AERO New Products Report
By Marino Boric, EAA 1069644, for EAA.org
A product report from the 20th AERO Friedrichshafen GA trade show in Germany, which runs through Saturday, April 21.
New Flywhale amphibian
Flywhale Adventurer (Photo by Marino Boric)
A pleasant surprise at AERO this year is the Flywhale Adventurer amphibian from Northern Germany The flying boat was developed and built by Helmut Rind, who started the project in 2008 when unable to find a hydroplane kit manufacturer to his liking. It's a high-wing, two-place seaplane of fiberglass/carbon fiber composite construction, cantilever wings, and two "sponsons" not unlike those on the Dornier S-Ray 007. These supporting pontoons provide stability on water and generate additional lift on high angles of attack for desired low-speed capability.
Flywhale's Rotax 912S turns an above-the-wing variable-pitch propeller in tractor configuration. The cabin measures 48 inches wide, allowing enough sleeping room in the fuselage. This capability should be even more pronounced in the "Expedition" version that will allow even longer flights with an additional 20 gallons' capacity and several survival amenities. The Flywhale is equipped with a retractable undercarriage, so it can land on land, water, and snow, according to the manufacturer. Since the wings are removable, the aircraft can be legally trailered.
First flight is expected sometime this summer. Introductory price is 125,000 Euros ($164,149), which includes the trailer for purchases made during the AERO expo. Visit the Flywhale website for more information.
Corvus launches Fusion UL/LSA
Corvus Fusion (Photo by Marino Boric)
Hungarian manufacturer Corvus-Hungary unveiled to the public its new UL/LSA this week in Friedrichshafen. The Fusion was first announced in August 2011 as a product of Corvus Aircraft KFT, which went into bankruptcy last year. A new privately owned company, Corvus Hungary was quickly organized and is now offering the Corvus Fusion, replacing the UL/LSA Phantom. Corvus rolled out the aircraft in Italy on January 27, calling the Fusion a "totally different" airplane with unique design, engine, gear, wing options, and unconventional capabilities.
Called "the smaller brother of the Corvus Racer 540," the Fusion is a combination of the aerobatic Arion 540 R (previously the Racer 540) and the well-known UL/LSA Phantom. The Arion 540 R - a full aerobatic airplane first shown at AERO 2010 - was specifically designed for the Red Bull Air Race, featuring a roll rate of 450 degrees per second.
Fusion is made mostly of carbon fiber and will be available with a choice of two different wings pairs - one inherited from Arion 540R (fully aerobatic) and the other from Phantom (more docile - cross-country flying). The inherited wings are slightly modified to fit to the new fuselage. The Arion 540R wing uses the symmetrical Eppler profile. The Phantom version uses the Wortmann profile and has a fuel capacity of 29.09 gallons.
Aerobatic Fusion has several fuel capacity options: one 20-gallon fuselage fuel tank and an optional small header tank (for inverted flight), plus the option of two 15-gallon wing-tip tanks. Without tip tanks this version will feature either aerobatic tip sticks or normal wingtips.
Engine options include UL Power's 96-hp 260iSA (inverted flight capable), 260iS, and 350iS; Rotax 912 ULS; Jabiru 2200; and likely the new Lycoming 233 (U.S. market only).
Available in both tricycle and tailwheel configuration, each version has a choice of fixed or retractable gear. An undercarriage kit that will allow the transformation of a tricycle to a taildragger (and vice versa) is in development. The manufacturer claims that the swap from a fixed tricycle to a fixed tail wheel can be performed in 30 minutes. No price for that conversion kit is known yet.
Also featured are two side steps, heating, full digital panel, adjustable pedals, and BRS parachute. Price: about 103,000 Euros ($135,259). Arion 540 R is priced from 210,000 to 245,000 Euros ($275,771-$321,733). Corvus claims a 17-aircraft order book.
Sandor Kordas, Corvus worldwide sales manager, told EAA Wednesday that Corvus will enter into a contract to build airplanes in China with the CIAB (Chinese Industry Aircraft Base). A new plant will be built this year with expected deliveries of new aircraft slated for January/February 2013.
Visit the Corvus website for more information.
