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
| It seems the Czech Republic is one of the world’s centers for LSA manufacturing these days. A multitude of light-sport aircraft are being built in the former Czechoslovakia and sold all over the world.|
The Sting Sport’s numbers are fairly impressive for an airplane in this class. You rotate at about 40 knots and climb out at 75 knots. Expect between 700 and 800 fpm from sea level. Optimum cruise height is around 8,000 feet, but the very nature of an LSA is that it’s a comfortable airplane to fly at low level where you can smell the roses—and the cows.
Max cruise speed is listed as 115 knots (132 mph), well under the 120-knot limit, at least on paper. If you blocked the airplane at 110 knots, you could plan on five-hour cross-country flights with plenty of reserve. That’s 550 miles between pit stops, Albuquerque to Los Angeles or Chicago to Atlanta.
In-flight visibility is excellent with the semi-bubble canopy offering a nearly 360-degree horizontal view. The Rotax is reasonably quiet at takeoff or cruise, which is probably academic considering that most pilots wear noise-attenuating headsets anyway.
Flaps are manual via Johnson bar between the seats with three positions. The full 35-degree setting reduces stall speed to 39 knots. TL-Ultralight recommends approaches at 66 knots, about the same as best climb speed, but we’d bet that a short-field effort would work just fine at 50 knots. That’s still about 1.3 Vso
. The coil-spring nosegear helps guard against planting the airplane on its front wheel. Such low stall and approach speeds mean the airplane can use abbreviated runways, as short as 1,000 feet with unobstructed approaches.
The Sting Sport also offers the option of keeping the airplane at home if it’s too expensive or inconvenient to rent a hangar or tiedown at the local airport. Two people can remove the wings in about 15 minutes, so the airplane can be trailered to your garage or backyard.
Base price is $99,350, which includes a BRS parachute. You can opt for a variety of avionics. One of the most popular is a Garmin 496 GPS installed with an AirGizmos mount. Combine that with a 330 transponder, and you have the potential for traffic (TIS), TAWS, XM Weather, battery backup and automatic frequency transfer to a Garmin SL-30 navcom. Another popular option is airbags on the seat belts.
At last count, there were something like 57 models certified as LSAs under U.S. regulations. New ones are being added so fast, that figure may be outdated by the time you read this. The good news is that the Czech Sting Sport may be in the top tier.
SPECS: Sting Sport TL-2000
Page 3 of 3