SportairUSA, run by proprietor Bill Canino, has long been an innovator in the LSA business. His company doesn’t build Light-Sport airplanes but Bill has triggered several interesting add-ons: he was one of the first (along with Flight Design USA) to install parachutes on all StingSports; he developed the GreenLine engine monitor system, he offered the Straight & Level button to help those caught unexpectedly in no-visibility conditions; and last year at AirVenture he rolled out the ForeSight enhanced visibility system… and this list is not exhaustive. *** For AirVenture 2010 just six weeks away, he’s got a whole new concept. First is iCub. Previously distributed under the model name Savage (still retained for some models), the sorta-Cub-like taildragger manufactured by the Zlin company of Czech Republic will now be distributed by SportairUSA, adding to their low-wing Sting series and their high-wing Sirius , both built by TL Ultralight in Czech. But iCub is more than yet another Cub replica adding to offerings from American Legend and CubCrafters. For one it’s powered by Rotax — the other two prefer the Continental — and it’s shorter coupled. Both differences provide stronger performance. But it’s better, much better (well, at least if you’re an Apple fan like 100 million other owners of their iPod/iPhone/iPad line). *** The primary instrument in iCub is… an iPad. Yup mounted right in the panel and given an enormous ecosystem of apps — some of which are for aviators — iPad can offer tremendous versatility at lower cost than present avionic offerings. A tandem seater like the other two Cub replicas, iCub instrumentation for the rear seat occupant is… an iPhone 4. Both can run the same software and both are devices a huge number of people already know how to use. How cool is that!? Plus, it has on-board wireless for the devices to talk to one another and to another iCub within reception range. *** Price of the iCub is projected to be below $100,000 even with extended gear and 26-inch tundra tires; thousands less than Legend or CubCrafter models. The iCub website just went live and in-person demos are planned for the big summer airshow. Better come check it out.
This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.