The title of this article contains a lot of information. If you are a close observer of light aircraft, you may recognize B.O.T.’s Speed Cruiser but you didn’t get the rest right away, did you? Now Available? Journey? Aero Affinity? Neither did I know these references until Sun ‘n Fun 2022, but here is the story.
I’ll get to Speed Cruiser, ‘er… Journey in a minute but first a bit about a new collaboration forming at the DeLand, Florida airport. You know the place, where the DeLand Showcase ran for five years. In case you missed the news, DeLand Showcase is no more. Director Jana Filip departed to join Sun ‘n Fun so the event she expertly ran will now give way to something new, from someone else. More on that later.
Although the DeLand Showcase prematurely ended its five-year run, the DeLand Airport remains a beehive of recreational aviation activity. DeLand (KDED) is home to one of the largest sky diving industry and operations facilities in the world (some 35 businesses employing around 600 people). It is home to Aerolite, arguably the largest Part 103 producer. Aerosport South recently started their second operation in a large hangar. Various other operations also base in DeLand.
Now, welcome Aero Affinity, a collaboration lead by Aero Adventure’s Alex Rolinski, Magnus Fusion representative Doma Andreka, and former Seamax representative Shalom Confessor. Compared to a lot of gray hair among many aircraft sellers, these fellows are young — and energetic. They’ve assembled quite a flock of aircraft to serve the diverse interests of any recreational pilot:
- Aero Adventure Aventura II (SLSA amphibious seaplane or kit versions)
- Magnus Fusion 212 (carbon fiber low wing, approved for aerobatic training)
- Montaer MC01 (generation 2 design, high wing, aluminum, roomy)
- B.O.T. Speed Cruiser, now Journey (cantilevered high wing, carbon fiber, wide cockpit)
Read about all these aircraft right here but the B.O.T. information needs updating because the European producer lost its importer and service operation. In BOTworld, it’s been pretty quiet in the USA… but not any more. Check out Aero Affinity’s new website to see their capabilities and experienced staff.
B.O.T. Aircraft SC-01
Made in Liechtenstein
When B.O.T. formed in Liechtenstein (a tiny but wealthy country near Switzerland) they had specific goals for their design:
- Fast with long range
- Suitable for beginners
- Large cabin and a good view
- Low-cost maintenance
Based on my experiences flying with Alex, I believe they achieved these goals. Journey is positioned about the middle of the LSA fleet price-wise and when looking at its performance, features, and capabilities. It is comfortable inside with gamer-style seats, a center stick with dual folding throttles that makes entry easier. Backed with a strong cadre of people at Aero Affinity, Journey seems certain to attract buyers.
Flight Qualities — Producer Reiner Tauern said, “SC07 has some very nice characteristics: Steering is quite direct,” making for easy ground handling I found. “At the same time [handling] gives the pilot clear [feedback], which makes it easy to precisely maneuver the machine. Reiner is proud of the stable flight qualities. “SC07 flies like it’s on rails,” he added.
With the familiar Rotax 912 100 horsepower engine, starting is typically easy and quick. Climb power is quite impressive, better than 1,000 feet per minute as we departed DeLand (which is nearly sea level). “With the flaps on 15°, the SC07 takes off very quickly,” said Reiner.
Alex was ready to demonstrate stall behavior. It turned out to be excellent and easily controlled. “SC07 does not drop a wing or the nose; it just loses altitude until you release the elevator to accelerate SC07 above the stall speed,” commented Reiner.
“Airplane behavior and noise at high speeds can be described as comfortable,” stated Reiner. “The landing also is very easy as the flaps are very effective, giving a quick descent and a precise touchdown.” My experience with Alex supported these reports.
“Due to its cantilevered wings the view to side and down is excellent and the design also provides a very good straight-ahead view,” Reiner said. You can see this for yourself in the nearby images.
Construction — “The fuselage is almost entirely made of carbon fiber, only a small part of the rudder is made using glass fiber. The wing’s internal construction is made completely in carbon fiber and the skin is made using a glass/foam sandwich,” Alex explained.
Wings are detachable and can be removed or mounted in 30 minutes by two persons.
Due to the width of the cabin and the relatively generous headroom, most tall pilots can feel comfortable in the SC07. The height of the seats can easily be adapted to fit smaller persons.
U.S. FAA Special LSA — B.O.T. Aircraft has previously earned FAA approval — as #131 on our SLSA List. However, it’s been some years and changes have been made so Alex Rolinski indicated, “Work to secure FAA acceptance is in process now. Journey will be approved when the next one arrives. We only have to perform a few tests and submit a new declaration of compliance.”
Since Alex and team easily gained SLSA approval for their Aventura II, I expect they will succeed again with Journey.
SC07 Speed Cruiser
now rebadged as Journey in the USA
specifications are provided by Aero Affinity
- Wing Span — 33 feet
- Wing Area — 108 square feet
- Length — 21.8 feet
- Height — 6.25 feet
- Cabin Width — 49 inches
- Fuel Capacity — 26 gallons
- Empty Weight (in USA) — 715 pounds (with emergency airframe parachute)
- Takeoff Weight (in USA) — 1,320 pounds
- Engine (in USA) — Rotax 912 ULS2
- Power Output — 100 horsepower
- Never Exceed Speed — 155 miles per hour / 135 knots
- Cruise Speed (75% power) — 115 mph / 100 knots
- Stall Speed, max flaps — 45 miles per hour / 39 knots
- Rate of Climb — 980 feet per minute (with 0° flaps at 69 miles per hour at gross weight)
- Takeoff Roll — 500 feet
- Landing Rollout — 400 feet
- Range — 630 miles