Aeroprakt A32 crosswind at Tyabb

Crosswind at TyabbYesterday 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!

Aeroprakt A32 1,000 nm ferry flight

ido-shaun-at-emeraldMy colleague Ido Segev and his friend Shaun just got home from an almost 1,000 nautical mile ferry flight of a new shiny Ferrari red Aeroprakt A32 Vixxen, registered VH-ACL, to its new owner Will Graham.

The aircraft is fitted with a Dynon SkyView system, including a 2-axis autopilot, transponder and fuel computer. In addition to the standard dual-watch VHF radio, the aircraft also has an 80-channel UHF radio, operating through the headsets.

ido-shaun-ferry-02Their flight took them from Moorabbin Airport, near Melbourne, via Temora and Parkes in New South Wales, to an overnight stop at St George in southern Queensland. Most of the flight was made at 8,500-9,500 feet AGL, which at times translated into a density altitude of over 11,000 feet. Said Ido: “Even at 7,500 feet were were still climbing in excess of 500 feet a minute – not bad with two of us, full fuel, luggage and some spare parts on board.” The next day, the weather wasn’t so kind, with strong headwinds and a 2,000 foot cloud base. Nevertheless they made good time and arrived at Emerald, Queensland, before lunch, after a short wait at Roma while some weather passed through.

Total flight distance was about 950 nautical miles with and average ground speed of slightly over 95 knots. Average fuel burn was a shade under 17 litres an hour. In metric fuel economy terms, that’s about 10.3 litres per 100 kilometres – not bad for an average speed of over 175 kilometres an hour! Ferrari and co, eat your hearts out!

Kiwiflyer – A32 owner review

wcbNew Zealand A32 owner Warren Butler has contributed this story to local aviation magazine ‘Kiwiflyer‘ about taking delivery of and the first 50 hours flying in his new A32. It makes for absorbing reading and it’s always interesting to hear ‘real world’ feedback from owners.

As usual, please click the photo or below to access the article. You may have to scroll down and look for the last link at the top right side list entitled “Kiwiflyer Review 2017 (A32)” – click that link!

Please note – in New Zealand, they have called this aircraft the ‘Foxbat A32’ – it’s the same as our ‘A32 Vixxen’

Aeroprakt A32 Y-stick arrives in Australia

a32-y-stickSome 15 months after the arrival of the first A32 ‘Vixxen’ aircraft in Australia, the first Y-stick control version has now landed and was handed over to its new owner on 24 December 2016.

This bright red aircraft with a chequerboard rudder design looks great – click on the photo or here for a short video explaining the controls: A32 Vixxen with Y-stick controls

Thanks to Mike Rudd for the video, which also shows a take-off of the ‘youngest’ P-51 Mustang in Australia.

Latest A32 Vixxen departs

Pumpkin leaves TyabbThe 5th Aeroprakt A32 Vixxen in Australia is on its way to its new owner in Broken Hill. Painted beautiful Pumpkin Orange – which looks particularly brilliant in the sun – the aircraft departed Tyabb on Saturday morning, ably piloted by Rob Hatswell, flying instructor at Gawler SA. Accompanied by his brother Peter, they made Horsham in double-quick time, cruising at 110 kts. After re-fuelling, they continued to Gawler, where the aircraft will be based while its new owner – Luke Mashford – does his conversion flying course.

Rob comments: “I’m amazed. The A32 only burned 33 litres from Tyabb to Horsham. That’s 17 litres less than the A22LS and an average of 20 knots faster. Yuriy has clearly waved his aerodynamic genius over the A32.”

Two more A32s are arriving at Moorabbin next week – another one for Broken Hill, plus a school aircraft for Coffs Harbour. More in due course.

New Y-stick controls for A32 Vixxen

A32 Y-stick 01Aeroprakt has announced the optional availability of the popular Y-stick control system with twin throttles for the A32 Vixxen aircraft.

Various stick control systems have been tested and refined over the last 6-9 months resulting in what Yuriy Yakovlyev (Aeroprakt CEO and chief designer) says is probably ‘the most comfortable control configuration I have ever flown’.

As you can see from the picture, the Y-stick is centrally placed to make entry and rapid exit as easy as ever for the pilot and passenger – no need to contort yourself over a seat-front control stick. A32 Y-stick 02The throttles have been moved from the A22 positions beside the seats, familiar to so many Foxbat owners, to the bottom outboard end of the instrument panel. The throttles are now push-pull and have large, easy to grip handles. The Y-stick itself also has sleek new covers and handles, in keeping with the image of the A32.

A32 aircraft with Y-sticks are available for manufacture from September 2016. The cost is the same as for the (standard) twin control yokes.

A32 bottle pocketFinally, the small storage pockets on the sides of the instrument panel have been re-designed to enable safe carriage of a water bottle or can.

Australia’s 4th A32 arrives!

A32 #011 being prepared after shipping

A32 #011 being prepared after shipping

Response to the Aeroprakt A32 ‘Vixxen’ has been nothing short of phenomenal, since the first demonstrator arrived in July 2015. No less than 12 have been ordered through Foxbat Australia, including one to an Australian subsidiary company operating in South Africa. The surprising thing is that sales of the A22LS ‘Foxbat’ have remained unaffected.

The most recent A32 arrival – serial number 011 – is in ‘Pumpkin Orange’, a colour which is becoming more popular as an alternative to the more common yellow, white, red and blue. The lucky owner lives out Broken Hill way and after familiarisation training – courtesy of Rob Hatswell at Gawler (north of Adelaide) – he will be flying the A32 largely on farm duties.

The aircraft is due for some sprauncy decals in the next couple of days and will hopefully be signed off sometime next week for test flying. Although weather around Melbourne has been a bit tempestuous lately!

After the very first A32 arrived here in Mazda Spirited Green Metallic (have a look at the pre-delivery flight test video here: A32 check) it seems that A32  owners like their colours – the next two A32 deliveries, due later in May, are yellow and white, with a bright green one (but not metallic) due early in June.