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Super Petrel LS

Super Petrel LS

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The Australian Distributor is Vision in Action Pty Ltd, based at Warwick Queensland.

 

For details visit the Australian website www.superpetrelaustralia.net

 

For additional information go to www.superpetrelforum.info

 

The Super Petrel LS is supported by a full range of parts, service and repairs if need all here in Australia.

 

Price (fly away) AUD$125,000 (analogue instruments).

 

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The more I read about these the more I like them

 

Let me know when a second hand one comes for sale!!

 

Regards

 

Mark

 

 

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The more I read about these the more I like them

Let me know when a second hand one comes for sale!!

 

Regards

 

Mark

Hi Mark

 

Demonstrators are moved on about every 4-6 months. There are people interetded in them but I will definately contact you when they are available.

 

An older version SP 100 is coming available as the owner is trading up to the newer model. Would an SP 100 (kit built) be of interest?

 

Cheers

 

Kelvin

 

 

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Hi Kevin,

 

Yes, it would interest me.... It all comes own to price...

 

In all seriousness, it's likely 2-3 years before I will buy a decent amphib (when car loan paid off)

 

And then I'd be looking at up to $70k max

 

Regards

 

Mark

 

 

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OK Mark no problem, lets talk then

 

Hi Kevin,

Yes, it would interest me.... It all comes own to price...

 

In all seriousness, it's likely 2-3 years before I will buy a decent amphib (when car loan paid off)

 

And then I'd be looking at up to $70k max

 

Regards

 

Mark

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Amphibious Aircraft Review Article

 

Another Detailed Analysis From the Cockpit

 

I must confess – I love amphibious aircraft. What I really like is the sheer utility of these machines. You can take off from land, fly through the air land on the water and then taxi up on the shore. Absolutely fantastic!

 

As I started the pre-flight inspection of the EDRA, Brazilian Super Petrel LS I noticed a few new and innovative features. The most appealing aspect is that this aircraft is a bi-plane with a wing area of 15m2. It actually is very practical from a water and short field take off perspective and looks great also. The Rotax motor is housed in a streamline cowl above and behind the cockpit and the main fuselage is composite and portion of the wings fabric covered to reduce weight.

 

As I continued my walk around the aircraft I noticed significant changes to this aircraft compared to the successful previous EDRA Super Petrel 100 model that achieved sales of over 200 aircraft worldwide. Changes include the airfoil which has been slightly altered, all support cables have been removed and the body shape is now far more aerodynamic and visually appealing.

 

The unique EDRA hull shape has been slightly modified also to enhance on-water operations without the need for a water rudder. The retractable undercarriage housing also fits nicely and looks far more streamline.

 

The body shape has improved buoyancy, creating more clearance between the wing and water and reduced drag. Excessive drag both aerodynamical and hydrodynamic is a major concern for aircraft engineers. Amphibious aircraft are quite a challenge to design. Numerous factors including the aeroplanes flying and floating characteristics, need to be designed very carefully, as many of these components are mutually incompatible.

 

Design features that make a plane aerodynamical do not necessarily make for good seaworthiness.

 

Successful designs take into account factors such as spray suppression, buoyancy, lift, thrust, weight and drag, all need to be factored in as does stability and control – whether flying, floating or rolling.

 

Knowing ERDA’s successful track record of developing a very successful floating hull previously I was confident the company would be aware of the importance of factors such as the design of the hull, the deadrise angle of the bow and the location of the step.

 

Other new features included the refined hinges for the removable doors, their locking mechanism and cabin ventilation enhancements.

 

A slight reduction in all up weight and change in the aerodynamics has improved the cruise speed and handling characteristics of the aircraft according to EDRA. A $6000 optional Kevlar hull reduces the all up weight even more greatly improving performance again.

 

All Super Petrels are powered by the 100hp Rotax ULS which has proven to be a reliable workhorse.

 

The Rotax is very neatly fitted on a pylon behind the pilot and sits within a remarkable good looking cowling designed to keep the power plant cool and well ventilated.

