I regularly attend Aero Friedrichshafen every April certain I will see aircraft I’ve never seen before — but also because I will see upgrades to existing popular models. This year my informal award for the Most-Improved category goes to Tecnam and their P92 Echo, now in MkII form.
First, congratulations! — As I researched this story I discovered Tecnam had a blow-out year at Aero 2019. The company reported exceeding “all of its pre-show expectations with the sale of 51 aircraft covering Certified and Light categories.”
Tecnam also celebrated its 70th birthday at Aero where a large staff manned an enormous space featuring three new models: P92 Echo MkII, P2008JC MkII, and P2002JF that is now completing full IFR certification.
Success Story MkII
See the P92 MkII video or images for yourself but I think you will agree this is one gorgeous aircraft.
“After 27 years,” the company announced, “the Tecnam P92 comes back with a new version. P92 Echo MkII comes today with up-to-date technology, composite fuselage, glass avionics, and the same pleasant flying qualities …safe and easy to fly with beauty, inside and outside.”
As with its earlier models P92 uses metal wings and a metal stabilator. Tecnam engineers stuck with metal wings and stabilator structures “for strength, reliability, and the ability to flex in flight, thereby ensuring a more comfortable ride.” However, “to produce the desired increase in cabin width and greater aerodynamic efficiency [we] chose to construct Mk2’s fuselage with carbon fiber.”
They elaborated that they chose both materials —making this a true composite — for the optimization of aerodynamic qualities, flight characteristic, and reliability. “This addition enabled [us] to make construction decisions based on optimum design and structural integrity rather than purely the cost of production.”
P92 Echo MkII’s interior has also been completely redone. “Doors are lined with automotive-type door seals, seats that give full support with excellent leg room, side map pockets as well as pockets in the back of the seats combine to make the MkII a very comfortable aircraft.”
Looks Terrific — Still Flies Great
How is P92 still worth your investigation even while Tecnam has a whole fleet of desirable aircraft? As the specs below show, it cruises near the top of the allowed range. P92 MkII has a low stall speed (39 knots) “with excellent response at all speeds.”
Tecnam has long boasted “uncompromising build quality” and P92 MkII has been built to meet requirements for Europe’s CS/VLA standards for aircraft certified to this category. Tecnam offers models meeting the European ultralight category (different than the U.S. interpretation of that term), LSA ASTM standards, and Part 23 fully certified aircraft. They make models using twin Rotax power and an 11-seat regional aircraft (seen briefly in the video alongside the P92 MkII).
Beside “excellent visibility, roomy space, quiet and ergonomic,” P92 uses an all-movable stabilator-type horizontal tail that is traditional on Tecnam aircraft. They say this “allows excellent controllability and excellent ‘hands off’ longitudinal stability.” My own experience backs up this claim. Every Tecnam I’ve ever flown (most models) have superlative handling.
Inside P92 MkII, “the cabin offers newly designed seats and seat rails which are easily operated and adjustable fore and aft via a single handle with a reinforced area between the rails to make cabin access even easier.” The company continued, “A roomy baggage compartment with internal access accommodates voluminous items. A comfortable armrest and USB charger round out the luxurious interior.”
A generously sized instrument panel provides plenty of room for digital screen avionics although a base model is available with simple analog instruments. The model you see in the images and video represent the “Glass Package” featuring avionics from Garmin and their wonderful touchscreen G3X
Here are a few specifications on the renewed P92 Echo MkII when built as a Light-Sport Aircraft. Get more directly from Tecnam:
- Max Cruise Speed — 115 knots
- Stall Speed — 39 knots
- Takeoff Distance — 460 feet
- Landing Distance — 393 feet
- Rate of Climb — 755 feet per minute
- Maximum Takeoff Weight — 1,430 pounds (permits adding floats)
- Empty Wight — 750 pounds
- Useful Load — 551 pounds
- Fuel Capacity — 29 gallons
- Range — 700 nautical miles
- Wingspan — 29.5 feet
- Cabin Width — 45 inches
- Baggage Capacity — 44 pounds