Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Bird of a Different Feather

Landing at small airports is always exciting. They remind you of how things were before 9/11 and security at commercial airports closed them to the public. Most private strips still allow you to enter the tarmac and for some airplane watching.

Another interesting feature of small airports is you can find some unusual aircraft. They may be old models or former military planes lovingly restored. On our recent flight to Skagit Regional Airport we saw a very unusual modern aircraft.

A Triton Aerospace A500 at Skagit Regional Airport.

Thanks to Google images I was able to identify it as an Adam A500. It's based on an composite airframe originally designed by Burt Rutan in Mojave, California. That's pretty obvious if you've seen any of his other designs.

Adam Aircraft Industries went bankrupt and then out of business in 2009. Their product designs and manufacturing equipment transferred to a Russian owned company but everything quickly transferred to Triton Aerospace (AeroMarine), a former composite yacht builder, located in Burlington and Anacortes, Washington.  Ah, there's the connection to Skagit Regional Airport.

Plans to start building the aircraft again began in 2011, but costs led them to move their manufacturing plant to Zhuhai, China. Currently, they are manufacturing light sport aircraft. Even though they have the rights to start building the A500 once again, I do not find any evidence. That makes viewing one these "birds of a different feather" a very lucky encounter.

Are you an airplane buff? Where are some of your favourite airports for ramp walking and aircraft viewing? -- Margy


  1. Hi Margy — this is an interesting post. The first time I ever flew was in a small plane. In fact, it was a float plane, and we went from Vancouver's inner harbour to Saltspring Island. I loved it.
    So nice to see your name popping up in so many different places recently. I hope it's an omen that we'll make it up your way soon. I hope so.
    Meanwhile, keep up the good work. (And I still envy you your vegetable garden.)
    An Unfittie's Guide to Adventurous Travel

    1. I've only been a float plane once, on a tour in upstate New York. All of my other small plane flights have been in wheeled craft. I try to get information out to help promote Wayne's books, so I guess it is working. - Margy


Thanks for stopping by. Comments, questions, and suggestions are always welcome. - Margy