Seawind Announces Stall Prevention System

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Seawind says it has overcome the final major technical roadblock to certifying its amphibious touring aircraft. In a news release Tuesday, the Pennsylvania company said it will be the first to certify a Part 23 aircraft with a stall/spin prevention system, clearing the way toward what CEO Dick Silva called "probably the longest certification of a general aviation aircraft in history." The unusual design of the Seawind, with its tail pylon-mounted tractor engine, prevented it from passing a key element of the flight test certification program. To be certified, an aircraft must recover from a spin in one turn without power. Because the prop blocks airflow over the tail, there isn't enough rudder authority to break the stall/spin. So, in conjunction with Canada's National Research Council, which is doing the flight test program, Seawind developed a combination stick shaker and pusher system to prevent the aircraft from ever entering a stall. "If an aircraft won't stall, then you can't put it in a spin," Seawind said in its news release.

All that's left for the certification is documentation of the performance figures for the aircraft. "They will be outstanding for an amphibian," said Silva. Seawind began as a kit aircraft but the company announced it would certify the design in 1993. It attracted more than 100 advance orders and throughout the long and sometimes frustrating certification process to date, there are still 50 orders on its books. “Production is poised to start and our production financing efforts are underway," said Silva.  "We owe a lot to our 50-plus order holders and especially those who became investors in addition to ordering a Seawind."