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Flight Feast at Friedrichshafen!

Once again, Aero does not disappoint

Part 1, April 13-14 | For Part 2, April 15-16, click here | For Part 3, click here

By Marino Boric, for EAA e-Hotline

April 14, 2011 — The Aero Friedrichshafen Global Show for General Aviation, Europe’s largest GA trade show, once more surprised and delighted attendees with new planes, innovative designs, and a lot of just plain cool stuff! The show runs through 5 p.m., Saturday, April 16, on the shores of Lake Konstanz in Southern Germany. Correspondent Marino Boric has been tracking the most interesting new and innovative products on display and files the following report. In the show’s first two days Boric profiles 22 aircraft and two new powerplants  - none of which have been seen on this side of the pond.

A2, Ellipse Aircraft Spirit
Ellipse Aircraft Spirit This unknown company from the Czech Republic, A2 s.r.o. from Stare Hradiste, brought the Ellipse Spirit, a side-by-side two-seater that has one unbelievable wing. The elliptical wing, powered by the UL Power 260iS engine with 107 hp, is promising exceptional performance numbers. The wing is an real eye-catcher with the rounded wing tips, slots built in the outer portion of the wings, and airbrakes like those found on most gliders. The manufacturer of this composite low-wing is pretty confident that the calculated flight numbers will be proven in flight; the maiden flight is scheduled for end of April. This airplane should reach a maximum speed of 170 knots and should cruise at 160 knots. The second prototype will be built just after AERO. The manufacturer is planning to build the Ellipse in an RG version and in a year should follow with the LSA and the E-LSA versions. The price is as exciting as the looks: €75,000 ($108,750) plus tax. www.ellipse-spirit.com

Perhaps the most futuristic aircraft displayed at AERO (other than the box-wing ultralight) is this two-place, all-metal middle-wing called Nexth. Produced by the Italian company Aero&Tech, it’s powered by a Rotax 912 series (100HP) and is expected to fly as fast as 285 km/hour (177mph). The fuselage is a steel tube frame developed by Formula One racing teams and is expected to handle loads of +9/-4.5G. The structure is covered with aluminum skin and the landing gear with machined titanium legs is retractable. A single fuel tank has a capacity of 130 liters (34.34 gallons) with a range of 1,000 nautical miles. Price is predicted to be about €60,000 ($87,000). First flight is expected in two months and an LSA version is being considered.


Atec 212 SoloAtec 212 Solo
A single-seat, cantilever, low-wing, all-composite aircraft made in the Czech Republic. High volume of carbon together with honeycomb sandwich reinforcements provide a very low weight and high strength and rigidity. Its design is derived from well-proven types ZEPHYR 2000 and especially ATEC 321 FAETA, from which the shortened wing of SM 701 with high-efficient slotted flaps is used. The technical data is not yet known but will be soon published.

AustroengineAustroengine AE500
The Austrian engine manufacturer is looking for alternatives in the aeronautical, diesel engine field. Just around the corner in Austria is a well-known engine supplier, Steyer Motors, that for decades has supplied engines to the automotive, military, and marine market. The shown engine prototype with the Steyer six in-line cylinders is developing 280 hp from 3.2-liter displacement. The engine that is using the “pumpe-duse” diesel injection is able to function properly even in the case of complete loss of electric power. The engine block is made of cast iron so the engine with its 270 kilograms is still a little bit overweight, but the manufacturer is confident that the weight will soon reach 250 kilograms (550 pounds). Steyer will deliver parts to Austroengine, which will convert it for the aeronautic use. The possible market introduction is not expected in the next two years.

Blackshape PrineBlackshape, PRIME
Just three years ago Compact Compositi from north Italy/Turin presented the Millennium Master in Friedrichshafen. The company ceased production several months ago and another company from South Italy is now marketing the former Millennium Master as Blackshape Prime. Production of the sleek and fast tandem, carbon fiber composite two-seater is likely to start in a few months. The new manufacturer, Blackshape, is just finishing the new production site near Bari and claims to be able to produce (and sell) the Prime up to 100 airplanes a year starting this year. The base price is €135,000 ($195,750).

This new Bristell RG aircraft comes from BRM, a well-known Czech manufacturer. It’s based on a fixed-gear model that meets LSA requirements, and 40 of the Rotax 912S-powered airplanes are currently flying.

Comco IkarusComco Ikarus, C52
The most popular ultralight manufacturer from Germany has delivered more than 1,200 C42 airplanes worldwide. The company, a part of the aviation industry since 1977, has modernized its popular C42 airplane. The new model, called C52, is similar to the rugged and well-proven C42 design but has several modern parts. The most evident change is the new landing gear, cantilever design, tail section made of carbon composite, and new engine mount. The cabin width is the same but the C52 is faster.

