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Aerotrek A240

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After selling the Flight Design we are now looking for a new SLSA for short hops with a robust airframe for under $90k.  We found a good candidate...the Czech made Aerotrek A240 with the 912iS engine.  Anyone on the site with experience flying the A240?

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This may generate some debate, but I think it's essentially an Avid/Kitfox/Eurofox at a significantly higher price point.  

 

You like and are familiar with the CT, why not buy a gently used one for a similar or lower price?

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This may generate some debate, but I think it's essentially an Avid/Kitfox/Eurofox at a significantly higher price point.  

 

You like and are familiar with the CT, why not buy a gently used one for a similar or lower price?

 

No debate. Aerotrek IS Eurofox...the same company.  The plane is based on the Avid Flyer just as the Kitfox was but is a significantly improved design.  The materials used in construction are industrial grade, chromoly-tubing and welding, poly-fiber aircraft fabric.  There is a BRS  and 912iS option.  The mains are attached to metal, not carbon fiber and are continuous from wheel to wheel (tundra tires not extra). Its rated 4g-3g.  And is a STOL so its ideal for grass too.

 

The panel comes with a tablet setup built-in and is standard with 406mhz ELT, ADS-B in/out compliant, and small Dynon panels.  The fuel tanks are steel, not carbon.  And the nose wheel has no exposed bearings or corrosion prone elements.

 

The price is 88k shipped, assembled and tested.   I am not comparing it to the CT,  I am really looking for a plane for the wife who does not want to get a PPL.   We want a cockpit as wide as the CT, with the same engine and BRS and has stronger mains and body....but do not want to pay near $150k again.

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No debate. Aerotrek IS Eurofox...the same company.  The plane is based on the Avid Flyer just as the Kitfox was but is a significantly improved design.  The materials used in construction are industrial grade, chromoly-tubing and welding, poly-fiber aircraft fabric.  There is a BRS  and 912iS option.  The mains are attached to metal, not carbon fiber and are continuous from wheel to wheel (tundra tires not extra). Its rated 4g-3g.  And is a STOL so its ideal for grass too.

 

The panel comes with a tablet setup built-in and is standard with 406mhz ELT, ADS-B in/out compliant, and small Dynon panels.  The fuel tanks are steel, not carbon.  And the nose wheel has no exposed bearings or corrosion prone elements.

 

The price is 88k shipped, assembled and tested.   I am not comparing it to the CT,  I am really looking for a plane for the wife who does not want to get a PPL.   We want a cockpit as wide as the CT, with the same engine and BRS and has stronger mains and body....but do not want to pay near $150k again.

 

Understood.  If you are tied to the 912iS engine, your options will be limited in the under $150k range.  If this airplane does everything you need it to, I can say that my friend's Avid is pretty great, even with a 65hp 582 on it.  It's a little cramped; the cockpit is wide but shallow.  There is not much room for tall people legs, but it might be perfect for your wife, who I know is petite.  One downside is low speed; the hanging flaperon system and wing struts are draggy, and even with 100hp you are probably looking realistically at 100-110mph cruise.

 

How does your wife feel about a tailwheel endorsement?  The airframe was really designed as a taildragger, and set up that way with the 100hp Rotax it would be an outstanding short field performer.

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Understood.  If you are tied to the 912iS engine, your options will be limited in the under $150k range.  If this airplane does everything you need it to, I can say that my friend's Avid is pretty great, even with a 65hp 582 on it.  It's a little cramped; the cockpit is wide but shallow.  There is not much room for tall people legs, but it might be perfect for your wife, who I know is petite.  One downside is low speed; the hanging flaperon system and wing struts are draggy, and even with 100hp you are probably looking realistically at 100-110mph cruise.

 

How does your wife feel about a tailwheel endorsement?  The airframe was really designed as a taildragger, and set up that way with the 100hp Rotax it would be an outstanding short field performer.

 

It's not an Avid Flyer, that's why I am asking if anyone has flown one.  It has the same performance as the CT.  120kts cruise, 1000fpm climb at sea level.  It's 1 inch less wide than the CT in the cockpit but has clear doors with a bulge in the middle.  It can also be flown with the doors off adding to the flexibility of shooting vids in the back country.

 

The construction is beefy and that alleviates the problems we had with the CT.  The mains cracked the fuselage at one point and I was pretty unhappy with that....this plane solves that problem with a continuous fiberglass wheel to wheel mains spar design bolted to metal underneath.  It also has folding wings, but we would never fold them.    It is STOL, but technically so is the CT.   The 912iS engine for us worked really well in the CT.  We never had to worry about carbs or carb heat and could fly just using the throttle and nothing else (ECU driven).  And the added torque on takeoff was always welcome at altitude where we fly most of the time.

 

There are two models, the A220 and the A240.  The A220 is taildragger, the A240 is tricycle gear.  There is nothing special in the design for either configuration.

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Far more cool looking than a CT but it don't look fast.  Might want to test drive if the speed means anything.

 

Tail dragger looks far better but in high wind areas I can learn to love the nose dragger too.

 

How do you drop the flaperons?

