Click here or on the drawing above for a copy of the bulletin: SA-A32-03 Door Latches
Via the cockpit video recorder, follow Yuriy Yakovlyev, A32 designer, Aeroprakt CEO and gold award-winning pilot as he takes the A32 through a demonstration flight routine at the 2017 Krakow Airshow in Poland..
It’s interesting to watch Yuriy’s use of throttle and flap and his control of airspeed throughout the 5-minute routine. This video shows what the A32 can do when flown by an experienced pilot.
However… PLEASE NOTE: most of the manoeuvres in this flight sequence are illegal in this type of aircraft in Australia! DO NOT try this at home – remember, Yuriy has many thousands of hours flying experience, not only in his own Aeroprakt factory aircraft but in many other types too.
As usual, click the picture or on this link to see the video: Yuriy flies the A32 at Krakow, Poland
Well, how quickly have another 2 years sped by? It’s time again for the bi-annual Tyabb Airshow, to be held this year on Sunday 11 March 2018. Gates open at 08.30 and the air display starts at 11.30. The theme of this year’s show is ‘War & Peace’ and there will be many of the old warbirds, for which Tyabb is famous, on display on the ground and in the air. In addition, many Tyabb hangar owners will be opening up their doors to show aircraft old and new.
The 2018 Airshow is no different with the major beneficiary to be Riding for the Disabled (RDA). RDA Victoria is a not-for-profit organisation that enables individuals with a variety of disabilities, ages and backgrounds to develop independence, a sense of freedom and to reach their equestrian goals, through adaptive coaching techniques and equipment.
The Aero Club will also be supporting the Tyabb CFA, a vital service for all of us, the Mt Eliza Lions Club which exists to support the comminity through a variety of initiatives and the Tyabb Football & Cricket Clubs which serve local youth.
You can save $5 per head by purchasing your tickets on line by clicking here. This will also save you having to queue at the gate to get into what is always a very popular show.
Foxbat Australia will have several aircraft on static display, including the Kelpie and Vixxen, as well as the evergreen Foxbat – come along to Hangar 11 and say hello – we are just across the grass to the south of the main club house.
In a life long before aeroplanes, I was involved in the world of corporate and stakeholder communications. As a result, I developed an interest in company logos, colours and type faces. It would be easy to consider this all a matter of superficial ‘look’ and ‘image’ which is the obsession only of corporate design agencies and of relatively little interest to actual business users. However, as I have learned, logos, colours and typefaces can have quite an influence on customers and others – particularly if you want to build familiarity and ‘brand recognition’.
When I brought the first Foxbat to Australia in 2001, it was adorned with the logo of the UK distributor – a red star with a stylised fox head and the script ‘Foxbat’ written at an angle across the bottom right corner. But why ‘Foxbat’ and what’s the red star all about?
The answers are simple, if a little mixed up in intent. The aircraft was christened a ‘Foxbat’ by the then UK agent – Gordon Faulkner – in a slightly misguided but in the event very memorable reference to the mach 3+ MIG-25 jet fighter, which the USA military codenamed ‘foxbat’. I say slightly misguided, as our Foxbat is actually built not in Russia, like the MiG, but in Ukraine. The red star is also very cold-war Russia, quite unlike the bright blue and yellow colours of Ukraine, which represent the clear sky and ripening wheat for which the country is famous.
However, I quite liked the original Foxbat logo and Gordon agreed I could use it, so it adorns the tails of all the original 45 or so 450kgs gross weight A22L aircraft delivered in Australia.
When the factory announced the 600kgs gross weight A22LS (Light Sport) version, I wanted to differentiate it from the original lighter weight A22L aircraft. From a distance of a few metres, the A22L and A22LS look pretty much identical, and the signature yellow paint continued, so one obvious way was to change the logo. After discussions with a local designer, I decided to drop the red star and the ‘Foxbat’ script and use only the fox head symbol. In fact, this was subliminally sharpened up to make it look more aggressive and, in a distant gesture to the red star, I changed the colours to red and black.
This new ‘red’ logo was applied to the first few A22LS aircraft – until someone ordered a red one, and the red fox head on the tail just didn’t look right! At the same time, I experienced a couple of misunderstandings about the colour of the registration numbers/letters on the fuselage sides. These are required to be of sufficient contrast to make them easily distinguishable, so I had been using black letters or numerals. All OK on yellow & white aeroplanes but almost invisible on red and blue ones. The designer came to the rescue and we agreed on silver letters and numerals, with a black shadow – which made them easy to see on all aircraft colours. To co-ordinate with the registration colours, I changed the fox head logo on the aircraft to black, white and silver.
In mid-2015 the factory announced the new, fast cruising A32. Many people were happy for this to still be called a Foxbat but, clearly, this was quite a different aeroplane – both to look at and to fly. After much agonising, I finally decided to go with’ Vixxen’ – again, more aggressive, with the extra ‘x’ added to make it a bit more memorable. And so the logo received yet another make over, hopefully to align it with the name. The silver elements were changed for black and the eyes were changed to red, for some eye-candy appeal.
