Date: 5/05/2012

Time: Can't Remember

Aircraft: Skyranger Swift

Demo Flight in a Skyranger Swift

Not really a proper write-up as I wasn't P1 for this flight, so I'm just making a small reference to it.

Today, we are at the Popham Microlight Trade Fair. Last night after flying we went to see the guys from EuroFox who were just setting up their stand. They were a bit behind; originally intending to get there at 1pm and actually arrived at 6pm. We gave them a hand putting up their display tent and getting the taildragger demo plane out of the trailer. I still haven't made up my mind whether to invest in a share of the syndicate with Ian and Tom.

The weather isn't too bad for the trade show as it has been a bit crap for the last few years. Airbourne are doing trial flights for a very low £20 and are going reasonably brisk business. Eventually, I find Jac (after only seeing them briefly before) and apparently Colin is on a trial flight in a Skyranger - she has already been up. It is alleged that the Skyranger is much more cost effective than the EuroFox. I have a bit of a look over myself. My impression is that it is similar to the EuroFox, but not quite so well finished and not quite so wide. A nice plane though. I ask it there was any chance of going up myself, but the pilot has to go off and let someone in to the showground. But I am invited up with Paul Dewhurst who is a FlyLight director and also on the British Microlight Aircraft Association council member (and a general nice chap).

We take off on 03 and then head west. The climb rate is quite impressive; helped by the 912S 100hp engine compared to our 80hp version in our normal aircraft. I'm soon given the opportunity to have a go myself. This plane needs the application of more rudder to balance turns, than either the C-42 or the Eurostar - you have to remember to use your feet. Once you are used to this, it is a nimble aircraft. I try a few reasonable banked turns but seem to either gain or lose a little height, but I'm sure attitude stability would be easy to get used to. It is comfortable and the visibility is good, with a view though the transparent roof - I have no idea why the designers of the C-42 have missed this opportunity. The centre mounted joystick is in the same place as the C-42 and quite comfortable, although I don't know if you would miss the arm rest on a long journey. Yep - a nice plane.

I then ask Paul if he would demonstrate the planes capabilities, such as tight turns etc. These he does with great enthusiasm and shows the plane is very capable and I also don't feel queasy for once (when someone else does this). He then also demonstrates the stall which is quite benign and then with full throttle where is really starts to shudder in complaint long before actually stalling - there is no way you couldn't sense that this was coming so it holds no surprises there. Paul also mentions that he did the spin testing for the EuroFox for UK certification and there is a clip of this on YouTube - I have subsequently looked at this and it is very impressive - I wouldn't like to do it myself though. We then return to the airfield and join overhead - massive side-slipping on final is great fun.

On the ground we have a chat about it and a further look over it. I also have a look at the Nynja version of the Skyranger. I really like the Nynja's rear with the composite covers and the rear windscreen, giving some rearward visibility. It has also got an external fuel filler, rather than the internal on the Swift. However, I'm not quite so convinced by the cockpit instrument binnacle - think I prefer the more traditional one in the Swift.

Now I'm even more confused about getting a plane share.

Thanks Paul.


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