Mark Hannant

The arrival of a powered parachute marks another first for the show and stakes a claim for the smallest, cheapest aircraft on display ¡ yours for a mere £10,000.The Summit Generation 2000 powered parachute is an imported Canadian kit manufactured by Summit International and brought to the UK by Ascot-based WW Air. Managing director Carl Wych set up the company last October specifically to bring the Summit to the UK market. It is on display at the static park.

Once the paperwork of section S certification is completed in October WW Air's five existing customers will take possession of their kits. The recreational uses of the aircraft are obvious but, says Wych, there are other applications. It makes a fantastic camera platform, ideally suited for sporting events. It's been used in Canada for search and rescue operations and crop-spraying.

Powered by a 64hp Zanzoterra MZ202 engine, the Generation 2000 has a five-hour endurance time and a speed of more than 50km/h (33mph). "It's the low-altitude, low-speed capability that makes it ideal for surveilance," says Wych, who has had from potential customers in China, Japan, Spain and Russia.

"Powered parachutes are still new in the UK, although they are very popular in other parts of the world. I have been researching these aircraft over the past few years and have evaluated a number of products. "The Summit is the best I've found. I saw it last year at Sun and Fun and was very impressed with the engineering. The design is superb."

The latest Bond movie featured powered parachutes and that has generated new interest in what is a growing general aviation market in the UK. I'm sure these will become a regular sight at airshows as people see that for minimal cost they can get a very easy to use and reliable product.

Source: Flight Daily News