start!
Approach to Provo which is the capital of the Turks and Caicos. It was from there that we took off to try make our landing at Ambergris before dark!
The sun is setting as we make our final approach into Ambergris Cay. Remember, fully loaded, no lights and a rough dirt runway....... FUN!!
You can never imagine how quiet it was in the airplane on the approach and how loud the sounds of relief from everyone when we finally touched down! After all this was exactly what the plane was built for, and it wasn't just that day we were happy about. This was the culmination of the last one and a half year of work! From raw fiberglass and carbon to an actual flying thing that got us wheels down in this remote place! FREAKING AWESOME!!!