Tundra StarDiamond DA 40 Tundra Star
The Austrian manufacturer Diamond has developed a “bush” version of the well-known DA40, calling it the Tundra Star. Most visible changes are the sturdier undercarriage (especially the nose gear), bigger tires, engine cowling, and smaller air intakes for engine cooling in cold climates.

FK Lightplanes, FK14 LeMansFK Lightplanes, FK14 LeMans
What a beauty! This lightly modified FK14 is manufactured by the German manufacturer FK Lightplanes. FK’s Peter Funk changed only the serial “bubble” canopy on the FK14 and mounted two “Porsche roadster”-style windshields to radically transform the appearance of the modern airplane to the fancy retro-style airplane. It’s being touted as a really simple and inexpensive change with a striking result. The LeMans retro-canopy can be retrofitted to the normal FK14 for approx. €1,000 ($1,450).

C4Flight Design, C4
Germany’s Flight Design unveiled a mock-up of its new, four-seat piston single it’s calling the C4. “We want to create the optimal four-seat aircraft for our customers,” said Oliver Reinhardt, chief technical officer. “Engineers often put emphasis on certain features of a new design, while a flight school or a private owner might want something we did not consider, so we are putting our concept of the C4 design out for the public to participate in the process.” The company is planning to collect as much information as possible from potential customers and from its worldwide dealer network and only then, probably at the next AirVenture, will they decide the final setup of the airplane. After AirVenture Oshkosh, the design will be frozen and the first flying prototype will be shown eight months later at Sun ‘n Fun. European approval is scheduled for late 2012, with U.S. certification to follow soon after. The airplane will be powered by an American (gas) and German (diesel) engine, but several “green” solutions are possible together with the hybrid technology. www.flightdesign.com

Flying Legend, Hawker Hurricane, and Tucano ReplicasFlying Legend, Hawker Hurricane, and Tucano Replicas
The young precision metalworking company from Sicily, Flying Legend, was the result of collaboration by two companies: the MGA and Barum. It plans to start the production of two scale replicas of the Hawker Hurricane and Tucano by the end of this year. Both airplanes are all aluminium and will be offered in kit and as ready-to-fly versions. The only powerplant will be the Rotax 912S.

NanoFlyNano, Proto
This striking box-wing airplane is all carbon fiber composite and can start only from water. It is probably the most interesting airplane proposal at this fair. The maiden flight is planned in a few weeks. Because of severe winters in Finland, flight testing was made only with scale R/C models. About 10 years ago, aviation consultant, flight designer, and enthusiastic pilot Aki Suokas first dreamed of a radical new design that would weigh less than 70 kilograms (154 pounds), including a drive train that weighs less than 20 kilograms (44 pounds). FlyNano comes in three basic variants: the electric-powered E 200 series, a two-stroke powered G 240 series, and the high-power racing model R 260/300 series. The wingspan is almost 5 meters (16.4 feet), nose to tail 3.5 meters (11.48 feet), and height 1.3 meters (4.26 feet). Maximum takeoff weight is from 180 to 200 kilograms (396-440 pounds). Speed range 70-140 km/hour (43.5-87 mph) with a service ceiling of 3 kilometers (1.86 miles). FlyNano’s true airspeed is about 140 km/hour (87 mph) at 75 percent power with a theoretical range of 70 kilometers (43.5 miles). The wing is easily removed for ease of transport and storage. Prices range from €25,000 to €27,000 ($36,250-$39,150) with a trailer/storage box at €5,300 ($7,685).

Merline 100Merlin 100
From the Czech company TechProAviation comes a new single-seat kit aircraft, the Merlin 100. The all-metal airplane features matched hole tooling construction. Empty weight with a Verner 35-hp engine (two-cylinder, four-stroke) is 120 kilograms. The prototype logged 100 hours of flight time; a second prototype is now being built and will fly this spring. TechProAviation plans to sell the aircraft only as a kit, with a projected price of €5,000 ($7,250), less engine.

NandoNando Grappo Trial
Nando Groppo is well-respected in Italian aviation circles; he has been flying microlights since 1972. At AERO 2011, he brought his microlight Trial aircraft for the first time with German certification. The all-metal airplane weighs 300 kilograms (661 pounds) empty, has a quick folding wing, and room for two seated in tandem. Price starts at €45,000 ($65,250). It’s powered by either a Jabiru 2200 or Rotax 912. Groppo is currently evaluating the possibility of installing the 100-hp 912S.

