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motzartmerv

Highwing Brumby Test drive

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Howdy.

 

So I flew out to cowra today with a club member so he could see a low wing brumby that he's interested in buying. Phil and Paul were more than happy to show us around the factory and point out the various points of interest on the latest design of Highwing.

 

My mate went up in the low wing with Paul while Phil and I climbed into the highwing.

 

First things first I have to tell you, this is a big aeroplane. You cant really get an idea from the photos in the mag's. In bulk its more akin to a 172 or a glassair sportsman. Nice big bush tyres and a real aeroplane looking olio ontop of the nose wheel. Its not an aeroplane that smacks you in the face with its beauty, but it does have the air of "realness" about it that some of the other types in the category seem to lack. It looks like it means business.

 

The model we hopped into had the rotax engine. I would have liked to have a run with the lycoming version but it was decked out with testing gear.

 

The interior is....well... Spacious.. Im not a tall bloke, but I was not even close to filling the space. The stick immediately got my attention as it was the sidestick looking design, but petrudes straight out from under the dash. When I climbed in the purpose of this idea was obvious. You can basically just flop into the seat. No pulling things out of the way, bashing knees, pulling feet in etc. I got the impression that it was designed around the larger pilot, or you older guys that ran one too many trys in for the tigers..

 

The cockpit and dash are a simple, agricultural looking design that just smacks of solidness. It has no "toy" feel about it. It keeps with the general design, as in it seems to be built for a purpose.

 

Ergonomically speaking it was great. The seats are very comfortable, the center section between the seats contains only the trim wheel which is right under your hand in its natural position when you rest it. The dash isn't over complicated and everything is in the right place. The first thing I noticed was just how far away the prop was. Deffinatly more like a Cessna than a Jabiru.

 

The nosewheel steering was very good, nice and responsive but not "skatey".

 

After the runups we were lined up on runway 15. Phils a nice relaxed sort of guy, and the only real help he gave me was " when its ready to fly, take off"..hehe..My type of guy.

 

The acceleration was good and snappy and the rudder was effective instantly. A couple of little squirls left and right while I got the feel of it and we were in business.

 

This is where I should mention the flap. The flaps are electric and have only one position. They lo0oked to me to be at about 20 deg's (but dont quote me). Phil said they tend not to use flap for the takeoff, but im inclined to think it would be a good idea. The takeoff run was certainly not long, but I felt it could have flown happily a lot earlier with the flap out. The angle of incidence is such that requires you to ask it off the runway, sort of break it free if you know what I mean, I think (again dont take this to the bank) that the flap would negate alot of that.

 

So climbing out I asked what speed we were after. Phil said about 65 kts is best rate but dont do that, just hold the spinner on the horizon which I did. Indicating 80 kts we were climbing at about 850 feet/min. Quite good I felt considering this bigass aeroplane only had a rotax pulling us up.

 

On first glance you would expect it to be a big draggy slow acft, but its far from it. Quite responsive, good speed response with attitude change and climbed like a "real" aeroplane.

 

The different design of stick took a few minutes to get used to, but after the first circuit it was no issue.

 

The controls felt firm but balanced well. Nice and responsive but not "stupid". The conditions were quite rough, thermals and a gusty wind so I didnt get a real feel in still air, but I have to say it handled the chop very well. It seemed to be the boss and I think they have a achieved a nice balance here between stability and manourvarability.

 

The stall is very benign, Just a little bob of the nose and a very low rate of descent. With power on the nose really has to be pointed skyward or it just wont stall. For a trainer I reckon this attribute is exellent. The chance of a departure stall are very low when you see just how high you have to have the nose. The controls remain effective right upto the stall.

 

The rudder is very very good. Very effective and light. No strong leg muscles needed here. Rudderless aileron turns put the ball just outside of the lines which is nice to see. Not right out on the edge of the glass.

 

During a steep turn you can tickle the trim back and let go of the stick and take your feet off the pedals and it holds the bank angle nicely with no tendency to overbank. Again, I think this sort of dynamic neutrality (yes, I make up my own terms) is well balanced and Phil tells me this is no accident.

