“Duck and cover” was a phrase to describe the morning on Thursday, Day Two at Sebring. Rain that lasted until late morning dampened turnout and you can’t blame those who stayed home because tomorrow, Friday January 25th, looks much better. It will be cooler (by Florida standards, 60°F) but clear skies are forecast. Plus, it’s Friday, so come on out and enjoy! We took advantage of the wet weather to visit inside displays and will have videos coming on the Wingbug airdata WiFi device; about insurance for Light-Sport Aircraft, ELSA, Sport Pilot Kits from Aviation Insurance Resources; and on Whelens line of very bright LED strobes. Once they are edited and uploaded, find them on the YouTube channel of Light Sport and Ultralight Flyer. Please be patient for the videos. Soon after Sebring, Videoman Dave and I head out to Copperstate for the show now co-produced with Buckeye Air Fair at an all-new time of the calendar: February 8-9-10.
Breezer Aircraft GmbH & Co. Breezer II
Email: email@example.comReussenkoge, -- 25821 - Germany
U.S. Distributor is Breezer Aircraft USA
At the 2010 Midwest LSA Expo we did something new. We picked several aircraft of a similar description and pointed out their similarities and differences. This time we look at four all-metal high wing LSA: Rans Aircraft S-19 Venterra; Evektor Sportstar Max IFR, Van's Aircraft RV-12, and the Breezer Aircraft Breezer II. If you're searching for a high wing LSA, this video may help show your choices and help you make a purchase decision.
At the 2010 Midwest LSA Expo we did something new. We picked several aircraft of a similar description and pointed out their similarities and differences. This time we look at four all-metal high wing LSA: Rans Aircraft S-19 Venterra; Evektor Sportstar Max IFR, Van’s Aircraft RV-12, and the Breezer Aircraft Breezer II. If you’re searching for a high wing LSA, this video may help show your choices and help you make a purchase decision.
Breezer Aircraft now offers a kit version of their all-metal Light-Sport Aircraft. The German company relies on support from American importer Mike Z, who shows us around the new money-saving opportunity in the LSA space. Not too many kit LSA are available yet (with a few notable exceptions like the Van's RV-12), but here's another entry.
Breezer Aircraft now offers a kit version of their all-metal Light-Sport Aircraft. The German company relies on support from American importer Mike Z, who shows us around the new money-saving opportunity in the LSA space. Not too many kit LSA are available yet (with a few notable exceptions like the Van’s RV-12), but here’s another entry.
The first airplane to sell at Sebring 2010 was this Breezer II. What a fitting way to start off the new U.S. import and distribution operation handled by industry veteran Mike Zidziunas (everyone calls him "Mike Z"). Breezer is an German-built, all-metal SLSA that flies beautifully and has a new cockpit interior. Breezer Aircraft USA -- not the web name as mistakenly stated in the video -- will be based at Plant City, Florida, near the home of Sun 'n Fun.
The first airplane to sell at Sebring 2010 was this Breezer II. What a fitting way to start off the new U.S. import and distribution operation handled by industry veteran Mike Zidziunas (everyone calls him “Mike Z”). Breezer is an German-built, all-metal SLSA that flies beautifully and has a new cockpit interior. Breezer Aircraft USA — not the web name as mistakenly stated in the video — will be based at Plant City, Florida, near the home of Sun ‘n Fun.
See the German-made Breezer sold by Sportsplanes.com. This all-metal Light-Sport Aircraft has already evolved into the Breezer II and is one pleasant flying machine you might like. General aviation pilots will like some of the new features of this second version.
A well-worn line is often repeated by those trying to gain approval for an aircraft. The line is typically employed referring to FAA Part 23 type certification because that regulation dictates massive documentation of design, testing, production systems, and more. It is often stated humorously but it’s quite serious. “When the paperwork weighs more than the airplane, you’re done!” It means an impressive amount of documentation is required to get FAA’s blessing for a new Cessna-Cirrus-Diamond-Piper. In recent news about the approval of a Light-Sport Aircraft by the European Aviation Safety Agency, Breezer lays claim to a fairly rare credential. Breezer is only the fourth LSA I am aware of to achieve Restricted Type Certificate approval from EASA, the Europe Union equivalent to FAA. The first two were (in order) PS-28 Cruiser from Czech Sport Aircraft followed by the CTLS-ELA from Flight Design. Both were awarded at Aero 2012.
