Today I got a good look at the new Aventura S-17 built in DeLand, Florida — also home of the Aerolite 103 and the DeLand Showcase …plus a large volume of sky diving.
In a word, S-17 is hot! One word is not enough, though. This light kit seaplane is also an unusually good value for a long-proven airframe that Aero Adventure has significantly beefed up.
The business is Aero Adventure, run by Alex Rolinski who bought the well-known design five years ago. He’s a high-energy fellow who quit his bank officer job to go full time and the operation has plenty to keep him busy.
S-17 gets its name from the use of a AeroMomentum Suzuki-based engine outputting 117 horsepower. By using an infusion process rather than hand layup fiberglass, Aero Adventure reports saving substantial weight while maintaining strength. “Yes, it’s more work work to use this method,” said Alex but the time consuming process more than offsets the 30 or so extra pounds of AeroMomentum’s AM 15 compared to a Rotax 912.
In addition to a new technique building the hull, Alex noted that the entire aircraft has been put through a computer design analysis that evaluates every airframe component. This knowledge provided direction on beefing up the main square tube that is the gear attachment point and a key member of the lower fuselage. The root or keel tube and the main engine support tube have also been beefed up to accommodate the powerful engine that is secured with 16 bolts.
Get Up and Go!
The added power gives S-17 Aventura spirited performance, especially given its lighter-than-most airframe.
“I would put up this aircraft up against any other seaplane,” Alex stated. He indicated water runs are shortened and his climb rate increased such that S-17 can operate comfortably out of relatively small lakes.
OK, so S-17 performs well, but I imagine you didn’t forget the low price comment.
Earlier reports have described pricing for a basic Aventura kit that places a seaplane within reach of many budgets — from $50,000 to 60,000 (in early 2018), depending on equipment chosen. That’s an exceptional value that all can see.
For $90,000 you can buy a very well equipped Aventura Including the 117-horsepower AeroMomentum AM 15 Suzuki engine, a full instrument panel with ADS-B in and out, and other features.
The company figures to assist four lucky buyers each year as they prepare one factory-built demonstrator for airshow use with a plan to sell the showplane by the end of the event.
Are You the Lucky One?
Indeed, one lucky customer who travels to Sun ‘n Fun 2018 can fly away in the one I saw. That’s another good reason to attend the spring’s big airshow. Since the company displays at four shows per year, you may miss Sun’n Fun 2018 but Alex said you can try again at DeLand Showcase, AirVenture Oshkosh, or Sebring Expo 2019. Limited production has proven effective for other producers and that should be especially true with S-17 price well below $100,000 for a well-equipped and powerful seaplane.
If you want to put your name in early for the one S-17 available at Sun’n Fun 2018, contact Aero Adventure.
I also got a chance to see WingBug in action. This self-contained, easily-attached exterior unit can wirelessly transmit flight and navigational data to an iPad in the cockpit.
WingBug is offered by a company affiliated with Aero Adventure; I’ll have more about that in another article.