“Once you get out onto the water, you won’t want to come back,” warned Bob Boswell, chief pilot and manager of Aero Adventure, Inc.
He gives this good-natured warning to all who are considering becoming owners of the Aventura II, a boat-hulled amphibious Light Sport Aircraft. The name means “adventure” in Spanish. The “two” monicker comes from the fact it is a two-place design.
The Aventura was one of a handful of amphib LSAs on display at last month’s U.S. Sport Aviation Expo in Sebring, Florida. The pusher-prop taildragger got a fair amount of attention from those who wish to combine the worlds of sport pilot and float flying.
The amphibious nature of the aircraft makes it a go-anywhere airplane, said Boswell.
“The gear is repositioned using a Johnson bar,” he explained. “You can lower the gear in the water and drive the airplane right up onto a boat ramp or on the beach.”
There also is the option of electrically actuated landing gear. Owners who opt for that get an electric screw driver that assists in gear deployment should the electrical system fail.
“You have to provide an alternate method of getting the gear down,” he said. “The electric screw driver is battery operated. It goes into a dust cover and lowers the gear.
“Having said that, this is a Kevlar hull with keel guard,” he continued. “You could land it on grass all day long and the only thing that would happen is that you would get a green stain on the airplane. We have had two of our customers be so unfortunate as to land on asphalt with the gear up. It did about $150 to $200 damage to the gel coat, but didn’t hurt the airplanes’ structure.”
This is not a new design, said Boswell.
“The first one was produced in 1996 and won the Experimental Aircraft Association’s Seaplane award. Over the years the design has been refined, but the mission has not changed. It appeals to the person who likes adventure and wants to fly low and go slow.
“This is not a fast airplane,” he continued. “The Never Exceed Speed is 100 mph. It cruises at 80 to 85 mph and burns about 4.5 gallons of car gas.”
There is also the option of adding extra fuel tanks under the wings, similar to drops tanks, for pilots who really want to have some adventure and head out to the extreme backcountry, he said.
The Aventura is powered by a Rotax engine. Builders have the option of a 65-hp Rotax 582 or the 100-hp four-stroke Rotax 912ULS.
One of the more intriguing things about the airplane is the twin pitot tubes. According to Boswell, one of them drives the air sensor data for the Dynon flat screen avionics, while the other is for the mechanical system for the FAA-required back-up instruments.
The frame is aluminum 60-61 T6. The wings are Dacron sailcloth.
“The fabric is very tough,” Boswell said, “and it is also easy to make quick repairs. If you did get a tear it could be temporarily patched with duct tape or packing tape and then, for a permanent fix, you use a patch made of Dacron and apply it with hot glue or superglue and then some clear coat and you are good to go.”
Even if the prospective pilot owner doesn’t have a hankering for adventure, they may drawn to the aircraft because of its interior dimensions. Bar to bar, at seat level, it measures 44 inches, while at the shoulders it measures 49 inches, according to Boswell.
The bubble-type canopy makes it an easy fit for tall pilots, he continued. “We can fit guys up to 6 foot 5 inches tall, no problem.”
In addition to providing for head room, the bubble type canopy offers good visibility, even when taxiing, he added.
Build time for the experimental is estimated at 250 to 300 hours, according to Boswell, who adds, “We have had people who have built them in 180.”
Pricing on the kits, which are manufactured in Rockledge, Florida, starts at $34,000.
With each kit, the company supplies at least three hours of transition training. Most pilots ask for more, said Boswell, noting the pilot’s insurance company will most likely demand that they get more experience, such as 25 hours time in make and model and water takeoff and landings.
“They also need their tailwheel endorsement,” he added.
For more information: Sea-Plane.com.