2013 Expo

If you're interested in all things Sport Pilot/Light Sport Aircraft, this is the place to be every January! Mark your calendars. http://www.sport-aviation-expo.com

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drseti
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby drseti » Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:40 am

Another indication of the shakeout currently underway: about 20% of the booths in the Commercial Exhibits building are vacant this year.
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zaitcev
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby zaitcev » Sat Jan 19, 2013 11:06 pm

AVWeb posted an odd sentence:

The Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association said on Thursday that some 258 LSAs were registered worldwide in 2012, with about 100 delivered to U.S. customers. That's down slightly from 2011 when 241 LSAs found their way into the fleet.


(http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/US ... MP=OTC-RSS)

I don't understand how "down slightly" can be applied to sales that grew from 241 to 258.

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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby newamiga » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:35 pm

Here is another lukewarm description of this years show.

http://www.aopa.org/aircraft/articles/2 ... chase.html
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby Jack Tyler » Mon Jan 21, 2013 7:36 am

Pete, I too was confused. Did Paul B. mash together two thoughts and, in fact, meant to say that the portion of registrations which occurred in the USA was down slightly (tho' global sales were slightly up)? Or did he misquote one of the global sales numbers? Either way the numbers are pretty underwhelming.

Alton Marsh's (AOPA) summary is a good journalistic example of how misconceptions about LSA sales activity gets reinforced. What a mish-mash of industry reporting & product boosterism. E.g.: "Before the show, readers sent emails asking for specific information from the show. One wanted to know which of the nearly 130 aircraft (seven are out of production) have American-built engines." It seems to me we should expect a journalist to correct such statements before answering them. The FAA shows 42 cancelled LSA certifications, most of them fixed wing.

"Phil Solomon of Tecnam described the state of the current light sport aircraft market as “waiting.” "
That seems an apt description...altho' the context is missing. Sales numbers seem to suggest 'waiting' might be the best face one can put on the last several years of U.S. LSA sales.

I was struck by the fact Cessna made no plans to exhibit this year. 162's are available now all over Florida, so getting an aircraft there from a Cessna Flight Center wouldn't presumably have been a problem nor much of an expense. When you look at how very modest displays at past Sebring Expo's have produced decent results for some mfgrs. (Vans, Rans, Just all pop to mind), one wonders if a primarily-biz jet builder just doesn't understand how to play to a grassroots GA marketplace.

FYI a fellow RAF member just finished making his THIRD cross-country flight from Washington State to Florida - it was in his CubCrafter - and had a super time with no weather or mechanical issues. It's pretty fascinating to see how some folks choose to use their Light Sport a/c, and it helps explain expensive models like the Bristell. And now we have installed air conditioning appearing! Can we imagine what those folks back in 2002 and 2003 had in mind when the LSA category was being created...?!
Jack
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby c162pilot » Mon Jan 21, 2013 11:08 am

BTW, there was a Cessna 162 on display at the Expo. Air Orlando a local dealer was showing it. I spoke to the rep at length. It appears there is a dealer conference coming up where they anticipate learning more about the C162 as it transitions to primary category.

Even thought I took a demo ride in the RV-12 I thought the Rans LS-19 looked better, however it is now only available as a kit again.

IMHO the new Italian F30 from Golden Avio was the best looking of the new LSA's on display. http://www.f30fly.com/

I also spent a lot of time talking with the team from Montreal building the SAM, the finished aircraft was on display but it has yet to fly, first impression is that it is big and sits high off the ground, I am just not sure how big the market is for a retro tandem LSA. Perhaps if I could afford to have a stable of aircraft this may be one of them. http://www.sam-aircraft.com/#/splash-page/

One of my most interesting conversations was with Dr. Hilton Goldstein founder and chief engineer for WingX, it was great to get his perspective on iPads in the cockpit and really got to spend some time with the iPad mini also discovering some features that I did not know existed, not surprising his recommendation is either the iPad 2 or iPad mini for running WingX, which I find to be the best product of all the ones I have tested and used. Hilton has moved his company to Florida from the Bay Area and can now support events like Expo and Sun 'n Fun better. Neither Garmin (who where there) or ForeFlight where showing their iPad products.

Finally I got to observe our board moderator Dr. Paul singing and performing and spent a few minutes in interesting conversation with him.

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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby zaitcev » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:12 pm

c162pilot wrote:Even thought I took a demo ride in the RV-12 I thought the Rans LS-19 looked better, however it is now only available as a kit again.

While I agree that Venterra perhaps looked slicker than RV-12, the Van's LSA was substantionally cheaper, and it clearly derived an advantage from lighter construction. S-19LS list price in the final year was $136k, construction was an aluminum monocoque for 500 lbs useful load. In modern LSAs it's not competitive, and RV-12 promises 580 lbs. S-19 is slightly faster: 136 mph to 131 mph. In any case, I'm glad Van's found a way to demonstrate RV-12 at this year's Expo. I'm perusing the posts in this thread and elsewhere to see how folks like the workmanship and finish on the demo airplane.