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Far more cool looking than a CT but it don't look fast.  Might want to test drive if the speed means anything.

 

Tail dragger looks far better but in high wind areas I can learn to love the nose dragger too.

 

How do you drop the flaperons?

 

The flaperons are not part of the wing.  They sit below the wing fixed with a counter weight to keep them from vibrating.  The flaps are set with a manual handle...usually up or all the way down but can be stopped mid.  The plane is made from tube and fabric with solid engine cowling, solid flaperons and wing leading edes.  Steel fuel wing and header tanks. And bigger Gs +4 -2 which will allow steeper banks and tighter turns in canyons etc.

 

The cruise speed is 120mph IAS for the 912ULS  75% power.  Max cruise is 132mph UAS (114kias).  Ceiling is 14,800.  10:1 glide.

 

I have the Cirrus for cross country as you know.   This plane is meant to commute between a private strip in Pahrump and KVGT a few times per month (25nm one way) and to do weekend hamburger runs with locals of a couple of hours or less.   And to keep the wife current since she won't be flying the Cirrus (the plane is too large for her and she cant move it into a hangar alone or even get fuel without help).  She does want tundra tires with no wheel cowling, tricycle.    It does have to comply with ADS-B and Mode C veil since that involves flying thru KLAS Bravo.   And since it's STOL maybe expand the mission to include going into the back country and landing and camping.

 

Here is the POH:  http://www.aerotrek.aero/manuals/a240-poh.pdf

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If I was flying to Bishop (27 miles) and had a kitfox as well as my CT I would fly the kitfox first as long as it was equally fun to fly.  I suspect the speed is exaggerated but the fun isn't.

 

I like the johnson bar, my first flaperon plane had an overhead crank to droop them, took like 10 turns and you sure couldn't dump them fast on a go-around.

 

Oh yeah, for me the extra Gs is HUGEEEE

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Sounds neat, just test fly first as CT suggested.

 

IMO, where this plane will truly excel is as a tail dragger in back country areas.  My buddy regularly gets his 65hp Avid in and out of sub-thousand foot strips (solo of course).  I think the tightest field he's been in/out of was about 500ft of usable turf runway.  He's got 26" tires that help with rougher surfaces.

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I'll be interested to hear if it can go 120kts as a plane with wing slats and struts.  Going with a large tire option and proficiency training @ holding the nose off during take offs and landings would be something I would consider.

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Upon further reflection I definitely vote tail dragger.  This plane is very cool and x 5 as a taildragger.  Its for fun so you don't have to fly it at all in big winds.  The taildragger endorsement / training will be easy in this plane and yet it will improve your pilot landing skills by a HUGGGGEEEEE amount at the same time.

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I'll be interested to hear if it can go 120kts as a plane with wing slats and struts.  

They are hugely popular over here.  They're built by an ethical, family-run company in eastern Europe that has put decades of development and refinement into this design.  By all accounts, it's by far the best Avid clone in production, and it's the cleanest, too.

 

No way it'll do 120kts though.  

 

If you want accurate performance figures, visit the website of the new UK distributor/builder at 

www.eurofoxuk.co.uk

 

UK and US models are pretty much identical airframes, I believe.

 

They are very popular here as glider tugs and you generally hear very good things about them.

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They are hugely popular over here.  They're built by an ethical, family-run company in eastern Europe that has put decades of development and refinement into this design.  By all accounts, it's by far the best Avid clone in production, and it's the cleanest, too.

 

No way it'll do 120kts though.  

 

If you want accurate performance figures, visit the website of the new UK distributor/builder at 

www.eurofoxuk.co.uk

 

UK and US models are pretty much identical airframes, I believe.

 

They are very popular here as glider tugs and you generally hear very good things about them.

 

There is a difference between KIAS and KTAS.  The numbers in the POH for the product are in MPH-IAS.  Since there are no KTAS numbers as with the CT, it appears it flys at about 114 KIAS.  Which is close or the same as a CT.

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I could see it doing 115mph cruise depending on prop pitch, tire size etc. (especially tail dragger). Mine (fairly similar to these) used to cruise that fast, even before the zipper... but I fixed that by building a large nosefork (21" nosewheel) and gear leg extensions and 22" mains!! haha.... It has the power to do it now with the zipper, but I have it pitched finely to squeeze those 200ft take offs at 6600ft elevation (worth it to me).

 

I'm all about the back country, and with these tires I have had it on random ridge tops as high as 10,000ft, and fields and other rough places. It handles it... but it will never be as good as a taildragger is. Only thing I would change now looking back would have been to buy the TG version! So if you are looking to do back country stuff, really give that some thought. Though dragging a nose wheel around does allow more opportunity to fly with the crazy wind we get. The newer kitfoxes are built with the capability to change from nose to tail wheel.... Are these that way? This is definitely a nice tough airplane from what I've read.

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Looks draggy but scoots pretty fast. Friend in a220 took aerial pix of my bird and it was no slouch in climb. I believe they are 560 kg gross. His did not have chute. Also no autopilot. Seems well built. fly with doors open. I found cabin A tiny bit claustrophobic. Secret sauce may be lightweight. Quality USA vender.