Golden Avio's F30 sports new interior
Golden Avio (Photo by Marino Boric)
Introduced by Italian manufacturer Golden Car in 2010, the F30 UL/LSA was created by legendary designer Stelio Frati. Golden Car, which recently changed its company name to a more aviation-appropriate "Golden Avio," obtained German UL certification last year. This year the airplane features a redesigned interior and a new paint scheme signed by the prominent Italian aircraft graphic artist Mirco Pecorrari. Golden Avio is looking for importers on the European and U.S. markets. To learn more, click here.
Direct Fly puts FlyCool AC in UL
At AirVenture 2011, Corbi Air Inc. teamed with Air Management Technology Inc. to introduce FlyCool, the first air conditioning system for LSA. At AERO this year, the FlyCool is available for on-demand installation in European UL airplanes.
The Czech manufacturer Direct Fly, offering the Alto 100 LSA in the U.S, is showing the FlyCool installed in a UL Alto at AERO this week. The 20-pound modular AC package includes all-electric driven compressors, a compact evaporator, and a condenser/compressor assembly - all powered by a 28VDC, 70-amp engine-driven alternator. The system has two modes - A/C for cool air and fan for re-circulation.
To learn more, click here.
OMA SUD: Skycar and Redbird world debut
Redbird (Photo by Marino Boric)
J4 (Photo by Marino Boric)
The U.S. public first saw Italian manufacturer OMA SUD's high-wing twin pusher Skycar during AirVenture 2011. Then OMA SUD presented the new Skycar Surveyor - in surveillance configuration for law enforcement - equipped with the SELEX Galileo EOST-46, a high-performance, passive electro-optical surveillance system.
OMA SUD also showed off its new high-wing aircraft, the J4, an all-metal, strutted-wing European UL that could soon enter serial production. The J4 first flew in 2011 in Italy and will be produced in the company's factory, likely to be marketed as an Airmax product. Airmax is an OMA SUD-Rafaele Violetti joint venture brand. This product will be shown on the AirVenture 2012 where OMA SUD will display three aircraft.
OMA SUD officials say Redbird will be certified first in Europe as a VLA (very light aircraft) by the end of 2012, followed by introduction in the U.S. LSA market.
OMA SUD also showed off its new high-wing aircraft, the J4, an all-metal, strutted-wing European UL that could soon enter serial production. The J4 first flew in 2011 in Italy and will be produced in the company's factory, likely to be marketed as an OMA SUD product.
ProMecc Freccia RG
Freccia (Photo by Marino Boric)
As it has most years at AERO, Italian company ProMecc unveiled a new product - not a completely new aircraft this year, but the latest development of its top-of-the-line Freccia. The aircraft is now fitted with a retractable landing gear and claims increased speed. According to the company owner, Mauro Dono, the Freccia RG has reached a top speed of 152 kts during recent tests powered by the Rotax 914 engine. Visit the ProMecc website for more information.
Skyleader 400 coming this summer
The Skyleader 400 is a new UL-category aircraft concept from the Czech Republic's Jihlavan Airplanes s.r.o. Because the company was not able to complete the prototype in time for AERO, however, the Skyleader 400 will be introduced in the Czech Republic on July 9. According to the company, the concept airplane combines the performance of the Skyleader 200/500 series with simplified design and slightly smaller exterior size. The airplane will be aimed at customers with lower performance and price demands. Skyleader 400 implements some surprising design features, such as gull-wing doors in the style of the Mercedes-Benz SLS. The production future of the 400 model will be decided upon the customer's reaction after its presentation, according to the company.
Visit the Jihlavan Airplanes website for more information.
Flight Design's 912iS
CTLSi (Photo by Marino Boric)
One can recognize Flight Design's new CTLSi, incorporating the new Rotax 912iS, seeing the new cowling strakes required by taller engine section over the cylinder heads. First seen at the launch event last month at Rotax's factory in Austria, the 912iS claims significantly lower fuel consumption. The electric trim and a lightweight, high-capacity lithium-ion battery is now standard with the 912iS. The CTLSi came with a $12,800 price at Sun 'n Fun with the $8,500 introductory discount. The company has already received 15 CTLSi orders. Synthetic vision, weather, and terrain on all CTLS airplanes are now being offered with Dynon SkyView and Garmin 3GX/GNS 750. The 912iS is now available on all Flight Design models.
