Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Evektor Sportstar Max: An LSA For All Seasons
Mature, stable, fun, comfortable: Evektor’s superb Sportstar max offers the whole package
“No, I don’t want an ‘ultralighty’ type, I want something like this,” he says, sweeping his hand toward the Max, “that looks like a real airplane.” I nod my head and ask about his profession. “I’m an engineer.” I nod again. Having just shared nine straight hours in this beautiful, solid, refined Max with another lifelong engineer, Evektor’s northeast regional “partner” Art Tarola, I understand his attraction: The Max is an airplane any engineer would love.
In the air all the day before, Art and I had winged west from Allentown, Pa., toward a storm front. Smooth and beautiful as we cruised above the long glacial ridges of Pennsylvania, the flight turned gnarlier by midday. We were forced to overnight in Dayton, Ohio. But the flight afforded a perfect opportunity to know an LSA in a way I rarely do—by flying it all day in a variety of conditions.
The many virtues of the Max became evident the more we flew and the more I talked with Art. He wrangles his AB Flight full-service LSA operation, (www.abflight.com) in Allentown, and is as knowledgeable and experienced in recreational flight as anyone out there. And being an engineer, he appreciates not only the things you see, like refined (remember that word) aerodynamic construction and high-quality fit and finish, but the things you don’t see, too.
Design And ConstructionArt’s hyperenthusiastic engineer’s brain kicks into overdrive when discussing the Max. After telling me at least 20 times that Czech Republic’s Evektor has designed and built quality aircraft for 40 years—it becomes a running joke between us—he describes how it manifests in the airframe’s composite and metal construction. It’s not only bonded with space-age adhesives but also riveted the way GA aircraft have been for decades.
“This is one strong and solid airplane,” he says, eyes all a-twinkle. “On the IFR version, every piece is electrically bonded to every other to eliminate any chance of a spark from lightning strikes.”
God In The DetailsThe company’s designers and builders love to constantly tinker with the airplane. “That’s something guys like me really appreciate,” says Art. “They’ve been building airplanes for…how long?”
“Forty years,” I shoot back.
“Who told you that?”
Case in point: The airplane’s redesigned interior reflects Evektor’s commitment to refinement that transcends routine periodic upgrades. The current Max represents several iterations down the line from the original SportStar—the first S-LSA certified and sold in America.
Changes include a new, graceful stick; a center console with reclining armrest; automotive-style, upholstered side panels that run to the firewall and sport handy map pockets; another map pocket; a cup holder at the front base of each seat (great for Art’s malnourishment bags of Nutter Butters and chocolate-chip cookies) and a redesigned panel trim package.
The day before, he had quipped: “I keep waiting for the flight attendant to come forward and ask us what we want to drink.” Indeed, if it were LSA-legal, someone could almost curl up in the ample 6.2 cubic feet of cargo area behind the seats. Just big enough to fit a golf bag, max baggage weight is 55 pounds, better than many LSA.
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