Without changing the model designation — it’s always been the Sportstar — Evektor has steadily evolved their all-metal low-wing aircraft. The model was the #1 aircraft to win SLSA approval, a distinction it retains forever, yet it changed to address customer interests. In this video we review some of the changes to the Max version, with its much-smoother exterior; see our other Sportstar videos for more info.
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Evektor is the No. 1 brand in the LSA fleet, and it earns that title by being number one to earn SLSA approval back in April 2005. It’s also one of the most well-used LSA in flight schools around the country. Now, they are selling their new Max model, with several desirable enhancements and features like toe brakes.
The very first aircraft ever to receive approval in the USA as a Light-Sport Aircraft is Evektor-Aerotechnik’s SportStar. No challenger can ever take away that title yet the company has continually developed this pioneeering airplane and recently achieved a new level of approval … one that alters the landscape in a way I predict we’ll see more as FAA’s Part 23 rewrite project progresses. “Following several months of certification process EASA has approved glass cockpit Dynon SkyView [as] SportStar RTC,” Evektor announced. RTC stands for Restricted Type Certificate. It is not identical the U.S. Part 23 Type Certificate — representing a somewhat lower level of government oversight — but a company earning this has to jump through many regulatory hoops. “SportStar RTC has become the first EASA certified aircraft approved with the SkyView glass cockpit [by proving] compliance with certification requirements of the EASA CS-LSA regulations. Dynon’s SkyView, recently upgraded to permit touch functionality, is widely known and used on Light-Sport Aircraft.
The Great Recession was the pits … for nearly all industries and most employees or small business owners. That’s hardly newsworthy. However, the recovery from the recession — that government economists insist ended years ago — has been a long time coming. For too many out-of-work pilots, that recession lingers with us yet. Fortunately, the aviation economy appears to be improving. Although registrations didn’t show it for 2013, the year provided more sales for sellers if not more airplanes for their customers. Now, the hope is that airplanes will emerge from factories faster and the general health of the industry will improve, which is good for seller and buyer alike. A couple companies have proof that things are looking up and I’d like to tell you a little about them.
First is South Africa’s The Airplane Factory (TAF) and their rep’, TAF USA, led by Matt Litnaitzky and associate Ryan Ruel.
The rush is on — hardly a surprise to anyone these days — regarding China’s emergence into general or recreational aviation. Investors in the country are buying iconic aviation brands with increasing frequency it seems and more companies in the LSA space are rushing to join the party. They join a growing flock of home-grown producers (see earlier report). No wonder. With China’s economic growth, new freedom to fly at least in some airspace, and keen interest in flying one’s own airplane, the business possibilities appear large. While established countries remain mired in economic sluggishness, China’s star shines brightly. Add those factors to the much lower price of purchasing a Light-Sport Aircraft and you can see why companies are jumping on the bandwagon.
The newest company to succeed in gaining Chinese approval is Evektor and their SportStar LSA models. The Czech company reported, “Evektor successfully passed an audit by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) at its production plant in Kunovice, Czech Republic.” Chinese auditors focused on quality assurance and inspections as well as Continued Operational Safety Monitoring.
An “engine” is a machine distinguished from an electric, spring-driven, or hydraulic motor by its use of a fuel, by which most mean gasoline or diesel fuel. An electric powerplant is often referred to as a motor to make it distinct although “motor” is defined as a device that converts any form of energy into mechanical output, which would include engines.
Without fretting over the definition, Evektor flew their new “motorplane” (my word) recently and this post presents our view of this accomplishment. We’ve reported several electric aircraft projects, for example, Yuneec’s Spyder and their larger e430 mentioned in my full-length article on electric aircraft. We’ve also covered Randall Fishman’s ULS (which will be on display in the LSA Mall at Sun ‘n Fun) and several others. To read all our 37 articles of coverage, type “electric aircraft” in the Full-text Search box on our Search page.
On November 30th, Guy Reynolds will celebrate his 100th birthday by taking a flight in Light-Sport Aircraft. Putting a finer point on it, he’ll take this flight in his LSA. Are you surprised that a centenarian has an LSA? Admit it… I was. However, Guy is no ordinary guy. He bought his Evektor Sportstar back at the beginning of LSA and he’s been flying it about 100 hours every year. That’s probably more than you fly your LSA. Impressive even for a young 50-year old pilot, this fact is, well… astounding for a 90-something pilot.
Before you question the wisdom of this flight, let me assure you Guy is a pretty together fellow. We spoke on the phone and other than being a bit hard of hearing, he sounded great. I accept that he’s 99+ because he said so but he sounds like a younger person. He was savvy enough to voluntarily give up flying with anyone other than another pilot at age 95 because, “I might have a stroke or something and don’t want to endanger anyone.” So, quit your worrying.
The rush is on in Europe… well, at least for the best-prepared of LSA producers. EASA, the European Aviation Safety Agency, has accepted ASTM standards as a means of certifying a light aircraft in the European Union countries, but put its own stamp on this approval. Those wishing to sell an ASTM-compliant SLSA in Europe have some extra hoops through which to jump. The letters DOA, POA, and RTC apply, being, in order, Design Organization Approval, Production Organization Approval, and Restricted Type Certificate. If you think that sounds a little like Part 23 requirements (read: expensive), you’re right. Yet if a LSA producer wants to sell essentially the same airplane in the USA and the EU, you have to get all the approvals. Recently, a third company achieved this, following Czech Sport Aircraft and Flight Design.
*** The Czech company announced, “Evektor SportStar RTC gains EASA CS-LSA Type Certification and becomes one of the first aircraft on the market certified according to the latest EASA CS-LSA regulations.” Evektor added that they consider this great news for flight schools, aeroclubs and private pilots as the SportStar RTC raises the bar of flight training and cross-country flying to a new level.
Evektor will always be First… that is, the Czech company gained the very first Special Light-Sport Aircraft approval back in April 2005 and no one can ever take that first-in-class title away from them. Now they are also the newest approval, before AirVenture 2011 anyway. Congratulations to Evektor Aerotechnik and their U.S. representatives including Steve Minnich’s Dreams Come True operation in Dayton, Ohio. *** “I got a call right at lunch time that the Evektor Harmony LSA, N905EH, just received her airworthiness certificate,” Steve wrote on July 13th. How is Harmony different than the SportStar series (SE, Plus, Max, Max IFR)? Steve helped out with an informative summary. *** “The wing and tail surfaces are tapered and the wings and horizontal stabilizer have greater span so the wing area is actually the same. Both rudder and ailerons are larger giving a higher crosswind capability and the rudder pedal linkages exit through the floor rather than penetrating the firewall.
Enlightening news today from Vit Kotek, Marketing Manager for Evektor, that ties up the loose ends on the recent parachute deployment of an Evektor SportStar. *** Vit’s statement, edited only for clarity: *** “An accident of the SportStar RTC aircraft occurred during flight tests at Kunovice airport (LKKU) on 18th May, 2011. The test pilot was performing spin testing at aft C.G. The pilot successfully completed the program, after completing 30 spins. *** Then he decided to perform a maneuver, which we’re still not fully clear about, which put the airplane into a flight condition the pilot could not recover from. *** He activated the ballistic parachute system which deployed successfully. *** The airplane suspended below the parachute landed on a lake close to the airport and sunk after five minutes. The pilot swam safely to the shore. The airplane was fished out after six hours. The pilot was not injured.