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
Many Joys, So Little Time…I’m out of room long before enthusiasm and superlatives, so let’s wrap up with closing thoughts: Evektor is a big company with a small shop’s commitment to the design-refinement process. We should hope it stays on the scene for the long haul. Its U.S. presence has stumbled a bit in the challenging economy and will likely have evolved by the time you read this into several regional “partners” like Art Tarola, rather than one central distributor. Each will import, sell, teach and service local customers.
Every Max is custom-built to owner specifications, which takes about 60 days. Evektor doesn’t believe in sticking dealers with “shelf” airplanes. Options such as ballistic chutes or IFR capability are built into the basic airframe and need choosing upon ordering.
Max’s wing top-vortex generators bring the clean stall speed down from 44 knots to 37 knots. This in turn allows the LSA-maximum legal gross weight of 1,320 pounds. The VGs also lower angle of attack at cruise to give a max level cruise of 115 knots and 110 knots at 75% power. We saw consistent 100-plus speeds at around 65% power with a fuel burn of around 5.5 gph. In calm air, a trimmed-up Max flies as if it were on rails.
More examples of Evektor’s refinement process: widened main wheel stance, dampened steerable nosewheel sensitivity, enhanced brake access for maintenance, beefed-up canopy frame and redesigned latching mechanism. An endemic design philosophy of ensuring upgrades are retrofittable to all earlier models, whenever possible.
The split flaps afford an actuating mechanism that’s simpler but still highly effective. “I can descend with full flaps,” says Art, “at 1,600 fpm and hold 62 knots all the way down to landing.”
Art believes the Max’s biggest selling point is its quality and design maturity. “There are no collapsing nosegear problems, no cracks in weak parts. They’ve had…how many years to figure things out?” “Forty,” I answer. “That’s right,” he says with a smile. “You‘ve been talking to the right people.”
And in hardworking, committed U.S. reps like Art Tarola and Ohio colleague Steve Minnich (www.midwestsportplanes.com), who flew a SportStar SL alongside us to the air show, Evektor has found the right people to bring a message to a resurging LSA market: Here’s an airplane, a company and a support network deeply committed to growing recreational flight into the major aviation sector it always had the potential to become.
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