Windecker Aircraft Eagle Production to Begin Soon in China

World’s first composite aircraft could be available in 2019.

Windecker
Windecker Aircraft modern composite design for the Eagle will be powered by a Continental engine hooked to a Hartzell propeller.Windecker Aircraft

Dr. Leo and Dr. Fairfax Windecker, working closely with Dow Chemical Company, in 1969 brought the first all composite aircraft, the Eagle I, to FAA certification. According to the Smithsonian National Air & Space Museum, the four-place, low-wing monoplane received FAA certification, “only after building in a 20 percent over-designed airframe to make up for nervousness about the strength of composite materials.” Eight Eagles were built, but the design never really caught on with the flying public.

Windecker Aircraft's North American R&D facility is now at work with the company's Chinese parent organization attempting to restart the Eagle production line in an undisclosed region of mainland China. The first step is earning a Type Certificate Validation from the FAA and the Chinese CAAC. Efforts to date began by restoring one of the original eight Eagle I airframes as a guide for the new edition.

The modern version of the fiberglass aircraft will be constructed in a new 97,000 sq. ft. facility and powered by a Continental engine hooked to a Hartzell propeller. The newly designed interior will accent a glass-cockpit avionics suite.

A company spokesperson said the first new Windecker Eagle I could be completed in early 2019.