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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby drseti » Mon Jan 21, 2013 12:54 pm

zaitcev wrote:I'm perusing the posts in this thread and elsewhere to see how folks like the workmanship and finish on the demo airplane.


Pete, I didn't fly Mitch's RV-12, but I did sit in it, and walk around it, and give it close scrutiny. I found the fit and finish on a par with my SportStar, not quite as nice as the Bristell, and head and shoulders above the rest of the experimentals out there (as well as superior to some of the S-LSAs I saw this year). Of course, Mitch is a highly experienced repeat offender (he's now working on his ninth RV!), so I would expect his plane to be top-notch. I would expect the S-LSA version to be on a par with his workmanship.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby newamiga » Mon Jan 21, 2013 9:31 pm

I am building a RV-12 and posted some comments in another thread about Mitch and the awesome job he does selling the -12 and as Paul says what a great job he does building.

I also went out to Kansas and flew the S-19 with Jana Morenz before she left RANS. She was awesome as well and the S-19 flew great as well. The only downside for me as noted was the useful load. I actually bought a set of plans to see how they compared to the RV-12 plans set. Mitch gave me a sample set of plans to give me an idea of how the -12 was to build. I had a tough time choosing between the two planes. I really like the looks of the S-19. I also really like the sliding canopy. The only other negative tendency of the S-19 it was to tip onto its tail when you got into the plane sometimes.

As far as building, the RV-12 is easy in relative terms. In looking at the S-19 plans versus the RV-12 plans, I think the -12 plans are easier to understand. The biggest difference for me is the use of pop rivets exclusively (or at least from what I saw) on the S-19. The -12 says mostly pop rivets but the truth is there are quite a few solid rivets to be squeezed. I have finished the wings, empennage and about half the fuselage (or maybe a little less). I would say the build quality in Mitch's is definitely great. It is obvious he has great experience and skill building Vans planes. I will also say though that the RV-12 is a very approachable kit for the first time builder. I had no previous aircraft building experience and my plane will look decent. It wont look nearly as nice as Mitch's though :)

If you do get the chance to demo fly either or both planes do it. I thoroughly enjoyed flying both planes. Also to compare as Paul did to his plane, I would say the -12 compares very favorably in flying quality and finish to my Gobosh 700.

Carl
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby jnmeade » Mon Jan 21, 2013 10:15 pm

I was at the Expo for a few hours on Saturday. I had a specific interest, in avionics and aircraft mods so spent little time with airplanes except I did spend some time chatting with my friend Kent Johnson of Stanton Aviation who was helping with the Flight Design booth. I also talked for a few minutes with John Hurst of Lockwood. Also talked with Brian and Carol Carpenter of Rainbow Aviation. Other than that, I wanted and got info from Dynon, Garmin, TruTrak, WingX and I suppose others I've forgotten.
The reduction in vendor numbers in the tent was immediately apparent upon entering. The crowd on Saturday did not seem to be very big. Having said that, if talking with Dynon, Garmin, WingX, TruTrak and others, you may well have competition with other visitors to get the ear of the booth staff.
I was at the Expo in 2011, by way of comparison.
I attended part of one presentation and it a small audience.

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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby msalamon » Wed Jan 23, 2013 3:03 pm

I was at the Expo on Friday-and had a good time--one thing I would have liked to see more of was demo flights. some manufactures were great with this, while others not so much. Sor instance, the Pipistrel sales guys were there and they were great. I got to demo the new ALPHA trainer for $60 and had a really great time. In the not so great category was cubcrafters-whose rep told me that they only have demo flights for 'serious buyers' I think they should offer demo flights to whomever wants one--someone who may not be the ideal 'serious buyer' before a flight may just become one after!

Anyway- I liked the alpha--seems to have great fuel efficiency and very steady, easy to fly flight characteristics.

forgive me if in advance if these questions are lame, but being a neophyte to aviation, I was confused by a few things.

1) in the ALPHA the RPM went up to 5000---we did our run up to 4500--and during flight it hovered between 4000-5000
this is strange coming from the Cessna 162--where the RPM run up gos to 3000 and thats where we cruise around 2500 or thereabouts
What is the difference between these two planes as it relates to RPM

2) in the 162 there is a mixture knob for regulating the ratio of air and gas at different altitudes---not so in the ALPHA--there is no mixture control-why?

