The name “Laser” was first applied to a Stephens Akro home built aerobatic airplane that was highly modified by Leo Loudenslager and used by him in many aerobatic competitions. His pioneering work led to the construction of additional home built aerobatic aircraft built from modified Stephens plans, or from specialist manufacturers. At times, these planes have been called “Lasers”, “Laser 200s” and “Laser Z’s.”
The Laser 200 is the monoplane that toppled the Pitts Special and became the benchmark from which modern aerobatic planes evolved. The Pitts Special was literally untouchable in the U.S. as it dominated American unlimited aerobatics in the early 1970’s. Loudenslager and his Laser 200 dethroned the Pitts by winning the United States Aerobatic Championship seven times. The Laser 200 became recognized as a remarkable design achievement when Leo also won the World Aerobatic Championship in 1980. The Laser 200 made a huge impact on the world of aerobatics as many of the top aerobatic planes competing today are modeled after this legendary airplane.
The aircraft on display was built and flown by Jim Roberts and received its airworthiness certificate on March 3, 1980. Roberts was an American Airlines airline pilot for 34 years, a member of the International Aerobatic Club and the United States Aerobatic Team (1981-1982), and he also coached Leo Loudenslager.
This aircraft was donated by Linda Roberts.