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Opening Thread - What is this About?


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Guest TOSGcentral

This opening thread is to get this new part of the forum off and running. But first a big thanks to Ian for giving Thruster freaks yet another element of an already well appointed type section of this web site.

 

 

To start with I want to give you a bit of a background to what the Vision 600 is and why I requested a separate section for it. I will also give you some latest news.

 

 

The Vision 600 is a license built UK Thruster T600. It comes in a number of forms but primarily there is the 600N (Nose wheel) and the 600T (Tail wheel).

 

 

The aircraft is marketed as the Vision as the Oz Thruster factory (although apparently defunct for many years now) still owns the name rights etc.

 

 

From around 1997, each year, a T600N was imported from UK as an evaluation aircraft. These set up the Vision factory for manufacture and enabled the Vision 600 to become a fully jigged aircraft (every part of it is made in a jig so all parts are identical with the same part on another aircraft). This is of critical importance to a country the size of Australia as if you need to order spares then you want the right bit first time!

 

 

As a result of all this in 2005 the first production batch of 5 Visions came out of the factory and were sold immediately. There were four nose wheels and one example of the tailwheel version.

 

 

The aircraft comes with a choice of either Jabiru 2200 four stroke motors or the proven Rotax 582 engine. Full cockpit enclosure inclusive of doors are an option. All four of the V600Ns were fully enclosed with the Jab motor. The single V600T with a R582 motor was left open as it was destined for mustering work.

 

 

No more were made as CASA uncovered a flaw in the CAO 101.55 legislation and demanded this and that to be done. That was not practical and at the time Part 103 was touted to be ‘just around the corner’. Nine years later we are still waiting for 103! So the Visions sat on the shelf and a much needed basic trainer for schools was withheld from us by red tape!

 

 

A lot of things have changed since then and now the V600 can be manufactured under LSA which gives the manufacturer much more freedom and a great deal of cost reduction factors.

 

 

A while ago I announced that the Vision factory would be coming up for sale at an attractive and practical price. That itself has been delayed while a few other areas were considered and sorted out. I am now once more in a position to give another up-date.

 

 

NEWS.

 

 

  • A decision has been made to broaden the Vision base so that it can be either a fully manufactured fly-away aircraft, to owner specifications, for either private or flying school use – or – it can be built as a legal kit for private use.
     
     
  • To assist with this a Demonstrator is being currently built. This will be a V600N and will go with the factory sale along with jigs and all the rest of it.
     
     
  • The construction of the Demonstrator is to facilitate the production of a full ‘how to build it’ manual and a video of that process.
     
     
  • It is probable that the Demonstrator will be totally enclosed (including rear fuselage enclosure like the T500 except done in different materials and with aft clear view panels).
     
     
  • Another motor option is being examined that I cannot say much about at the moment but will be a four cylinder, four stroke, double ignition unit.
     
     
  • Present indications are that the new ‘factory package’ will become available about July 2009.
     
     

 

 

OK – that is all very exciting news. These aircraft are NOT 45 knot rag and tube ‘paddock bashers’. In comfort they will cruise at 70 knots plus. They are highly developed aircraft, fully certified, from what is now a 25 year old pedigree of hundreds of Thrusters. The 600 type already has years of operational proving behind it – it is not an ‘isn’t this a good idea prototype, would you like one’ type of thing we see so much of!

 

 

Most importantly perhaps they represent a future for Oz ultralighting and training Oz ultralight pilots. They will be home produced and that is critical with the rising exchange rates that are already eliminating most imports. We need Oz produced aircraft for the Oz pilots that we will produce from them!

 

 

I will post here again as more information becomes available and in the meantime I will field any questions on the T600s or V600s.

 

 

Aye

 

 

Tony.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest TOSGcentral

Hi Bill,

 

 

Yup, I had a bit to do with the only Oz V600T so far built.

 

 

The aircraft went directly from the factory to a property the other side of Roma I believe. Here it was used virtually exclusively for mustering until the owner got fed up with trying to make a quid off the land and sold up (including the aircraft) and moved to the coast. By this stage the aircraft had done about 400 hours.

 

 

The configuration was basic airframe with just the pod and no doors or enclosures. Power was the J2200. The owner (a TOSG member and ex-student of mine) stayed in contact while he had the aircraft so I was able to keep track of it.