 

As is common with all aircraft fitted with pylon-mounted engines, access is not easy but on this model it’s a lot easier than other amphibious aircraft I have inspected. Access to the oil dipstick and coolant reservoir is very accessible.

 

What has really impressed me is the workmanship. The Super Petrel LS is beautifully made. Corrosion can be a problem however with the composite hull, wing components and stainless steel and aviation grade aluminium struts and wheel fittings corrosion is not a problem if the aircraft is cleaned and well maintained as recommended.

 

The undercarriage is hydraulically actuated with the nose wheel retracting upwards and the main wheels retracting vertically into the hull. The nose wheel retracts fully into the hull and is covered by a pair of doors. The nose wheel compartment is watertight and keeps all water out.

 

The undercarriage looks particularly robust with shock absorbers designed specifically for the Super Petrel LS.

 

The bi-plane wings are a sophisticated aerofoil designed by EDRA engineers. The 90 litres of fuel carried is located in the leading edges of the lower wings. The tail section empennage tapers subtly before flaring elegantly into the stylish swept-back fin. This is quite large as is the rudder.

 

The tail plane is located directly behind the propeller thrust line aiding water and flight related control inputs. Due to the hull design and tail plane location behind the prop no water rudder is needed. An electronically-actuated tab on the trailing edge of the elevator provides pitch trim.

 

Accessibility to and from the cockpit is excellent. The sill is reasonably low and the large swinging doors aid accessibility and visibility during flight. The doors are easily removable. As for stowage, a large baggage bay immediately behind the seats is accessible during flight. It is located practically right over the centre of gravity an excellent safety feature as it means you are unlikely to go outside the CG envelope. There is also a small stowage compartment in the nose, accessible by a hatch, for mooring lines and anchor.

 

Settling onto the comfortable leather bucket seat I was immediately impressed by the uncluttered look of the panel. The Super Petrel LS comes with a comprehensive range of instrument configurations – analogue, digital and analogue combo or all digital. The aircraft we are in has two 7” Skyviews with a Garmin central mounted VHF radio, GPS and transponder stack.

 

Throttles are mounted on the sidewalls, dual controls are central and the centre console has the undercarriage selector and fuel tank selector conveniently within reach.

 

The controls fell nicely to hand and all controls and switches are easy to see and reach. The stick-top contains buttons for trim, radio and autopilot (if fitted).

 

Overall I thought a logically laid-out, well-ordered cockpit. Time to go flying.

 

The engine started promptly with the choke mounted above the pilot’s right shoulder.

 

As we moved off down the taxiway I quickly noticed that the hydraulically-actuated disc brakes are heal activated and after a few jabs got the sensitivity right. Once we got to a fast walking pace the rudder kept us on the centreline with no need for brake input.

 

The maximum take off weight of the Super Petrel LS is 600kg and we were right on the all up weight as we lifted off. The acceleration was impressive and we climbed out easily at 1000ft/minute. At 500’ AGL we retracted the undercarriage. Being a bi-plane there are no flaps to retract.

 

The undercarriage system is worthy of comment. Firstly the undercarriage retraction handle, located between the seats is easily accessible and clicks into place when moved forward or back. Lights on the dashboard indicate when the undercarriage is either up or down.

 

The undercarriage is sturdy with independent suspension. Shock absorbers make for smooth touchdowns on the tarmac. Corrosion proof materials are used.

 

There are three ways to determine if the undercarriage is either up or down – the undercarriage activation leaver in the cabin is marked ‘land’ or ‘water’, there are warning lights on the dashboard and there is a mirror on the outer stabilizing floats so the pilot can see the undercarriage position.

 

A well-known side effect of having the engine mounted on a pylon is that it confers a high thrust line. This sometimes has the inevitable consequences of producing significant changes in pitch whenever the throttle is adjusted. On the Super Petrel LS the pitching moments are virtually non existent. Very impressive.

