Legend Cub heads for new home
First plane delivered; orders for as many as 40 more received

Kerry Craig | News-Telegram Assistant Editor

Rich Gionnotti, left, receives the keys to Legend Cub No. 3, from Pat Bowers, American Legend Aircraft Company representative, Tuesday morning as he prepared to depart for home in Long Island, New York. Cub No. 3 is the first to be delivered to a new owner. Orders for as many as 40 more Cubs have been received by the company, which began building new airplanes in March.
Photo Courtesy of American Legend Aircraft Co.

Aug. 24, 2005 -- Owners and employees of American Legend Aircraft Company stood on the ramp Tuesday at Sulphur Springs Airport and watched as Legend Cub No. 3 took the runway with Rich Gionnotti at the stick and depart for its new home in New York.

The departure marks the first delivery of the two-place aircraft designed to meet federal Light-Sport Aircraft category certification requirements and manufactured at Sulphur Springs Airport.

“This is an exciting time for the people at Legend. We love airplanes and we especially love the Cub,” said American Legend president Tim Elliott. “Building Rich’s airplane from the ground up was a pleasure, and seeing him take delivery was an emotional high. We are looking forward to many similar experiences with future Legend customers.”

Giannotti, a high-time pilot who has been flying since 1968, is a certified flight instructor with both advanced and instrument ratings. Prior to leaving Sulphur Springs Airport, Giannotti said he plans to enjoy his time flying in his new Legend Cub.

“This is the best aircraft to fit my mission for flying, and the best possible Cub that I could have found on the market today,” Giannotti said.

Before final delivery of Legend Cub No. 3, the airplane had to undergo one final inspection by the Federal Aviation Administration. At the conclusion of the inspection, No. 3 received high marks and was on its way home.

The Cub rotated off the ground just before 10 a.m. Tuesday on the first leg of the trip to Brookhaven, Long Island, New York. Cruising at a speed of about 90 miles per hour, Giannotti made his first planned fuel stop in Arkansas.

Just after 4 p.m., Elliott received a call from the Giannotti as he was approaching his first overnight stop, Bowling Green, Ky., with plans to arrive in New York on Thursday.

The report on the first day’s flight indicated everything was just short of perfect.

Elliott said as many as 40 orders for Legend Cubs have been received, and employees were looking toward putting the finishing touches on Cub No. 4 and getting it ready for FAA inspection and delivery to its new owner.

Legend publicly introduced its Cub design at an event held at the factory on March 11, where those in attendance saw the Cub take its first ceremonial flight. Floats have since been added as an option, and the airplane has flown from Lake Sulphur Springs.

Sea plane ramps have been built at the lake that will enable the Cub to land on water, then taxi up the ramp to hangar and fuel facilities.

Work has also begun on new buildings at the airport to house production lines to enable the airplane manufacturer to better meet demands of pilots taking advantage of the new class of airplane.

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