Innovation Shines At AERO Friedrichshafen
Innovation was alive and well at AERO Friedrichshafen, which showcased plenty of new and novel ideas and designs. One of the more interesting aircraft on display included a composite-based turboprop five-seat amphibian from Hungarian builder Avana Industries Ltd. It looks like a Seawind on steroids. At the other end of the scale was the German-made, two-seat, Rotax-powered Dornier S-Ray 007 that made a subtle appearance at Oshkosh in 2007. Out of Hungary again came another amphibian, the two-seat Hydropteron LSA from IDEA Aircraft, which has Rotax power and is equipped with a ballistic parachute. The Em11 Orka from Poland was on display. It looks like an amphibian, but isn't. This striking four-seat high-winged twin is a pusher propelled by two counter-rotating Lycoming IO-320 engines driving three-blade constant speed props that give a 142-knot cruise at 75 percent power.
There were plenty of gliders filling the exhibit halls and none stood out more than the intriguing jet-powered offering from Italian company Alisport Srl. Its Silent 2 Targa has a retractable single-stage axial jet engine that's not much bigger than a football. Out of Italy, too, were LSA examples from FlySynthesis, makers of the two-seat Texan and Storch, and now the newly announced Rotax 912-powered Syncro. Showing off its latest and lightest, too, was Flight Design with its new CT Supralight LSA. It offers a combination of the aerodynamically optimized wings from the CTLS adapted to the lighter CT fuselage.