 

I judged the Super Petrel’s handling to be responsive and fine generally. It has authoritative ailerons, an effective elevator and a powerful rudder. Breakthrough forces were low and control harmony good. The rate of roll is perfectly acceptable while visiability in the turn is excellent. An examination of the stick-free stability revealed the Super Petrel to be positive longitudinally, as a ten-knot displacement from a trimmed speed of 80kt produced a low amplitude long wavelength phugoid that damped itself out after a few oscillations.

 

Directional stability was positive and I judged the lateral stability to be neutral. I always like to sample the slow-speed characteristics before landing to get the feel of how the aircraft will behave near the stall. On some occasions, an examination of the stall characteristics can be, shall we say interesting. However the Super Petrel continued to behave very benignly. The handling continued to be docile, and the ailerons remained effective up to the stall. The actual stall speed was difficult to judge with our onboard weight but I guess was around 33 knots. The pre-stall buffet was adequate and the EFIS contains an AoA indicator, which can be piped into the headset as an audio warning. Recovey was quick and easy, with minimal height loss.

 

Time now to examine the high-speed side of the speed envelope. Setting the throttle to 75% produced an IAS of 88kts at 3500ft, for a TAS of 92kts. This was about 5 knots below the book speed, but in fairness I should point out that the engine was fitted with a ‘climb’ prop in order to get the Super Petrel off the water quicker. I’m sure that the ground-adjustable prop would provide those missing 5 knots. However in my opinion the number for range and endurance are far more relevant than speed when testing utility-type aircraft. Indeed, I always place particular emphasis on the aircraft’s operational radius, as many outback destinations simply won’t have fuel available. Consequently, it is essential that any aerial SUV has the ability to go somewhere and back again on internal fuel only.

 

At 75% the Rotax burns about 18lit/hr, which gives just under five hours of flying with 45 minutes of reserve.

 

As we approached Leslie Dam just south of Warwick Queensland I could see that it had tributaries that ran north-south and southeast-northwest each around 3km long. As far as I could judge there was no wind, so I elected to land from the south. A check of the water for any semi-submerged obstructions, then I turned downwind and flew a regular circuit, with a base leg to double check the wind before turning final.

 

With such a hugh ‘runway’ available, I elected not to try to land at a particular point, but to simply descend gently onto the water. A quick check in the float mirror that the undercarriage was up, and no flaps to worry about and I settled the Super petrel onto the approach. The sides of the dam made it easy to judge the flare, so I left some power on and let it alight gently onto the water.

 

Unless you’ve experienced the joys of aquatic aviation, it’s impossible to appreciate the unique sensation of touching down on water, but take it from me – it’s just great. My tactic of leaving on power paid off, and I was rewarded with a very smooth touchdown. As we planed smoothly along the dam I drew the last of the power off, eased the stick fully aft, and we fell backwards off the step with a foaming splash.

 

The Super Petrel has a uniquely designed hull that alleviates the need for a water rudder. Prop wash over the control surfaces at the rear, coupled with the fin type strips build into the hull make manoeuvring on the dam surface very easy.

 

We taxied up a boat ramp on the eastern shoreline and shutdown.

 

We entertained the spectators and answered numerous questions before we got back in and taxied it out for a water take-off. Again, taxiing straight into the water is a unique sensation, as one second you’re rolling and the next you’re floating. It’s a great feeling, which is enhanced by the knowledge that within minutes you’ll be flying.

 

The Super Petrel on takeoff behaved as most amphibious aircraft do on takeoff. Having retracted the undercarriage and lined up the aircraft into the wind I slowly added power while holding back the stick. The nose pitched up and stabilised in a high drag nose up condition. This is referred to as the ‘hump’ and is the stage of take-off where maximum aerodynamic and hydrodynamic drag coincide.

 

Obviously at this point the acceleration is significantly reduced, which makes it imperative to get the aircraft over the hump and onto the ‘step’ as quickly as possible. Once on the step it will start planning smoothly as the nose is only pitching up to around 4° and the drag greatly reduced.

