December 21, 2010
By Alton K. Marsh
The DirectFly Alto airplane from the Czech Republic is the latest light sport aircraft to receive approval for the U.S. market. It will be distributed by Corbi Air in Salem, Ohio, and is aimed at flight schools.
Flight schools will find the fly-away price to be about $112,000 depending on options chosen. Owner-pilots can purchase an upgrade package including wheelpants and luxury leather seats as well as upgraded avionics, and can expect to pay between $115,000 and $120,000 with such options.
Standard equipment includes a Mode S transponder, internal corrosion protection, electric pitch and aileron trim, nosewheel steering, Teflon coated aviation grade wiring, Vertical Power’s electrical distribution system, and the U.S.-made Sensenich composite propeller with its stainless steel leading edge. Another unique feature is the U.S.-supported Beringer wheel and anti-skid brake assemblies to prevent flat spots on tires during training.
Corbi Air has included as standard equipment a laminar flow oil to water heat exchanger proven in Europe on the glider tow version of the Alto. This warms the engine oil to the proper operating temperature more quickly for the day’s first flight, or on cold winter days; and it also provides superior cooling on hot summer days.
The Alto has aluminum main landing gear, larger main wheels and tires, and a 600-plus pound useful load—enough to carry full fuel (24 gallons, or about 6 hours), two 210-pound pilots, and more than 30 pounds of luggage. Plus, the Alto stays within its center of gravity range at any loading: from zero fuel and a single 120-lb pilot to any combination of loading up to its 1,320-lb. gross weight, Corbi Air said.
Customers can purchase wheel pants and upgraded leather upholstery. There are also optional instrument panel and avionics configurations.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh has been a pilot since 1970 and has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates, aerobatic training, and a commercial seaplane certificate.
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