A revolution in General Aviation is set to hit these shores in the shape of the Aveo Phantom LSA.
An engineering and design firm in Slovakia decided that, rather than designing and manufacturing for other aircraft companies, they would put pen to blank paper and come up with an aircraft from scratch, dropping all the tired pre-requisites and re-inventing the wheel. This original approach included many years of research and development in order to create the ideal cockpit and cabin environment. In a unique approach, once the cabin design was settled on, the team set forth to design an aircraft around the cabin. Aveo call this human factors engineering and this new concept in Aviation design resulted in the birth of the Aveo Phantom.
3D modelling and virtual design similar to that used by Boeing or Airbus resulted in a stunning single engine light sport aircraft. Its high wing and tricycle undercarriage makes the Phantom sit on its talons like a bird of prey. Those not usually a fan of the high wing configuration will be surprised at its seamless integration into the fuselage design and the high visibility still available from the cockpit with 360 degree wrap around windows. A tail wheel conversion will also be available with glider towing hook and the two configurations can easily be changed over in a matter of an hour or so.
At first glance the 3D Phantom prototype drawings make the aircraft look plastic but the fuselage and wing construction is actually a tube frame with flush riveted aluminium skin. Accordingly, it weighs in at the top end of the LSA category with a maximum all up weight of 600 kilograms. The principals behind the construction are safety and strength not always offered to this degree in a light sport aircraft.
Up front there is no need for a shortage of power with the choice of the Rotax 912S engine of 100 horse power or the Rotax 915 F engine of 115 horses. The 912 S is normally aspirated and the 915 F is turbo-supercharged. The 912S will have you in the air for a bottom trouncing four and a half hours before making the 90 litre removable leading edge wing tanks too dry to continue. The three blade ground adjustable prop looks smart and does the job.
If it’s luxury you are after, the Aveo Phantom is the aviation equivalent of the European sports car. Inside, the cockpit has more glass than your local spectacle store with the innovative and in-house Aveo DigitalFlightDeckTM . It features colour 5.7″ transflective, LED backlit displays and touch screen with 640 x 480 resolution – double the resolution of most of the competitive digital cockpit products in the market today. The unique LED backlit displays and transflective technology allow for maximum sunlight readability and all instruments or screens are internally identical, which means that each station can be any instrument desired. You choose the number and default functions for your AveoPhantom and these are installed and configured by the factory. There is a ‘standard’ configuration which would satisfy VFR flying requirements. Full redundancy is built-in, and the screens all communicate with one-another in real time. The screens come in several sizes to cater for all cockpits.
The Aveo SmartYoke is an optional purchase which provides control of aircraft systems from the yoke itself. The SmartYoke has an LCD touchscreen mounted on it and which incorporates six ‘soft’ buttons. Button 1 sets all radio and navigation systems (including GPS) to your home aerodrome with a single touch. Button 2 pops up a list of your TOP TEN GPS waypoints for DIRECT TO Navigation. The NEAREST airport waypoint is also displayed giving the pilot the closest runway for any expedited landings. Button 3 shows a list of lights (landing, strobe, courtesy, taxi, map) and you can then select which you want on or off. Button 4 pops up a list of mobile phone numbers; just select the person you want and call that person from your aeroplane. Button 5 pops up a brightness control which allows the pilot to adjust the brightness of all DFD screens at once. Button 6 pops up a list of checklists from which to select. All checklists are customisable and you can include emergency checklists.
Further to the luxurious instrument panel and optional SmartYoke are the carefully thought out design features nearly too numerous to mention. Try to imagine, if you will, storage compartments torches, batteries and sunnies, fold up approach plate holder, colour coded LED switches, external cabin courtesy lights, remote keyless locks, , electronic checklists, heated leading edges and adjustable pedals and seats. An automobile quality trim is offered in a choice of standard single colour trim, two colour custom interior or a luxurious two colour leather-look. Externally the paint can be upgraded from the standard two colour scheme to a custom three colour design of your choosing. One could be forgiven for thinking this is the equipment list of a corporate jet, not a light sport aircraft.
Everything designed into the AveoPhantom holds safety as the primary concern. The Phantom has been pre-engineered to withstand the 5G imposed on the airframe by the deployment of its Magnum Ballistic Parachute. Aveo believe it is possibly the only LSA to date to have been designed in advance for this system.
Another tantalising safety option is the Aveo2ndChance air cushion system. This works with the standard ballistic parachute and is essentially an air bag which is deployed under the aircraft when the ballistic parachute is released. It absorbs impact forces on ground contact and should the aircraft come down on water it will keep it afloat. There are too many optional systems to mention, needless to say there is more than enough to make your AveoPhantom the envy of any pilot anywhere in the world.
Aveo Australia in collaboration with AveoAsia have the Aveo Phantom available for order and its expected launch in Australia is October 4th and 5th 2008. Retail price is in the vicinity of $125,000AUD fly away with the Rotax 912S. The near future will see the availability of a kit build version at around 20% less than the price of the factory build.
|Range 75% power
|Take off distance
|Max Structural Cruise