Sun ‘n Fun is coming in less than two months. Surprised? Yes, we are now less than 60 days before the start of this season-opening event. The folks in Lakeland offer so much to do at their April celebration that you can barely jam it all in to a six day visit. No doubt this is why many arrive a few days early … well, that and Florida being the Sunshine State which will be warm and pleasant from April 21-26, 2015. C’mon down. Get away from that snowy winter up north. One thing you may not have done is visit the Museum on the property. All those new airplanes and products plus a major airshow keep people outside, understandably so. However, for 2015 light aircraft enthusiasts have one more reason to plan some extra time to keep the sunburn to a minimum by spending a few hours inside.
M-Squared, Inc. Breese DS (HKS)
Phone: (251) 957-1533St. Elmo, AL 36568 - USA
On the Horizon at M-Squared Paul Mather has another airplane in the works at his Alabama company. Called the AeroTug, it made its first public appearance in the summer of ’03 in Wisconsin. Once called “Breese AT,” the new entry is built by M-Squared in a deal involving former Second Chantz Aircraft Recovery Systems owner John Dunham. Dunham says he approached Mather and M-Squared. They agreed that Mather will build the customized rig and Dunham will market and distribute it. Already very familiar with M-Squared airplanes, Dunham leases one he owns to TV production studios as a filming platform. He explains, “I’ve been working with Paul to develop a new tug ultralight to compete with the Dragonfly. We will be doing flight and hang glider tow testing in Alabama, and then I will be flying it around to all the Florida parks to show it off. I’ll be the exclusive marketing agent for this aircraft.” In explaining his request to Mather’s company, Dunham said that he wanted it to be, “…based on the M-Squared Breese single-seat design with the 2-place, single-surface, slow, strutted wing, plus a Maule-type tow hook release under the rudder, tundra tires, and a specially-built Rotax 670 – almost 100 hp at the same weight as the Rotax 582.” About this hybrid model Mather says, “She’ll climb all day at 25 mph while towing a hang glider.
|Empty weight||400 pounds|
|Gross weight||750 pounds|
|Wing area||168 square feet|
|Wing loading||4.4 pounds per square foot|
|Height||7 feet 10 inches|
|Kit type||Fully Assembled 1|
|Build time||40 hours 1|
|Notes:||1 Builder-assistance program offered by M-Squared, as required for N-numbered aircraft like the HKS-powered Breese DS. Contact factory for further details.|
|Standard engine||4-stroke HKS 700E|
|Power loading||12.5 pounds per hp|
|Cruise speed||65 mph|
|Never exceed speed||74 mph|
|Rate of climb at gross||925 fpm|
|Takeoff distance at gross||80 feet|
|Landing distance at gross||60 feet|
|Standard Features||60-hp HKS 700E engine with electric starter, Powerfin prop, EIS info system, 15-inch main tires on aluminum wheels with 6-inch drum brakes, 13-inch nose tire and aluminum wheel, hand brake, steel cage surrounding pilot, adjustable strut fittings, high-lift airfoil with 14-inch rib spacing, wing-mounted fuel cells.|
|Options||65-hp 2-stroke Rotax 582, electric starter (standard on HKS), pilot enclosures, additional instrumentation and EIS with digital gauges, ballistic parachute, 16-gallon wing-mounted fuel cells, stainless steel main frame.|
|Construction||Aluminum airframe, Dacron wing and tail coverings, steel components including pilot cage. Made and distributed in the USA by American-owned company.|
Cosmetic appearance, structural integrity, achievement of design goals, effectiveness of aerodynamics, ergonomics.
Pros - The Breese DS with an HKS is an upgraded single-seat design using M-Squared's fully strutted construction preferred by many pilots. Useful load is 350 pounds; great for large pilots. Sturdy, tubing- braced design helps the Breese DS to be more durable. Four-stroke power is popular with most pilots.
Cons - Builder-assistance program required to qualify for N-numbers as required on this slightly heavy model. Open cockpit will appeal to some but not all pilots, possibly affecting resale. One-hour field assembly required, as wings don't fold. Qualification for proposed Light-Sport Aircraft still being investigated.
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 - Electric starting comes standard with the HKS engine. Also standard with the HKS-powered Breese are wing fuel tanks holding 16 gallons. Optional systems can be added, as the Breese DS HKS must be N-numbered. Payload remains more than 250 pounds even with full fuel in long range tanks.
Cons - In-flight trim is standard on 2-seat M-Squared models but not available on the single-seat Breese (though it's hardly needed). Airframe is a weighty 400 pounds. I had enough trouble initially gripping the brake lever that two hands were needed.
Instrumentation; Ergonomics of controls; Creature comforts; (items covered may be optional).
Pros - Stainless steel (optional) pilot cage in tandem sets of pilot-surrounding structure. Four-point seat belts are standard. Side stick is comfortably placed. Optional pilot enclosure is available for those in colder climates. All switches were easily reached (though you can't read their purpose when fully belted).
