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Stoddard-Hamilton introduced the GlaStar at AirVenture in 1994. The GlaStar was designed with an emphasis on low-speed handling and short-field capability, without sacrificing as much cruise performance as most airplanes of this type. The GlaStar was built on four design parameters: low cost, a short building time, light weight, and good performance.

The GlaStar was nothing if not versatile. The builder had the option of a tri-gear version, a taildragger, or a floatplane, or all three. Fittings for each of the gear configurations were built into all kits and if the builder wanted to, he/she could switch from one to another at will with a minimum effort. The GlaStar also had folding wings to permit highway towing and more efficient storage.

The GlaStar was constructed of metal wings, horizontal tail and rudder, a welded steel tube cabin cage, and a composite fuselage that was simply a streamlining fairing in the area surrounding the cabin. With a fuel tank in each wing root and a small header tank on the firewall, the GlaStar used fuel from both wing tanks simultaneously, a configuration that had the best safety record. The GlaStar was powered by a 160 hp Lycoming engine.

In 1996, EAA chose to build a GlaStar for the popular Young Eagles program. Construction began in March of 1996 and was completed by May of the same year. By June, the GlaStar was tested and certified and began flying Young Eagles shortly after.

The 2005 EAA Youth Art Contest was a competition for the best paint scheme for the Young Eagles GlaStar 3. Aaron Mentkowski, age 17, of Bay Village, Ohio won the contest. Gulfstream’s regional maintenance facility in Appleton, Wisconsin donated the painting of the aircraft. As the winner, Aaron’s design was transformed from paper to a full-size aircraft and Aaron was able to ride in the airplane during the Showcase at EAA AirVenture 2005.

The freshly painted GlaStar 3 (N231YE) is one of two GlaStars giving Young Eagle rides out of Pioneer Airport at the EAA AirVenture Museum.

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