In this sort of machine you are not separate from the sky, but part of it


Pronounce it like “jigolo” but with a Z. The word’s
Italian and translates to English as “bunting”,
like the little bird. We’ve been watching the
Zigolo as it evolved from San Diegan Mike Sandlin’s
open source Goat glider plans into a “motorfloater”
in the hands of Italy’s Aviad (designer Francesco Di
Prototyped and flown in early 2013, the MG12 (for
MotorGlider 12) Zigolo has already sold 14 kits worldwide,
and the first of those kits to be completed and
flown took flight in Qatar (where Maurizio Persinotto
built his inside his hotel apartment) and Florida (built
by Chip Erwin at South Lakeland Airport (known to
you auld guys as Circle X). It seems an emerging tradition
that the first MG12s are truly home builts, often
being built in and around the pilot’s home. In Japan,
builder Kenichiro Kumagai also followed this path.
Zigolo’s U.S. importer is well known in the ultralight
and light sport aircraft industries. Chip Erwin
first appeared in this magazine in the early 80s and
his Midwest Microlites was the builder of the Tomcat
ultralight. More recently, Erwin was involved with
the design and manufacture of the Sportcruiser LSA,
through his Czech Aircraft Works. That plane was
briefly sold by Piper as the Piper Sport and many are
still in service as trainers and sport LSA.
Erwin is now building a sequel to the Sportcruiser
known as SC3D in Zhuhai, China. His company
Aeromarine LLC is based at South Lakeland Airport
and offers the Mermaid amphibian, in addition to the
MG + and upcoming SC3D. Find more info at aeromarine-
On a promising-to-be-flyable Sunday in early February
we traveled to South Lakeland Airport to meet
with Chip and get a firsthand tour and touch session
and to hear about his experiences building and flying
the Aviad MG12 kit.









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