There are some rules that govern the production of an LSA aircraft and they have to be adheared to for it to be a certified LSA.
A few of the basic rules are; only 2 seats, MTOW (maximum take off weight) of 600kg, fixed undercarrage, a stall speed of not more than 45kts and a cruise speed not exceeding 120kts (ground adjustable propeller). Manufacturers must adhere to ASTM rules during manufacture and copius amounts of paperwork will get signed off before they will be given LSA certification.
The max flap extension is 30 Degrees and you can deploy full flap at 75 kts which is quite high compared to a lot of the others and close to GA. With full flap I can get the stall speed down to 27kts and then without putting on power or putting the stick forward, so with the stick in neutral position, the nose will rise and then into a very gentle stall and then the nose will lower itself (without moving the stick or throttle) and fly away on its own from the stall and slowly raise the nose into another stall until it drops its own nose a little again and fly’s away again and so on in a falling leaf style and you can let it do that for around 6 times in a row without moving anything.
The flaps are very strong and very effective and they are silent, when you put the full flap down there is no drumming, no turbulent air created because they are beautifully rounded Fouler Flaps (what you would expect on a commercial jet) that do not break up the air flow.
The max airspeed (VNE) in still air is currently 138 kts and it is expected to be a bit higher in the Triton Sport SC3D along with a faster cruise speed (as the new Triton Sport SC3D is a little sleeker than the current one). The crosswind component will also be higher in the new one.
There are a number of aircraft out there that claim some rather high cruise figures, and through personal experience they seem to fall rather short of what is claimed, there seems to be quite a few marketing knots added in there. The important one to look at is the Rough Air Speed (the top of the Green arc) and you will find that they are all about the same out there. In Australia you get a lot of thermal turbulence going up as much as 5000 – 6000 ft and in Tasmania just like NZ we get wind and mechanical turbulence from the hills and mountains. All of which reduces us all to the rough air speed maximum unless someone wants to try and clap the wings together.
The other thing about speed is that yes a few aircraft will fly a little faster than others especially some of the plastic planes and one of the main reasons is that they are a very little pencil plane with nothing like the room, comfort and luggage space in them of the Triton Sport or Roko Via. Our aircraft bore a big hole in the sky and for that you will sacrifice a knot or two but you gain so much in space and comfort. I really enjoy the space and comfort that I have even after I have fully loaded the aircraft with my skis and everything else that goes with it. This allows me to use my aircraft for the lifestyle that I want to lead with my aircraft and not have the aircraft limit my flying to just around a windsock because you are unable to sit in it comfortably for more than 30 minutes or can’t put in it what you want to take with you.
For a normal takeoff it’s about 100m, if you have the aircraft nice and light and not much fuel then it would be a bit less and of course if you are fully loaded then it will be more than 100m. Also take into account grass or tarmac runway. This aircraft has STOL capabilities as I have had my aircraft off the ground in 36m on grass from a standing start with a 12kt headwind (measured with a tape measure) – its true! Once airborne the aircraft climbs away like a love sick angel. You can also land it on a postage stamp. A 300 – 350m grass runway is fine, a 400 – 450m runway is luxury, you will only use half of it.
There are a few Carbon bits on the Triton Sport, like the front cowls, wing tips, wheel spats, canopy, etc but the aircraft is and all metal aircraft really.
I do find that most people are really pleased to find that the SportCruiser/Triton Sport is an all metal aircraft because it will take the bright sunshine and withstand hotter temperatures and does not burn in the event of a fire !!! Very important one that is, and metal will take a bigger hit in the event of a crash.
Metal will always hang together and if there is any wear then it is seen, but when glass decides to let go it just lets go with no warning.
The servicing on the new 912iS engine will be the same as the standard engine, just oil, filter, and plugs, nothing needed on the ECU side of things.
If anything does come up on that side of things then it will show on screen in the cockpit.
If there is ever a need for diagnostic work to be done then a registered service person or centre will have the software to solve any problem.
There has traditionally been 2 Large Air vents on each side of the fuselage. I have also added the Pop Top System which is really good for ground manoeuvres and when you leave the aircraft parked you can have the canopy cracked open a bit so that it stays cooler for when you get back in and if you get a shower of rain it doesn’t get wet when the canopy is cracked open
Ventilation is always an issue in an aircraft and it is one of the points that we have worked on and made suggestions to upgrade for the new Triton Sport and I believe this has been addressed. I believe the new one has a demister for the screen because just as when you hop into a cold car on a cold morning you get a fogged windscreen you get the same in an aircraft and the Triton Sport is not exempt either so a demister has been added to help with this.
