Air Cams Descend on Jekyll Island

Air Cam pilots put the aircraft's slow, low-flying capabilities to work in one of the region's best sightseeing locales.

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Air Cam pilots from across the country came together in Jekyll Island last weekend for a one-of-a-kind fly-in event.
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More than a handle of Air Cam pilots flew into 09J, a single strip airport on the island, for the event.
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The Air Cam's unsurpassed visibility makes it the perfect airplane for aerial sightseeing, while Jekyll Island provided the scenery to match.
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With tidal marshland, wild horses and a nearby submarine base, Jekyll Island offered plenty to see for Air Cam pilots and passengers alike.
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The Air Cam cruises at speeds between 50 and 100 mph, providing the perfect slow flying capabilities for those looking to take in their surroundings.
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With an empty weight of 1,040 lbs, the Air Cam is far from an ultralight, despite its appearance.
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The plane is powered by four-stroke Rotax 912 engines, which took the place of the two-stroke Rotax 582 engines used in the original design.
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Each 912 engine pumps out 100 hp.
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The airplane holds 14 gallons of fuel for each engine.
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At 60 mph, the aircraft burns 3 gallons of fuel per hour.
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The roots of the Air Cam lie with the Drifter, an airplane introduced in the 1980s featuring a single high-mounted pusher engine directly behind the wing.
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**Phil Lockwood, the man behind the Air Cam design, developed the airplane after flying the Drifter in remote locations in Africa.
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During his low-flying in Namibia, Lockwood set his mind on a dual-engine design that would provide much-desired security.
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After National Geographic called on Lockwood to assist with another project, that design took shape.
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Lockwood built the airplane from scratch in six months.
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After returning to the United States, Lockwood began selling production Air Cam kits to aviation enthusiasts across the country, some of them former Drifter owners.
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The company has sold more than 170 kits to date.
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According to Lockwood, the airplane takes between 650 and 1650 hours to build.
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The kit sells for around $100,000.
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For more on the Air Cam, check out Robert Goyer's story on the plane's origins.