July 26, 2011
By Dave Hirschman
The light sport aircraft category will soon get a factory-built aerobatic aircraft known by its Italian designers as the Snap.
The single-seat, mono-wing aircraft was designed by former Tecnam engineer Fabio Russo and will be built by Dallair, a company that builds sub-assemblies for Tecnam. It is powered by a 130-horsepower engine based on the Rotax 912 and customized by EPA Power, a firm that specializes in car racing engines.
The prototype Snap had logged about 30 hours of flight time when it was loaded in an airliner and sent to EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis.
SportAir, a U.S. firm based in Little Rock, Ark., plans to take the Snap prototype to aerobatic contests throughout the country this summer and fall. The company will evaluate the feedback it gets before freezing the design in January.
Finished, factory built aircraft are expected to carry a retail price of about $150,000, company officials said.
The airplane has a steel tube frame, metal wings, carbon fiber fuselage, two-blade MT Propeller, and a fabric-covered belly and control surfaces. It has a V ne speed of 180 KIAS and a roll rate of about 300 degrees per second. Top cruise and stall speeds will conform to LSA limits of 120 knots and 45 knots respectively.
SportAir officials say they expect the Snap to be competitive in the International Aerobatic Club's Sportsman and Intermediate categories.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
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