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Looks draggy but scoots pretty fast. Friend in a220 took aerial pix of my bird and it was no slouch in climb. I believe they are 560 kg gross. His did not have chute. Also no autopilot. Seems well built. fly with doors open. I found cabin A tiny bit claustrophobic. Secret sauce may be lightweight. Quality USA vender.

 

After a few convos with the vendor I have learned you cannot get the plane with an A/P.  And the chute option is less appealing since the bench seats are not designed to absorb impact Gs.  And pulling a chute may be more hazardous than not having one and landing in the dirt with tundra tires.

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After a few convos with the vendor I have learned you cannot get the plane with an A/P.  And the chute option is less appealing since the bench seats are not designed to absorb impact Gs.  And pulling a chute may be more hazardous than not having one and landing in the dirt with tundra tires.

 

If they are like the Avid/Kitfox, the "seat" is actually a fabric sling with paracord lacing.  It should give good impact absorption.

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If they are like the Avid/Kitfox, the "seat" is actually a fabric sling with paracord lacing.  It should give good impact absorption.

 

It is a bench seat.  The cushions are attached with velcro.  No thickness of a seat cushion will blunt the g forces from a chute pull.

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Can't you switch the Coyote II to a taildragger?  I know some are built that way.

 

 

They were offered both ways.. sadly they are not convertible like the rans S-20 / Kitfox s7 etc.

I mean anything is possible.. but the amount of work required would be staggering.

 

 

Gravity Knight, 

Would you care to give us your history with the big bore kit and your impressions after a bit of usage?

 

For sure. I"ll try not to get too carried away in this thread, seems to never be popular on this forum.. A while back I posted some info/experience in a thread more suited for it (though I can't remember which one!)

 

I have around 150 or so hours on the zipper kit (650ish total). I push it hard! I spin it fast (flat pitched). I have a hacman leaner, and see 3.6-3.8GPH fuel flows in cruise leaned out (I have 4 egts and a wb02 sensor). I have seen 1200ft sustained climb at 7000-8000ft altitude at around 1050-1075lbs flying weight. Usually will hold 1000ft/min on normal days up here. I have had it down to 1500ft elevation once.. I was full fuel and baggage and take off roll was 125-150ft with the speed wings. Climb was so steep I was watching oil pressure closer than anything else wondering if it was going to suck air (wasn't actually that worried..but it was STEEP). The upgrade was good for 300 ft/min easy. Prop added a little more. Headers/airbox/intake other homebuilt mods added a little more. Stock It would do around 700ft/min up here which was really good... probably would be above 1200 now but I have added a lot of weight with the tire upgrades, second oil cooler, tons of instruments etc. I don't regret doing the upgrade at all.. it will go well beyond 18,000ft, which of course is more than I need.. but it means it will still fly pretty good in the 15,000+ area good and heavy which is nice in the mountains of CO. Uses just a bit of oil, seems to have gotten better after getting some hours on it and breaking it in.

 

Be happy to answer any PM's with more detail or info....or about the install (pretty simple and easy) etc. Thanks,

Todd

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Thanks for the report.

 

They're not allowed over here yet, (in the UK) but I think they are so good that it's only a matter of time.

 

Its not often you see an upgrade that offers such a huge improvement without any apparent drawbacks.

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New to the Board and this topic caught my eye because I own a new AeroTrek A240 (nose wheel version) and have spent about 50 hours flying in them. Like all planes there are features which are good and bad and this is always a trade off for the pilot. I can tell you what I like so far about mine and what I don't. If you look close at the plane you will notice that it's build quality is fantastic it is well put together and simple and clean if not lavish. They are a bit tight if you have long legs and the seat design does not allow much for adjustment, but they are comfortable for me (5-11 250, no comments please, I have the classic bowling ball build). Plane handles well both on the ground and in the air and does not exhibit any odd flight characteristics, very true flyer, does not wonder or bump on altitude. It climbs well and has plenty of power (lifted off at Vernon, Tx this year full load and 100 degree day and got up and going with little effort). The plane is not fast but 110 to 115 is what I experience in good air. Cabin is a bit breezy as gaps with doors are 1/4 in and linkage to flaperons is above your seat. Control surfaces are linked with pushrods which make for good control feedback. A few negatives on the brakes in the tri gear they are not differential but activated from the center panel pull, which is a bit awkward and to close to the throttle and choke pulls (I have fat fingers and I really have to be careful what I pull). The flapperon system is somewhat effective, but if you are expecting a drag effect upon deployment, you are in for a little surprise, the nose will come up a bit but you are not going to see much airspeed change so better work on those "other" skills when you land. I have had to work on slips and relearn how to control my landing speed as you do have a tendency in this plane to land too fast if you are not diligent. Cross wind landing are a little challenging as you and the plane likely are less than 1000 lb so a breeze can push you around if not proactive.  I am not a experienced pilot but picked up on this planes personality rather quickly and its a quality little plane, at a good price and the seller is very, very helpful and knowledgable. So I now own one.

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