More from Aero as Day 3 closes. Because of the number on display — and because several readers asked — this post will focus on electric propulsion in two distinct forms. Whatever you think about electric as a means of lifting aircraft aloft, escaping its approach appears impossible. Experimentation is happening in all quarters. The following review is far from exhaustive; many other examples could be found at Aero Friedrichshafen 2019. Most agree that batteries are the weak link in the chain and despite repeated promises of annual increases in energy density of 5-8%, it hasn’t happened over ten years I’ve followed this fairly closely. That does not preclude certain effective uses, for example, local area primary flight training or aerobatic flying. Yet flying cross country on batteries remains somewhere in the future. Nonetheless, projects abound and solutions may be upon us. Here’s what I saw today. Hybrid Power from Tecnam, Rotax, and Siemens — I had no choice but to drop big names because these three powerhouses are joining forces on a hybrid system.
Comco Ikarus GmbH
Phone: (01149) 7572-60080Hohentengen, -- 88367 - Germany
Comco Ikarus has a long history in Europe dating to the early 1990s. The company believes it is the largest supplier of flight school aircraft in Europe's largest economy, Germany. Their current development is a higher gross weight edition of the composite exterior C42. New U.S. representation could reignite sales of this sweet-flying, light-weight LSA.
Comco Ikarus has a long history in Europe dating to the early 1990s. The company believes it is the largest supplier of flight school aircraft in Europe’s largest economy, Germany. Their current development is a higher gross weight edition of the composite exterior C42. New U.S. representation could reignite sales of this sweet-flying, light-weight LSA.
|Empty weight||572 pounds|
|Gross weight||1,144 pounds 1|
|Wing area||134 square feet|
|Wing loading||9.3 pounds/square foot|
|Useful Load||572 pounds|
|Payload (with full fuel)||414 pounds|
|Cabin Interior||48 inches|
|Baggage area||hat rack|
|Notes:||1 Weight indicated by distributor after SP/LSA becomes final.|
|Power loading||14.3 pounds/hp|
|Cruise speed||95 mph|
|Stall Speed||40 mph|
|Never exceed speed||118 mph|
|Rate of climb at gross||1,000 fpm|
|Takeoff distance at gross||320 feet|
|Landing distance at gross||350 feet|
|Range (powered)||600+ miles (6.5 hours)|
|Fuel Consumption||about 4.0 gph|
Germany’s most popular microlight flies to America Some readers and enthusiasts are excited about the proposed sport pilot/light-sport aircraft rule, while others have taken a wait-and-see approach. Virtually all recreational pilots are full of anticipation and questions. In the meantime, aircraft developers are also preparing. Of those aircraft likely to become new ready-to-fly light-sport aircraft (LSA), many hail from Europe because its microlight regulations are close to the expected definition of LSAs in the United States. Germany is home to many manufacturers that produce potential LSAs, including Comco Ikarus, makers of the C42 Ikarus. The company has produced more than 1,500 aircraft, of which more than 650 are the C42 model. It’s an aircraft that both general aviation and microlight pilots appreciate, noted by the fact that it is Germany’s best-selling microlight. Every year, the factory cranks out another 80 C42s. The design was first produced in 1996. Rather than follow the design of the company’s older C22, which looks like a Flightstar II SL in its Fastback version, the C42 started fresh.