 

 

There was no airframe problems with it and it withstood the property operation with no problems and no bingles. The J2200 motor went well but initially it was running a bit hot so an oil cooler went on. Then it was running too cool so variable mufflers went over the front of the cooler so that it could be seasonally adjusted.

 

 

The aircraft was sold to a two person syndicate just outside Kingaroy and I was asked to go over and do the UACR on it. This gave me a real good look over it and the machine still seemed to be in virtually ‘as-new’ condition with little or no signs of wear and tear, while being still nice and tight.

 

 

So from my point of view the type is ideally suited to training, property work or just private sports use. Unfortunately I was not able to fly it as there was a falling out in the syndicate and the situation became a bit on the tense side with the aircraft being locked up in a barn.

 

 

One of the owners appeared to be a tad unbalanced and had become convinced the aircraft was too dangerous to fly because he did not like some of the engineering design. No amount of pointing out that the design had three times gone through UK certification (nose, tail and amphib) plus had justified weight increases from 370 kg to 480 kg would convince him otherwise. So I expect it is still sitting in the barn!

 

 

From my standpoint the T600 and V600s have a colossal potential for training and consequently the ultralight movement in general.

 

 

The nose and tailwheel versions are virtually exactly the same aircraft with the controlling point being the main undercarriage legs. These are identical on either the N or the T and are simply reversed on the same mounting points to position ground contact either forward or aft of the C of G (for nose or tailwheel application).

 

 

There is a structural difference and that is the N having a full internal cockpit chromolly cradle to take the nosewheel forces. The T does not need this so only has the rear half of the cradle and then much what the earlier Thruster models had to support the rudder pedals. I presume this was to save weight.

 

 

Now my concept is to have a ‘Convertible’. Keep the full cockpit cradle for both the nose wheel and tail wheel versions; make the N version with a quick release nose wheel; do a bit of tinkering so the wheel brake cable runs can be easily changed – then all you have to do is hoist the aircraft and reverse the main undercarriage legs from one side to the other and you now have a full taildragger.

 

 

This could make a massive impact on small schools and available training around the country as a single aircraft school could offer both nose and taildragger training on the same aircraft at the expense of a chain hoist and half an hour’s work!

 

 

Add to that some of the TOSG system mods that will be coming out (flapperons, aerodynamic trimmers etc) and you are getting a very formidable trainer that will already do about 70 knots so is positioned about central between traditional and new generation ultralights.

 

 

This could really assist in small school viability from the market service areas that could be offered by a single aircraft school. Looking around I do not see any other type that could be done with - particularly with the established reputation of the Thrusters.

 

 

Aye

 

 

Tony.

 

 

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Thanks for the reply,

 

Pity that the aircraft is locked up as I would be interested in it.

 

Do you know if it had any interesting handling characteristics at all and what was it like to fly compared to the T300?

 

Bill

 

 

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Guest TOSGcentral

Having not flown one I cannot comment personally.

 

I have flown the 600N for evaluation and was impressed. I would assume the 600T will be similar. This is backed up by UK reports that I trust.

 

The 600T behaves much the same as the T300 except that it is faster, smoother and more refined. Having taken a good look at one I would expect it still to be full blooded taildragger and the angle of incidence has not been changed.

 

The aircraft may still be available. It is surprising what difference a few years makes to viewpoints and it will just be taking up needed space.

 

I will do some sniffing about and send you a contact phone number - I have your personal email.

 

Aye

 

Tony

 

 

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Guest TOSGcentral

No Asic, the machine referred to above is a Vision V600T which is an Oz license built version of the UK T600T.

 

There are no Sprints in Oz.

 

I will try and make up a short descriptive post on the various '600s later today and put it in a separate thread.

 

Tony

 

 

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  • 1 year later...
No Asic, the machine referred to above is a Vision V600T which is an Oz license built version of the UK T600T.There are no Sprints in Oz.

 

I will try and make up a short descriptive post on the various '600s later today and put it in a separate thread.

 

Tony

Hi Tony.

 

Any further update on the Vision / Thruster in Australia? Also, any further plans on the kit version?

 

Cheers

 

Gerry

 

 

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Gerry

 

Unfortunately Tony passed away late last year from illness - another valued friend lost however Tony was awarded the RAAus Meritorious Service award for everything he gave to our industry

 

 

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