This week kicks off the truly gigantic trade show known by its sponsoring organization’s abbreviation: NBAA, or in common lingo, “Enn, Bee, Double A.” While not taking up the extensive terra firms of Oshkosh, NBAA actually has more paying exhibitors. They even tow aircraft down city streets in the dark of night so a reported 100 aircraft can be on display at the Orlando Civic Center. The show has become so large that supposedly only two U.S. convention centers are big enough to contain the sprawling affair: Las Vegas and Orlando. The latter is just down the street for me so every other year I go and look for something to report amidst my wandering around astonished at the sheer size of the event and how much money gets spent for a three-day show. I always find something of interest to the light aviation, recreational flying community. This year, I’m on the lookout for Tecnam, one of this website’s longtime sponsors and surely the largest company serving up Light-Sport Aircraft around the world.
Tecnam Costruzioni Aeronautiche P2008
Phone: (01139) 817583210Casoria Na, -- 80026 - Italy
U.S. Distributor is Tecnam US Inc.
Phone: (863) 655-2400Sebring, FL 33870 - USA
A few days back, Tecnam announced that Transport Canada, their equivalent to FAA, confirmed that the P2008 has been added to the Eligible to Be Registered Advanced Ultralight Listing (although the Tecnam model has not been added to their website list at this writing)."P2008 aircraft may be registered in Canada as of this date," wrote Civil Aviation Safety Inspector, Craig Davis of Transport Canada on August 14, 2017.
An "Advanced Ultralight" is not an American ultralight vehicle nor a European Ultralight — sometimes called Microlight. The last is limited to a weight of 472.5 kilograms (1,040 pounds) with an airframe parachute, as required in Germany. An American ultralight is limited to 254 pounds empty weight, with some allowances for airframe parachutes or float gear.
In Canada, a two-seat Advanced Ultralight is limited to 1,232 pounds, whereas in the USA, Tecnam's sleek P2008 can weigh 1,320 pounds (600 kilograms).According to Transport Canada's regulations an advanced ultra-light aeroplane (AULA) is an aeroplane which:
- Is propeller driven;
- Is designed to carry a maximum of two persons, including the pilot;
- Has a maximum take-off mass of 350 kilograms (770 pounds) for a single place aeroplane, or 560 kilograms (1,232 pounds) for a two place aeroplane;
- A maximum stalling speed in the landing configuration at manufacturer's recommended maximum take-off mass (weight) not exceeding 72 km/h (20 m/s, 45 mph) (IAS); and,
- Is limited to non-aerobatic operations.
America’s neighbor to the north is USA’s largest trading partner …yes, bigger than China, or any other single country. It may be hard to accept that exchanges with a nation of 36 million population exceeds China by almost a third, despite that Asian nation’s 1.37 billion persons and its export-promoting government. Nonetheless, it’s true. Canada is also the #2 nation bringing regular reader to this website. Gotta love those Canadians. Armed with those facts, I was intrigued to see the announcement from the big Italian company, “Tecnam P2008 now available in Canada.” A few days back, Tecnam announced that Transport Canada, their equivalent to FAA, confirmed that the P2008 has been added to the Eligible to Be Registered Advanced Ultralight Listing (although the Tecnam model has not been added to their website list at this writing). “P2008 aircraft may be registered in Canada as of this date,” wrote Civil Aviation Safety Inspector, Craig Davis of Transport Canada on August 14, 2017.
The latest from top producer, Tecnam of Italy, is this super handsome P2008. First seen at the 2009 Aero show in Germany, Sebring 2010 was the coming-out party for the P2008 in the United States. In this new SLSA model, we see the marriage of Italy's all-metal skills to the composite capability of CAG, a Spanish company Tecnam bought to acquire their knowledge of such construction. And it worked! The smooth lines and Italian design make for one of the prettiest LSA in the fleet.
The latest from top producer, Tecnam of Italy, is this super handsome P2008. First seen at the 2009 Aero show in Germany, Sebring 2010 was the coming-out party for the P2008 in the United States. In this new SLSA model, we see the marriage of Italy’s all-metal skills to the composite capability of CAG, a Spanish company Tecnam bought to acquire their knowledge of such construction. And it worked! The smooth lines and Italian design make for one of the prettiest LSA in the fleet.
Yesterday, filling my role as President of the Light Aircraft Manufacturers Association, I joined Tecnam and Van’s Aircraft as a group of about 100 collegiate educators met in their annual NTAS or National Training Aircraft Symposium. This annual gathering assembled an impressive group of academics who manage flight training for their university students. It was a day of presentations with a special focus on the ADS-B Out mandate from FAA. For university flight programs operating dozens to hundreds of airplanes each, equipping their certified airplanes represents a major cost. Additionally, maintenance shops qualified to handle this cannot handle a large number of installations if owners wait until the deadline is near. It is estimated that an average of 34 hours of labor is needed per airplane. AEA estimates 105-166,000 U.S. aircraft still need to be equipped in the next five years. It can be done, they said, but not if many owners wait to the last minute to start.
