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EAA AirVenture Oshkosh RSS Feed PD-2 Roadable Kit For The Glasair Sportsman GS-2
PD-2 at AirVenture
PD-2 is on display on AirVenture grounds together with Glasair Aviation LLC.
PD-2 at AirVenture
PD-2 at AirVenture

By Marino Boric, EAA European Correspondent

The PD-2 roadable kit is on display at AirVenture 2012 and constantly catching the attention of walk-by visitors. Actually it is pretty difficult to talk to Trey Johnson (CEO Plane Driven LLC) because his PD-2 is continuously under siege by the curious - not only pilots.

Plane Driven is motivated to make a great general aviation airplane street legal. Weather often forces a pilot to land and wait out a passing storm or persistent low clouds. Equipped with Plane Driven's PD-2 kit, a pilot need not wait for better weather.

Plane Driven has chosen the Glasair Sportsman as a natural platform to add a roadable kit conversion. The Glasair Sportsman is a four-place aircraft, but it becomes a two-person aircraft when carrying the PD-2 drive pod. The PD-2 power pod can be easily removed, and the Sportsman can be again used as a four-place airplane.

The Sportsman is known for its folding wings and its ability to easily convert between gear configurations: tricycle, tailwheel, straight floats, amphibious floats, skis. With a PD-2 kit you can add street-legal motorcycle to the Sportsman's conversion options.

The Plane Driven PD-2 kit will only fit a Glasair Sportsman because it is built specifically for the airframe.

Plane Driven will soon be seeking orders from a few customers interested in becoming early adopters. Glasair offers an AirVenture discount option to add the structure necessary for the Plane Driven PD-2 kit.

Once a Glasair Sportsman is flying, the vehicle frame will be delivered to the PD Mfg. LLC shop, where it will be installed together with the powerplant and all components to meet the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards (FMVSS) for motorcycles. A VIN is issued, and a customer is ready to register the vehicle and drive away.

The kit will include everything necessary to make the Sportsman PD-2 roadable and in compliance with the FMVSS for motorcycles. Components include steerable front wheels, brakes, wheelpants, a rear drive unit, all required lighting, and all cables and connections. Delivery is expected by year's end.

Surface operating requirements are a driver's license, motorcycle endorsement, and in some states a trike endorsement. For flying, a current third class medical and a private pilot certificate or better with tailwheel endorsement.

Concerning performance, the PD-2 modified airplane has been driven up to 73 mph on the highway and has consistently flown up to 140 mph in the air. Aerodynamic improvements, like wheelpants, should increase airspeed. The achievable range is 200-plus miles on the road and 470 miles in the air.

The PD-2 has a 50-hp engine installed in back with a power-to-weight ratio similar to a 1965 VW bug. The PD-2 has shown the capability to climb highway grades, and the suspension is tolerant of bumpy roads plus it can be driven on a highway during stormy weather. The useful load of the prototype is currently 630 pounds, but it is likely that it will be increased to 730 pounds. The demonstrated service ceiling is now 15,000 feet.

Transitioning between the flight and drive modes is manual. There is a checklist to be followed, which includes folding the wings, raising or lowering the front wheels, and moving the drive unit between the baggage area and the drive position. The modified airplane can be reconfigured to floats. For fuel you need 100LL fuel running the IO-390/210-hp Lycoming, and regular automotive unleaded fuel is used in the drive unit.

The PD-2 will fit in a garage space with minimum dimensions of 8 feet 7 inches wide, 10 feet high, and 25 feet deep. Pricing for the PD-2 has not yet been released, but the price of the PD-2 kit will be around $60,000 US.

You will find him with the Glasair Aviation LLC space, booths 253-254 between hangars A and B. For more information go to www.PlaneDriven.com.

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