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The URLy Crew went to the Airplane Owners and Pilots Association Expo '96 at the San Jose, CA Convention Center this weekend. (Oct. 19, 1996).

This was our first experience with such an event and we were dazzled by the new technology that is happening with small airplanes. We were aware that much of the new design development had been in "kit" planes in the United States, since most of the traditional companies, such as Cessna, had stopped making new planes due to a spate of lawsuits.


This year, many new "manufactured" airplanes are being introduced. The Cirrus particularly caught our eye. We think it is one of the sexiest designs we've ever seen! As a piece of sculpture it is extraordinary for its flow of shape--both to the eye and to the touch. Its four-seat interior reminds us of a luxury car with its soft, beige-leather padded bucket seats. The console looks like it is a virtual reality game, complete with a computer screen for plotting your course.


The new body technology is awe-inspiring. The seamless high-gloss surface allows for shapes to take on an organic feeling. We were happy to discover a booth with the already-invented repair kits for this finish and for the plexiglass windows.

There were, of course, other striking new planes. There was a broad range of booths, as would be expected. Booths included clubs for the owners of specific brands of planes and organizations with various missions such as mercy flights. There were booths for specialty clothing, parts and accessories for the airplane, engines, insurance companies, finance companies and collectibles. The hot product of the event was headphones.


The Cirrus | The Katana | Body Technology | Engines | Headphones

Toys 4 Big Boys

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