Flight Design C4 update
The Flight Design C4 was first introduced at AERO 2011 and its development is "progressing favorably," according company officials. The company showed the new interior for the first time this week. Development schedule of the Continental IO-360-AF-powered four-seater is suffering a slight delay pending selection of the avionics package. First flight is expected in the second half of 2012. Flight design claims 65 orders on the $250,000, all-composite airplane.
BRP Rotax introduces 912iS to European market
Last month BRP-Rotax unveiled the (r)evolution of the Rotax 912S engine - the 912iS - in Gunskirchen, Austria, and in the U.S at Sun 'n Fun. AERO is the first public display in Europe. The 912iS will cost from 14 to 17 percent more but delivers more than the old 912S as its stronger generator, air intake, and exhaust system are now included in the price. Rotax already delivered two batches of engines to 25 OEMs since December 2011, so more than 50 engines are already installed or in the process of being installed. Mass production is slated to ramp up in May 2012.
912iS engines are ready for delivery, but the manufacturer disclosed that it is waiting for engine certification. ECU software is scheduled for a May 7 release.
Göbler Hirthmotoren debuts F40 - 120-hp, two-stroke, spark plug-ignited diesel
F40 (Photo by Marino Boric)
Hirth is back in the high-power engine market for UL/LSA with something completely new. The company says it is reinventing the two-stroke engine for the LSA market following the company's successful foray into the military UAV market. The newest product from owner Siegfried Göbler is an engine based on proven Hirth aeronautic concepts plus partially existing components and brand new technologies.
Actually this F40 study is a test-balloon with which Hirth is going to test market interest. If interest warrants, Hirth could introduce this engine to the market as soon as 2014. The F40 mimics the four-cylinder, liquid-cooled boxer engine with Hirth's traditional two-stroke cycle. The company claims the 1250cc engine should develop 120-hp at 5,500 rpm. The powerful but lightweight engine weighs only 143 pounds complete with the exhaust system and engine coolant (without radiator).
Interesting fact: This engine can operate on 95 octane automotive fuel, 100LL, or Jet A1 heavy fuel for turbine aircraft. Fuel consumption is at approximately 4.5 gallons per hour, the company states. Mixture ratio for the lubrication-oil dropped to 1:100-1:180, significantly low for a two-stroke.
The F40 will feature double CDI ignition and multipoint fuel injection that can be doubled for greater safety. Price is not officially stated but should be around 14,000 Euro ($18,000) - which Hirth views as very competitive considering its power output. For more information, click here.
UL Power's six-cylinder engines - UL520i & UL520iS
(Photo by Marino Boric)
The market has been waiting a long time for a new aircraft engine rated above 120 hp. Belgium's UL Power announced six-cylinder engines UL 390i/iS and UL 520i/iS and has started taking the first European orders for the 180- and 200-hp UL520i and UL520iS during AERO2012. The UL390i/iS (140/160-hp) is still undergoing ground testing.
Installed weight of the UL520i and UL520iS is 242 pounds, and like the popular UL260 and UL350 line, the new engines are direct drive, horizontally opposed, and air-cooled with electronic ignition, and multi-port fuel injected FADEC (Full Authority Digital Engine Control). The first new engine has already been sold in the U.S. to Renegade Light Sport Aircraft, which will offer them as options for the Comet biplane.
First presentation was a year ago and dyno testing began last fall. Because the thrust-to-weight ratio is pretty appealing to designers, pretty soon we will probably see them on board several power-hungry aircraft. During AERO's opening day April 18, UL Power sold five engines. The manufacturer is offering a 20-percent discount on the first 20 engines. UL Power will present its complete line at AirVenture in July. To learn more, click here.
MW Fly srl., Italy, two new engine versions
(Photo by Marino Boric)
The Italian newcomer to the aircraft engine market in 2010 has just changed its name from MW-Metalwork to MW Fly and also widened its production range. Beside its established 95-hp direct drive and 115-hp geared engines, two new geared engines are being launched at AERO: a high-power 130-hp version for airplanes and an adapted 125-hp version for helicopters. Both are fitted with the PSRU (gear reduction units) and feature double ignition and double electronic engine control units. This double redundancy can also now be added on request to the 95- and 115-hp models. In Friedrichshafen the 130-hp engine showed up on board the Alpi Aviation Pioneer 300 airplane. LSA certification process is to be started in a few months. For more information, click here.
