First flight: Tecnam P92 taildragger

Tecnam’s new P92 Tail Dragger achieved a successful first flight Dec. 22.

The Tecnam P92 Tail Dragger (P92TD) is the latest edition to the Tecnam P92 family of aircraft, officials with the Italian-based company said.

Tecnam officials said they believe that many existing taildragger operators and pilots are “keen to change their existing models for a new and modern aircraft.” Tecnam P92 Tail Dragger customers will be able to power their aircraft with one of three engines: A Rotax 912ULS2, a Rotax 914 Turbo (not USA), or the Lycoming O-233 engine.

Market research shows that more than 50% of pilots prefer a tailwheel compared with standard configuration airplanes within the worldwide GA pilot community, company officials said. Other findings included a 60% preference for side by side seats (very few legacy taildraggers offer this cabin configuration, Tecnam officials note) and 70% of pilots indicated that they preferred a metal vs. fabric constructed aircraft.

“This Tail Dragger 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 Paolo Pascale, Tecnam’s Managing Director. “With the introduction of our fifth generation P92 Eaglet in 2011 and our P92 Sea-Sky Hydroplane earlier this month, we know our customers really appreciate the continuing innovations and improvements we are making to our P92 range of aircraft.’’

Full specifications, weights and performance will be revealed at the US unveiling of the Tail Dragger at Sun ’n Fun 2012.

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