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The PERFECT two seater local plane for the modern age.

I guess you and Therese will go to Aero Friedrichshafen this year to sit in prob 90% of what there is on offer nowadays, except for out-of-production aircraft of course.

Just to get a feel for the UL world, assuming it’s a bit new to you:

Last Edited by aart at 28 Jan 12:01
Private field, Mallorca, Spain

I very much enjoy the Super Guépard. Of course I do. It is high wing uses unleaded fuel (the cheapest sort),low maintenance and what there is costs less than running a decent size motorbike, low running costs approx 12 -13 litres per hour on average, no problem flying to the small grass airfields in Italy (look on You Tube under Super Guépard).
Can maintain it yourself if you wish. 2 seats 525kg MTOW with parachute approx 285Kg empty weight. 160km/h at 4600RPM and 190km/h at 5000 rpm. Climb rate around 1000ft per minute and super in the mountains. What is more it’s nowhere near as much as most of the above, new.
Downside following somebody doing a very very heavy landing from height and bending the landing gear it took €3000 to repair and replace including new Beringer brake units on main wheels and downtime of 2weeks.
That is the longest downtime we have had in the last 3 years.


Having nothing much better to do today, I thought a bit more about the question of @Buckerfan

Apart from the fact that he is looking for something more modern than a Cub and a non-avgas burning aircraft he mentions sightseeing, and thus outside visibility, as a primary attribute.

I can relate to that, as it became more and more important to me with the years, and I spent quite some time on finding an aircraft that maximised that aspect while still serving other needs.

High-Wing vs Low-Wing

OMG no, not another debate on that.. But maybe if I restrict the topic to visibility it becomes less religious In general, HW is better as one can look straight down. However, in a LW one can also bank and look at objects. Actually, it depends where you fly. I am pretty sure that @Dan is better served by a LW, having his panorama at his side or even above him most of the time

However, in a HW one always has obstructions. The wheels, wing struts, pillars and often windshield bars make it anything but a completely clear outside view experience, what I would call like ‘sitting outside’. I have become addicted to bubble canopies for that reason, and these can only be found in LW aircraft.

Then there are shoulder-wing aircraft which are very good in terms of outside visibility. Any modern aircraft available in that category other than motorgliders mentioned earlier in this thread?

The primary disadvantage of LW, in particular bubble-canopy, is irradiation. But this really is only a factor in summer and then only between say 10 and 4 o’clock. In summer I don’t fly other than early in the morning or late afternoon, and if I fly midday, when traveling, I have found that a baseball cap, good ventilation and car sunshades do the trick. I suppose Buckerfan is not tied to do his sight-seeing bimbles in the middle of an Italian summer either.

Tandem seat vs side-by-side

The social aspect calls for side-by-side. The visibility aspect for tandem. However, for a LW the person in front is really at an advantage to the person in the back. Up front, one is better positioned vis-a-vis the wing and visibility downwards and sideways is very good. At the expense of the person in the back, who not only can hardly look forward, but neither downward, and hardly forward-downward. So much for the Tarragon, Shark, Blackshape and TL-Stream if visibility for the person in the back is important. LW, tandem seating is fine.

Sooo, a good option would be…. drum roll….

The SkyArrow!

Which actually can be seen as a shoulder-wing 😉

Hard to think about anything with a better outside visibility. Certified or UL. Italian, so service nearby. No stones in the prop on bad fields. Easy to get into and out. However, I sat in one and the canopy was a bit low. My length is 1,91m but it depends on the length of the torso more than anything else. Slight disadvantage that the engine cannot be inspected that easily. Not sure about sound levels inside because of the pusher prop.

And looks.. I actually don’t dislike it and anyway I prefer functionality over looks to be honest. Anyway, a most subjective thing, so better not touched.

Last Edited by aart at 28 Jan 15:39
Private field, Mallorca, Spain

VERY stupid question: Can’t the Cub burn Mogas. Because it pretty much fulfills everything else.

It can with an appropriate STC for legality, but it has to be auto fuel without alcohol. That is the only real issue, so it’s worth looking at whether suitable fuel is available at the local AGIP station or wherever. There is a reason why many of the UL back country aircraft look like a Cub, and it’s because as evidenced by the enduringly high prices they fetch the Cub and Supercub are still arguably the best at what they do.

A friend here has a 5 year old Zlin cub type plane that he imported used from Europe last year and flew to Oshkosh. It had various problems on the way there and back. For example one brake stay broke, the caliper came loose tearing the brake line loose, and a minor ground loop ensued with the wing tip just barely touching the ground at a remote dirt strip in New Mexico. It also has an oil temperature overheating problem (thank God for synthetic oil) and a very low ceiling and it took him 40 hrs of flying to get there and back, slower than a J3. He’s apparently a persistent fellow and now has a new Norden on order, which is faster, and a new engine modified by the guys in Norway (I’ve forgotten the name of the company). He’ll combine the two himself. The old one did make it home a little taped up and worse for wear, but has now been repaired and will be sold.

I think the Savanah is likely a good bet, despite its looks. It’s a derivative of the Zenair CH701 and they are both well designed.

I like Tecnams for their nice control harmony and they are locally produced. Sourcing parts is apparently sometimes an issue but that is likely not so much an issue in Italy. They also aren’t the most robustly built things.

The Italian UL scene is a good thing in my experience, although my experience is over 10 years old now.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 28 Jan 18:36

Some really interesting suggestions here. Many thanks. Tecnam 2008 variants are something I had never heard of. Likewise the Super Guepard. The Rotax powered options are a very good thought.

In Italy at the smaller airfields in Italy am I more likely to find Jet A or Mogas?

Are there any small two seater diesel engine options out there. The smallest I am aware of is the DA40 series. Or even a tiny turboprop??

Upper Harford private strip UK, near EGBJ, United Kingdom

There ya go:

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

A turbine powered VL3 and Bristell NG5, both ULM, are under development. Other than maybe the convenience of JetA I don’t really see the point. They won’t be economical in purchase price and running cost and won’t perform better than the high-end Rotax equipped ones I guess.

Private field, Mallorca, Spain

Other than maybe the convenience of JetA I don’t really see the point.

C’mon Aart, what about that smell
Oh, and the coolness factor too.

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

In Italy at the smaller airfields in Italy am I more likely to find Jet A or Mogas?

Smaller airfields and airports in Italy are subdivided into three different categories with limited overlap. I’d suggest learning about the three types as a way to get some insight into the types of aircraft in use at each, the fuel they use, and whether they have may have fuel available. Here’s a 10 year old link but I believe little has changed except for the threat to aviosuperfici caused by recent overregulation of the airfield operating requirements. The applicable regulation has now been postponed until March.

The Italian UL altitude restrictions noted are likely of interest – maybe there has been some progress there since 2014. Also note that basic ultralights cannot use aeroporti, the term which translates roughly into tower controlled airports, so if you wanted to colocate a certified larger plane and a UL it needs to be the right kind of UL or the larger plane needs be capable of operating off an aviosuperficie. Bureaucratic and devisive but manageable with enough money.

Last Edited by Silvaire at 28 Jan 20:05

Slightly outdated, but still a very informative thread listed by Silvaire, thanks!
Many thanks to Bosco, gives me some mission ideas (what is that strip labeled “this…”?) for the season

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland
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