 

Back into the circuit for a couple of t and g's. Joiniong the cct it became apparent that the view from inside is excellent. Nice big windscreen and windows provide good all round views.

 

I joined downwind for 15. This will be a good test I thought as the wind was pretty much across the strip and gusty. Cracking Idle for the base turn the speed came back at a sensible rate and the trim wheel sorts out the stick loading easily.

 

On base at about 70 kts (i guessed that would be about right lol) I flicked the flap to down. The transit time was quite slow but the trim change was not overly strong. Again, good for training.

 

on final the gusty crosswind was giving me some curry, but the aeroplane seemed to be asking me to leave it alone. Once I did this things settled down beautifully. (I should remember that aeroplanes fly much better than we do).

 

Over the fence the speed was about 60 kts and into the flare the speed came back nicely with no sharp kinks in the lift curve as she slowed. The controls remained positive all the way through the wing down (crosswind) touchdown and there was tonnes of rudder left. I would estimate the xwind max to be quite high with this plane. They probably have some figures somewhere.

 

In good air I reckon you could safely knock 5-10 kts off the approach speed and still have plenty in the bank.

 

I would have liked a nice day so I could check out some STOL performance and give it a bit more of a workout, but I can honestly say that after about 45 mins I felt quite at home in the aeroplane.

 

It has a very solid feel in the air which is great. I hate to keep saying it, but it feels like a real aeroplane. They have done an excellent Job.

 

Some negatives.

 

The only negatives I could think of are cosmetic. The big windscreen needs some shade visers which they are working on now.

 

The throttle felt a bit light in my hand, as in I could bend it if I tried. Fir a training plane I would have a small concern here. Its mounted in the center of the dash and is a single throttle. The death grip that some of you blokes choke the throttle with, could be an issue if the instructor needed to hammer it in quickly.

 

Other than those small things, I reckon this plane is a winner. Keep your eye on this big ass plane, I reckon it will do very well.

 

Cheers

 

(Ps. I have no affiliation with Phil and paul, other than the fact I reckon they are good genuine blokes who have put out some great aircraft.)

 

 

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Howdy.So I flew out to cowra today with a club member so he could see a low wing brumby that he's interested in buying. Phil and Paul were more than happy to show us around the factory and point out the various points of interest on the latest design of Highwing.

 

My mate went up in the low wing with Paul while Phil and I climbed into the highwing.

 

First things first I have to tell you, this is a big aeroplane. You cant really get an idea from the photos in the mag's. In bulk its more akin to a 172 or a glassair sportsman. Nice big bush tyres and a real aeroplane looking olio ontop of the nose wheel. Its not an aeroplane that smacks you in the face with its beauty, but it does have the air of "realness" about it that some of the other types in the category seem to lack. It looks like it means business.

 

The model we hopped into had the rotax engine. I would have liked to have a run with the lycoming version but it was decked out with testing gear.

 

The interior is....well... Spacious.. Im not a tall bloke, but I was not even close to filling the space. The stick immediately got my attention as it was the sidestick looking design, but petrudes straight out from under the dash. When I climbed in the purpose of this idea was obvious. You can basically just flop into the seat. No pulling things out of the way, bashing knees, pulling feet in etc. I got the impression that it was designed around the larger pilot, or you older guys that ran one too many trys in for the tigers......

 

...........

 

Cheers

 

(Ps. I have no affiliation with Phil and paul, other than the fact I reckon they are good genuine blokes who have put out some great aircraft.)

Thanks Motz, that was a good read. Sounds like a winner. With your permission, I'd like to forward your post/report to a client of mine, please.

 

063_coffee.gif.b574a6f834090bf3f27c51bb81b045cf.gif

 

 

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Hi. Guys, I read the evaluation with interest as I own a 610 Brumby. I'd say your observation of how it handles is accurate. I took my wife flying in a tecnam a few times and she was bounced around a fair bit. In the Brumby she feels really safer and stable, guess that means she comes touring with me. Of course if you actually don't want your wife flying with you.... Best get a more unstable aircraft!

