New Astra 103 Trike – and Solo Fixed Wing
Allistair Wilson, the creator of the Astra line of trikes, has begun test-flying a new single-seat trike design called the Astra 103. The news was revealed on the trike enthusiast website Trikepilot Social by Spencer Foreman, who provided the photo for this report. In an interview, Allistair says, “The Astra 103 is designed to be a stable cross-country-capable trike. It is not a nanolight trike with a hang-glider wing. It is a real trike wing designed to be safe and stable in turbulence. I have flown it in 15-mph turbulent wind conditions, and it behaves just like the larger Astra two-seat trikes. It is a fun trike to fly.”
The Rotax 503-powered trike has a 13.5-square-meter 40percent double surface wing. The trike frame is built from the same materials as the larger Astra trikes, 6082 AL, which is stronger and more fatigue resistant than 6061 AL. Although the Astra 103 won’t be at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2010, Allistair will be exhibiting his new single-seat metal/composite fixed wing, the Solo, which is powered by a Hirth F-33.
The Astra 103 trike base tube is “ventilated” to reduce weight. It has steel wishbone main landing gear legs and lightweight main shocks. The front suspension is mild steel, with drag links and high-density butyl shock discs. The wheels are Zytel, 12.5-inch-diameter rear with 10.5-inch-diameter front, and a front drum brake is built into the wheel.
Stall speed is 27 mph, and the velocity never to exceed is 68 mph with a speed range of 30 to 63 mph. Cruise is 45 mph burning 1.8 gallons per hour at 4,400 rpm on a four-blade 59-inch Ultraprop. The climb rate is approximately 900 feet per minute at 40 mph. The trike body is a lightweight carbon fiber reinforced composite, with pod, instrument panel, composite seat, and lightweight wheel pants. The 5-gallon-capacity fuel tank is welded aluminum. The MGL Flight-2 instrument system provides digital airspeed indicator, vertical speed indicator, and altimeter, as well as fuel computer, volts, flight timers, dual exhaust gas temperature/cylinder head temperature, and many other useful functions.
The price for the Astra 103 is $15,495, and Allistair is taking orders now for delivery in September. The Astratrike.com website will soon be updated with new information about the Astra 103 trike and the new Solo fixed wing. Work is progressing on a special light-sport aircraft version of the Astra HKS. The two-seat trikes on the website are still available as amateur-build kits, and spare parts are still available for the existing fleet of E-LSA Astra trikes. For views of the Solo fixed wing, watch this video of the Solo test flight. And anyone who loves flying will enjoy this fun video of Allistair hands-free flying the Astra 103. Contact Sportflight International LLC at Info@astratrike.com or call 812-384-4760.