Saturday, December 1, 2007
TL-Ultralight: Sting Sport TL-2000
Yet another Czech Republic LSA is showing the world how to build a true economy machine
By now, most pilots are aware that a well-executed LSA can be a full-fledged airplane, even if it’s limited in gross weight, performance and configuration. In case you had any doubts, the Sting Sport is exactly that: a “real” airplane that’s easily competitive with many early, normal-category, two-seat machines from the ’40s and ’50s. LSAs are limited to 120 knots and 1,320 pounds gross, plus they can be operated only with fixed-pitch props (in flight) and fixed gear.
LSAs come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and the Sting Sport may be one of the more interesting of the bunch. It’s essentially an all-carbon-fiber design, intended to keep empty weight to a minimum. That’s especially important on an airplane limited to a max gross of 1,320 pounds.
TL-Ultralight has set the max takeoff weight on the Sting at the 1,320-pound limit, and the company suggests that a typically equipped empty weight is about 780 pounds, so max useful load works out to 540 pounds. Subtract 108 pounds of fuel, and you’re left with a cabin allowance still in excess of 400 pounds. With only two seats in place, that means you can carry two full-sized folks plus minimal baggage. Long-range fuel is 32 gallons, a popular option, and remaining payload with the long-range tanks is still 360 pounds.
The Sting Sport’s 121-square-foot wing is slightly forward-swept and features split flaps, and the empennage mounts a conventional horizontal stabilizer rather than an all-flying stabilator like that of the Star.
The cabin is 44 inches wide, the same dimension as a Cessna 210. Entry is by way of a fold-up canopy, hinged at the front, that allows easy access to either seat. Toe brakes are standard, and the nosewheel is steerable rather than full-castering. Rudder pedals are adjustable to accommodate pilots as tall as six feet, three inches. The Sting Sport utilizes a stick for roll and pitch control.
Standard engine on the Sting Sport is the 100 hp Rotax 912. Many pilots and schools appreciate the 100 hp Rotax for the improved climb. Engine TBO on either mill is a reasonable 1,500 hours. Flight schools that log 10 to 15 hours a week in training mode will have two to three years before having to worry about an engine overhaul. The prop is a composite, three-blade Woodcomp that’s ground adjustable for climb or cruise.
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