The Beaver and Chinook ultralight-like aircraft are arguably two of the bestknown lightweight designs coming from Canada. Aircraft Sales and Parts, more commonly known as ASAP, is the company that rescued and now manufactures and sells these designs, along with a powered parachute from its sister company, Summit Powered Parachutes. The tale of ASAP’s involvement with the Chinook and Beaver offers insight into ultralight progress – Canadian style. A History Lesson Perhaps the most famous ultralight to come out of Canada is the Beaver. With a reported 2,200 flying units since the early 1980s, it’s a successful design. However, due to corporate missteps by the companies that owned the brand, the Beaver series was nearly lost. Originally, the Beaver models were manufactured by Spectrum Aircraft Inc. Reorganization left the ultralight in the hands of a company called Beaver RX Enterprises. In 1993, that company closed its doors and stranded thousands of Beaver aircraft owners, along with all the dealerships that sold and serviced them.
Aircraft Sales And Parts Chinook Plus 2
Phone: (250) 549-1102Vernon, BC V1T 6N2 - Canada
Long one of Canada’s best loved ultralights, the Chinook – formerly designed and built by Birdman – is another of the country’s designs saved by the Holomis family when they went acquiring ultralight aircraft companies to complement their successful machining enterprise in British Columbia. A simple design with lines unlike any other ultralight I’ve flown, the aircraft has pleasing characteristics that most pilot will enjoy. Larger aviators especially will like the enormous cabin of the Chinook. And like other Canadian designs, the Chinook’s sturdy triangulated construction allows it to operate as a bush plane from almost any open space. Consequently, ASAP likes to show Chinooks with tundra tires or floats, both of which add to the rugged good looks. The wide open cabin is surrounded by well supported clear Lexan giving you a panoramic view from either seat. Tandem aircraft often cramp the aft seat and don’t give it the best visibility, but Chinook sets a new standard.
|Empty weight||430 pounds|
|Gross weight||950 pounds|
|Wing area||155 square feet|
|Wing loading||6.1 pounds/sq ft|
|Length||17 feet 8 inches|
|Height||5 feet 10 inches|
|Load Limit||+4 Gs, -2 Gs|
|Build time||150-180 hours|
|Standard engine||HKS 700E 4-cycle|
|Power||60 hp at 5,900 rpm|
|Power loading||15.8 pounds/hp|
|Cruise speed||78 mph|
|Stall Speed||33 mph|
|Never exceed speed||115 mph|
|Rate of climb at gross||800 feet per minute|
|Takeoff distance at gross||200 feet|
|Landing distance at gross||300 feet|
|Standard Features||Dual controls (shared left-hand throttle), steerable tailwheel, fully-enclosed cabin, removable doors, instrument panel, adjustable mechanical flaperons, dual fuel tanks (10-gallon U.S. capacity), seat belts, seat covers.|
|Options||Rotax 503 dual carb or 582, Hirth 2703, 2704 or 2706 or 2si 460F-45, 460L-50 or 690L-70 engine, standard or heavy-duty reduction drives, electric start, silencer kit, hydraulic disc brakes, electric flaperons, cabin heat, ballistic parachute, 5-point shoulder harnesses, floats, skis, instruments, 2- or 3-blade wood or composite props, custom interior.|
|Construction||Aluminum tubing airframe, bungee suspension, Ceconite® fabric covering; bolt-together kit - parts precut and predrilled, fabric precut. Made in Canada.|
Cosmetic appearance, structural integrity, achievement of design goals, effectiveness of aerodynamics, ergonomics.
Pros - Now 10 years in production by ASAP, the Chinook is a reliable aircraft to buy and fly. More than 700 reportedly flying with a good record. Simple lines thanks to the original developer, yet with unusually generous interior room. Flight test model was nicely finished, outside and inside. Nice execution of HKS installation; nestles away cleanly.
Cons - Head-on the Chinook has a certain bathtub look to it (though it's shape works well aloft). Some don't care for wing strut fuel tanks so far from the engine (though this may have a safety aspect to it). Tandem seating isn't for everyone.
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 - At an empty weight of 430 pounds (with the HKS engine), you can add numerous systems and stay within the training exemption definitions. Beautifully instrumented front and rear. Fuel quantity couldn't be much easier to check; glance out either side. Many system accessories offered by factory.
Cons - Brakes were rather weak on this plane. Flaperons were not installed on this particular Chinook. Great instrument deck requires more familiarity to fully use; a quick checkout isn't enough. No trim.
Instrumentation; Ergonomics of controls; Creature comforts; (items covered may be optional).
