|Sport Performance Aviation LLC President Dan Weseman sits in the company's new Panther aircraft at Booth 615. (photo by Gary Flick)
By Gary Flick
August 2, 2013 - Florida-based Sport Performance Aviation LLC has brought its new foldable-wing, aerobatic LSA Panther aircraft to AirVenture.
The aircraft is available for kit- or plansbuilding. The kit price is $11,500 and is available in many forms.
"We offer it as a taildragger or tri-gear, and have different wing lengths and many engine options," explained SPA President and Panther designer Dan Weseman.
Some of the engine options are Lycoming, Continental, Jabiru, UL, and Corvair, which the one at Oshkosh is equipped with.
The Panther offers great visibility with its bubble canopy, and has a large, comfortable cockpit.
"We've had guys in it today from 5 feet 5 inches to 6 feet 6 inches, and they were all comfortable," Weseman said.
The aircraft had its wing folded but Weseman unfolded it for a photograph and it took him, by himself, no more than 20 seconds to do so.
"We tried to be as clever as we could with the design," Weseman said. "With the wings folded it can fit in an 18-foot by 7-foot by 7-foot trailer for transportation."
Empty, the aircraft weighs 650-750 pounds, depending on the specifications and engine. The wingspan is 21.5 feet for the sport model, and 23.5 feet for the LSA, with top speeds of 200 mph and 180 mph, respectively.
The Phantom is on display at Sport Performance Aviation's booth, No. 615, just north of the Homebuilts wayfinding tower.