CORRECTION 4/10/13 — Due to a misinterpretation of Just Aircraft’s recent news release I must update an earlier report. The company did indeed take its 300th order but it was for all versions of the Highlander model, not just the SuperSTOL. At Sun ‘n Fun 2013, company leader Troy Woodland confirmed very strong interest in the STOL model and expects around 60 orders in the first year since it was introduced. The big plus of my conversation with Troy is an impending flight in the remarkable-flying SuperSTOL, which I will report as soon as possible. Amazing SuperSTOL! — We’ve got a few news items as we head to Sun ‘n Fun where lots more will emerge. One of the big pre-show items was news from kit and SLSA producer Just Aircraft who reported the number 300 order for its Highlander. On a visit en route to Oshkosh last summer we stopped to visit the company and saw the SuperSTOL design taking final form.
CESSNA’S DISCOVER FLYING I met new business leader for the Skycatcher LSA, Tracy Leopold, at Sun ‘n Fun 2012 where she confirmed the Wichita giant’s support for their lightest aircraft, now being assembled in Independence alongside other Cessna models. As summer began, Tracy’s Skycatcher group amped up their game with a program called Discover Flying Challenge. *** After hiring eight university graduate flight instructors — plus a ninth to act as dispatcher — the team took off in all directions and will reunite again at AirVenture 2012. Meanwhile, the youthful team is visiting Cessna Pilot Centers and non-CPC FBOs plus fly-ins and air shows all the while doing what college grads do these days: updating Facebook and Twitter feeds and blogging about their activities. *** “We wanted to do something different, something that would get the attention of the next generation of pilots while at the same time getting the Skycatcher in front of the public,” explained Tracy.
Remember when you were 17? For a pair of Sport Pilots that age, Wednesday at Sun ‘n Fun 2012 will be a day they remember, possibly for the rest of their lives. How cool is that?! *** According to the good folks at Breezer Aircraft USA, “On March 29th, the Sun ‘n Fun air show will open with an event which people all around have declared impossible!” To kick off the show, two Central Florida Aerospace Academy students will use a pair of Breezers to perform a precision formation fly-by to open the afternoon air show. The two pilots are Juniors in high school. *** The Central Florida Aerospace Academy of Kathleen High School is home to some of Polk County’s most advanced students. CFAA is housed in a snazzy new building just across the street from the Florida Air Museum on the Sun ‘n Fun campus.
Video info and entertainment is burgeoning these days. YouTube has become one of most-visited Internet websites; you can watch videos on subjects of every conceivable description (plus many you could not have conceived). *** In the aviation world, videos are also common. AOPA, EAA, AvWeb, Aero-TV, Loop-TV, and others offer video to further your knowledge and enjoyment of aviation. Folks just seem to love watching videos. Now, we are pleased to offer you something a little different from the others and in so doing we promise to remain true to Light-Sport and all Sport-Pilot-eligible aircraft. *** After producing more than 100 shorter-length video reports on Light-Sport Aircraft and other Sport Pilot-eligible flying machines, the Light Sport and Ultralight Flyer and I are pleased to collaborate on the first two-pilot, full-length, all-video pilot report. Here you’ll find almost an hour’s worth of flying footage and detail commentary from a couple experienced evaluation pilots that can help decide which airplane you want to buy.
One of the “diamonds in the rough” of the LSA movement has been the kit LSA or Experimental LSA or simply ELSA. For the first five years of Light-Sport Aircraft, fully manufactured Special Light-Sport Aircraft dominated the sales figures. With very few exceptions, ELSA were nowhere to be found. That’s begun to change, perhaps as voices have been getting louder about the prices of today’s well-equipped and surprisingly capable SLSA. Are ELSA a way to constrain the cost for consumers? Maybe. *** In February EAA reported that worldwide GA aircraft shipments included 889 piston-powered aircraft plus a slightly larger number of business jets and turboprops. Shipments declined 11.4 percent because of the struggling economy. However, EAA said, “Interestingly, homebuilt aircraft registrations continued their growth in the U.S. last year. A total of 941 homebuilt aircraft were added to the FAA registry in 2010, an increase of 10 percent from the previous year.
