I am writing this a little over a week after Raymond and I returned from Oshkosh 2013, and am, quite honestly, still at a loss for words (and those who know me will find that hard to believe), in attempting to describe the incredible response to our engine display in the new Innovation Pavilion.
We have always believed that there is big potential demand for new aviation engine technology, and an answer to the leaded fuel problems, but the totally positive and enthusiastic response from the visitors packing the stand was overwhelming. Aircraft owners, from both the legacy aircraft and Experimental sectors, builders looking at engine options for aircraft in build, or making decisions as to which kit to buy, A&Ps, pilots from every discipline, OEMs, and airframe manufacturers and even potential investors were all excited by the opportunity to have access to a range of new generation engines. Fixed wing, helicopters, singles, twins, amphibious, low and slow to hot and high, the power, compact size, light weight, ease of fitment to a range of aircraft and the economy of the ADEPT engines attracted them all. The fact that we have better than a 1 HP per pound power to weight ratio was something that we have rather taken for granted, but it was something that really hit home with the visitors to the stand. And the interest hasn’t stopped. Enquiries and e-mails are coming in numbers every day, and we need to seriously reconsider our production schedules…
Oshkosh also gave us the opportunity to work with Lee Brinley, our enthusiastic and hardworking US representative who will be receiving one of our MFP engines for his Lancair ESP. Lee, despite being a huge believer in our engines, was amazed at the response to our display. A big thank you to Mike Hoffman and Phil Scallan who helped out when the stand became really busy.
ADEPT was one of only six companies chosen to pitch our business plan at the Pitch and Mingle Investors’ Forum, and the presentation was really well received. We were also featured on the Aero News Network, and in a podcast on the popular AvWeb site. I was also fortunate to be invited to be filmed for the EAA’s Living Voices project.
The new Innovation pavilion was a great success, with some interesting displays, including new diesel engine options, but consensus amongst our visitors was that the new diesels were too big and heavy.
Once again, the SA presence at Oshkosh was an experience that all South African aviators and enthusiasts should put as a top priority bucket list item. Thanks to Neil and his team who make this trip so much more than a visit to an air show. It was good to meet with some of the regulars, including Mike Blythe from the Airplane factory who once again flew in from SA. All in all, a memorable Oshkosh 2013.