Thursday, February 15, 2007

SSA Convention, Memphis, TN Feb 8-10

A number of vendors and presentations made it impossible to see them all, but as an experiment, below are several videos showing highlights from the display floor.

- You must have QuickTime 7 (from Apple)
- A broadband connection helps as these videos are 10x more data than a typical YouTube video.
- Several people have noted the audio is slightly off from the video, I'm looking into this.
- CLICK on a picture to start each video.
- Clickable links to the vendors and other information is in the video

Price US$5. John's email is: bumperm AT

For the first time that I know, the 20 meter Antares electric motorglider was on display in the States. Impressive workmanship, fine attention to detail, quiet running motor, comfortable and beautiful (CLICK on picture):

Another new ship not seen at the convention before is the Silent 2 Targa, represented in the USA by Leo Benetti-Longhini who describes some of the features of this snappy lightweight and 40:1 claimed on a 13.3m wing glider (CLICK on picture):

Leo also announced that he is the newly appointed North American sales and service representative for the recently flown Revelation JS-1 from Jonker Sailplanes . You can contact Leo at

Speaking of newer gliders, the Diana 2 was on the show floor. The Diana 2's main difference is the wing, with a noticeably smooth curved back leading edge, much like the SZD-55. Speaking is Jerry Zieba, US dealer (L) and Bill Liscomb (R) pilot/owner (CLICK on picture):

Another very interesting development is the self-launching capability for the Sparrowhawk glider. The Sparrowhawk is intriguing as it has good cross country performance (37:1) yet only weighs 155 pounds. Couple this with a self launching capability and now you have a easy ground handling plane that you can self-retrieve and yet run up to 123 knots. Here's Greg Cole, founder of Windward Performance, the manufacturer of the Sparrowhawk talking about the self launch unit (CLICK on picture):

Whether you have a motor or not, most all of us still need a trailer, and once we have one, we need to maintain it properly, right? Well I've been less than regular with maintenance on my Cobra trailer, so I attended the John Murray/Alfred Spindelberger talk on Cobra trailer maintenance. It was so packed I couldn't film properly, so John agreed to a later "short" piece for the highlights (CLICK on picture):

Of course, the traditional manufacturers like Schempp-Hirth, Schleicher, DG, AMS Carat and others were also on the show floor too. Instrument and software companies were there such as StrePla, SeeYou, WinPilot, etc. New this year to the show was Matt Herron, showing his XC flight planning software, GlidePlan (CLICK on picture):

A new entrant to the instrument field is Nielsen Kellerman (NK), best known for their Kestrel line of anemometers, and for those who use to row in college, their instruments for crew teams. Richard Kellerman started gliding a few years ago and has done contest WX forecasting as well as fly competitively. Building a team of soaring instrument veterans such as Dave Ellis, Chip Garner, Phil Schlosser, and Rick Sheppe, NK has come up with a very impressive single unit soaring data instrument with a very bright display called ClearNav (CLICK on picture):

There was much more but that's it for the videos. I'm writing this up for print also.



chuck said...

Thanks much. These videos were great. The SSA should pay your way next year and have a short segment on all vendors.

Jeremy said...

Kemp, thanks for posting the videos. I wasn't at the show and was really hoping that someone had brought a video camera along. :-)