Final Day at Friedrichshafen
Aero 2011 honors electric aircraft, reports brisk sales
Part 2, April 15-16 | For Part 1, April 13-14, click here | For Part 3, click here
By Marino Boric, for EAA.org and
Mary Jones, Editor - EAA Sport Aviation
April 16, 2011
A gyrocopter from Rotortec. One of three models on display at Aero 2011
— AERO 2011 closed on Saturday, April 16, with smiles on the faces of many exhibitors who reported brisk orders on aircraft, engines, and other aircraft accessories.
Tecnam reported signing 31 orders for the various models it had on display, including many for its PTwenty-Ten four-place aircraft. At the same time, Flight Design took deposits for more than 29 new four-place Flight Design C4s.
Alternative fuels/powerplants were also in the news in Germany this week, with Swift Enterprises receiving EASA approval to fly a Beech Duke B60 on Swift Fuel. Meanwhile the Electra 1, which recently made its first flight on electric power, competed in the Berblinger Competition with 21 other alternative powered/fueled aircraft. Eric Raymond flew his Sunseeker II to/from Ulm as part of the Berblinger Competition on Friday afternoon, traveling about 160 km in three hours in the electric/solar-powered aircraft.
On Friday afternoon, LEAP (the Lindbergh Electric Aircraft Prize) awarded two more prizes. (The Solar Impulse group was awarded the LEAP Outstanding Achievement award on Wednesday.) The Pipistrel Taurus Electro received the 2011 Best Electric Aircraft award, while LZ Designs received the 2011 Best Propulsion System award for its Front End Sustainer (FES) that offers a small, battery-powered motor to provide takeoff power to sailplanes/gliders, eliminating the need for a tow plane.
On Friday and Saturday, AERO’s 11 halls were bustling with pilots and aviation enthusiasts who enjoyed viewing the new aircraft and aviation products.
Here’s more new aircraft/engines etc. we found the past two days. Look for more news from AERO in e-Hotline on Thursday, April 21, and in the June issue of Sport Aviation.
|Aeropilot Legend 540
Do you see a Cessna 175? You’re not far off; this Aeropilot Legend 540 was designed to be similar to a C-175. It is powered by a Rotax 912S engine and has an all-carbon fiber airframe. The first flight of the aircraft is expected within the next three weeks. This Czech-built airplane will cost €63,000 ($91,350) and is built by a factory that has 20 years of aircraft building experience.
c2p is a Slovenian product development company that has produced this all-carbon two-plus-two 2/4 seat aircraft. The airplane was flown to AERO from Slovenia to demonstrate the viability of the design. c2p hopes to sell the project to investors. The aircraft is powered by Rotax 912S. It cruises at 138 knots. Thanks to appropriate flap geometry, stall speed is 35 knots. The useful load is 860 pounds; empty weight is 794 pounds.
This D-Motor engine has been shown several times at air shows in Europe but now it finally can be ordered. The launch price of the engine is €10,400 ($15,080). The fuel-injected four-stroke, four-cylinder Boxer engine develops 80-hp and weighs 47 kg. dry. Ready to fly, it weighs 55 kg. Five engines were ordered this week at AERO.
This single-seat D-Plane flying wing is already flying over Europe. Empty weight of this prototype is 210 kg, with a maximum takeoff weight of 340 kg. It’s powered by a 1.6 liter, 50-hp Subaru engine. The all-aluminum airplane cruises a 220 km/h. Also being developed is a two-place D-Plane 2 with 260 kg empty weight that is expected to cruise at 250 km/h powered by a Rotax 912S. The D-Plane 2 should fly before year’s end.
FC-Composites Arrow Copter
When first presented at AERO 2010, the Arrow Copter was described as the sexiest gyrocopter on the market because of its sleek and stylish lines. It is one of the fastest gyros on the market, reaching 103 knots maximum speed, powered by a Rotax 912/914 engine. The addition of a half canopy is new for 2011, offering the option of a closed or half-closed canopy. Cost is €100,000 ($145,000), and the aircraft earned provisionary German certification just days ago.
Golden Car F30 Brio
This airplane is the last project from the drawing board of renowned Italian airplane designer, Stelio Frati, who passed away in 2010. The airplane was first presented at AERO 2010; just prior to AERO 2011, the fixed gear version - the Golden Car Brio - earned German certification. It’s powered by an 80-hp Rotax 912 engine. This week, Golden Car reached an agreement with a North American importer to bring the retractable gear version, called the F30RG, to the U.S. as a kit plane.
In Hall B5, Rotortec brought three new products to AERO 2011—the largest, the Cloud Dancer II, is the world’s first side-by-side gyrocopter with a four-blade rotor system that folds for easy storage. (No tools needed to accomplish this.) During AERO, its German airworthiness certificate was approved. This model is powered by a Weber 135-hp two-cylinder turbo-charged engine. It’s priced at €60,000 87,000). Rotortec also displayed the Cloud Dancer Light, a new single-seat gyro powered by a 70-hp, two-stroke Hirth engine priced at €26,000 ($37,700). Also introduced at AERO 2011 was the Cloud Dancer 1, combining an older airframe with a new, three-cylinder, 85-hp, two-stroke Hirth. Price is €39,000 ($56,550).
The WQS Seagle is an all-composite amphibian with retractable gear. It’s a German design built in the Czech Republic powered by a Rotax 912s or 914 in a pusher configuration. Three Seagles are currently flying, and a fourth prototype is being built and expected to be on display at AirVenture 2012. It will be sold as a kit for €59,000 ($85,550). A ready-to-fly version is available in Europe.
|Part 1, April 13-14