BRM Aero‘s Bristell got off to a good start in the USA two years ago. Unfortunately, after an initial burst of positive reviews and good response from pilots, the distributor at the time stumbled. A failed association with the now-defunct Aviation Access Project undermined the efforts but that association had nothing to do with the Czech aircraft producer. So, after a year or so of discussions and evaluation, BRM Aero found a new, high-quality representative. In early December 2014, Bristell Aircraft, a New York corporation, officially accepted the appointment to represent the aircraft of BRM Aero. “Bristell Aircraft is an American company whose roots go deep into the highly-structured world of FAA-certified aircraft,” said Lou Mancuso, director of Bristell Aircraft. Over the last year, Lou has worked directly with BRM Aero “to develop, customize, and standardize aircraft specifically for the North American market.” Lou and his team bring 68 years of aviation sales, service and training success and appear well suited to the endeavor.
BRM Aero, s.r.o.
Phone: +420 608 306 338Kunovice, -- 686 04 - Czech Republic
LSA Taildraggers Broaden the Sector’s Appeal
Taildraggers may be among the least understood and most feared aircraft available in the LSA space … or for that matter throughout general aviation. While we have many good choices that I’ll list below, I have nonetheless heard from many readers or airshow visitors that they are uncertain about their operation of an aircraft that has no nosewheel. If you have no taildragger skills, you’ll also find it a challenge to get proper flight instruction in a “standard” aircraft. For those seeking new skills in flying, however, taildraggers may provide high satisfaction. Most who have crossed the barrier to taildragging subsequently look very fondly at such aircraft, seeing a sleeker yet gutsier, more rugged appearance. Of course, nosewheels dominate general aviation as they can be easier to land, especially in crosswinds, but once you learn the lesson of “happy feet” — or keeping your feet active on the rudder pedals throughout approach and touchdown — you may always yearn for more taildragger time.
Summer’s Coming; Cool It, Fellow Pilots!
Across the northern U.S. states and across much of Europe it was a lousy, cold, snowy winter. It seemed everyone I spoke to at Aero in Friedrichshafen, Germany complained about the crappy winter and their laments mirrored those from America’s northlands. However, the weather appears to be going directly from winter to summer. It was warm in Slovenia when we visited Pipistrel and it’s now getting hot across much of the USA. That’s great, perhaps, as it foretells an active flying season. However, as the weather warms, it can get mighty hot in the cockpit and not only because you’re on short final on a gusty day in a responsive LSA. US Aviation previewed their integration of the AMT FlyCool air conditioning system in the Flight Design CTLS at Sun ‘n Fun 2013. The Dallas-area, Texas company partnered with FlyCool to develop an installation for the Flight Design CTLS.
Aero Friedrichshafen Video Bonanza
We were busy at Aero Friedrichshafen 2013, knocking out more than 30 videos for your viewing information and entertainment. That’s more than seven videos per day and a sum of more than five hours total running time (more than three Hollywood movies in minutes of viewing time). With these and all the videos shot at Sun ‘n Fun the week before Aero started, we expect to offer more than 300 videos on our LSA Video page. I’d like for you to understand how much effort that represents. I’d also like to thank BRS Parachutes, ICP North America, and Renegade Light Sport Aircraft for providing financial assistance to Lightsport and Ultralight Flyer. Without their support, these videos would not likely have been made. Today, I uploaded more than a dozen new videos to ByDanJohnson.com. We have many more coming. The newest ones include • Introduction to Aero and what you’ll see • Tecnam’s aerobatic Snap • FlyEco’s Diesel engine • FK 51 replica Mustang • Yuneec’s electric-powered eSpyder • lightweight electric aircraft • Zlin’s customizable Bobber • ICP’s Savannah taildragger and new engine • BOT SpeedCruiser with D-Motor • BRM Aero’s Bristell taildragger • Phoenix Air’s electric-powered ePhoenix • Nando Groppo tri-gear and, • one from AirVenture 2012 on the Zenith CH-650.
Pre-Sebring 2013 LSA News Wrap
Patty Wagstaff and LSA? This week brings the start of the Sebring U.S. Sport Aviation Expo and excitement is high. Following are some news items to those who follow this event and the light, recreational aircraft space. On Friday, January 18th, Sebring EAA Chapter 1240 is sponsoring a dinner featuring aerobatic expert Patty Wagstaff who will perform at the event … with such an airshow being a first for Sebring. Proceeds will support youth aviation education programs. •• The Sebring EAA chapter has engineered a rare partnership between the chapter, the airport, and the local school board to provide educational activities for kids. This sufficiently impressed aviation philanthropist James Ray that he ended writing a check for the entire structure, a new 60 x 70-foot building at the Sebring Airport with classrooms and facilities including a large hangar space where high school children are involved in restoring two aircraft.
