We had a great week at Sun ‘N Fun 2015!  We were in the same booth as last year, at the end of the row outside of Hangar C on the corner.  This location is great for us.  We get good foot traffic because we are on the end, we have a little more room to spread out because we are on the corner and we have enough room to fold the wings on the Panther and tuck her in the trailer if a nasty storm rolls in.  The weather this year was pretty good at the show, no tucking in the trailer.  We had many builders stop by to see us and check out how Paul’s Panther project is coming along.  We also met quite a few people who had never heard of the Panther and were excited to try it on for size.  Paul is building his Panther as the LSA version with the Corvair 3.0L as well.  He has all the production parts and is a great representation of how a full Panther Kit comes together.

 

We had our annual cookout at the booth on Friday night, and we all had a great time.  I would guess we had around 40 people throughout the evening.  The kids helped prep, played bartender and raffle ticket master and we had a surprise visit by Waylon and Willie baby raccoons!  Most people have never had the pleasure to hold a 5 week old raccoon, and this was a special treat.

what were are doing is what people like.

Since then we have been extremely busy.  I will simply list some of the various projects below, in no particular order or priority level.

We’ve moved!   To a unit in the same complex (just a few roll up doors down) that gives us twice the capacity we had before.  We gained an R&D area, more storage and much needed office space.  We are still organizing, but things are coming together nicely.

As we are finishing the documentation, hardware kits and firewall forward parts we are running inventory beyond our current orders.  We still have a few back ordered items, like canopy skirts, landing gear legs, rudder cables and engine mounts.  And as we wrap these up, we are moving into part production for inventory to fill future orders.  This will help drastically reduce lead time for future builders.  Investing in inventory will help free up man power to work on new projects.

We are prepping more spars for assembly.

We are ramping up for future orders – building more Panther forward fuselage cages.

These bins hold the CNC cut tubes that make up the forward fuselage of the Panther.  Once we receive our shipment of more cross members for the pallet rack these will be up on a shelf and better organized.

Once the Forward Fuselage cages get back from powder-coat they go up in the mezzanine area for safe storage, along with the canopies and cowlings.

Travis is working on prepping Corvair Cylinder heads for re-conditioning.  We celebrated 1 year with our welder – Travis Young.  See more about our staff HERE

Cylinder Head cleaning.  We had a company come to our site and clean the first batch.  He did a good job, for a decent price and Luke got to help ?

Engine mount fixtures for the Panther engines getting built.

One of our volunteers, Panther builder # 18 Bob Jacoby, has taken on the task of photographing every Panther part so we can have a visual reference for our builders.  He even built a light box!

We have received our final prototype canopy skirts and they fit great!

Notice the canopy skirt comes finished and fits very well. It has the rear structure of the canopy pre-bonded in the factory molds. This, along with CNC cut aluminum components, will make the typically painful process of installing the canopy system much easier. In the future we will work with the canopy manufacturer to offer the canopy pre-trimmed and bonded to the frame as an upgrade option.

Bob Woolley should be scheduling his DAR inspection very soon!  We will keep you updated as things progress.  It is going to be a busy summer for us all!

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