“Vickers has achieved what others only dream about… a ‘World-First’,” the New Zealand LSA seaplane developer announced. The southern hemisphere company was reporting on the completion of their flight testing program.
“Wave performed exceptionally well, so well in fact that we believe we may have achieved a world-first, a 100% score, passing all criteria and requiring zero changes,” stated company CEO Paul Vickers. He suggested this achievement shows the prototype “is perfect and can enter production,” adding that fabrication of first components is underway.
Although in development for more than a decade, Vickers has indicated all along that their care in design would lead to a quickly approved product that could enter production quickly. The company appears to be reaching this goal.
Test Pilot Report
“In conducting our Flight Test Plan on the Vickers Wave proof of concept, an evaluation was made of the plane’s adherence to ASTM Light-Sport Aircraft industry consensus standards as accepted by FAA,” reported flight test pilot, L. A. Fox, listed as a FAA Designated Engineering Representative (DER).
Test pilot Fox continued, “Controllability, maneuverability, stability, stall, and water handling were tested throughout the CG envelope. The test points included those that are routinely difficult for manufacturers to pass, and the Wave passed these with margin. The results lend confidence to the opinion that, when it comes time for certification, the Vickers Wave will demonstrate compliance to all flight characteristics and performance requirements.”
“It is now with the utmost confidence we can confirm that Wave will achieve our original performance goal of a 120-knot cruise speed,” stated Paul Vickers. “This allows Wave to not only compete directly with leading GA aircraft but to take buyers beyond the restraints current aircraft offer.”
“Compromises made on previous pusher amphibians have become benefits on Wave,” Paul said, citing unobstructed visibility, high cruise speeds, and a 750-pound useful load, all with folding wings and the ability to travel further and land where others cannot.”
“Wave is a true adventure plane and the ultimate Light-Sport Aircraft,” said Paul.
If a 750-pound useful load for a well-equipped LSA seaplane sounds generous, you are looking at this properly. Normally, a LSA seaplane is limited to 1,430 pounds. At that limit, a 750-pound useful load would imply an impossibly-light 680-pound empty weight. It would be very challenging to make an aircraft of this detail come in that light. Is the company deceiving us? No.
After being petitioned according to regulation, FAA granted a weight increase to Vickers allowing an 1,850-pound gross (see earlier article on this weight exemption, which includes info about Icon’s A5 weight exemption). Given that higher gross, Wave calculates to an empty weight of 1,100 pounds, a figure that could permit features like folding wings, bow thrusters, powerful engines like Rotax’s 916iS, its rather unique “gear train,” and more.
With its generous weight exemption, Wave is approximately a Mosaic LSA ahead of its time.
Early Adopter Opportunity
In what Vickers is calling their “10/10 Promotion,” a small number of early buyers can get as much as a “50% discount,” the company said. Two of the earliest will get the best deal.
“We are very excited to offer 10 delivery positions for Year Two production,” Paul said. Vickers believes this represents a different approach to market adoption for Wave.
Thirteen years into the development of the Wave, the company said, “Our manufacturing facilities are complete, initial deliveries are scheduled, test flights are complete, and production molds are already in use.” A lot of time preparing is close to putting aircraft in the sky — and on the water.
“We are looking for 10 people to join our journey, take delivery of their Wave, and enjoy what the aircraft has to offer.” Paul continued, “By doing so, these special buyers can showcase an incredible aircraft to the aviation community. Just imagine taxiing up to the ramp and folding those wings while still moving into position, or pulling up to a marina for lunch, wings folded and silently using the water thrusters. No other aircraft can offer this type of experience or freedom.” The discontinued MVP also offered this desirable capability; Wave is actualizing it. They are keen to let people see their new creation.
“As if the aircraft itself wasn’t enough incentive to join our journey now, we are offering a discount of 50% and 25% for the first two movers, so be quick. Why a discount? We prioritize market traction,” explained Vickers.
Buyers interested in one of these few positions can email the company.
Maybe you’re not a customer? Vickers has other opportunities. You could invest in the company, or you could work for Vickers. “We continue to look for suitable design engineers and production staff,” Paul noted. If interested, apply via email.