TECNAM P2010 First Flight

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Italian aircraft manufacturer TECNAM flew a new offering, the 133-knot cruise, 180-hp, four-place, high-wing P2010 for the first time, Thursday. The aircraft is formed from carbon fiber and metal components and has a full-flying stabiliator. It makes use of a Lycoming IO-360-M1a, the "Lycoming Light" engine and an externally braced wing. The company, which has sold more than 3,000 aircraft (mostly in Europe), prides itself on its attention to pilot and passenger comforts and says it has logged 50 confirmed orders ahead of its attendance at the Aero 2012 trade show in Friedrichshafen, Germany, next week. It also offered a relatively detailed account of the flight trial.

According to the account, the aircraft accelerated to 50 KIAS in eight seconds while running about 325 feet down the runway. In flight, the aircraft produced a stabilized 100 KIAS at 20 inches of manifold pressure turning 2450 rpm. At 75 percent power in cruise at 6,500 feet, the aircraft's endurance is more than 540 nautical miles. TECNAM lists a takeoff distance of 1,260 feet to clear a 50-foot obstacle and a landing distance of 1,027 feet when coming in over the same obstacle. Among details shared by the company test pilot was the more general comment that the aircraft appears safe and predictable in all investigated speed regimes. TECNAM is promoting the aircraft's longitudinal stability and says the aircraft's trim characteristics are a positive mark for consideration as an initial trainer. Customers will have the choice of either analog or digital instrument packages. The aircraft's pricing was near $275,000 when introduced in 2011. It is targeting certification under FAR Part 23 by November 2012 and the company has offered to refund deposits if that date falls beyond 2014.