These are some photos taken at the Willis Gliderport when I was flying the Libelle there. The black and white photo on the left is of the late Bill Willis and I observing the clouds and trying to decide if it is time to launch. Bill was the patriarch of flying in the West Palm Beach area and still holds the official Florida distance record. He flew from West Palm Beach, Florida to Cordele, Georgia in a little over nine hours. He actually did it twice because the barograph failed on the first record attempt.
This is a PIK-20E, self-launching, sailplane. The retractable Rotax engine behind the canopy eliminates the need for a towplane. After taking off like a normal powered plane and climbing to altitude, the engine is retracted and the ship becomes a high performance sailplane with a glide ratio of 42:1. I used to own this plane in partnership with Bruce Case, an airline pilot who lives at the Willis Gliderport.
|Created on 12/30/2005 12:38 PM by admin
Updated on 08/13/2006 04:12 AM by rbrown3rd