Good things sometimes take ages to materialize, but are well worth the wait. So it is with the “Aerolab LoCamp,” now nearly 15 years in development, but poised to take off at last. For those Lovers of Old Fashioned Aircraft that crowded around the original prototype at Sun ‘n Fun and EAA AirVenture-Oshkosh some years back, they can soon start building their own nostalgically-rendered – but thoroughly modern – flying machines!
If all goes well in the phase 1 test flights, the first flying production kit aircraft, LoCamp N527CL, sporting a 110 hp Rotec R2800 radial engine, will debut in the Rotec Aerosport exhibit at Sun ‘n Fun, April 21-26, 2015, and then again in the Rotec Aerosport exhibit at AirVenture, July 20-26, 2015.
The LoCamp is the low-wing version of the company’s Sport Camp series. Biplane and parasol wing versions are planned for the future, as is a fully-manufactured, fly-way Special Light Sport (SLSA) LoCamp. “These aircraft go back to a certain era,” says company founder, aircraft designer and former Alitalia airline captain, Francesco Rizzi. “Our mission is to produce charming flying machines with souls as standard equipment.”
The LoCamp will likely be certified under the Experimental Amateur-built rules, and is available now as a kit approximately 49% completed. Accompanied by an extremely detailed and easy-to-follow assembly manual, the kit can be quickly assembled by even first-time homebuilders.
While obviously appealing to nostalgic impulses, the Aerolab LoCamp is a state-of-the art aircraft under its 1930s-looking skin. Comprised of a CNC laser-cut and TIG welded steel fuselage and tail section, aluminum spars and ribs, push-rod controls and electric flaps and trim, the kit comes complete except for paint, chemicals and glue, and an electrical system. The covering package includes fabric, finishing tapes, inspection rings and fabric rivets. (No rib stitching necessary!)
Powered by the Rotec R2800 110 hp radial engine, the LoCamp is expected to cruise at 106 mph, stall clean at 45 mph, and flaps down at 41 mph. The calculated empty weight is 848 lbs., leaving a useful load of 472 lbs. while staying within the 1,320 lbs. limit necessary to be Sport Pilot-eligible. Sea level rate of climb is expected to be about 800 fpm. Range with full fuel at gross weight calculates out to 523 statute miles, with a 30-minute reserve. (Additional specs and dimensions are posted on the website, www.aerolabusa.com, including a link to the Rotec Aerosport site.)
Golden Age Aeroworks, LLC, d/b/a Aerolab USA, is the exclusive distributor of Aerolab Manufacturing, Inc. products in the United States. Ed Leineweber is leading the initiative at Tri-County Regional Airport (LNR), near Spring Green and Lone Rock, Wisconsin, about 50 miles west of Madison in southwest Wisconsin.
Aerolab USA offers a complete builder’s assistance program in its large, well-equipped, sunny new hangar. Arrangements can be made to store a builder’s project locally between building sessions, if necessary. LoCamp transition flight training will also be available.
Tri-County Regional Airport offers amenities which include an airport restaurant, terminal building with lounge and restrooms, fuel sales, hangar rentals for as low as $100.00 per month, and a full-service general aviation aircraft maintenance shop. Motels and other restaurants and attractions are nearby, including the Wisconsin River wilderness area, beautiful hardwood-covered hills and rushing trout streams of the unglaciated driftless area of Wisconsin, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s home “Taliesin” in Spring Green.
Current LoCamp prices and options can be found on the Aerolab USA website, along with over 100 build photos (www.aerolabusa.com).
Delivery positions are now available for a refundable $500 deposit. The first kits are already in the company’s Wisconsin warehouse, ready to ship.
To further encourage the more adventurous early builders, a fantastic price deal on the R2800 radial engine, collector ring and throttle body injector is available to the first 10 kit purchasers. See www.aerolabusa.com for details.
Project partnerships will be facilitated upon request.
For additional information, contact Ed Leineweber at 608-604-6515, or via email at email@example.com.
Personal inspection of the aircraft and tours of the Aerolab USA facilities are welcomed.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Ed Leineweber is the managing member of Golden Age Aeroworks, LLC. He is a retired circuit court judge now practicing primarily aviation and business-related law (www.leineweberlaw.com). Leineweber holds is a CFII, is an FAA-licensed aviation maintenance technician (LSRM), and has owned two fixed base operations.