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Hi all

Guest airsick

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Guest airsick

Just thought I'd drop a line in here to say hi to everyone. Been browsing the forums for a few weeks now and found some quite interesting stuff.


Started flying back in the 90's but stopped for a while until recently. I am now flying out of Canberra and would be interested in hearing from anyone who wants a passenger (and maybe has a plane I can fly too!).


My brother has a Pipistrel Virus and I am looking to convert my GA licence to RA in the not too distant future so I will be joining the UL crew out there soon too!



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Guest airsick

Well my brother is a little bit biased, he handles sales in the southern states.


But I'm not though! I think it is a little cramped and can be awkward to get in and out of. Having said that I am used to flying larger 172's and the Virus doesn't compare too badly with a Jabiru. In fact, I'd say it is a little wider than a Jab but still a little trickier on the entry and exit.


Flight characteristics of it are good and it glides exceptionally well. It is a pretty slippery plane and cuts through the air quite well. It cruises at about 115 - 120 kts on around 12 lph which is not too bad in my books. I have done Canberra to the Gold Coast in it in roughly 4 hours flying time. I did a stop on the way there at Port Macquarie and at Coffs on the way back but you could get away with doing it non stop if you were so inclined.


The most notable difference is the use of spoilers. Glider pilots will have no trouble getting used to this but for me coming from a GA background it was a new experience. When deployed it takes out about a third of the wing and assists in getting it down quickly when you want to. This can be handy sometimes given the fact that the thing is essentially a glider with an engine and hence loves to stay in the air.


My brothers wings got damaged in a hail storm we had in Canberra some time back and he is in the process of getting new wings. He has opted for a newer short wing with long range tanks fitted so it should be a little quicker and have even more range. We have heard figures of around 135 kts from the factory but nothing official. The Vne on this particular aircraft won't change though so more than anything it will be more efficient rather than faster.


It has also one a few awards, most notably the recent NASA Personal Aircraft Vehicle competition. It took out the overall prize which I thought was pretty impressive.


I haven't much experience in UL's (and haven't officially logged any time given that I don't have an RA licence) aside from spending some time in a Gazelle and Jabiru (both VH which I have logged). I wouldn't like to compare the Virus with a Gazelle as they are completely different aircraft. As for a comparison with the Jabiru I would favour the Virus. The Virus is a little less forgiving but to me it feels better built, a little roomier inside and performs better.


The Virus also has separate controls for each seat and toe brakes. I never liked the brakes in the Jabiru and always felt that the column set up was simply an easy way to cut costs. The throttle in the Jab I have flown was between your legs as well which is nothing short of ridiculous in my books. It is awkward and unatural and a bad solution but I believe this has been addressed in later models. How can I control the brakes, throttle and keep my hand on the stick at the same time while taxiing? Keeping the weight off the nosewheel is impossible as is turning the ailerons into the wind - stupid if you ask me.


Besides getting in and out of it which I mentioned earlier the only other aspect that the Jab wins in is price. The Virus comes in at around $120k which is a bit pricier than the Jab but in my opinion it is money well spent.


Would I buy one? Not sure. I would probably like something a little sportier and quicker like the new Millenium that Ian has been touting here in the forums. That said, the Virus is certainly further up my list than a lot of other aircraft I have looked at.



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Guest mudjeep

G'day Airsick (cool name BTW!). If you haven't already you should join the aero club at Goulburn www.aeroclub.org.au. There should be a barbecue coming up soon but Tim hasn't posted the date on the website yet. I hope we can catch up with you there some time.





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