 

As expected once I was on the hump I gently released the backpressure and then pushed forward on the stick to get the aircraft up and on the step. Within a second or two I eased off again on the forward pressure and let the elevator find its trimmed position. With this procedure no porpoising occurs.

 

Porpoising can be an extremely dangerous situation. Porpoising takes the form of a rhythmic ‘pitch and heave’ and can happen very quickly. The only remedy is to pull the power. Trying to chase it in pitch you invariably end up ‘out of phase’ with potentially catastrophic consequences.

 

We quickly gained speed and with a quick pitch-up of the nose the Super Petrel became unstuck from the surface of the water and we climbed away.

 

We returned to the airfield and I did remember to lower the landing gear and we touched down and taxied back to the hanger.

 

I must say I was very impressed with the aircrafts performance both on the water and on land. It’s a very responsive and manoeuvrable aircraft during flight and has excellent cockpit visibility.

 

The operational radius is sensible, the cruise speed acceptable and the useful load very useful.

 

This is a vehicle equally at home on the ground, in the air and on the water.

 

The Super Petrel LS is distributed in Australia by ‘Super Petrel Australia’ based at Warwick Queensland. A full range of parts are carried, servicing and support offered and Dealers around the country assist with all aspects of the sale and training if required. For further details www.superpetrelaustralia.net

 

DETAILS

 

Price $125,700* (fly away)

 

Dimensions Length 6.35, Height 2.33 Wing Span 8.9

 

Empty Weight 350kg

 

Useful Load 250kg

 

Fuel Capacity 90 litres

 

Endurance 5 hours

 

Cruise Speed 85-95kts

 

Climb Rate 1000ft/min

 

Glide Ratio 10:1

 

Take Off (ground/water) 80/120m

 

Landing (ground/water) 120/100m

 

Stall Speed 33kts

 

 

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We had a Super Petrel come to Old Station fly-in with us this year. I was watching its progress over the ground on the leg Dingo and OS, and was quite impressed. At OS I scored a ride in it around the local area with a bit of stick time, and again I was quite Impressed.

 

Nice machine, solid in the air, gets along real well, quiet and comfortable, lands easily, very well constructed. The owner didn't have a floating hull endo so we couldn't splash it. If I was rich I would have one sitting next to the Lightwing for sure!..............Maj......012_thumb_up.gif.cb3bc51429685855e5e23c55d661406e.gif

 

 

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Hi Kevin,

 

So how about training, where do I get the training for this aircraft and do you have to be a high hours pilot to fly one of these safely or can anyone be taught to fly it even if you are a low hours pilot or maybe still in training?

 

David

 

 

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Ok don't let the fact that it is a biplane deter you at all. Flies just the same as a monoplane, in fact if you didn't look out the window you wouldn't even know. The biplane arrangement Probabily even makes it more stable in the air and Probabily much stronger structurally, plus of course the lower wing is vey handy for mounting the outer float on.

 

From memory I believe the owner told me the lower wing structure is completely sealed for additional floatation, and against any water ingestion. The stubby landing gear also is very robust. I very much like my current mount the Heliview Lightwing however the Super Petrel is a very desirable aircraft, especially up here in the tropics. If I had any complaint at all it would be with the smallish size of the wheels and tires. I'm sure they are very adequet, and some sacrifices have to be made with an amphib, however they could present a problem on some sorts of land surfaces...The quality of the construction and exterior hull fittings is excellent.......Maj...012_thumb_up.gif.cb3bc51429685855e5e23c55d661406e.gif

 

 

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If you leave the wheels down on landing it can be a bottom of the harbour scheme, that started off as a "buy plane". Nev

 

 

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34,26,14,39,8,18

 

 

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We have one at Rods Bay. Home built. I have had a quick flip in it, didn't do the landing or take off, but it was easy to fly. A good stable plane, quite different from my plane which is not really stable, but nimble.

 

One thing I have noticed is that they are very visible, seem to be easier to spot than a Jab or lightwing from above.

 

The other thing is that you may need to carry ballast when flying solo, but I think our local plane can use water as ballast and that is plentiful for a seaplane.

 

 

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