I was rifling through my Flickr last night and came across a collection of photos I took during a visit to the EAA museum in Oshkosh, WI earlier this year. I’ve been a huge fan of experimental aircraft since my teens when I did a lot of radio-controlled model aircraft building and flying. The entire concept of experimental aircraft is inspiring because it takes the overwhelmingly cost-prohibitive world of civil aviation and puts it within the reach of the clever and mechanically handy. It makes an item (a small airplane) cost as little as a decent sports car instead of a small house. What’s more, these kit-built craft outperform their factory-built cousins in speed, economy and aerobatic performance.
This has me thinking. Why hasn’t this happened with cars? I know there’s a vibrant kit car community, but the majority of their time seems spent building Shelby Cobra replicas or other poor man’s super cars. Why isn’t there a kit car equivalent to the LongEZ? Where is that simple, economic, interesting vehicle that almost anybody could screw together and pilot? Maybe the Streetliner is that vehicle. Maybe this project, and others like it, can spur a small revolution in transportation where instead of big, heavy boxes of steel, some of us zip around in lightweight composite vehicles that get us back and forth to work. I like the sound of that. Who’s with me?