http://www.ultralightflyer.com – The newest owner of a SLSA Special Airworthiness certificate is Triton AeroMarine for their Skytrek. First seen at Oshkosh six weeks ago, boss Thomas Hsueh said he would have approval shortly and he was true to his word. The proof came at the just concluded Midwest LSA Expo 2016 in Mt. Vernon, Illinois where Thomas and his young team brought the first SLSA version of Skytrek
Triton America is the parent company of Triton Aerospace, Triton AeroMarine, Bayview Composites, and iflyairplanes.com (the website for Skytrek) with factories and offices in Mount Vernon, Bayview, and La Conner, Washington state; Mosier, Oregon; and Zhuhai, China. If that sounds like a larger organization than most LSA producers, you guessed correctly.
Company owner Thomas is a man of varied talents and long history. Now in his 80s, Thomas brings more than 60 years of industrial experience to his new Skytrek design. He has worked for many aerospace companies whose brand names you know. In addition he has a background in boat hull design, which will help when he completes work on a LSA seaplane that is a successor to the Czech Aircraft Works' Mermaid (article & another) that Americans first saw about ten years ago.
At the Midwest LSA Expo — perhaps my favorite place to do Video Pilot Report flying — I got to fly Skytrek. We mounted several cameras as you see in the nearby photos and will offer the video review when editing can be completed.
Skytrek is powered by the 100 horsepower, fuel injected Rotax 912iS swinging a DUC Hélices Flash three-blade prop. Here's some of the essential specifications: wingspan 28.9 feet; wing area 141.8 square feet; cockpit width 48 inches; empty weight 821 pounds; useful load 499 pounds; calculated payload with full fuel (30 gallons) 319 pounds; baggage allowed in rear compartment 40 pounds; baggage in each wing locker 22 pounds.
Performance data as given by Triton: maximum cruise at 3,000 feet with 75% power is 97 knots; maximum speed 121 knots; VNE 140 knots; stall speed 32 knots; climb rate 833 fpm; take-off run 558 feet; landing distance 480 feet
As I was waiting for my airline flight home from the Midwest LSA Expo, I crossed paths in St. Louis with Phil as be began a very long flight back home. He explained he got China CAAC recognition for his New Zealand flight credentials so he could do the test flying (some of which you see on the video). He is a former flight school owner and actively flies the airshow circuit down under.
I will provide more details about how Skytrek flew in our video pilot report to follow. Until then, here are a few more facts about Skytrek, now number 141 on our SLSA List.
A steerable nose wheel with auto disengage in-flight is one feature setting apart Skytrek from other designs that it resembles. Thomas reported he improved the aileron design for flight control harmony (meaning pitch and roll pressures are similar); full dual controls with individually in-flight adjustable rudder pedals; dual 15-gallon wing tanks; electric aileron trim and pitch trim on both sticks; electric flaps with LED position display; dual differential hydraulic toe brakes with parking brake feature; wheel pants; cabin heat; cabin entry step; dual instrument panel hand holds with seatback hand hold; headset storage hooks; three tie-down hooks; armrest; and two-tone paint with matching textile upholstery.
Skytrek is delivered with dual Dynon SkyView 10-inch screens including Synthetic Vision, GPS, and transponder. Pitch trim and aileron trim position is shown on SkyView; Dynon integrated radio with on-screen control and display; aircraft lighting; strob/nav light; landing light (for night operation in VMC); plus cabin instruments and panel lighting.
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