Italian company Tecnam has been a leading producer of Light-Sport Aircraft since the beginning of this newest aviation sector. Early distribution arrangements proved less than optimal so, like any progressive company, Tecnam retooled … and retooled again. In 2014 it appears they finally dialed in the correct lock combination. While keeping their friends at former distributor Heart of Virginia Aviation, they installed a factory presence at the top of the pyramid. A new factory-operated facility at the Sebring airport was announced at Sun ‘n Fun 2014. At the same time Shannon Yeager was hired to run the Florida center. As the year comes to a close, I called Shannon and asked for a summary of how things are going for Tecnam U.S. Inc. In particular I wanted to know how their 10% down program was working. When I first reported this, I found it a compelling answer to the concerns many American buyers have regarding the common need to send many tens of thousands of dollars overseas for an extended period of time.
At the big show EAA likes to call the Summer Celebration of Flight, we rove the grounds seeking new airplanes, new engines or propulsion systems, new panel gear, updated models and more. In this very fast tour, we’ll zoom around AirVenture for a glance at some airplanes and components that caught our attention. In subsequent posts we’ll delve a bit more deeply into certain ideas we thought were novel. All photos accompanying this article are courtesy of Light Sport and Ultralight Flyer, producer of the 300+ videos you can find on this website. Rans showed off their new S-20 Raven. Those who thought designer and company boss Randy Schlitter got stuck on S-19 were wrong (it’s never wise to think he’s done designing). His new Raven combines elements of the S-6 and S-7, namely the side-by-side seating of the S-6, with the welded spaceframe and superwide door of the S-7.
Preparing for Sebring, four days of the show, and a LSA flight over the ocean can fill your days to the brim … and all of that is truly excellent. January used to be a month of flying doldrums but since Sebring started nine years ago, the month has turned into one of the most active for light plane enthusiasts. ByDanJohnson.com reflects this with increased and growing traffic. January 2013 looks to set a new all-time record and that comes on the heels of a record 2012. Thanks for your loyal visits; we’re happy to be providing the news and videos you want. Speaking of coverage, thanks a billion to James Lawrence, who provided daily updates along with his superb photos from Sebring while I was running around with other duties. The good news is we’ve already posted four videos and several more will follow, thanks to the excellent work by my partner-in-video, creator of the popular Ultralight News YouTube channel.
My European associate and friend, Jan Fridrich, coined a phrase a few years ago: “Global LSA,” he said, meaning the ASTM standards set could be used in any country and thereby create a worldwide market for recreational aircraft. Already a few accept the standards and many are considering or are already using some variant. So, in this post, let’s review some international successes for LSA. Tecnam is one of the most prolific of all LSA producers and not just because they have multiple approved models. Recently, they sold a pair of P2008s to New Zealand. Waikato Aero Club CEO Richard Small said, “The new planes have a number of advantages over traditional aircraft. Manufactured from modern materials [Tecnam] planes are more fuel efficient and quieter. They also have full electronic flight display screens. Our pilots are thoroughly enjoying the upgrade.” Pipistrel has logged sales globally as well and booked four orders for their new Alpha Trainer into Russia.
61-year-old Italian aircraft manufacturer Tecnam has a whole fleet of LSA and general category aircraft at the show, serving notice they’re here to stay. *** At a reception tonight, U.S. Distributor Heart of Virginia and the Tecnam executive team, lead by CEO Phil Solomon, made a bold prediction: they intend the company to be the top-selling LSA maker by 2014. *** Everybody was drooling over the P2008 LSA so I asked Phil to educate me on the gorgeous high winger. *** “It blends a metal wing and Tecnam’s traditional expertise in building metal aircraft with a composite fuselage. The idea was to make the best possible plane they could along with the strength and lightness of carbon fiber. It’s also clear that people are getting larger around the world, so there’s definitely a premium on a wider aircraft. People wanted more luggage space too, and more luxury.” *** “That’s really what Tecnam is trying to address with the P2008: a top-of-the-range, ultimate LSA.
Tecnam can lay claim to being the “largest LSA manufacturer” by virtue of producing more than 3,000 ready-to-fly aircraft (with approximately 120 of them flying in the USA as “official LSA” — the U.S. is a relatively new market for the Italian company). In my travels to Europe and other countries, I’ve seen a lot of Tecnam models sold under the rules of those nations. And the company was formed back in 1948. *** But even with all those aircraft built and many interesting designs — such as the Echo Super, Sierra, Bravo, Eaglet, and even a new twin that isn’t a LSA — for my money, the P2008 is easily the prettiest two seater the company has ever designed. It resulted from a marriage of Tecnam, an all-metal airplane company, to Spain’s CAG or Composite Aeronautic Group. The latter, bought by Tecnam, was the short-time producer of the Toxo Sportster *, a handsome all-composite LSA.
Tecnam has long been known for building handsome, well-flying, all-metal Light-Sport Aircraft. The company has certified four models of SLSA (Echo Super, Sierra, Bravo, and Eaglet) tying them for the most. That will soon change and the 61-year-old Italian company formed in 1948 — once the producer of the Partenavia twin-engine aircraft — will soon climb to the top with five approved LSA models. *** The newest, unveiled at the German Aero show, is the P2008. The sleek and beautiful aircraft was conceived after the company bought Composite Aircraft Group, the designer and builder of the Toxo. When Tecnam took possession of this Spanish company, they acquired CAG’s composite technology and the P2008 is the first full airframe to show the results of this purchase. *** P2008 has metal wings like all Tecnam LSA, but it now features a smoothly contoured fuselage.