Major Italian producer Tecnam has launched the P92 Classic Light microlight. This is the seventh-generation model in Tecnam P92 range of airplanes, which this year celebrated 20 years of production.
The company reports that over two decades of service, “P92’s worldwide fleet now stands at nearly 2,000 aircraft with 200,000 flown hours. The P92 Classic Light is the 13th variant and follows on from the launch earlier this year of both the P92 Tail Dragger (video) and P92 SeaSky Hydroplane.”
In concert with the international announcement, Tecnam North America confirmed it will launch the new P92 Echo Classic Light priced at $74,999 through to the end of 2012. For those that recall the original promise — of a fully-built LSA for about $60,000 — this price meets that expectation if you only factor in the time value of money, that is, $60,000 in 2003 (the year before SP/LSA) is $75,459 in 2012 dollars.
Tecnam responded to market demand for a no-frills, basic aircraft that will still retain the great flight characteristics for which the brand is known. “The predominantly metal aircraft yields a day VFR aircraft that can legally be flown away from Hanover County Airport, Tecnam North America’s home base, at this price with no hidden charges or surprises,” stated Phil Solomon, CEO.
Basic configuration info: Rotax 912UL 80 horsepower engine, which can use standard grades of automotive fuel; special light weight seats that are fully adjustable in flight; steerable nose gear with center handbrake; single 11.9-gallon fuel tank (a second tank of equal size is optional, totaling 23.8 gallons); all required day VFR instrumentation for flight outside of controlled airspace; gross weight of 1,102 pounds giving a standard useful load of 496 pounds and payload of 424 pounds.
Performance specs: max cruise of 103 knots; endurance of 3 hours (with standard single tank); stall is 44 knots, clean; takeoff run is 459 feet and landing is 328 feet; The Echo Classic Light comes with a standard two-year/200-hour manufacturer’s warranty. “A limited number of upgrade packages will be available at competitive prices,” Solomon added. By example, buyers could add the TruTrak primary flight display for $1,700; the second tank at $1,400; or navigation and strobe lights for $2,650.
“We have built our reputation at Tecnam on producing airplanes that offer outstanding value,” said Paolo Pascale, Tecnam’s Managing Director. The basic Echo Classic Light package is certainly a worthy airplane from a company renown for excellent flight characteristics and handling. Those who decry the high price of Special LSA need look no further for proof manufacturers like Tecnam heard you and are responding.
For more information on Sport Pilot and LSA: ByDanJohnson.com