Snedden M7

Snedden M7The Snedden M7 ultralight did seven hours of flight demonstrations at Oshkosh AirVenture 2009. It won two of the seven awards given to the entire light-sport plane category: The Joe Diamond Award and Ultralight Reserve Grand Champion-Silver Lindy. Of special note is the recognition of Popular Mechanics Magazine where they identify the Snedden M7 as a major highlight of AirVenture 2009.

My crew and I were overwhelmed by the overly enthusiastic people, praise, interviews, inquiries, photographs and touching. Close up photos and measurements were taken that I had never taken yet. Of great interest was the people friendly full 3-axis handlebar control system, inverted V-tail with anti-servo flaps, four wheels, steering, the overall compact structural geometrical perfection, strength and the 65 HP Hirth powerplant installation which was key to the M7 success. The modular Dacron covering system secured by some teen hundred zip ties and some other off the shelf parts combined with many highly specialized machined parts also got lots of attention.

Sometimes the M7 climbed upon alignment with the runway in a new turning takeoff maneuver that we will call the Oshkosh. Turn radius G force really builds up on that last few degrees of turning. On the ground, the M7 is an impressive go cart which contributed to some calling it the flying go cart. The M7’s flying wing appearance and low speed high angle of attack ground effect flight helped earn the name “The Magic Carpet” as it was dubbed by the announcers. The M7 can do much more in the air and on the grass than demonstrated at AirVenture. Even so we were often told that the M7 had outstanding performance in the air and on the ground like they never saw before. We were told many times by repeat AirVenture visitors and campers, who made special trips back to see the M7 close up, that they rarely saw anything as exciting, new and different as the M7 and that was what they come to Oshkosh looking for. Also noted by many was that a new level of excitement filled the air in the ultralight area and that the M7 ultralight deeply inspired so many people, young and old. We were urged by many people and EAA people to return next year. I think that it was widely seen that the M7 marks a new era in ultralight design that will redefine ultralight flying as a major powersport for a broader range of people. Many new and exciting things are in the works.


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