How many prospective aircraft owners would opt for the performance of an experimental homebuilt aircraft if it didn’t involve flying an airplane they had to build themselves? Lack of confidence in their own abilities and impatience with homebuilding’s delayed gratification have led some 200 Glasair Sportsman 2+2 buyers through the “Two Weeks to Taxi” (TWTT) program at Glasair Aircraft USA’s Customer Assembly Center in Arlington, Wash. Here, under the watchful tutelage and active assistance of factory technicians, the owner/builder is led through each step of assembly, tools at the ready, prep work completed, while also learning about the aircraft’s systems and components. Two weeks later, the aircraft built, the owner goes home, and Glasair completes the painting, flight testing, fly-off hours, approvals and other finishing work.
Given the shortcut the process provides, it’s not surprising that about half of all Sportsman kits sold have been assembled under TWTT auspices. Now, potential Sportsman buyers have another incentive to take the TWTT route to ownership: diesel power. The newly introduced Continental CD-155 diesel engine option for the Sportsman is available only to buyers who build their airplanes under factory supervision, mandated to ensure that the complex installation is performed correctly.