Cons - Wide-open cockpits aren't for everyone, possibly affecting resale. Seat is angled back generously, perhaps too steeply for some pilots. No radio or GPS locations available; must use tube clamps or innovate your own panel. Seat not adjustable (nor are the rudder pedals) for pilots of different height.
Taxi visibility; Steering; Turn radius; Shock absorption; Stance/Stability; Braking.
Pros - Very large tires on big aluminum wheels (13-inch nose and 15-inch mains) provide a nice taxi ride. Suspension is air in the tires and tubing flex, but it felt sufficient. Steerable nosewheel is standard, also built from stainless in the test Breese. Drum brakes are standard. Responsive ground steering.
Cons - M-Squared models have no bungee or other suspension, just air in the tires and flex in the tubes. Nondifferential brakes (though steering is quite good). Brake handle was difficult for me to grip (though some adjustments may be possible).
Qualities; Efficiency; Ease; Comparative values.
Pros - Ease of takeoff can't get much better. Ground roll is only 80 feet at gross weight. Powerful acceleration with HKS engine. You only need to set a modest pitch angle and the Breese DS will fly off the runway. You can make approaches at speeds down close to 30 mph for very short runway capability.
Cons - The Breese DS bleeds energy quickly so you must keep up your speed before touchdown. Open cockpit aircraft suggests a full-face helmet to ensure no bird or insect distraction. Slips are largely ineffective in this type aircraft (though slow approach speed makes this a small concern).
Quality and quantity for: Coordination; Authority; Pressures; Response; and Coupling.
Pros - The Breese DS controls are quite responsive, thanks to well-sized ailerons, lower dihedral, and stiffer airframe, which offers a more secure anchor for the control surfaces. Precision turns are easily achieved. Responds quickly to rudder-only input. Good crosswind capabilities.
Cons - Pitch was more sensitive than I recall, perhaps due to a closely coupled tailplane and powerful engine. Due to the rudder's influence on controls, you use the pedals significantly in coordinated turns. Adverse yaw is clearly present on the Breese (though perhaps less than similar higher-dihedral designs).
Climb; Glide; Sink; Cruise/stall/max speeds; Endurance; Range; Maneuverability.
Pros - The Breese, even with its double-surface wing, excels at low-over-the-field flying. Flying from water or ground, you won't spend a long time earthbound. With the HKS, climb is close to 1,000 fpm. Despite solid performance, the Breese DS is appropriate for beginning pilots. Cruise at 60 to 65 mph is very achievable.
Cons - Speed range, though perfectly acceptable for the type, is only about 2.5:1 (4:1 is considered excellent). Top speed is only 74 mph, not too fast for a cross-country flight. Consumes fuel at a faster rate than more enclosed aircraft (though an optional enclosure may improve upon this).
Stall recovery and characteristics; Dampening; Spiral stability; Adverse yaw qualities.
Pros - Stalls were all highly predictable nonevents. Steel (stainless on test Breese DS) surrounds cockpit to better protect pilot - and makes for a strong structure. Test plane was parachute equipped. Four-point seat belts were appreciated as well.
Cons - Adverse yaw is significant. Misapplication of controls can cause some wallowing at lower speeds. With the high engine and thrust line, the HKS-powered Breese DS noses over on rapid throttle movement.
Addresses the questions: "Will a buyer get what he/she expects to buy, and did the designer/builder achieve the chosen goal?"
Pros - A proven design, made even stronger with larger tubing, with 4-stroke engine and popular accessories (such as electric start) for $19,995 for a fly-away aircraft is a very fair price. Strutted look is what many buyers seek. Long- range fuel tanks also standard.
Cons - You'll have to N-number a Breese DS HKS (but factory has a builder-assistance program). Buyers in cold climates won't much care for the wide-open cockpit (without optional enclosure). This open, simple type of design may cause more challenges at resale time.
Twenty-something years of ultralight flying have seen many changes take place in our ultralights. At the beginning of the ultralight industry we had craft such as Eagles, Weedhoppers, and Quicksilvers powered by engines like the 15-hp Yamaha, Mac 101, and Chrysler. Of these, only Quicksilver remains vibrant. Here in 2004, we have aircraft like the Breese DS with its 60-hp HKS 700E 4-stroke engine. It may look like a Quicksilver but it’s a different flying animal. M-Squared’s Jay Stevens gave me a checkout in the single-seat Breese with its Japanese 4-stroke powerplant and it proved to be a very satisfying experience. Strong and Powerful The resemblance to Quicksilver, especially the California company’s strut-braced model, is obvious to most ultralight veterans but Breese manufacturer M-Squared has steadily changed their design. Looks, therefore, can be deceiving. The use of struts first set apart the designs of Paul Mather, proprietor of M-Squared. A tailplane that uses no cable bracing added to the different appearance.