Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, July 6, 2010

2010 Remos GX Avıator II The Joy Of Flight

Nimble, solid, lovely, well-built and what a hoot to fly

“They’ve designed out most of the adverse yaw,” he promises. Indeed, rather than going cattywampus, the GX nose yaws minimally away from direction of bank, though I aggressively roll reverse several times. With rudder, decent dutch rolls come easily, delivering a wonderful, tight, “sporty” feel, as if I’d flown the GX for many hours.

Heading south, we do approach and departure stalls, accelerated stalls (in turns) and a phugoid test. The stalls are nominal: a slight burble, a bit of a wing falloff in recovery. Like most LSA, stalls are something you have to work at to get in trouble with. There’s an angle-of-attack indicator, too: “You can fly off the AOA in slow flight all day,” says Ron. “If you’re in the green, you’re good.” Since there’s no ballistic chute on board, we pass on more aggressive stalls, as the airplane will spin if provoked.

The phugoid test is interesting. Ron gives me the go-ahead after I’ve trimmed for straight-and-level flight. I yank back sharply on the stick, the nose snaps right up, but as soon as I let go, the airplane immediately levels off, then gently lowers its nose to a flatter nose-up angle, then begins the recovery dip to trim attitude. There’s little porpoising at all; it seems to want to get back to trim right away. Impressive.

The GX is more than just delightful, solid handling. Its performance envelope conforms with other composite LSA. It meets the lower-end spec of the LSA speed regime with a below-45-knot stall (38 knots with flaps), and pushes the top end with a 112-knot cruise and a 119-knot max speed at full power. I do some climbs and see numbers in the high 800s (feet per minute), though we’re pretty fully loaded and climbing up through 3,000 feet.

The GX is easy enough to land, but you want to get the speeds right to grease it on. It has neither a long, flat glide as with some higher-aspect LSA, such as the Flight Design CTLS, nor a particularly floaty pretouchdown feel as you get with the PiperSport. The glide ratio of 10:1 also means when you chop power, you’re going to come down at a good descent rate—a good reason to manage your approach and flare speeds well.

My first landing, after flying through some weird bubbles of lift/sink turbulence right at the threshold, ends up as a bit of a surprise plunk-down onto the tarmac. Glazer, a CFI before he landed at Remos, tells me I went through the flare speed regime a bit too quickly. “In fact, any time you reduce power under 4,000 rpm, it wants to sink, so you want to come in with and carry a bit of power on final.”

With more than 400 hours logged, he knows this airplane about as well as anybody. “I fly,” he says with a chuckle, “more than I drive!” We make a few more landings, both with flaps and without. Max flap speed is 70 knots, and approach is at 65, a bit of a tight margin.

“The only time you really need flaps though are for short fields under 1,000 feet, or on a smooth day,” Ron advises.“ Other than that, if it’s bumpy, I don’t touch the flaps, or maybe come in with just 15 degrees.”

Labels: Piston Singles


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