PC-Aero: Elektra One Solar, Elektra Two debut
(Photo by Marino Boric)
German company PC-Aero brought several new products to AERO, including the Solar One with actual solar cells on the wings (in the past the cells were dummies) and the Elektra Two concept aircraft. The Elektra One Solar is a continued development of the single-seat Elektra One but with 36-foot wing span (the Elektra One's is 28 feet). The new, higher-aspect-ratio laminar wing profile gives a best glide ratio of 30:1. The aircraft is all carbon fiber for less weight and even higher efficiency. The weight reduction is so high that owner Callin Gologan is confident that he will be able to display the Elektra One Solar as a Part 103 aircraft at Oshkosh. The Elektra One Solar can sustain horizontal flight with only 2.5 kW power. The 60 square feet of solar cells on the wings provide more than 1 kW of electric power.
PC- Aero's Elektra Two is a two-seat electric aircraft concept based on the Elektra One Solar. It will be built in two versions, "Standard" and "Record" with the Record version having the solar cells laminated in the wing skin structure. Projected weight is 650 pounds with an expected range of more than 1,800 miles.
Diamond Aircraft debuts DA42 VI
DA42 VI (Photo by Marino Boric)
The DA42 VI is an improved follow-up of the DA42NG that was EASA/FAA certified in 2009-2010 with the AE300 diesel engine. The original DA42 was certified and flew for the first time in 2004. The DA42NG was the first Diamond aircraft fitted with the company's own diesel AE300 engine, developed by Diamond's sister company, Austro Engine. The DA42NG went through the aerodynamics clean-up process, especially visible on the engine cowlings and rudder. The DA42 VI is considerably faster than the DA42NG, and claims about 400-fpm climb to 15,000 feet.
DA 52 Twin (Photo by Marino Boric)
Diamond presented an entirely new model, the DA52 Twin, which is based on the company's large-cabin, single-engine DA50 aircraft. The DA50 was unofficially presented in December 2006, initially intended to use Continental gasoline and as-yet-unannounced diesel engines up to 350 hp. The new five-place aircraft features one of the largest cabins of the new generation of GA airplanes, but will not get the 350-hp Continental piston engine, but rather the Austro-built, Jet-A-burning, four-cylinder AE300 diesel whose roots lie in the automotive (Mercedes) world. The DA52 is likely to be powered in the future by a turbine engine.
The DA52 cabin is wider and longer than the DA42 and will be capable of accommodating five to six people. Diamond Aircraft reported the maiden flight of the new flagship design DA52 twin-diesel two weeks ago in Wiener Neustadt. The presented prototype was not fitted with any traditional deicing equipment. Some good, informed sources were talking about a new permanent deicing system based on hot water from the diesel engine cooling circuit, possibly assisted by a heat pump. The company says MTOW of the DA52-VII with EASA certification will be just less than 4,400 pounds; the FAA certified version MTOW will be 4,740 pounds. Performance of the DA52 will be just few knots less than the VI.
Icon A5 (Photo by Marino Boric)
While not exactly a "new" product, Icon Aircraft made its first visit to AERO this year with a model of its A5 amphibian LSA. Representatives report they experienced great enthusiasm and interest from the European market at the show and their booth has attracted crowds gathered to watch footage of the aircraft. The estimated base price of the Icon A5 is $139,000 and the production start date is currently scheduled for fourth quarter this year. Icon currently has more than 700 aircraft on order with a third of its customers non-pilots. To celebrate the company's first AERO appearance, Icon offered European customers a reduced cost during the show to secure a delivery position.
Amy Julian, Icon marketing coordinator, reported that the A5 completed spin-resistance testing to rigorous Part 23 standards, which will make the A5 the only spin-resistant production aircraft once it's in production. Icon has also more than doubled the company workforce in the last 15 months. www.iconaircraft.com | www.facebook.com/iconaircraft