 

 

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Thanks for posting Merv.

 

I must say it was one of the most interesting aircraft at Temora at Natfly this year.

 

Does anyone know what the useable payload is with Lycoming and the Rotax? Do they offer the 914 Rotax too?

 

Cheers

 

Vev

 

 

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Mine with the rotax is 374 kg no fuel. Max take off weight is 600. So 140 litres of fuel is about 90 kg, I'm 80 kg, wife 60 kg, so that gives a take off weight of 604... Looks like I have to stop eating cheese cake and lose 4 kg!

 

 

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Yes I spose we cant have our cake and eat it too. You can't build a big, solid aircraft and still have a 300 kilo useful load. I think its ok, still a lot better than some others around, skycatcher etc. 760 kilos would be a nice number to work with..:)

 

 

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Sounds interesting, but will they sell well to RAA flying schools?

I dont know, only time will tell. I would hope so, id love a nice bunch of aussie blokes to take some stick to ....ummm.. the other bunch of aussie guys...wink wink...

 

 

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Mine with the rotax is 374 kg no fuel.

Brumby website says 345kg. What sort of fit out do you have? Any reason why yours weighs 30kg more than they say? Or is their number unrealistic and does not allow for a radio, transponder, GPS etc?

 

374kg takes this aircraft off my interest list. 226kg usable is less than my old Sportstar when maxed at 544kg.

 

 

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I think you should do some more evaluations for us Andy. I realy enjoyed reading your evaluation. Straight to the point and easy to follow.014_spot_on.gif.1f3bdf64e5eb969e67a583c9d350cd1f.gif

 

 

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You just cannot build a "trainer" that is solid enough to do real hours and not have parts cracking.( nosewheel and steering etc) without putting some weight into the structure unless you go carbon fibre. that kind of technology is for people who have a lot of money and want a "pocket rocket" that will do about 150 kts on 18 litres an hour. These kind of planes are complex and not right for use off grass rough strips or for outlandings or training. They are difficult to repair also.. Motz 760 Kgs is more than you would need but not much more, You get to that weight and need the Lyc 0-233. ( 115 HP). That is probably where we should be. Simple strong plane that can be easily inspected and serviced and a T/W option available as well. Nev

 

 

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I think you should do some more evaluations for us Andy. I realy enjoyed reading your evaluation. Straight to the point and easy to follow.014_spot_on.gif.1f3bdf64e5eb969e67a583c9d350cd1f.gif

Aww, thanx Dazza. I might just do that :)

 

 

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Hi Mick,

 

Mine has a lot of extras, transponder, lights, and larger fuel tanks as its the prototype. I guess I'm after a touring aircraft but you don't have fuel it right to the brim. It is well built and will fly if it was a bit over 600, not that that ever happens in RAA of course...

 

 

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Hi Mick,Mine has a lot of extras, transponder, lights, and larger fuel tanks as its the prototype. I guess I'm after a touring aircraft but you don't have fuel it right to the brim. It is well built and will fly if it was a bit over 600, not that that ever happens in RAA of course...

Thanks for the answer Andrew. I too am after a touring aircraft and consider a transponder, GPS, at least 1 strobe and decent fuel capacity a necessity.

 

I guess I am spoilt by my Skylark that has transponder, Avmap GPS, full light package ( was actually built for night VFR ), a ballistic rescue chute and an in-flight adjustable prop but comes in with an empty weight of 321kg. At 600kg MTOW this allows full fuel ( 90 litres = 63kg ), 20kg of baggage and still leaves a very realistic figure of 196kg for pilot & passenger. About the only thing I would change would be to loose some people weight in exchange for another 10-20 litres of fuel. Oh, and I still want to do 115 knots. Looks like replacing the Skylark is not going to be easy. 051_crying.gif.fe5d15edcc60afab3cc76b2638e7acf3.gif

 

 

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Well he bought it :) so I'll have to teach him to fly it hehe. I'll do a testdrive on it aswel.:)

 

 

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