Rainstorm wrote:I own a P2008 with the Rotax 912iS engine with Sport Upgrade and generator upgrade, 3 bladed prop., Night and LED package, leather, dual Garmin G3X and a third EFIS (Integra 6624) with full checklists (audible and touch check), Garmin Autopilot, GDL 69A, Garmin Connext, ADS B in and out and a host of other options way too numerous to list, essentially everything. It weighs in at 835 lbs. Support has been great and the Sport Package and Generator upgrade were accomplished by Rotax at no charge with one work week downtime. I've owner various Cessna's, Bonanza's (including a G36), a Baron, Commander, etc. The 912is is great, no float adjustments, easy starts, higher power, lower fuel burn.
The build quality of the Tecnam is as good as any factory airplane I have ever owned and much better than everything but the Beechcraft and is equal to them. The climate control works well, it doesn't leak, it's quiet, flies like a dream, can consistently cruise at 120Kts and climbs out a 100Kts. We use the iPhone and iPad to upload flight plans and as extra displays (not that they're needed for that as three is plenty). Fuel burn is consistently below 4gph and it will settle in at 3.2-3.5 for most trips. We live in the mountain west and climbing out an enroute climbs always achieve at least 800 fpm and typically over 1000.
I never expected an LSA to feel and perform like a high end factory airplane but this one does. It is expensive but not considering the price of anything near the quality and performance. We have friends with more bare bones LSA's and they use duct tape to seal leaks (CT's), have to use funky straps to tie it down, the seats don't recline and aren't comfortable, but the performance is not as good as the P2008. The headroom in the P2008 is great even for a tall guy with headsets. Even the fuel gauges work accurately in the P2008 unlike most planes. The useful load as equipped is 485lbs but it carries that without drama, likely due to it's higher certified weight for the same airplane in Europe, nice safety margin to have.
I've read a bunch of reviews on the P2008, most complain about the cost and weight. It's worth it and carries the weight. If you want an LSA to be a real traveller in comfort this one is great.
As a P2008 owner you're typical in the way you extol the qualities of your Tecnam. No doubt it's a lovely airplane and I did a couple of demos before buying my own SLSA, which incidentally has an empty weight of 765lbs considerably less than other models I contemplated.
Just for a minute let's talk about light sport flying which many pilots yearned for before the rule change. Simple basic day vfr flying with lower costs. Admittedly it's hard to produce a modern LSA at pre-rule price projections but since then folks seem happy to add every possible option which of course bloats both the price and eats into the precious useful load.Go figure.
You mention having the heavier more expensive 912 iS/ Sport engine which further reduces useful load and adds to price. You also suggest adding the cute which is another 35lbs weight, more maintenance cost and inspections plus the added cost to the bottom line.
We've posted here before on P2008 weights but since you brought it up and offered negative comparisons to other LSAs let's talk about it.
In your case with two 200 lb occupants your weight is 1235 leaving 85 lbs for fuel and bags. You now can't use full fuel or 192lbs and if you add bags you eat into your dwindling useful load. Add the chute of 35lbs and you're left with 59lbs for bags and fuel.
If you figure minimum 30min reserve and any restriction ( such as minimum fuel for high angle go around etc) let's say you have a reserve of 3 gallons or 18lbs you're left with 32 lbs or a little over 5 gallons to cruise, no bags. Using your own numbers that's maybe an hour and a half.
My RV-12 SLSA has an empty weight of 765. I have the 912ULS engine and haven't experienced any issues with the carbs, other than the faulty float issue a while back which caused no operating issue for me other than a slight fuel smell. Rotax provided new floats for free.
The last time I flew the engine started up first time (as it always does) this time after three weeks idle in the hangar. The plane usually flies at 118-123kts and climbs at 1000 fpm plus on all but the hottest days and yes it can climb out at 100kts if I reduce climb rate.
I plan on 5.2 gph but consistently get an average 4.8 gph overall based on fuel used and time. I think this compares well against the Sport engine especially as regards the extra cost and weight of the Sport engine. So I feel I have the same or better performance as you have but for a lot less money and a lot less weight. Yes the Tecnam is more luxurious but for me it's a negative.
You point about the P2008 being certified to higher gross weights in Europe is often repeated but is meaningless in the US light sport market. My airplane has the same max weight as yours and I'm just as confident in it at the same max weight.
I've personally spoken with a couple of P2008 owners and a sales guy who routinely flew the P2008 considerably in excess of max gross because they were either frustrated that their highly loaded airplanes restricted fuel load, simply didn't care to do the weight and balance and/or quoted the "well in Europe its certified at a higher gross weight" argument. Draw your own conclusions.
Although more basic in interior features ( no leather seats for example) and no chute option my airplane gives me far in excess of what I wanted in sport flying and at a price $80k+ less than the price of the Tecnam. A hangar neighbor just built his RV-12 with fantastic quality at a price much less than my factory build.
The same is true of the FD CT line. To me the older CTSW seems to me to offer more than the heavier recent CTLS models.
I have no night package because.... I fly light sport! I have ADSB In and OUT , autopilot, touch screen EFIS and I upload flight plans from my iPad through wifi in the airplane. LED lights too! I even have synthetic vision too...but I prefer to look out of the window at REAL vision!
I can carry full fuel which gives me 3.25 hours cruise with two 200lb occupants plus 35lbs bags ( allowing for tools spares that I carry).
The airplane handles perfectly and the visibility is fantastic even looking down and forwards because of the cab forward.
I flew the CTLS , Remos amongst other models and liked them a lot although all had some issues with composite cracks and hangar rash but then they were in training schools. However I did see a little duct tape covering cracks. I opted for an all metal design for potentially simpler less expensive repairs.
My seats recline too and I personally flew from OR to SC when I bought it and found it to be an effortless and throughly enjoyable experience.
Fueling the RV-12 is a breeze I simply stand next to the grounded plane and pour in E10 auto gas and it only takes a couple of minutes. I have fuel sensors, fuel flow, tank gauge plus a mechanical gauge on the tank which I can see in the cockpit all of which are very accurate plus I do the mental math.
This is all intended to offer a counterpoint to your posted comments not to extol my plane or to diss another's.
For ME I got the LSA I wanted for the light sport flying mission I have. I simply like to just go flying rather than wax poetic about the luxury and endless features.