January 17, 2012
By Jim Moore
More pilots than not prefer taildraggers.
That belief, based on market research by Tecnam, has inspired a new entry in the LSA market with a tailwheel configuration. Tecnam on Jan. 12 announced the successful first flight—on Dec. 22—of the P92TD, a taildragger inspired by surveys showing more than half of all GA pilots worldwide prefer the configuration to tricycle gear.
Tecnam hopes to entice existing taildragger pilots seeking modern aircraft and equipment. The P92TD will be sold in the U.S. with either a Rotax 912ULS2, or a Lycoming O-233 engine. Detailed specifications, performance and weights will be announced at Sun ’n Fun in March.
“This [taildragger] version of the Tecnam P92 is the first new aircraft this particular marketplace has seen in a very long time and promises its owners and pilots significantly improved flight characteristics,” said Tecnam Managing Director Paolo Pascale in a news release. Tecnam unveiled a fifth-generation P92 Eaglet in 2011, and a seaplane variant was announced this month.
AOPA Online Associate Editor Jim Moore joined AOPA in 2011 and is an instrument-rated private pilot who enjoys competition aerobatics.
A collision near Frederick Municipal Airport Oct. 23 claimed three lives and left the local aviation community–including AOPA–in mourning.
The Type Club Coalition is the latest group to join AOPA in urging a quick review of proposed reforms to the third class medical.
Aerospace and defense giant Lockheed Martin stirred the pot with an Oct. 15 announcement that compact fusion could power vehicles, even aircraft, within a decade. Skeptics were quick to speak up, while Lockheed filed for patents and hopes to find partners in government, academia, and industry.
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