Charlie Friedman

Charlie Friedman

Charlie Friedman —

Pilot, Retired Mechanical Engineer, CFI

I can’t wait for the big day when I arrive at the Samson Build Center, ready to complete my flying sports car. And that will be just the beginning of this new adventure.

Before I ever heard of the Samson Switchblade, I was watching the evolution of the Terrafugia Transition. In fact, before my wife and I moved from Connecticut to Texas, I was in a soaring club based in Sterling, Massachusetts. One of the soaring club instructors was also a head of the aeronautical engineering department at MIT, as well as a well-known aviation consultant. If you have read about the people at the top of Terrafugia, then you know that they met at MIT. The soaring club instructor has been a mentor and a director in their company. Terrafugia brought their second prototype to a fly-in at Simsbury, CT, which is not far from where we used to live. I met the company president there and I saw how their wings folded to stow alongside the fuselage, with just the push of a button in the cabin.

Fast forward a couple of years, and I encountered the Samson Switchblade – I think it was in an online article on flying cars. The Switchblade was going to sell, as a kit, for half the price that Terrafugia was planning for their factory-built Transition. However, as an experimental kit aircraft, Samson’s flying car would require a Private Pilot License, not a Sport Pilot License like the Light Sport class Transition. I discovered that the Switchblade’s projected performance would allow it to fly circles around a
Transition. The bottom line is that when Samson made their Pre-flight Offer available, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to secure an early delivery Switchblade.

As a pilot, Mechanical Engineer and flight instructor, I have been interested in building my own airplane for decades. At air show visits, I would spend most of my time looking at home-built airplanes, helicopters and gyrocopters. NOW, I am going to be one of the first people in the world to get my Switchblade Kit. “Looking forward to building my Switchblade” has become my mantra.

Based on years experience as a pilot and engineer, I know how burdensome and costly the process of certifying an aircraft can be. With its classification as an experimental kit aircraft, the Switchblade bypasses the vast majority of that FAA labyrinth. Customers will be able to build 51% of their Switchblade at a Samson Builder Assist Center, with professional help and quality control the whole way.

I can’t wait for the big day when I arrive at the Samson Build Center, ready to complete my flying sports car. And that will be just the beginning of this new adventure.

Charlie Friedman – Texas, USA