Dan Johnson tests the A32 Vixxen

Light aviation’s guru blogger Dan Johnson grabbed the opportunity to test fly the newest FAA LSA-approved aircraft, the Aeroprakt A32 Vixxen.

Click the photo above or here to see the article and accompanying video: Dan flies the A32

You can read more – much much more – about all manner of light sport, recreational and ultralight aircraft on Dan’s blog: ByDanJohnson.

A32 Vixxen ferry flight to Queensland

Jeremy Hill with his new A32 Vixxen aeroplane

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

A32 Vixxen – going well in Australia

8759 A blog A32 8703 01 blogThe ‘new’ Aeroprakt A32 Vixxen seems to have really caught the eye of pilots and buyers in Australia over the last 12 months, with 15 either delivered or on order since the first one arrived in Australia late last year.

New owners include three flying schools, a couple of country pilots (aircraft complete with UHF radios and sirens!) as well as private pleasure pilot owners – one already flew his A32 from southern Australia up through the Kimberley and back. For those unfamiliar with the geography of Australia, the Kimberley is a region of north western Australia famous for its scenic beauty and wild life, several thousand kilometres from the south coast.

So far we have the usual mix of colours – with yellow still the favourite, and orange not far behind. Then there are a couple of whites a red and a ‘flat’ green. But no blue as yet. And of course, there is the bright metallic green A32, which so many people have commented on. The videos and photos of this plane don’t do it justice – it really glows, particularly in the sunshine!

Interestingly, a higher proportion of A32s have been ordered with ballistic rescue systems fitted. In the A22 Foxbat fleet, maybe 1 in 15 has a parachute. So far, 1 in 3 of the A32s have parachutes. Why this should be is uncertain, as customers are quoting the same reason as for the A22 – passenger preservation should the pilot become incapacitated. Personally, I think it’s probably for the same reasons most of the parachutes in the 22 Foxbat are in earlier versions – owners wanted the extra insurance that the airframe is strong and reliable. In the last 40 A22 Foxbat orders, I think there has only been one request for a parachute – and one owner has actually removed the ‘chute to gain that extra 20 kilos of usable load.

Finally, the highest time A32 has now just passed 400 hours flight time – not bad in less than a year, although still a long way off the highest time A22 in Australia, which has now logged close to 6,500 hours!