While my former home state of Minnesota grappled with enough snowfall to collapse the Metrodome’s inflated roof, I’m still hanging out in the Bahamas (yeah, I know, tough job…). *** After the First International Sport Pilot Fly-in concluded all but a couple Breezers flew home. Our group of four, lead by islands expert and U.S. Breezer importer Mike Zidziunas, took a pair of Breezer LSA south to an island called Staniel Cay (pronounced “key” unless you want to easily identified as a tourist). The experience was spectacular in many ways. The trusty Rotax 912s ran smoothly and confidently for as one of the Fly-in pilots put it, “Your engine doesn’t know it’s over water.” *** On the planned trip home, assuming strong headwinds die down following passage of the same giant cold front that dumped all the snow in parts of the U.S., we plan to wend our way through some visually stimulating inter-island flying at low altitude.
“Too much fun!” was a common exclamation of my Alaska ultralight friend, Mike Jacober. His signature phrase ran through my head as 18 airplanes, mostly LSA, arrived at the Freeport, Bahamas airport for the first Sport Pilot Fly-in over December 10-12, 2010. *** For many this was their first flight over the ocean (including yours truly). It isn’t far — 85 nautical miles, less than one hour — and it isn’t hard (unless you go for a swim en route… none of us did, thank goodness!). But flying out of sight of land, even for a short time, is rather attention-getting. *** A number of us gathered at Banyan Air Service at the Fort Lauderdale Executive getting first-class treatment and fuel discounts from this “gateway FBO” to the Bahamas. Bahamas Tourism/Aviation director (and fellow pilot) Greg Rolle gave a thorough presentation of the requirements to fly internationally. Each pilot had to complete lots of government forms but they weren’t too difficult and the great help made it go quickly.
Thanks to Jim Lawrence for keeping SPLOG full of fun-to-read info while I was massively occupied with a move of the ByDanJohnson.com and LAMA offices from Minnesota to a new home in Florida… Spruce Creek Fly-in near Daytona Beach to be precise. As I return to SPLOG, I have a few interesting tidbits involving LSA or other aircraft Sport Pilot may fly. *** Speaking of Sport Pilots, aviators with that certificate may now legally use it to fly to the Bahamas — the first country outside of the USA to accept the newest FAA license. So far, 21 LSA are signed up for the first Bahamas International Sport Pilot Fly-in. Lucky me… thanks to a generous offer from Breezer Aircraft USA boss Mike Z, my wife Randee and I get to join the over-water parade to the Bahamas. Watch video of Mike Z about his earlier flight to the Bahamas.
Mike Z Sport Aviation If you live in Central Florida and pursue recreational aviation, odds are you know or have heard of Mike Z. His last name is Zidziunas and now you know why everyone calls him “Mike Z.” Mike is well known in the hang gliding community and among ultralight enthusiasts. He has wide experience, including sail repairs (the same kind of work sometimes needed by hang glider pilots), being an A&P mechanic and LSA Repairman with plenty of knowledge of aircraft repairs. More than being qualified himself, Mike’s Plant City, Florida, airport operation has been the host quarters for one of Rainbow Aviation’s LSA Repairman courses. Many of the people who have come to know Mike took flight lessons from him or had maintenance done by him. Some LSA enthusiasts know he assembles airplanes for Sportsplanes.com, specifically models like the Breezer II, the Skylark, the C-42, and others. Mike has also worked closely with another Central Florida legend, Jay Kurtz, a DAR who attracted attention last year by gaining ELSA approval for a Van’s RV-9 done as lightly as possible so that it could qualify as a light sport aircraft.
|Empty weight||704 pounds|
|Gross weight||1,320 pounds|
|Wing area||127 square feet|
|Wing loading||10.4 pounds/square foot|
|Useful Load||616 pounds|
|Payload (with full fuel)||505 pounds|
|Cabin Interior||46 inches|
|Fuel Capacity||18.5 gallons|
|Baggage area||44 pounds, aft of seats|
|Standard engine||Rotax 912 UL2/ULS2|
|Prop Diameter||two- or three-blade Neuform|
|Power loading||13.2 pounds/hp|
|Max Speed||120 knots/138 mph|
|Cruise speed||109 knots/125/mph|
|Stall Speed||36 knots/41 mph|
|Never exceed speed||133 knots/153 mph|
|Rate of climb at gross||1,100 fpm|
|Takeoff distance at gross||440 feet (80hp)/310 feet (100hp)|
|Landing distance at gross||455 feet|
|Range (powered)||350 nm - 4.0 hours|
|Fuel Consumption||about 5.0 gph|
|Standard Features||Rotax 912 with electric start, basic panel instruments, familiar all-metal construction, sliding canopy, hydraulic toe brakes, adjustable seats, electric flaps and pitch trim, dual controls, 4-point seat belts, cabin heating, ventilation, baggage area.|
|Options||Numerous additional instrumentation, including glass displays, radio choices, autopilot, IFR instrumentation, ballistic parachute, lighting packages.|
|Construction||Aluminum airframe, fiberglass fairing components, all-aluminum wing and tail skins and fuselage. Made in (formerly West) Germany; distributed by an U.S.-based company with American dealers.|
Cosmetic appearance, structural integrity, achievement of design goals, effectiveness of aerodynamics, ergonomics.