Pros - Rear seat had good instrumentation; would make a good trainer vehicle so equipped. Seats were quite comfortable for longer flights. Wide bodied pilots should love the Chinook. Even with doors, the interior is very large. Interior upholstery and floor pans make the inside more polished.
Cons - I didn't care for the combo throttle much. The front pilot must reach slightly behind your left side while a rear seat instructor would have to lean forward. Rear seat entry is much more difficult than the front seat. Aft occupant is very near engine.
Taxi visibility; Steering; Turn radius; Shock absorption; Stance/Stability; Braking.
Pros - Solid and comfortable, built "Canadian tough," the Chinook taxies with authority. Wide gear geometry and wide tires helped the effect further. Good turn radius even while taxiing slow in stronger winds. Bungee suspension worked well to soften the bumps. Adequate ground clearance and a protected prop arc.
Cons - Rear seat visibility is poor; an instructor will have to plan ahead to check traffic before takeoff. No brake lever at rear seat (not uncommon on trainers, though). No differential braking at either seat.
Qualities; Efficiency; Ease; Comparative values.
Pros - This is one of the easiest-to-handle taildraggers you can fly. A nearly flat deck angle helps as does a low posture. Terrific front-seat visibility during any takeoff or landing operation. Approaches can be made quite slowly (down into the 40s).
Cons - Chinook didn't jump off the ground as quickly as some trainers. Rear-seat visibility is quite compromised on takeoffs and landings; an instructor will have to stay aware of traffic and judge landing speeds and attitudes well (though, of course, such judgments are expected of instructors).
Quality and quantity for: Coordination; Authority; Pressures; Response; and Coupling.
Pros - Roll response and roll rate were both quite brisk. Roll rate was not as strong as roll-in/out power, but authority proved good even in breezy crosswinds. Tail has loads of power, too, but forces are a little higher. Cable connections to tail surfaces gave good feedback.
Cons - Coordination takes a few minutes to learn because the ailerons feel somewhat lighter (though perhaps a little less potent) than the rudder. Control adjustments may account for these observations.
Climb; Glide; Sink; Cruise/stall/max speeds; Endurance; Range; Maneuverability.
Pros - The Chinook shows strong sink rate performance, especially for a design that appears to (though may not) have a larger frontal area. Purred along beautifully with its HKS 4-stroke engine. Speeds ran about 80 mph in a medium-high cruise setting. Also flew well at only 45 to 50 mph.
Cons - Carrying the extra weight and complexity of a 4-stroke engine means some performance is diverted to this purpose. Climb rate also didn't seem up to the factory brochure figures (though I'm comparing the 60-hp HKS to a 50-hp Rotax 503 and a 65-hp 582).
Stall recovery and characteristics; Dampening; Spiral stability; Adverse yaw qualities.
Pros - Stalls were quite straightforward in the Chinook (I only flew solo). Often one wing would fall, and not the same one, but the fall was slow and modest. Unable to see a full-power stall break. Accelerated stalls always fell to the outside, which is preferred. Solid aircraft in breezier conditions.
Cons - Without trim, and with the nose slightly heavy, I could not make longitudinal stability checks. No standard shoulder belts; lap belts only are usually considered insufficient in case of violent upset.
Addresses the questions: "Will a buyer get what he/she expects to buy, and did the designer/builder achieve the chosen goal?"
Pros - ASAP offers a good value, I think, at $7,250 for the basic airframe. Easy flying characteristics endear the Chinook to either training, cross-country flights or bush flying. Present company has outlasted the original design company and provides more certainty with which to do business. Company makes most parts in topnotch in-house facility.
Cons - The Chinook has not changed much over the last decade; if you're looking for something new and dashing, this may not be it. No extensive U.S. dealer network.
What started as Canadian Ultralight Manufacturing has now become ASAP and Brent Holomis is now president again. In the early days of the Vernon, British Columbia company, Brent became occupied with GSC props and focused on building that enterprise while brother Curt dealt with aircraft sales. Now they’re both involved in aircraft manufacturing. Expanding Enterprise Over the years, ASAP’s business has expanded and the western Canada company now sells the Chinook Plus 2 and the Beaver RX-550 Plus, tagging both models with the “plus” suffix that indicates the ASAP team improved and refined the aircraft after their acquisition of the models. I find it impressive that two of Canada’s most popular ultralights are now built by ASAP, a company that rescued these designs after the original companies failed. Birdman Enterprises designed and built the Chinook, and Spectrum Aircraft built the Beaver RX-550 (though the latter company went through a few name/ownership changes before succumbing completely).