Inline Twin Flying Qualities
We set the altitude bug on the big Avidyne display at 4,500 feet, dodging the remnants of a late afternoon storm, and went through the usual routine of steep turns, slow flight and general goofing around. Allen chopped power to the rear engine and there was a sag in performance that was felt more than observed. No rudder adjustment, no yaw or roll issues, just a minor pitch adjustment through the big stick-mounted trim button. The side-stick controllers are surprisingly light and responsive and very intuitive, even for someone coming off a yoke arrangement. Allan had to intervene to steepen our final approach a tad but other than that the landing was all ours and resulted in no damage to aircraft or ego. Startup and run-up are conventional, times two. With a few seconds of boost pump, the TIO-550s started and ran smoothly (and with considerable authority). The twin-boom design spreads the main gear wider than most aircraft and that translates to excellent ground-handling qualities. Despite an 8-knot crosswind, the A500 was a snap to keep on the centerline until rotation at 90 knots, and ditto for the touchdown and rollout. Shutdown is also conventional, except for waiting a minute or two at idle while the turbos cool.