First Half 2012 LSA Registration Update
We’ve been getting requests for market share information and I am happy to provide an update, thanks to my European associate Jan Fridrich who does the hard work of sifting through FAA’s database. I remind you that his efforts are not merely tallying whatever FAA publishes. In fairness, Jan has to evaluate many pieces of information and judge accuracy of the entries. This isn’t because FAA’s registrars are bumbling fools that cannot enter data accurately. The challenges come from sheer number of brands (90) and models (127) over a mere seven years… unprecedented in aviation history. To that add the variations of Experimental Amateur Built (EAB), Special Light-Sport Aircraft (SLSA), Experimental Light-Sport Aircraft kits (ELSA) and converted two-place ultralights to LSA status. Then factor in that some standard category or homebuilt aircraft meet the LSA parameters of weight and speed and such so some people consider them “LSA,” when in fact they mean they can be flown by some possessing a Sport Pilot certificate.
Flying the Airplanes of Sebring 2012 — Bristell
Since Sebring in January, the airshow season has rushed by at warp speed and now we return to more aircraft flown at the event that kicks off the aviation year. We’ll add more from Sun ‘n Fun soon plus we’re loading more than 30 new videos. In this post, we have a quick look at the all-new Bristell, first unveiled to the American pilot community at the AOPA Summit last fall in Hartford Connecticut. *** If you feel a sense of deja vu when looking at Bristell, that’s understandable. It has some common design heritage with the SportCruiser or PiperSport because the man behind the BRM Aero Bristell — Milan Bristela — was once affiliated with Czech Aircraft Works which originated the design. That’s when Milan and I first met. He left the former company before it was taken over by Czech Sport Aircraft, designed another aircraft with a different partner, and finally chose a path all his own.
Lockwood Rotax and Bristell at AOPA Summit 2011
At AOPA summit I spent time in the Lockwood Aviation booth giving me a chance to speak with a few RV-12 builders. *** Van’s has reportedly sold approximately 600 RV-12 Light-Sport Aircraft, of which 150 may be flying, making RV-12 by far the most successful Experimental LSA. RV-12 would among rank high among all Light-Sport Aircraft were we able to include ELSA in the SLSA List (…we cannot, for several reasons). In a sign that proprietor and industry leader Phil Lockwood sees good potential in RV-12 service work he displays the leading ELSA on his latest Lockwood Aircraft Supply catalog. Van’s did not exhibit at Summit 2011. *** I found it equally interesting to hear much improved reception to the Rotax line compared to earlier AOPA Expos or Summits. Perhaps it’s the 2,000-hour overhaul time. Maybe it’s the 40,000 9-series engines Rotax has installed on aircraft.
A Pair of New SLSA Arrive Before AOPA Summit 2011
Just in time for this year’s AOPA Summit, welcome to a pair of Special Light-Sport Aircraft, numbers 121 and 122: the first, the formerly named NG 5 LSA, rebadged as the Bristell Fastback by importer Liberty Sport Aviation of Pennsylvania; and the second being the fourth approval for Pipistrel, specifically for their Sinus motorglider (previous Pipistrel approvals included the Virus, Virus SW, and Taurus). *** NG 5 LSA was not previously offered in the U.S. though it was sold in Europe as the NG 4 from Roko Aero. When Roko closed its doors production stopped for the NG 4. It became NG 5 as the company reformed into BRM Aero. Changes occur in any industry but Bristell Fastback designer, Milan Bristela, is a steady hand on the joystick known for his foundational work on the SportCruiser (for a year known as the PiperSport) that is presently ranked #2 in U.S.
Two New (Yet Familiar) LSA Return to America
Here’s a tale of two planes. One has been seen and sold in the U.S. (Lambada motorglider). The other has a fascinating history and should look familiar to you… quite familiar. It’s now known as the NG 5 LSA and that probably rings no bell. However, NG 5 and the #2 ranked SportCruiser share a common history. NG 5 designer, Milan Bristela, once lead design work at Czech Aircraft Works, the first company to create and bring to market the SportCruiser. In 2010 that model took a yearlong debut as the PiperSport though once again U.S. Sport Aviation returns to their long support for and sales of SportCruiser, now produced by Czech Sport Aircraft. *** Along the way, Milan departed and worked for a time with another company called Roko Aero; the aircraft was then called the NG 4. The newly formed BRM Aero company said, “[We] finished collaboration with Roko Aero and stopped production of their NG 4 aeroplanes.” Now, Americans can welcome NG 5 LSA to be represented by Liberty Sport Aviation in Pennsylvania.