Pros - Redone, improved design in its second generation, now supplied by a well-financed manufacturer. All-metal design with an attractive shape. New features address the U.S. market well (toe brakes, for example). Good payload, able to carry two rather large occupants plus baggage.
Cons - Earlier problems with the supplier of the older Breezer model may have tainted some resale buyer opinions. Even without the history, the Breezer is not well known in America yet; building name recognition takes time and good results, all yet to be determined.
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 - Fully equipped Breezer II features nice improvements over the first model brought to the USA. Trim and flaps are now electric; trim is on the joystick for easy access. Legions of pilots unused to hand brake arrangements will welcome toe brakes.
Cons - Flap indicator is in a poor position, resulting in a head-down pilot at a time when he or she needs to be observing landing approach or departure. Flap switch is too flat to tell its position without looking. Some pilots won't consider the 18.5-gallon capacity to be sufficient.
Instrumentation; Ergonomics of controls; Creature comforts; (items covered may be optional).
Pros - Spacious 46-inch-wide cockpit will accommodate all but the very largest occupants. Entry over the leading edge, thanks to a well-located entry peg/step, is better than the more common step-over-the-flap entry. Large hat rack can be reached in flight. Good instrument panel space available.
Cons - Like many low-wing designs, you must step on the seat for entry and must push yourself back up for exit (caused carpet bunching even on a new test aircraft). Sliding canopies have some quick-exit vulnerability in landing upsets.
Taxi visibility; Steering; Turn radius; Shock absorption; Stance/Stability; Braking.
Pros - All general aviation pilots will love the new toe brakes, which worked very well. Visibility was excellent, even to the rear as you are doing control checks. Gear absorbed bumps well. Turn radius was fairly small and can be aided with differential braking.
Cons - Low-wing airplanes are not considered particularly versatile on uneven, unimproved strips due to wing clearance. Quick exit out of the Breezer II is not as fast as some designs (you must lift yourself up and out). No other negatives.
Qualities; Efficiency; Ease; Comparative values.
Pros - Easy-landing design (when you follow instructions and let the plane have its own head). Superb visibility for takeoffs and landings; good traffic check capability and low nose on landing gave a wide-open view. Flaps were quite effective. Low-speed capability made for low landing speeds and easy touchdowns.
Cons - You can (I did) "overfly" the Breezer II on landings; it prefers an attitude approach to a deep flare (which I almost always attempt), somewhat unusual for an airplane with light wing loading. Slips were workable, but I did not find them highly effective (though good flaps obviate the need for slipping).
Quality and quantity for: Coordination; Authority; Pressures; Response; and Coupling.
Pros - Quality controls with good response yet without twitchy action; new pilots and students should like the Breezer II handling. Easy stick reach and response; most pilots will find controls comfortable. Steep turns held a good circle easily without adding power.
Cons - You must use the rudder pedals for coordinated turns and you must return them to neutral by pilot input; didn't return aerodynamically in evaluation.
Climb; Glide; Sink; Cruise/stall/max speeds; Endurance; Range; Maneuverability.
Pros - Excellent climb performance. Glide also seemed strong, helping make easy approaches to landing. Speed showed enhancements from earlier model to the Breezer II with cruise at 115 knots at 5,200 rpm (though earlier model may have suffered from rigging errors). Excellent slow-flying qualities.
Cons - Fuel capacity at 18.5 gallons only yields a 300-nm range, insufficient to please all pilots. Not quite the fastest among LSA (though only marginally below the top performers).
Stall recovery and characteristics; Dampening; Spiral stability; Adverse yaw qualities.
Pros - No stalls exhibited any deep nose break. All stability checks showed a well-considered design (see "Cons" for rudder response). Power response and longitudinal checks proved a stable flying design. Steep turns maintained altitude with no power added.
Cons - Rudder pedals required that I move them in the desired direction. The Breezer II will not automatically return to straight flight after rudder deflection; it's easy but you must do it. No parachute fitted to this evaluation Breezer II, so no unusual attitudes explored.
