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ingmen China Airshow Written From Chip Erwins

It has been a while since I posted any update. I just returned from another month in China. I would blame it on the Great Chinese Firewall but I did have some internet access. Dropbox does not work however. China does not like Google which owns Dropbox so they block it.

I was in China to build a Zigolo demo aircraft. I finished the airframe in two weeks then finished systems, engine and motor in the 3rd week. 21 days total work time or about 130 hours total. AVIAD claims 100 hour build time. If they are referring to the airframe only then that is reasonable as I finished the aircraft in around 80 hours but it is my second build. Keep in mind that most manufactures’ claimed build times air often for airframe only and do not include the panel or painting and often do not even include engine installation. Build hour claims are greatly influenced by their marketing departments.

Even doubling AVIAD’s 100 hours results in only 200 hours which is still half or less of most other UL kits and not really a great deal of time. Plus it is for the most part an enjoyable and rewarding experience. And not really very technically challenging.

As you may know or speculate I have been doing aviation business in China for some time now and am responsible for the Zigolo distribution in China as well as in the USA. This might sound like a lot of territory to cover however it does offer some potential long-term benefits for our USA customers. My current project in China is to establish a Zigolo assembly factory. This is really mandatory for the Chinese market as the majority of the Chinese have really no shop skills at all and few would even have a garage or any space for a work shop.

There are plenty of nice things about China however another month spent there and reminiscing with this blog reminds me of the value of the freedom and space we enjoy in the USA to be able to choose to build or buy finished and most of us have the means and ability to do either.


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