American Aerolights Double Eagle

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This object is on display in the Boeing Aviation Hangar at the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, VA.

Boeing Aviation Hangar

This is the first known ultralight aircraft employed by a police force. The Monterey Park, California, Police Department first flew this airplane on September 2, 1982, and it quickly became a valuable asset to police work. However, the powerplant proved fragile and Lt. Joe Santoro, project manager, grounded the Eagle after seven engine failures in six months. Santoro continued to believe in the basic concept and experimented with several other types of ultralight aircraft. "Our hilly terrain and lack of appropriate forced landing sites do not allow a viable program in this community," Santoro said after grounding the Eagle, "but the concept is good." The National Air and Space Museum also displays another ultralight flown by Monterey Park police officers, an improved and more reliable twin-engine Ultraflight Lazair SS EC.