Saturday, December 1, 2007
Micco SP26A: Capable Aerobat
This is that rare machine: a fun gentleman’s aerobat capable of cross-country travel or a Saturday-afternoon hamburger flight
Handling is exactly what you’d expect from the look of the airplane, sporty and enthusiastic. Control interconnect is with rods to the ailerons and elevators and cables to the rudder. In any mode, response is nearly psychic in either the utility or aerobatic class. Think about a turn, and you’re there. A 4-G pull is only a handshake away. Loops come naturally, and barrel rolls, aileron rolls and four points are pretty much no-brainers.
You can’t help but wonder if this might make an interesting simulated air-combat aircraft. It does basic acro with a facility and dexterity that suggests it would be comfortable in that mission. Visibility through the bubble canopy is excellent, even looking directly to the rear. Micco tints the top of the SP26’s Plexiglass dark gray to avoid any greenhouse effect.
Stated clean stall speed is about 54 knots, but there’s plenty of aerodynamic warning. The stall itself is predictable and docile, unlikely to snap the airplane into a spin. It’s not hard to imagine a pair of Miccos hassling for bragging rights in the burgeoning fighter-pilot-for-a-day business.
If you’re looking to buy a cross-country cruiser, the Micco is only adequate, but then, perhaps you should consider buying a used Mooney or older Bonanza. The Micco’s max cruise speed is only 155 knots, and with 260 hp on the nose, that’s not terribly impressive. The airplane was never intended as a pure speed demon, however. It’s more a fun machine that can combine basic acro with good climb and adequate cruise.
Still, if you’re flying alone, full tanks at high cruise provide about 5.5 hours of endurance plus reserve, more than most people’s bladder limit. Even at a 150-knot block speed, you can plan on traversing 800 to 850 nm cross-country.
Service ceiling is 14,000 feet, by the way, so the airplane should have reasonable climb performance at August-in-Albuquerque density altitudes.
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