May 4, 2011
By Dan Namowitz
A twin-boomed, pusher-prop twin-engine aircraft manufactured by a Capua, Italy, firm and flown at EAA AirVenture 2010 in Oshkosh, Wis., has earned U.S. certification.
The Oma Sud Sky Technologies Skycar, powered by two 200-horsepower Lycoming IO-360-C1E6 engines, received an FAA type certificate on March 14, opening the U.S. general aviation market to the aircraft, said a company news release.
In development since 1988, the five-occupant Skycar was designed for day/night/IFR operations, and can operate from unprepared grass or dirt strips. The company pointed to the aircraft’s retractable gear, 95 gallons of usable fuel, useful load of 1,268 pounds, and rear cargo door that can be opened in flight for air drops of food or emergency supplies as evidence of its capabilities on missions from air taxi to rescue flights.
Oma Sud President Valter Proietti said that “FAA validation” of European Aviation Safety Agency certification “represents the opportunity to enter the U.S. market,” from company offices at Miami International Airport and a base at Opa-Locka Executive Airport in Miami.
Oma Sud said the unpressurized twin’s glass-cockpit design ensures pilots ease of single-pilot IFR operation, and reduced workload. The aircraft’s utility capabilities and mission versatility were attributable to the twin-boom arrangement.
“The end result is a clean central fuselage that can be adapted to a multitude of roles including tourism, training, cargo, medical evacuation, border patrol, air rescue, and environmental monitoring. Whether your mission calls for a comfortable carriage for passengers, the delivery of a critical cargo, air ambulance and sky surveillance operation, the Skycar is an adaptable platform,” said the statement.
Oma Sud’s published performance figures for the new twin include a takeoff distance of 984 feet (300 meters) and total distance over a 50-foot obstacle of 1,286 feet (386 meters).
At 6,000 feet the aircraft’s maximum cruise speed is 160 knots; at 75 percent power, cruise speed was listed at 145 knots. Cruise range at 6,000 feet was 4.6 hours (allowing for taxi, takeoff, climb, and 45 minutes reserve). Best economy cruise range, at 10,000 feet, was seven hours. Stall speed with full flaps (35 degrees) was 61 knots.
Dan Namowitz is an aviation writer and flight instructor. He has been a pilot since 1985 and an instructor since 1990.
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