Introducing Matt Chapman's New Ride

  • Jul 18, 2015 6:05am GMT

After 20 years, Matt Chapman says "good-bye" to his beloved Eagle 580 and those attending AirVenture 15 at Oshkosh will be the first to see him debut a brand new Embry-Riddle show plane,

Matt has been flying the beautiful Embry-Riddle Eagle 580. The Mudry CAP is a well-known name in aerobatic championships. There are only 5 other CAP 580’s flying today and his is the only one in North America. He told his Facebook followers recently, "The day has finally arrived. Just over 20 years ago I went to France and fell in love with this plane, the Mudry CAP 231ex, aka, CAP 580, Eagle 580. It has been a wonderful ride for over 3500 hours...honest, reliable, safe. It has taken me to two world aerobatic contests, hundreds of Airshows, flown in front of millions of people and become a celebrity of sorts within the RC model airplane community. But, alas, all good thing must end. This weekend marks the final performance of my Eagle 580. She will be retired after Sunday's performance at the South Shore Airshow. I have been asked many time what plane I would replace her with... My answer has always been the same. "I don't want any other airplane. The CAP is the simply the best." However Matt has made the decision to change planes. His modified Eagle 580 flies with a wing made by Extra and he has announced the new ride will be an Extra 330LX. (see photos below)

Eagle 580 Specs

1,300 lbs. 240 mph top speed +/- 10 g’s 400 degrees/second roll rate Lycoming IO-580 engine, 330hp Hartzell 3-blade composite propeller Garmin Navigation Systems.

Extra 330LX Specs

Lycoming AEIO-580-B1A, 315 hp, 6 cylinder engine Roll rate 420 °/sec Vne 220 kt

Matt began flying aerobatics in 1984 and soon afterwards he entered into unlimited competition aerobatics. Recognized for his aerobatic skills, he was selected for one of only five slots on the U.S. Unlimited Men’s Aerobatic Team in 1996 and 1998. Matt finished third in the world with a bronze medal at the 1998 World Aerobatic Championships. He led the Men’s Team to the silver medal and was presented with the prestigious Hilliard Trophy, awarded to the highest finishing U.S. pilot at the WAC. Continuing with his love of aerobatic competition, Matt won the coveted International Aerobatic Club Championships in 1994 and the Fond du Lac Cup in 1995.

As a result of flying aerobatic competitions, Matt began flying airshows. He quickly became one of the most popular performers by flying his unique routine that includes some of the most intense maneuvers on the airshow circuit. Over his more than twenty years of airshow performances, millions of spectators have witnessed his flying skills.

In the beginning Matt built first a Pitts (photos below) and then a Lazer Z230 from the ground up (see video below) and knows every component of the aircraft on the most intimate level. The Z230's 230 horsepower and 230 mph speed give Matt the capability to do some of the most fantastic aerobatic maneuvers ever seen.