FrecciaProMecc, Freccia
This Southern Italy manufacturer - with roots in airspace components manufacturing - has made its reputation with the very reasonably priced, low-wing, carbon fiber airplane called Sparviero. It was modern and good-looking but not very fast with 180 km/hour cruise (112 mph). After only a few months of development the fast version called Freccia (Arrow) was developed and presented at AERO. The final numbers are not known yet, but the owner of the company, Mauro Dono, announced that the Freccia will cruise at 250 km/hour (155 mph) powered by the Rotax 912S engine. The (moderate) price of this fast side-by-side airplane is €77,500 ($112,375).

eLiteRemos GX eLITE
After 400 manufactured airplanes, the German Remos presented a new model called the eLITE. This 286-kilogram version of the popular GX is 20 kilograms (44 pounds) lighter than the standard GX model. It is powered with a Rotax 912 engine with 80 hp and a twin-blade propeller. The preliminary flight data is really encouraging, according to Remos representatives. The airplane’s maiden flight was just a week ago. The price of this eLite model is €79,950 ($115,928).

BobberSavage, Bobber
This airplane from the Czech manufacturer Zlin is inspired by Harley Davidson motorcycles. As a street cruiser, it can be customised like no other airplane in this category. According to the manufacturer’s representative, “It gives the pilot an unequalled sense of freedom in an almost-open flight deck.” This high-wing STOL airplane is showing its internal values because almost the entire fuselage is uncovered. The simple fuselage cover for a cold season, called “Winter Kit,” is only €1,000 ($1,450) extra. The luggage compartment is the simple fabric bag that can be replaced, customized with 10 types of leather bags. For the fuselage the owner has the choice of 20 colors, 15 for the engine, and three for the seat belts. Prices of the 80-hp Rotax 912-powered Bobber start from €36,000 ($52,200).

The Shark is back! First shown at AERO last year, the carbon fiber Shark, claimed to be the fastest microlight in the world with a top speed of 190 mph, fell off the aviation scene for a couple of years. It’s back now, with German certification expected in the next couple of months.

Skyleader 100Skyleader 100
The Skyleader 100 is a single-seat, all-metal aircraft with a choice of rectangular or trapezoidal wing that was first presented at this year’s Aero. This aircraft has a conventional taildragger fixed gear and is powered with a Rotax 582 two-stroke engine that offers a 75-knot cruise speed. Skyleader 100 will be on the market by the end of summer. Empty weight is 210 kilograms; maximum takeoff weight is 315 kilograms. Aircraft can be customized based on customer requirements and will be offered for €35,000 ($50,750) as ready-to-fly or €15,900 ($23,055) for a kit.

SkyleaderSkyleader 600RG
The Skyleader 600RG is a retractable-gear version of the well-known Skyleader 600 model. The cruise and maximum speed increased 20 km/hour (12.5 mph), but weight is still the same as the fixed gear model. The main gear is now folding toward the center section (not backward). It was tied with a ribbon at Aero in anticipation of the owner taking delivery on Friday. He will fly it back home to South Africa.

Sport CruiserSport Cruiser
Czech Sport Aircraft (CSA) displayed the Sport Cruiser with some new modifications, including a redesigned elevator, new wingtips, new interior, and new paint scheme. CSA also displayed a “no-name aircraft,” a high-wing design based on the Parrot. (Stop by CSA’s booth at Aero to suggest a name.) The aircraft made its first flight in December 2010 and flight testing is expected to be completed in the new two months. Delivery is expected to begin in early 2012. With a 912S engine, it’s priced at €80,000 ($116,000).

P Twenty TenTecnam P Twenty-Ten
Tecnam’s new four-place aircraft, the P Twenty-Ten, features a carbon fiber fuselage with a metal wing. It’s powered by a Lycoming 360-M1A engine, producing 180 hp. www.Tecnam.com

TravelerTecnam P2012 Traveler
Cape Air Airlines was looking for replacement aircraft for its Cessna 402 fleet, but no one was interested in building such aircraft - until they talked with Tecnam representatives in the United States. After about nine months of discussion, a partnership between Cape Air and Tecnam developed, and the 11-seat P2012 Traveler came off the drawing board. A full-scale cabin mock-up is on display at Aero. Power is projected to be a Lycoming TEO 540 engine. www.Tecnam.com

ULPowerULPower Engine
This six-cylinder engine from ULPower of Belgium is expected to begin bench testing shortly. The fuel-injected/air-cooled engine will be offered in two displacement sizes from 145 to 200 hp. Weight is projected at 100 kilograms (220.46), with first deliveries anticipated in late 2012. www.ULPower.com

Part 2, April 15-16





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