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Not quite an SC Flyer... but in the neighborhood


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Greetings everyone! I've been flying about 7 years, got my instrument rating right after my PPL. Currently working on my commercial rating and actually don't have a lot left to do for that. A few hours more of night work and some maneuvers. Fortunately the E6B and the written are behind me. I'm not doing it to make a living from flying, more to be a better pilot and get (hopefully) a better insurance rate. 

I live and trained in Asheville KAVL which is normally a nice place to live, but under our current siege mentality, I'd rather be floating in the Bahamas. I've spent a lot of time on boats actually,  including a circumnavigation on a 33' monohull in the '80's. Now I only sail on multihulls but that's another story. 

I bought a Diamond DA40 after I finished the IFR stuff and flew all around the Eastern US and did a trip out to LA. The DA40 is a nice plane but not really ideal for transcontinental flights. It's a little slow, very susceptible to turbulence and doesn't have a lot of range. So it got sold and ever since I've been searching for the perfect plane which of course, doesn't exist. 

But I have found something interesting that's made in Cz. It's a VL3 Evolution. https://www.vl3aircraft.com It pretty well ticks all the boxes for me. There are very few in the US. Maybe 2, although there are hundreds flying in the Eu. The story is: you go over to Cz and "help" during construction and then it is imported here in a container as a E-LSA. This solves all the problematic restrictions that the FAA puts on LSA's such as speed limits, retractable gear and variable pitch props. Not to mention being able to buy non-certified avionics at a less electrifying price and not being tied to a manufacturer for approvals. 

Hence my appearance on this group. There are virtually no forums that I've found for the VL3 despite the 350 or so ones flying in Europe so I'm hoping that some of you may know something about this plane and/or perhaps we can develop some interest. 

Anyway, I'm happy to be here and wish everyone a healthy, happy home life. 

David 

BevanAirCrew.jpeg

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Welcome,

That's an interesting take... VL3 Aircraft surely appears quite fast ( I presume you are looking for the 915is version ) and I am sure they a lot of fun to fly for your typical local flying ( I mean hundreds not thousands of miles ) but I am not sure how you gonna manage the gross limit which is still only around 1322 lbs and that's a lot less than DA40 which will translate into pretty slim useful load not to mention the fact that it surely won't be any better in turbulence than DA40. 

I mean, it does look and sound like a another fun Czech plane ( I personally don't have a SportCruiser either but another Czech plane, Sting S4 ) but it is not a replacement for a plane like DA40 imho.

BTW.. there is another , non-plane specific forum for Light Sport planes - https://sportpilottalk.com/ - may want to ask around there as well.

 

 

 

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Welcome BevanAir!

That VL3 does appear quite handsome!  I don't have any experience with it as it's not really Light Sport Aircraft (not with retractable gear and in-flight adjustable prop).  The specs are impressive, however.  It does seem the Czechs know how to design a plane!

I am surprised that the DA40 didn't work out for you.  I would imagine, given the weight, the VL3 would also be very susceptible to turbulence.  I know almost all light sport aircraft get moved around in turbulence a greater degree more than it's heavier general aviation counterparts.  I can tell you that I've flown my Sportcruiser through some turbulence that threw me up into the canopy... twice, and within 10 minutes of each other!

Let us know how what you find out regarding the VL3.  It's quite intriguing, and the price points are attractive too!

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Thanks for the feedback. I'll certainly let you know what I discover as I go along. One of the local reps in Ohio is hoping that they will have a demo arriving soon. Of course with the current situation, who knows? But he (Kyle) intends to fly around and show it off a bit. There is a rep in the LA area as well.

I'm chasing up what the useful load would actually be with the 915is up front. I never had anyone in the back seat of the Diamond. The closest we came was an ice chest full of lobsters that hitched a ride to AVL from Portland. 

They did fly a couple of VL3's from Europe to Oshkosh a while back so they can go the distance and carry enough weight for that. As much fun as that sounds like, I think I'd go the container delivery route. There's an interesting video of it. 

 

Point taken on the turbulence. I'm not terribly fussed by being bounced around a little but it's end of the world for the Mrs. Despite my pointing out that even 747's launch crew and passengers to the ceiling occasionally. She does like the 'chute though and we don't have to buy a Cirrus to get one. She hit the ceiling flying over Arizona once and it scared her. 

I did love the DA40 but it had a G1000 and the price of upgrading to WAAS and putting in ADS-B was astronomical. North of $25K. Unfortunately a lot of G1000 equipped planes have no clear path to get WAAS going and Garmin has even quit selling the GIA-63W for quite a few of them, like Mooney's for instance. 

I'm also a big fan of composite aircraft. I understand the material and like it a lot. 

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