Rhyolite aviation, a love affair with flight!


A little history first...

Flying runs in our blood.  Jim Cosman, Grand pappy to us, flew Chastain’s Kindergarten, a B-17G in the Second World War, and instructed afterwards.  Later on he went in partners with Floyd Grieve on a Bonanza flying out of Riverside and Flabob airports in Southern California.

Mike Cosman, Jim’s son, began building free flight and U control model airplanes to pass the time between chores as a youth.  This naturally grew into a desire to build real aircraft. 

In 1982-83 Mike had the opportunity to buy a partially completed Flut-R-Bug designed by Ray Stits, the founder of EAA chapter 1 at Flabob. 

About this time Chris, Mike’s son, began following his father’s steps; building flying models, taking the occasional hour of flight instruction, and, helping build the Bug.  Once soloed, finishing off his license gave way to flying the Bug as much as possible.

Mike designed a new two seat side by side intended to fit both he and Chris and achieve a respectable cruise on 80 horsepower.  Alas, Chris outgrew the design before it could be finished, in fact, he outgrew most airplanes, at 6’5” and 250 lbs.

In 1985, Grand pappy needed a fun project and a way to get from Southern California to Salt Lake for family visits.  Mike put the 2 seater on hold and built the Cosman Special from scratch.  The Cosman Special went on to win the Copperstate Dash several times with it’s current owner, Ron Carroway.

Mom caught the fever, finished off her license in 3 months of concerted effort, and acquired a 1957 Cessna 172 which she repainted and flew all over Utah.

In 1997 the increasing size that comes with years got Mike and Chris to thinking about another 2 seater that actually fit.  Tentatively named the Windwalker, a side by side V-tail speedster was conceived for the plus sized pilot. Molds were built and parts pulled and then life got in the way.

In 2000 the group bought another Flut-R-Bug and modified it to a single seater that would fit larger frames, just to keep the flying skills sharp.

The ‘Bug was bent in 2006 in an encounter with a farmers fence during an off airport landing.  The fuselage was used as a starting point for the new and improved Thunder Bug.  This hiatus from work on the speedster allowed a new realization to form; what most veteran pilots need is an airplane that is fun to fly, easy to get into, has zero bad habits, and fits into the FAA’s new Light Sport rules.

A few weeks after the Thunder Bug’s first flight a new design was underway.  The Windwalker was placed in cold storage and the Cosman LSA was begun.