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P92 S 100 hp

Flight test by Aviazione Sportiva

Getting down from the P92S, the first impression is that it would not be convenient to dare beyond: we think that the plane is now at an extremely advanced development stage, especially under an aerodynamic point of view, and every possible increase in performances would force to revise the whole structure in a radical way.

Concerning power, the Rotax 912S engine is redundant, but in this case, what seems to be the turning point is the radical aerodynamic revision, rather than the more powerful engine installed.
The fuselage aerodynamic resistances have been reduced with a better nose and engine cowling outlining, a very inclined windscreen, the connection between the cabin and the fin and finally the extremely accurate fairing of the nose wheel gear (developed in the wind tunnel). In this way, the plane is far more streamlined and attracting: in fact the look is now more "important" and has acquired that sense of fullness that was frankly lacking in the P92, especially in the tail section.

The new wing profile, identical to the former one, but with moving parts with a reflex angle, together with new wing tips, complete the picture of a plane that has changed in substance as well as in aspect.
We noted the balancing mass on the rudder, protected in its rotation by two showy fairings fixed on the fin and an important modification for passive safety: the wing tanks have been taken away from the cabin and now are built in aluminium, inserted in the front anterior D shaped metallic wing section.
This significant improvement has just a contraindication: the fuel level is no more visible from the cabin for transparency and two gauges are therefore needed. What has not unbelievably changed is weight, the same of the former version, at least as stated by Tecnam.

Flight impressions

On board as well, we find important novelties, a new instrument panel with eyelid and an analogical flap indicator, replacing the choreographic but approximate coloured led lights; there is as well a little lever, at the lower edge of the panel, that allows to regulate the throttles friction, previously performed by two little cheeks pressed on the throttles torsion tube, that at times decided to grow loose.

The lateral and back visibility has been definitely improved, thanks to the new fuselage windows, while the bigger inclination of the windscreen does not interfere with the forward visibility.
While taking-off, you can feel all the 20 hp surplus of the 912S, with a noteworthy acceleration, but what is really incredible is the climbing ratio that brings the plane at full load up to 1,000 ft in 52 seconds, while with the pilot alone you can even read 1,700 ft/min on the variometer.

During level flight, we notice the neutral pitch of the plane, that doesn't lower the nose while gaining speed, but accelerates rather linearly and with an impressive ease: now, what really strikes is not just the absolute performance, but the speed you are able to maintain with a little power, in fact at 5000 rpm you rocket at true 125 mph (km/h 200), this means you can fly exactly like the best General Aviation singles.
With full throttle, if you want to remain within the manoeuvres green arch (135 mph - km/h 215), the variometer shows a slight climbing, while at 75% power we have read 130 mph (km/h 210).
And, as affirmed by Enzo De Blasio, Tecnam test pilot, the air speed indicator installation is correct.
It must be emphasized that the new connection behind the cabin probably stiffens further the tail trunk, thus eliminating most of the annoying metallic resonance, well known by P92 owners, especially at engine variations around 4000 rpm and at idle, while right at this regimen, the 912S seems more rugged and irregular, compared to the 80 hp 912.

The general behaviour remains unchanged, the piloting is easy, even if the new aerodynamics, together with speed, presented better glide performances that can be easily felt on final. In a word, the P92S, offered as well in the 80 hp version, seems to have reached the maximum evolution possible, with performances absolutely similar to those of conventional aircrafts and optimal touring possibilities.

Obviously, this deserves well trained pilots, not forgetting the ease of this machine, probably the best among Gino Pascale designs.

Further information: Tecnam Costruzioni Aeronautiche
1 Traversa Via Pascoli - 80025 Casoria (Napoli) - Italy
Tel. +39 081 7583210
Website: www.tecnam.com
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