Welcome to Must Read, where we single out the best stories from around the automotive universe and beyond. Today we've got reports from Wired:Autopia, Vanity Fair, and The Truth About Cars.

Today's Must Reads feature an old company, a middle-aged company, and a brand new one.

First Open Source Airplane Could Cost Just $15,000 – Wired:Autopia

I like Linux, but I'm not sure I'd fly inside Linux. Am I just a wimp?

The basic specifications of the airplane follow the guidelines of the light sport aircraft regulations. The aviation industry and the Federal Aviation Administration created the LSA category to encourage more people to fly. The airplanes are limited to two seats, a maximum weight of 1,320 pounds, and a top speed of 120 knots (138 mph). Maker Plane says they expect their design will fall within these requirements and have a range of 400 miles. More ambitious: They hope the cost to build the airplane will be under $15,000, including the engine.


Ranking All Nine Generations of the Mercedes-Benz S-Class – VanityFair

Brett goes bitchy on the S-Class.

The “Ponton”—as these nautically fendered models are nicknamed—is the first Benz that Mercedes considers a progenitor of the modern S-Class. This is mostly because it was among their first post-war designs, and including any of the glorious vehicles they built during that, um, interlude gets kind of icky and embarrassing. We’ll just leave this pedestrian (and slightly Iron Curtain–y) design at the bottom of our list and move on.


Where Does Volvo Go From here? – TTAC

Our old friend Volvo tackles our old friend Doug DeMuro. Wait, that sounds backwards…