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Pilot - - PILOT NOTES - Words & Pho­tos Dave Un­win Proair­sport Glowfly. Elec­tro. Tech­pro Mer­lin Silent 2 Ekolot Elf, Lam­bert Air­craft a clever hand-con­trol sys­tem Sher­wood Ranger three-cylin­der 117hp seven cylin­der 915is, Mis­sion fit­ted with TLAC Bull­dog Verner’s Ro

ith more than sixty ex­hibitors and a wide va­ri­ety of air­frames, en­gines and avion­ics on show, Flyer Live was an ex­cel­lent show­case for the lighter end of GA. In­deed, if you are the type of avi­a­tor that still er­ro­neously be­lieves that a mi­cro­light is sim­ply a hang glider with a lawn­mower en­gine bolted onto it, this event would’ve cer­tainly opened your eyes. The range of air­craft on dis­play was quite re­mark­able, and en­com­passed ev­ery­thing from pow­ered para­chutes to a ra­dial-en­gined au­t­o­gyro, as well as a good se­lec­tion of three-axis air­craft. The au­t­o­gy­ros looked par­tic­u­larly sleek, while the very high speeds at­tain­able by some of the flexwing mi­cro­lights (ac­tu­ally in ex­cess of those achieved by cer­tain ul­tra­lights and EASA Very Light Air­craft) are proof of how so­phis­ti­cated th­ese ma­chines have be­come.

As Flyer Live is the fi­nal GA trade show in the avi­a­tion cal­en­dar it is the last op­por­tu­nity to ex­hibit prod­ucts in 2015, and sev­eral man­u­fac­tur­ers dis­played nov­el­ties. The most at­ten­tion-grab­bing air­craft making its de­but was the (main im­age above). Look­ing a lit­tle like a scaled down Cessna 152, this neat lit­tle all-metal aero­plane in­cor­po­rates many fea­tures that are usu­ally found on much larger air­craft, in­clud­ing hy­draulic brakes, Fowler flaps and elec­tric trim. With a pro­jected top speed of over 100kt and a ‘fly-away’ price of around £20,000 plus VAT, it definitely cre­ated a buzz (and yes, it does have a two-stroke en­gine!) Also making its UK de­but was an­other in­trigu­ing SSDR, the

As re­ported in ‘ Pi­lot Notes’ last month, this ma­chine is unique in hav­ing a jet/elec­tric hy­brid propul­sion sys­tem, and it cer­tainly gen­er­ated plenty of in­ter­est. Work on the pro­to­type is well ad­vanced, and it is hoped that the air­craft will fly soon. An­other in­no­va­tive ma­chine on dis­play was the

This 13.5m self-launch­ing sailplane uses a com­bi­na­tion of lithium-poly­mer bat­ter­ies, a 22kw brush­less mo­tor and a pro­pel­ler that folds flush with the fuse­lage to give ex­cel­lent take­off per­for­mance. With a claimed best glide ra­tio of 40:1 it cer­tainly looked a lot of fun, as did the an­other in­trigu­ing lit­tle sin­gle-seater that ap­peared at the show. The Elf is pow­ered by a 27hp Polini Thor sin­gle-cylin­der en­gine and will be of­fered with a choice of two wing­spans: the 10.73m XM mo­tor­glider vari­ant and the XS, which has an 8.75m wing and a non-feath­er­ing prop. The XS is claimed to have a max­i­mum cruise speed of al­most seventy knots while burn­ing only five litres an hour. ex­hib­ited a version of its

for dis­abled pi­lots. As al­ways, the proof of the pud­ding is in the fly­ing, but with a twist-grip throt­tle and yaw con­trol pro­vided by mov­ing a cen­tre stick lat­er­ally, the Bel­gian com­pany’s sys­tem did seem more in­tu­itive than the Tec­nam P92’s hand con­trols, tested by Pi­lot in 2013. were also there with its bi­plane (now pow­ered by a D-mo­tor) and we noted that it now boasts wing­root lock­ers in the lower wing. TLAC also make the Scout two-seater, and the Kub SSDR. All of TLAC’S air­craft fea­ture wings that are eas­ily folded back to the tail, re­duc­ing the width dra­mat­i­cally. As the price of hangarage con­tin­ues to rise, any air­craft with fold­ing wings is likely to be­come in­creas­ingly at­trac­tive

The num­ber of au­t­o­gy­ros on dis­play at a mod­ern GA trade show never ceases to im­press, but the Bri­tish-de­signed and its big ra­dial en­gine stole that side of the show. It was just a shame that there was no­body from the com­pany around to dis­cuss this fas­ci­nat­ing fly­ing ma­chine.

Talk­ing of ra­di­als, Con­dor Avi­a­tion had two of smart lit­tle mo­tors on dis­play: a one ca­pa­ble of pro­duc­ing 40hp, and a version, which was hung on the front of an Aeronca Chief.

Be­ing very fa­mil­iar with the black, green or red rocker box cov­ers fit­ted to var­i­ous Ro­tax en­gines, we were in­stantly in­trigued by the en­gine with the pow­der blue rocker cov­ers on the stand. This was the new which was making its UK de­but.

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