Here are a few short seconds of our new A22LS Foxbat demonstrator in flight. After less than a month in the air, it’s already completed 25 hours’ flying and is currently having its first maintenance check.
This is the first Foxbat demonstrator we’ve had which is fitted with an AirMaster in-flight electrically adjustable propeller – this one with Whirlwind blades. We are evaluating the propeller before formally offering it as an option – our first impressions are that take-off distance is shorter, and climb is significantly better than with the standard KievProp; economy is slightly better. We will also evaluate this propeller on the A32 Vixxen in due course, where in addition to take-off and climb performance, we are predicting an improvement in cruise speed.
The demo Foxbat aircraft is also fitted with a glider tow hook and we will be undertaking towing trials in the near future in Victoria, Australia. This aircraft has oversize wheels, a 30kgs ‘Kelpie’ metal luggage compartment with a side door and a ballistic rescue system. The icing on this demonstrator cake is a 2-axis Dynon autopilot which will be connected with a GPS as soon as we can keep the aircraft on the ground long enough to fit one!
Come and see this aircraft along with the A32 Vixxen at the Australian International Airshow, at Melbourne’s Avalon Airport from 26 February to 03 March this year.
As usual, either click on the image above or here to view the video: Foxbat over 13th beach
Back in April 2018 I published an item covering the issue of an Aeroprakt Safety Alert concerning inspections and possible replacement of the rudder cables on A22LS aircraft. You can read the article by clicking here: Rudder Cable Safety Alert or the Bulletin itself here: Aeroprakt SB A22LS-17
Following the issue of the Alert, we submitted a pair of the broken cables and a length of new cable to the ATSB for testing and examination. You can view a copy of their report by clicking here: ATSB Report Rudder Cable Analysis Results
The ATSB Report reaches the following conclusions:
- The primary cause of the RH cable fracture was fatigue, resulting in overstress of the remaining wires.
- The LH cable was unserviceable (based on manufacturer requirements) due to deformation and wire fractures that were already apparent.
- The cables and pulleys provided to the ATSB were compliant with the manufacturer’s specifications (pending chemical analysis results).
- Most of the fatigue would have occurred prior to the accident flight, and it is likely that some would have been present at the last 200-hourly cable inspection (1600 hours).
- Fatigue in both cables may have been accelerated by the cable running around a smaller diameter pulley than is recommended.
In Summary – please ensure your rudder cables are correctly inspected every 200 hours per the Safety Alert and Maintenance Manual. This does NOT mean a quick glance and a ‘twang’ of the cables behind the seats! At any sign of wear or broken cable strands, both rudder cables must be replaced.
Finally, please note that the incident aircraft was registered 24-7930 – not, as erroneously stated in the report, 24-7390.
Our very own Dennis Long of Aeroprakt USA takes AVweb’s Geoff Rapoport for a flight in the A22LS at Sebring, Florida during the recent Sport Aircraft Expo.
Great video Dennis – not too sure about the colour scheme…
AVweb describes itself – rather modestly – as ‘the world’s premiere independent aviation news resource’ and they certainly have a wealth of interesting content and aircraft reviews. Have a browse.
One of my personal favourites is Paul Bertorelli’s rather sarcastic comment on the huge patterns – ‘circuits’ to us non-USA pilots – which instructors use when training. It’s one of my personal gripes at my home airfield, where sometimes club aircraft doing circuits seem to set out on scenic flights along the bay during the downwind leg. I was taught, admittedly by military instructors, to take-off, climb to 500 feet AGL, then make a turn and climb cross-wind to 1,000 feet AGL, then turn downwind. I fully accept that a Foxbat or Vixxen will get to these heights much quicker than a C150 or C172. However, even when I’m doing circuits in my relatively leisurely Interstate Cadet, the club Cessnas are usually way outside of me. It makes circuits a real chore as it’s very bad manners to cut inside. And, as Paul comments, it tends to train pilots to do long, straight in approaches, using engine to ‘drag’ the plane in to the threshold, which is not always possible in ‘real’ life.
As usual, either click the picture to take you to the A22LS video, or click here: AVweb flies the Aeroprakt A22LS
Following the recent Australian launch of the Aeroprakt A22LS Kelpie, I received the following from Adrian Norman, of Cleveland Bay Aviation, near Townsville in north Queensland, one of our Foxbat Australia associates:
“The ancestors of the Kelpie were simply (black) dogs, called Colleys or Collies. The word “collie” has the same root as “coal” and “collier (ship)”. Some of these collies were imported to Australia for stock work in the early 19th century, and were bred to other types of dogs (possibly including the occasional Australian Dingo), but always with an eye to working sheep without direct supervision. Today’s Collie breeds were not formed until about 10 or 15 years after the Kelpie was established as a breed, with the first official Border Collie not brought to Australia until after Federation in 1901.
Kelpies are partly descended from Dingos, with 3–4% of their genes coming from this native Australian Dog. At the time of the origin of the Kelpie breed, it was illegal to keep dingoes as pets, some dingo owners registered their animals as Kelpies or Kelpie crosses. Kelpies and dingoes are similar in conformation and colouring. There is no doubt that some people have deliberately mated dingoes to their Kelpies, and some opinion holds that the best dilution is 1/16–1/32, but that 1/2 and 1/4 will work. As the Dingo has been regarded as a savage sheep-killer since the first European settlement of Australia, few will admit to the mating practice.
The first “Kelpie” was a black and tan female pup with floppy ears bought by Jack Gleeson in about 1872 from a litter born on Warrock Station near Casterton, owned by George Robertson, a Scot. This dog was named kelpie after the mythological shape shifting water spirit of Celtic folklore. Legend has it that this “Kelpie” was sired by a dingo, but there is little evidence for or against this. In later years she was referred to as “(Gleeson’s) Kelpie”, to differentiate her from “(King’s) Kelpie”, her daughter.”
So now you know!
Following on from our recent A32 Vixxen flight check video, here’s another one – this time in a stick-controlled A22LS Foxbat.
As before, Mike Rudd accompanies me through a series of checks to ensure the aircraft performs as it should and is ready for its new owner.
Click the picture to view the video on YouTube. Watch at the highest resolution you can, to see the figures on the dials
Don’t forget! This Sunday, 13 March, is the bi-annual Tyabb Airshow – themed ‘Winged Warriors’.
The airfield looks very smart and ready for all its visitors.
New aeroplanes, old aeroplanes, old cars, new cars, aerobatics, drones, open hangars, food of every description – there’s certain to be something for you on this great family day out.
The airfield is located just a few metres down Stuart Road from the corner of Mornington-Tyabb Road in Tyabb, just north of Hastings in Victoria. Gates open at 0830 and the flying display runs from 1030 – 1630.
For more information on the airshow website, click here.
Foxbat Australia’s Hangar 11 (the first hangar south across the grass from the Clubhouse) will be open, with a couple of A22LS aircraft and our A32 demonstrator on display.
Come along, say hello and and enjoy the day.
Aeroprakt is going great guns in USA at the moment, with the A22LS multiplying nicely.
Here’s a video of the delivery flight of a new orange A22LS N5266J (for ‘Juliet’) from west Tennessee to Ohio, via (wait for it) the gulf coast of Florida. That’s quite a flight, even by Australian distances! But when the scenery is so good, I suppose you don’t need much excuse to extend the trip…
As usual, click on the picture to view the video.