Finally, about 18 months ago, the factory agreed to our suggestions to build an aircraft aimed at appealing to Australia outback landowners and pilots. We added a heavy-duty metal luggage bay with a side door, fat tyres with mud guards, a siren, a UHF radio and a bigger climb prop as well as a couple of other additions. But what to call this aircraft? We decided to be a bit more adventurous than ‘Foxbat Farmer’ and the like. In the end, our sales and service support partners – Cleveland Bay Aviation in Townsville – came up with ‘Kelpie’. This name has a bit more going for it than ‘Dingo’ or ‘Wombat’, suggesting hard work and ruggedness, developed for Australian conditions. And so the latest in a line of logos was born – a bit whimsical but a a bit of fun too. Maybe it’s a combination of the original fox head and a touch of Scooby Doo, ‘well friendly’ as my grandson would say.
So that’s a potted history of our Foxbat Australia aircraft logos. I’ve stayed away from typefaces and, to a large extent, colours, which could be the subject of several volumes in themselves.
And now we are working on a completely new logo…for something completely new in 2018. And it’s absolutely nothing like a fox head! Watch this space.
Here’s a short video about an aircraft ferry trip from Tyabb Airfield in southern Victoria to a cattle station near Dirranbandi in Queensland – a distance of over 650 nautical miles.
And here’s a bit of background. What turned out to be one of our favourite Aeroprakt A32 Vixxen aircraft arrived at Moorabbin in mid-December. I say ‘favourite’ because its new owner had chosen a great colour scheme, perfect for this time of the year – red wings and stabiliser with a white fuselage, fin and rudder, finished off nicely with a red propeller spinner. Our engineering colleagues immediately named it ‘Rudolf’ after Santa’s reindeer saviour.
Rudolf’s new owner – Jeremy Hill, based near Dirranbandi in Queensland – could not clear work commitments enough to come to us and pick up his new aeroplane, so my colleague and friend, Ido Segev, agreed to ferry it north. In all, the flight was over 7 hours’ in duration, plus stops, squeezed in before New Year, so Ido could enjoy celebrations with his loved ones on his return.
Departure day – 27 December – dawned clear but cool at Tyabb, with a strong northerly blowing – not ideal for a long trip northwards. Even in the A32 Vixxen, Ido was planning a ground speed of only 85 knots for the first part of his journey. Temperatures were forecast to be close to 40 celsius by the time he reached Jeremy’s farm, with the northerlies gusting all the way.
In the event, with a true airspeed around 115 knots and a ground speed of 95 knots, at around 7,500-8,500 feet, Ido made the journey in a single day, with plenty of daylight to spare. I suppose I could add that Rudolf was fitted with an autopilot, which helps a lot on long-distance flights. Nevertheless, it was still a long way over most of a day, in thermic and bumpy conditions.
Many thanks to Jeremy and his family for their hospitality during Ido’s visit and their 6-hour round trip by road to drop Ido at the nearest airport, so he could return home in time for New Year 2018!
The A22LS Foxbat – and more recently, its farmer-orientated sibling, the A22LS Kelpie – have been popular with outback owners for quite a few years. These rugged, easy to handle aircraft seem to stand up well to Australian country conditions. The icing on the owners’ cakes has been the excellent resale value when it comes to upgrade or switch to a newer aircraft.
It looks like the A32 Vixxen, with its extra turn of speed, is set to continue the Aeroprakt reputation for affordable aircraft with great (legal) load carrying capabilities!
As usual, to view the video, either click on the photo above or here:
Ido’s Vixxen adventure
Yesterday there was a fairly strong and gusty crosswind on Tyabb’s 35/17 runway. The crosswind was made even more tricky as the wind was blowing from the north west over the hills and trees near the airfield, making for very uneven and turbulent conditions.
Quite by chance, Mike Rudd, our video producer, was there trying out a new video camera, capturing a couple of aircraft landing – but due to the conditions, there weren’t many up and about in the skies! However, my colleague Ido Segev was flying an A32 Vixxen demonstration with a prospective owner. (Thanks to Stuart for the loan of his aircraft).
This very short video (click the photo or here to view on YouTube) first shows a landing by a Beech Travelair twin, piloted as it turns out, by Roger Merridew, a very experienced pilot and owner of Lilydale Airfield. He is followed closely by Ido and his passenger (who was sitting in the left seat) in the A32 Vixxen.
It’s interesting to note the different techniques used to land each aircraft in what was a 12-15 knot gusting crosswind. In many ways, as you can see, the A32 Vixxen handles the conditions better than the Travelair. The secret to making a successful crosswind landing in the A32 Vixxen is speed management and the minimal use of flap. The aircraft was down safely and exited at the first cross-taxiway, about 70-75 metres from the threshold of runway 35.
Good demonstration Ido!
PS – the prospective customer placed an order after the flight!
Congratulations to Aeroprakt on the production and registration of their 1,000th aircraft! This is a great accomplishment for them and Foxbat Australia is proud to have been a part of Aeroprakt’s success. Well done everyone at Aeroprakt and here’s to the next 1,000!
The 1,000th aircraft is a yellow (is there any other colour?) A22LS, which is now in service at Aeroprakt’s flying club/school based at Naliwaikowka Airfield near Kiev. Over half of the aircraft produced have been the 450kgs gross weight A22, A22L and A22L2 models, followed by the Light Sport A22LS. The recently launched A32 ‘Vixxen’ has already reached 55 production units with yet more on order.
Alas – only six of the much desired twin engine A36 have been built. Now, that’s an aircraft I’d love to fly around Australia!