SportStar flight test – comparison with Foxbat

SportStarHere’s a completely unsolicited flight report on an Evektor SportStar with references to the Foxbat. The flights were conducted early this year at Jandakot Airport, Perth by ‘Birdseye’ and posted on the Recreational Flying Forums – thanks to him for the review.

 

“Well after a visit to look over the Sportstar a week or so ago, I went for a first ride today. A big plus that the BoM advance forecast of 39C and sunny was crap and the day turned out around low thirties, overcast with light winds and smooth air. Who could ask for more when trying a new ride for the first time? Not only that, but WA’s busiest airfield was more like a morgue than a honeypot.

First impressions on taxying out were reminiscent of the Foxbat; same firm rudder. However, without the doughnut golf buggy tyres and variable ground surfaces, it wasn’t at all bad. Then again on similar surfaces the Foxbat may have felt the same. Instantly the low wing visibility made me feel more comfortable, probably due to my earlier power and later glider flying. Had the sun been blazing down, I might have liked the Foxbat more, but the neat sunshade was available in the Sportstar if required.

All the engine management stuff, run up etc. was quite natural. l liked the fuel selector which was reminiscent of the Cherokee. Still some venting issues to consider in its operation, but nice and easy to hand. Panel was close to the trad six pack which I loved and lay out was clear and switches/controls were easy to hand. I’m by no means a luddite and in fact many class me a a techno and lover of gadgets, but I don’t easily relate to the low end glass screens that seem to be the vogue. I’ve used high end EFIS/HSI setups and like them, but these pretty terrain projections etc. really do turn me off due to their ability to distract. Just Too much encouragement to young players to look inside the cockpit. TCAS is great, but not for VFR flyers to rely upon.

The flying? Well I enjoyed the conventionally placed stick and other controls. The electric trim responded quickly and I didn’t spend so much time waiting for it to catch up. The down side? It happened quicker than expected, but I don’t see that as an issue. Otherwise the aeroplane was nicely balanced, easy to trim and gave good performance on its 912 ULS motor. Once practicing steeper turns the low wing massaged my comfort zone; a clear view into the turn gave me confidence that a high wing doesn’t. Just personal preference? Maybe, but its something I felt many years ago switching between a Beagle Pup (say ahhhhhh, a lovely plane in fact much like the Sportstar) and a C150.

Forward visibility was rather better, to the point where I had to check myself from drifting up due to the angle presented by the panel. On climb out only a small nudge was needed to check for a clear path ahead.

So, how does somebody write something like this without upsetting somebody? Maybe not compare directly, just focus on the strengths of each? It would be nice to try a broader range of modern LSA aircraft, but with the incredible range that’s just not practicable. My summary is that both the Foxbat and Sportstar are great aeroplanes, with small differences in their purpose and hence varied attraction to pilots. The Foxbat will get you down on a proverbial fag paper and nobody should ever fear a forced landing in one. Its a little unconventional in areas, that some, including myself may have a problem with. Most will I’m sure be more than happy.

The Sportstar is another well built aeroplane, that will perform at the low end close to the Foxbat, possibly without the pin point short field performance. It suits more what I intend to use the aeroplane for and to me is better for no more than that.  10/10 for both!”

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