Addresses the questions: "Will a buyer get what he/she expects to buy, and did the designer/builder achieve the chosen goal?"
Pros - New producer gives this quality design new importance in the market. Good improvements made to better fit the American market. Tasteful color and style themed interior treatment will please resale buyers. Experienced importer with 15 regional outlets across the country.
Cons - Few Breezers flying in the USA, making resale value unknown. Change of producers may cause some buyers to wait for more experience. Some pilots living in warm, sunny climates don't desire low-wing, bubble canopy designs. Supply of parts and repair expertise is still growing.
Close to Perfect It usually takes more than one try to get something right. To get close to a perfect aircraft usually takes many iterations, but Breezer Aircraft has come very close to producing a wonderful light sport aircraft with their Breezer II. We’ve seen the Breezer before when the U.S. importer brought the thennew model to AirVenture Oshkosh ’05. I flew it that year and recently got the chance to fly the Breezer II. While many of the good qualities found in the earlier model were retained, some nice improvements have been made. But it isn’t the airplane that is the real story. As experienced airplane buyers know, it is often the company behind the airplane that is the main story. Breezer’s Brief Design History The design history is brief because the Breezer is a new aircraft, not seen before ’05 except during its early development. That older, original Breezer was produced under agreement by Comco-Ikarus, the same folks that make one of Germany’s bestselling ultralights (a different class than American ultralights), the C-42.
Politicians take actions that are often viewed negatively by small business owners, which term basically defines nearly every LSA producer. But sometimes government leaders do good things; this may be one of those stories. Even while EASA (the European equivalent to FAA) talks about job-killing regulations, perhaps the cottage industry of Light-Sport Aircraft discovered a new friend in high places. *** Breezer Aircraft makes a handsome and impressive all-metal airplane in the north of Germany. The design has been around a decade but new management took over in 2006 and they’ve been forging ahead. Among other positive developments, Breezer recently moved to a new airfield and they were surprised and pleased when a German state official showed up to helped commemorate the event. “Schleswig Holstein (the northernmost of the 16 states of Germany) Prime Minister Carstensen opened our airfield,” boasted Breezer officials. “This is already pretty remarkable.
It didn’t work out the first time. Breezer I wasn’t quite mature for market. The import structure was unwieldy adding cost and distancing the customer from the source. As Breezer Aircraft took over manufacturing of the all-metal LSA, Breezer II arrived in 2008 joining new leadership in Europe with fresh representation in the USA. *** As of Sebring 2010, central Florida light aircraft guru Mike Zidziunas — or simply “Mike Z” — will become the point man for Breezer Aircraft USA. And he’ll handle things differently from most LSA sellers. His plan is more like that used successfully by Cirrus. The source of the airplanes handles the whole country using representatives in various areas as touch points. “I feel that the conventional dealer network is ponderous and it’s difficult to control the quality of service,” expressed Mike. “To address service after the sale, when we deliver the airplane we offer as part of the purchase of the airplane a 5-hour FITS-style pilot training program.
Breezer dealer Mike Zidziunas had a double-good day. *** First, a potential buyer he’d been working with whipped out a blank check and said, “How much do I fill it in for?” *** Congratulations Mike! *** He also announced the German company has named him sole U.S. Distributor for the Breezer II, which he’ll take over from Sportsplanes.com. He’ll do business as Breezer Aircraft U.S.A. *** Owner Dirk Ketelsen and marketing rep Wolfgang Nitschmann joined the celebration and lauded Mike’s deep background in LSA engine repair and maintenance, flight training, and assembly/final test flying of imported aircraft.
Sun ‘n Fun 2008 is history, but planning is already underway for the 2009 event. Event boss John Burton confirmed we will again have the LAMA-hosted LSA Mall right at the front gate next April 21-26. A major success at this year’s Lakeland, Florida airshow, the industry Mall presentation featured 17 Special Light-Sport Aircraft. Weather prevented Fantasy Air’s Allegro from attending. Two days before the event, a tornado crushed a Sting S3 planned for display. And work at Quicksilver Manufacturing postponed the exhibit of the GT500 (they’re finishing SLSA approval, reports national sales manager, Todd Ellefson). *** The 17 who were in the ’08 LSA Mall enjoyed significant traffic all week and virtually every visitor to Sun ‘n Fun was at least exposed to Light-Sport Aircraft in a wide variety (although we were not able to enlist any trike or powered parachute companies).