3)the ALPHA has only one gas tank-where the 162(and a lot of other planes) has 2--is this something to be concerned about?

anyone else try out the ALPHA?

thanks,

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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby drseti » Wed Jan 23, 2013 4:19 pm

msalamon wrote: 1) in the ALPHA the RPM went up to 5000---we did our run up to 4500--and during flight it hovered between 4000-5000
this is strange coming from the Cessna 162--where the RPM run up gos to 3000 and thats where we cruise around 2500 or thereabouts
What is the difference between these two planes as it relates to RPM


Seems what you have "discovered" here is the difference between direct drive and geared engines. A little engineering background will help you make sense of this:

In a conventional direct drive engine (like the Continental O200 used in the SkyCatcher), the pistons pump up and down, spinning the crankshaft. On the front of the crankshaft is a flange, to which the propeller is bolted. So, every time the crankshaft makes one revolution, so does the prop. All very simple, and reliable, but not very efficient.

The drawback is, engines produce maximum torque at high RPM, while props generate optimum thrust at low RPM. So, you have to compromise between the two. If you run a Continental or Lycoming engine at, say 2700 RPM, you've sacrificed both torque and thrust.

One solution is a geared engine. This is the approach Rotax takes. The crank shaft flange receives not a prop, but a reducing gearbox, on the other end of which the prop bolts on. The down side of this solution is an extra 8 pounds of gearbox on the nose, which shifts the CG forward somewhat. The advantage is that now the engine is turning at 5000 RPM for maximum torque, while the propeller is spinning at 2000 RPM, getting optimum thrust. Efficiency is thus improved greatly. This is why the Rotax 912 has the best power to weight ratio in its class, making it very popular in the LSA fleet.

2) in the 162 there is a mixture knob for regulating the ratio of air and gas at different altitudes---not so in the ALPHA--there is no mixture control-why?


The Rotax 912 series engines use dual Bing 62 carburetors (the same kind used in the classic BMW R65 motorcycle). This carb has a flexible rubber diaphragm, to the middle of which the needle valve is attached. Differential air pressure flexes the diaphragm, raising and lowering the needle valve, and hence changing the mixture with changes in air density (ie, automatically compensating for altitude). This auto-mixture system works well up to about 10,000 feet, which is of course the Sport Pilot altitude limit, so works well in LSAs. Since the 162 lacks self-compensating carbs, it needs a mixture control.

3)the ALPHA has only one gas tank-where the 162(and a lot of other planes) has 2--is this something to be concerned about?


I can only guess about this one, but a single, fuselage-mounted fuel tank is common on aircraft with removable wings (wing tanks aren't a good idea when you're taking the wings off and on all the time). So, for example, the RV-12 has a single fuselage-mounted tank, instead of dual wing tanks. I don't know if the Alpha was intended to have removable wings, but that would seem a likely explanation.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby msalamon » Wed Jan 23, 2013 5:06 pm

Thank you! this is extremely helpful-- so it seems at first glance that the Alpha takes better advantage of some of these LSA characteristics. I particularly like the fact that the mixture is handled automatically-as this was a source of some confusion for me in the 162---when do I lean or enrich the mixture-and by how much, ect. ect. It also sounds like the Rotax engine is much more efficient. I was curious why cessna chose a continental engine instead of the rotax. One more thing about the Alpha--it's priced about $50,000 less the 162!

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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby newamiga » Wed Jan 23, 2013 10:05 pm

I think Cessna's choice was driven by the fact that Cessna customers are used to "traditional" aircraft engines and their choice of a more traditional engine was to make their customers feel comfortable. As a guy who learned in the Rotax and who has most of my hours in the Rotax, I love the engine. It was used in the original USAF Predator UAV's and is flown all over the world today. Many folks who I have spoken to who haven't flown it, but who have flown Continental or Lycoming get nervous about the high RPM's and the reduction gear system. The engine is designed for the RPM's and the gearbox works well from my experience. The auto adjusting carbs are great too. Flying here in Colorado I can tell you they work just fine in higher altitudes and work fine adjusting as I fly down hill to the east coast.

The Alpha looks like an interesting little plane. I think Cessna is selling their name and you are going to pay a premium for that. I have been looking at checking out the 162 as our flying club has one. I mainly just want to take it up to see how it differs from the low wing LSA I am used to.

Carl
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby Jack Tyler » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:00 am

Carl, Paul & the group, can one of you comment on how Rotax engines are adapted for the much higher altitudes flown by the UAV drones that they power. Presumably, Rotax engines haven't had fuel injection. And the main Djibouti base from which they fly is at sea level while we all know about the many UAV attacks being conducted on the Pakistan-Afghanastan border at much higher elevations. Paul's description got me to wondering...
Jack
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Re: 2013 Expo

Postby drseti » Thu Jan 24, 2013 8:55 am

Jack, the Predator A used the Rotax 914, a 130 HP turbocharged engine.
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
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