An important thing to remember for ventilation is not just the ability of getting the air in, you have to get the air out and this is an important factor because no matter how big or how many air vents there are if the air cant flow out of the cockpit there won’t be any fresh air able to come in!
The fuel lines are all insulated with special fire protected insulation. The Oil lines are not and are not required to be and do not need to be. There has never been a fire in a SportCruiser yet that I know about other than one that had a bad landing and broke the nose leg off (very early model) and scraped along the tarmac rupturing the gas-collator at the bottom of the fire wall and starting a fire. The people and aircraft were fine as it is an all metal aircraft and the fire went out. If that had been a fibreglass aircraft it would have been a different story.
We are PROUD to be able to say that the new aircraft is not only CNC machined but also it is CAD 3D Modelled which is the latest manufacturing process known to man in the world and companies such as Boeing, Ford, BMW are using this new process to have every part Tool Perfect. I do not know of any other LSA manufacturer in the world that has this new technology. The new factory has installed all new machines so that the computers for the 3D Modelling can talk to the machines and vice versa to produce Tool Perfect parts.
The wing lockers have never been waterproof and I doubt that the new ones will be either. I have never found this to be a problem. Yes sometimes if left out there will be a little water get in there but drains straight out as well and they dry out very quickly. We normally carry tie downs and the aircraft cover in them and if we go skiing we put our ski boots in there. When we go to shows we put our heavy brochures and paperwork in the wing lockers because they are on the C of G and we have a light weight, inexpensive, waterproof plastic box with a lid that just fits perfectly into the wing locker making it a waterproof area. The Cabin and luggage area is also waterproof.
The walk area on the wing has strengthening in it as there is a series of ribs close together in that area to take the weight of a person walking on them. I have not had or know of any problem in this area of the aircraft since its first production and there are now approximately 600 in the world fleet.
Re an upside down landing, well so far in all the years of the aircraft there has not been an upside down landing, even the 3 aircraft that I know of in the world that landed without a nose leg and wheel didn’t flip over. Yes a high wing will flip over easily as they commonly do with such a high centre of gravity but a low wing generally does not display that behaviour having a very much lower centre of gravity. However in the extremely unlikely event of it happening there is a support line that runs from the prop and front of the engine through across the top of the canopy at which point the rear hoop of the canopy is very strong and then proceeding on up to the top of the tail, which will all keep the aircraft supported in an upside down position (even though I would say that by the time you get to this position your insurance company will be owning the aircraft.) I would suggest that the carriage of a small axe or hammer to be appropriate in such an unlikely event that the side of the canopy window could be knocked out easily and an escape route will be easily possible.
I recently read some statistics, you have a 1 in 38 million chance of being killed in an aircraft, 1 in 6000 chance of being killed in a car, and a 1 in 1800 chance of being killed on a mountain bike!!! Give me the plane any day of the week.
The normal process is as follows and I have been doing this for 10 years now and have a hell of a lot of happy customers out there, so much so that I have customers on their 2nd and 3rd aircraft from Aerosport.
We have a contract which is designed to protect you so that you will either get your aircraft or your money back and it also gives us the commitment.
The Payment is split over 2, 3 or 4 payments depending on the aircraft and manufacturers requirements.
A rough guide is as follows:
Payment 1 is the deposit and is due at the time of signing the contract. This deposit ensures that the aircraft is started in production and given a Build Number from the factory and from that point on the deposit becomes non refundable as the aircraft is entering assembly at that stage.
Payment 2 is the balance of the aircraft price, excluding the GST and is due at the time of completion of the aircraft and just prior to shipping.
Payment 3 is the GST portion and is due to Customs as the aircraft is customs cleared coming into Australia. New Zealand customers do not have this payment as GST is paid direct to Aerosport.
We allow approximately 16 weeks for the manufacture of the aircraft. Test flying in country of manufacture, shipping and compliance and all the paperwork at the country of delivery takes approximately 8-10 weeks – so in reality you are looking at 6 months from deposit to delivery. We will do our utmost to make it earlier but you should count on up to 6 months.
The Aircraft is fully insured during its shipping stage but this stops once the container lands at our base in Gatton Airpark QLD or our base in Cambridge, New Zealand. Once we wheel the aircraft from the container we require your insurance to take over from that point with our named test pilots on the insurance policy for the purposes of final checks and test flights etc. The aircraft insurance is usually around $3500 – $3800 in Australia and NZ and is dependant upon the pilot’s experience.