Tecnam’s design juggernaut: Do these guys sleep?

Tecnam already released news about its new Sea-Sky Hydroplane option of straight or four-wheel composite amphibious floats for the Echo Classic or Eaglet models. For the Echo, also known as the P92 (referencing 1992), this represents the sixth generation of that model. The in-house-designed Sea-Sky Hydroplanes (pictured) should be present for Sun ’n Fun, according to importer Tecnam North America.

As late-night TV ads shout, “But there’s more…!” Tecnam also introduced its brand-new taildragger version of the venerable Echo, done in what Phil Solomon calls a “retro style,” with a wood panel and other touches. Along with thicker gear legs, larger tires and wheels, chrome joystick and chrome rudder pedals, plus the sexy slant of a taildragger — Tecnam’s first — the new Echo Tail  Dragger does appear a throwback to an earlier, enjoyable age of aviation. It also shows the versatility of Tecnam’s lightest model and one of its longest lasting. Phil called the Tail Dragger “about half way between the Echo and the Eaglet.” Yet with a bit of glass in the wood-accent panel, I’ll call Tail Dragger a “retro hybrid.” All new models — the two floatplanes and the Tail Dragger — are flying now.

Tecnam is already the leader in the number of new models that have earned SLSA status. Now it will be adding two or three more with the Echo and Eaglet Sea-Sky Hydroplanes, the Tail Dragger, plus the five you already know: Sierra, Bravo, P2008, Eaglet (land) and Echo (land).

Since that evidently wasn’t enough to keep the company busy, Tecnam also changed its top-selling twin. The large Italian company announced that the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) agreed to an increase in the Tecnam P2006 Twin’s Maximum Take Off Weight (MTOW) to 1,230 kg (2,706 pounds). Tecnam has done admirably well with the Twin, preparing soon for the 100th delivery. In addition to the Twin, Tecnam is also well underway with its P2010 four seater that looks like the sleek P2008, only more of it. And, at Aero 2011, they announced an 11-seat commuter airliner that continues the look and feel of Tecnam’s entire line. But that’s still not all!

Interested in a deal? Tecnam’s U.S. outlet, Tecnam North America (also known as Heart of Virginia Aviation or HOVA), has some new marketing plans. Everybody loves a deal on something of real value and Tecnam North America boss Phil Solomon has a new plan that should put smiles on a number of faces. He calls the program “One Per State” and here’s why you might like it.

While Tecnam’s several models get good reviews from those who have flown them, not enough folks have been exposed to the brand. If you are the first in your state to order under this plan, you can secure a 20% discount on one of the company’s soon-to-be seven SLSA models when you agree to let it be used for demo flights. When one person buys, the deal ends for that model.

The price applies only to the base price but look what this deal provides: an Echo Classic can be $90,000. The newer, slightly larger Eaglet is also under $100,000 and the cantilevered Bravo is just over. Even the top-of-the line Sierra is $107,000 and the P2008 is $118,000. So $90K to $118K — plus the cost of some minimum equipment to qualify as a legitimate demo plane — can get you a brand-new Tecnam. No time limit was set, but after that first sale in your state, that’s it.

For more on Sport Pilot and LSAs: ByDanJohnson.com

 

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Comments

  1. Kent Misegades says:

    Good article Dan.   Another interesting fact about Tecnam – every one of their aircraft, including the new 11-seat P2012 Traveller, use engines that will run on autogas.  Tecnam knows that the end of Avgas is in sight, and in many countries only Jet-A or autogas are available.  They are way ahead of their peers, but go back to the Partenavia P48 Astore in the early 1950s, a Vagabond-like taildragger.  It is good to see Tecnam finally getting the attention they deserve.

  2. So, while other GA manufacturers innovate Cessna proudly sells their 1950s designs. Now with leather seats and extra cool paint scheme for just $300k.

    It is just sad to see industry dying in USA but it is good to see others innovating. GA is not dead yet.

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