Ukrainian airframe producer Aeros has risen from complete obscurity in the early 1990s (after the Berlin Wall fell) to wide recognition in recreational aviation. Although powered ultralight and light-sport aircraft enthusiasts may not immediately know the brand, hang glider pilots around the world are very aware of the name. The current reigning world champion hang glider pilot is Oleg Bondarchuck, a Ukrainian pilot who works with Aeros. This young company emerging from the former Soviet mantel also makes an ultralight sailplane plus two powered aircraft. Aeros produces the Sky Ranger 3-axis airplane (under agreement with its French designer), and it has designed and markets its own trike. The company also supplies trike wings for other producers like Antares. By any normal measurements, Aeros is a versatile company. Many ultralight and LSA pilots probably know the Aeros Velocity trike, and may recall its earlier name, Venture. In those days, it was sold by Sabre Aircraft alongside the trikes that Arizona company made here in America.
|Seating||2, tandem, rear seat elevated|
|Empty weight||450 pounds|
|Gross weight||900 pounds|
|Wingspan||33 feet 1|
|Wing area||188 square feet 1|
|Wing loading||4.8 pounds/square foot 1|
|Kit type||Fully assembled|
|Set-up time||30 minutes, 1 person, from trailer|
|Notes:||1 Trike wings can be changed within the manufacturer's recommendations|
|Standard engine||Rotax 582 1|
|Power loading||13.6 pounds/hp|
|Cruise speed||45 mph|
|Never exceed speed||66 mph|
|Rate of climb at gross||600 fpm|
|Takeoff distance at gross||100 feet|
|Landing distance at gross||150 feet|
|Notes:||1 Test Velocity equipped with HKS 700E engine|
|Standard Features||65-hp Rotax 582, engine and flight instruments, fiberglass lower enclosure, folding and removable wing, remote choke, shock-absorbing gear, steerable nosewheel, mechanical brakes, fully built.|
|Options||60-hp HKS 700E, 50-hp Rotax 503, 81-hp Rotax 912, 100-hp Rotax 912S, electric starter, different wing in different color options, additional instruments, ballistic parachute.|
|Construction||Aluminum airframe, steel components, fiberglass fairing, Dacron wing coverings. Made in the Ukraine; distributed by U.S.-owned company.|
Cosmetic appearance, structural integrity, achievement of design goals, effectiveness of aerodynamics, ergonomics.
Pros - Beautifully designed fairing from Aeros. Extensive use of titanium, still rare in the U.S. Large diameter tubing and double side wires help deliver a solid feel. Standard Still wing offers good characteristics for instructional use. Design has about a decade of track record and refinement.
Cons - Still wing, while good for training, lacks a broad speed range (though the company offers other wings). Wing is a reliable design but hardly cutting edge. Fiberglass fairing is striking but may not fit larger Americans well (see article). No longer a lightweight trike.
Subsystems available to pilot such as: Flaps; Fuel sources; Electric start; In-air restart; Brakes; Engine controls; Navigations; Radio; (items covered may be optional).
Pros - T-panel construction allows certain controls to be conveniently located. Engine access is easy and engine is upright mounted. Convenient mast fold-down easier, thanks to mast joint above engine; leaves engine securely braced during transport or storage. Fuel fill point is outside of fairing.
Cons - No trim adjustment offered (though other trike brands offer it). No landing approach control. Hand throttle is a greater reach than some pilots will want and was counterintuitive in its direction of movement. No electronic engine monitoring system offered at time of test flight.
Instrumentation; Ergonomics of controls; Creature comforts; (items covered may be optional).
Pros - Instrument panel well located for easy access and reading. Backrest on front seat improves comfort when two occupants on board. Four-point pilot restraints on both seats. Entry ease is excellent. Rear seat steering available. Seats well padded and comfortable.
Cons - Rear seat legroom is very cramped due to the folded-over fairing. Foot throttle on right foot pedal angled back too steeply for comfort. Hand throttle was a little far to reach easily. Small windscreen is mostly cosmetic; a helmet with good face protection is advised.
Taxi visibility; Steering; Turn radius; Shock absorption; Stance/Stability; Braking.
Pros - Very stout gear leg with excellent suspension on main gear leg helps absorb bumps; spring system hidden behind fairing. Nosewheel brake is quite effective. Suspended nosewheel with trailing link construction. Visibility is superb as on most trikes. Generous ground clearance.
Cons - Still wing, though it has good handling and may be appropriate for instructional use, is rather speed-limited for recreational flying. Steering from rear seat is limited by tight quarters for lower legs. Brakes on nosewheel (common on trikes) are less effective due to light nosewheel loading.
Qualities; Efficiency; Ease; Comparative values.
Pros - Landings are easy with mains easily contacting ground first. Very sturdy gear plus suspension system took the bumps from a lumpy turf runway. Wide gear stance helps in crosswind landings. Braking effectiveness was surprisingly good for nosewheel system.
Cons - No landing approach control methods (as on most trikes) and slipping a trike is challenging. Landing approaches must be controlled by other means like better planning or S-turns. HKS engine offers less takeoff boost than the Rotax 582 (which has about 5 more horsepower).
Quality and quantity for: Coordination; Authority; Pressures; Response; and Coupling.
Pros - Single-surface (exposed crossbar) Still wing provided pleasantly light roll and pitch controls; should be good for training pilots. No surprises in this well-proven wing from Aeros. Steady beat of HKS 700E 4-stroke powerplant should also be good for instruction. Aft control bars fitted for instructor use.
Cons - Still wing, being single-surface, is rather limited in speed range (though perfect for training). Crosswind controls are not available, as on all trikes. Large, heavier carriage means more weight for a pilot to displace, more of a problem for students than experienced pilots.
Climb; Glide; Sink; Cruise/stall/max speeds; Endurance; Range; Maneuverability.
Pros - Still wing got off the ground quickly and climbed enthusiastically. Engine ran smoothly and felt vibration-isolated by excellent engine mount system. A 3-blade prop also lowered vibration. Unless an excess of power is needed, most pilots (student or experienced) will like the HKS engine.
Cons - If you want to fly cross-country, you'll want to select another wing from several models offered by Aeros. Nearly all trikes are limited in forward speed as excess power results in a climb; this effect is even more pronounced with a large single-surface wing (wing is best suited for training).
Stall recovery and characteristics; Dampening; Spiral stability; Adverse yaw qualities.
Pros - Four-point pilot restraints and optional ballistic parachute system were much appreciated. Good longitudinal stability; dive recovery devices appeared to work well. Stalls came in the low 30s, excellent for training use. Full-power stalls never broke. Aeros has proven its abilities in delta wing design and construction.
Cons - Still wing is speed-limited enough that you'll want to pay attention to wind changes. Power response changes climb in all trikes; add generous power and you climb regardless of desire. No other stability negatives.
Addresses the questions: "Will a buyer get what he/she expects to buy, and did the designer/builder achieve the chosen goal?"
Pros - Overall finish of trike compares well with the best European trikes; hardware is also clean and strong. Use of materials like titanium adds appeal and creates an advanced image. Striking fairing with excellent workmanship. HKS engine installation is well done with superior vibration isolation.
Cons - Those needing more power may select the Velocity with Rotax 582 or Rotax 912 at optimal expense. The Velocity (and the Venture before it) has yet to establish significant market presence in the USA. A new generation of trike design may require updates in this model, especially in age of LSA rules. o