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.
Continuing significant orders to the training market shows that Piper Aircraft is making progress in its three-year plan to gain market share in that competitive arena.
It was a big day for the newly resurrected Mooney International Corp. Mooney president Jerry Chen handed over the keys to the first airplane to roll out of the Kerrville, Texas, manufacturer’s newly reactivated factory site.
Ice protection and a gross weight increase are improving the utility of the Lancair Evolution turboprop, according to Doug Meyer, CEO of the Oregon aircraft kit manufacturer.
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