Tuesday, June 30, 2009
Belite Rollout; Todd Tiahrt grins; Many new pictures
Too much happened today.
The day started at 6:00am with a photo shoot of the new plane, Belite 254. We had a photographer come in and shoot an amazing series of photos of the plane as the sun rose. The lighting and weather were spectacular and it just seemed the plane wanted to look good. Sunrise coloring made the oranges in our corporate paint scheme just *pop*. See the photos! I've also posted them on facebook under my username, jamespwiebe.
I added some more pictures which also show the carbon fiber structure of the wing as it went into covering several weeks ago.
We've posted the first good photos of the instrument panel. One of my fellow workers, Gene Stratton, gave it coat after coat to make the wood just shine. We want our demonstrator to look good, and we want people to have a warm feeling when they get in the plane. The wood is a perfect offset to the carbon fiber. BTW, we added a carbon fiber glare panel above the wood, and we added trim around the wood. It's looking really sharp.
This afternoon, our rollout ceremony was held at the Old Town Warren water fountains. Todd Tiahrt was our speaker. While we have no illusions of solving Wichita's laid off aircraft employee crisis, it was still a bright spot for Wichita. Lots of media coverage; two different TV stations ran pieces and I'll bet the paper will have a nice story in the morning. We'll see.
The highlight for me was asking Todd Tiahrt if he'd like to get in the plane, immediately after we'd rolled off the cover. Everyone was walking up and looking at the plane. Todd got in, and he just smiled like a child with a new shiny toy. Made my day. People kept asking questions.
We asked our pastor, Ben Staley, to pray for us. He did so. Thank you Ben!
One gentleman came up to me and said he'd come from England to see what we were doing. Really!?! Well, no, but he was really from England, and would be taking our story back there. He was fascinated.
Many of our friends joined us at Cafe Moderne for some snacks after the event. It was fun. It was good to sit down and relax.
Top 10 questions:
1) What's it cost? A: not yet announced.
2) How fast? A: 55 knots
3) How slow? A: 24 knots
4) Where made? A: in our facility in Wichita
5) Can I work for you? A: send me a resume, but not right now
6) Kit or Built? A: either way works for us.
7) Do I need a pilot's license: A: No. And no FAA airplane registration as well!
8) What should I have to fly it? A: A solo endorsement + additional instruction in a similar airplane.
9) How far does it go? A: about 200 miles.
10) What's it cost? A: back to Question #1.
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