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Savannah VG new buyer queries


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Hi All  

Been a member for years but this is my first post so apologies if I'm in the wrong forum. I am a prospective Savannah VG buyer because of its STOL performance  but have some  tech queries if you can assist

1. Can the VG be upgraded to 600Kg MTOW or is it limited to the 540Kg U/G kit/

2. If you fit tundra tyres is that an engineering mod that requires an engineering sign off or is it a builder elective?

3. Short field landing performance - I have only one possible landing area on my farm due terrain . Its a one way grass strip 3 degrees slope  380 metres long. Land uphill Takoff down

    Having never had the opportunity to fly in a savannah I only have the flight manual as a performance reference .  Does a 380 metre strip give a reasonable safety margin for a VG T/O and Land at MTOW?

 thanks

 

 

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The VG is only 520kg  or maybe 540kg max. No upgrage to 600 at all

 

If it is amatuer built..go for the tyres

380 mtrs??? you wont use any more than 100 to 130mtrs mtrs normally even shorter once you get better at flying it...down hill well that depends at how good you are at not following the ground down the hill before touch down. Ihave 350mtr strip at my farm and my VG XL takes off uphill in less that 100mtrs..I do have a downhill on landing in one direction but still really only 100mtrs is used

Check the video about half way through is a camera angle for landing taken from outside

 

 

 

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Thanks Kyle- for the tek info and the  clips link-  after some of those STOL landings  I think my 380 metre strip look too long :) 

One further question -  looks like you've done a lot with Rotax engines. Given that Ive been advised the  Rotax bottom end is good for up to 5000hrs. Would you recommend a full strip and reco at  2000 hrs or  just buy a new motor?

 

 

 

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Its expensive to rebuild a rotax from genuine parts. I can tell you from experience. But its 30k for a new engine...probably cost about 15 to 20k to do a rebuild using Bert Flood for parts. I just rebuilt a 2000 hr 2015 engine for the RANS S-21 but I got a lot of aftermarket parts from the USA from people I know over there. Some of the parts I had no option but to buy from Bert flood like the main slippers...6 of them..$100 each bearing half..The sprag clutch I had to buy the outer not the clutch as that is a motorbike clutch. The seal kit  thats all orings and bearing seals etc can be bought here you just need to what you need. The gearbox needs to looked at with clutch and bearings changed every 1000 hrs. Water pump gasket is from a motorbike...pistons and cyclinders cost a fortune too..I fitted a big bore kit from the USA instead. I have a Smodel sav I am almost finished rebuilding and I am fitting a big bore kit to it but it only has 340hrs on it.

 

Best way is try to find a secondhand engine ( with log books) maybe 1000 hrs or so..that will be about 10-12k

 

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You have to be carefull with rotax bottom ends...its not the bottom ends its the cases..they frett at the main bearings...you need a 2000 hr TBO engine to make sure you get the later generation case but they can still frett

 

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Hi there.

 

I’ve put 700hrs on my VG.  It carries a factory data plate with 560kg MTOW, 312 empty with larger tyres. Mark is right, can’t be upgraded to 600.  Very capable strip aircraft, at lighter weights (I call light less than 450kg)  happily get into a few strips/gravel bars  that have a total usable length of 120m, some one way with no go around, but I wouldn’t want to try getting out at 560kg.
 

Peter

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Thank you all for the posts regarding my queries  - If you have time here are a few more questions that I'm trying to figure out.

 

The aircraft I'm buying is a kit build that is almost complete as built by the original buyer.  It's now wiring , major component assembly and engine

However the kit was purchased aprox 8 years ago  and before what I believe is the current RAAUs requirement for progressive build inspections by an L4.

In which case am I heading for a big headache with construction inspection and certification at rego time as fuselage wings and tailplane are all assembled?

 

Re my query about Rotax rebuilds at 2000hrs .  So at 2000hrs  a non certified Rotax can still fly "on condition" but is that as assessed by the owner or is a LAME required to validate every 100 hours thereafter?

 

thanks 

 

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Just a detail:

The Savannah VG was introduced in 2004.

The XL (rework from cockpit forward, larger cockpit, longer nose etc) in 2009.

The S (rework of the rear fuselage, from slab sided to more rounded) in 2010.

 

Having said that, agents tend to buy kits in batches, and there is a variable period between the kit being boxed up in Italy, and the final customer receiving it.

Eg My S kit was boxed up Dec 2014, I received it (in NZ, from Australia) Nov 2015.

 

The kit date will be on the Statement of Compliance, which should be in the front of the manual.
 

Also: are you able to get a Savannah builder to look it over, to get some idea of the quality of the build?

 

Hope it works out for you, it's a great little aircraft. Be sure to post pics!

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 04/02/2021 at 2:48 PM, IBob said:

 

 

Hope it works out for you, it's a great little aircraft. Be sure to post pics!

 

📸 We look forward to lots of pictures!

Edited by eightyknots
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  • 1 month later...
On 04/02/2021 at 10:11 AM, APenNameAndThatA said:

Make sure you fit. I'm 1.94 m and don't fit in a Savannah.

Did you try in an adjustable seat model or the original seat layout. I am a long bodied 189cm and fit quite comfortably in the standard seat. We fitted a 6' 9" bloke in an XL at Bundaberg airshow. He had more head space than I do but was a bit tight around his knees under the dashboard. Adjustable bucket seats are a whole different story!

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10 hours ago, rankamateur said:

Did you try in an adjustable seat model or the original seat layout. I am a long bodied 189cm and fit quite comfortably in the standard seat. We fitted a 6' 9" bloke in an XL at Bundaberg airshow. He had more head space than I do but was a bit tight around his knees under the dashboard. Adjustable bucket seats are a whole different story!

I was sitting on the aluminium bench that is built into the plane. Maybe there is more to this than I am aware of. Also, i was wearing a helmet. Not that it adds too much height. 

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