Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Heavenly Dawn Patrol

How to make a great LSA even better? Fine-tune that cockpit!

The Aviator II model sported a Dynon D100 and D-120-based panel. The NXT goes full tilt with the seven-inch Dynon SkyView. It’s a perfect choice: The SkyView is rapidly becoming everybody’s must-have, can-do-everything glass avionics platform.

The version I flew upped the ante further with dual SkyViews, Garmin’s lovely 696 GPS and SL30 Nav/Com, a PS Engineering PM8000BT audio panel, backup battery, matching leather seats and carpet, and interior pads. The result: one Star Wars-y panel to go with a gorgeously comfy, functional cockpit.

Pilots over six feet will find they have to bend forward a bit to look out spanwise below the top of the door frame. I’m 5'11", and I had plenty of headroom and eye room. One welcome feature: Looking through the large top window in turns adds a real traffic-spotting sense of security.

You can fly the Remos with the doors off. It’s one of Ryan Hernandez’s favorite ways to beat the hot Arkansas summer and improves the visibility picture even more.

Four knobs, previously placed on the center console—carb heat, choke, cabin heat and air vent—now adorn the left and right segments of the three-section panel. The result? A narrower between-seat console...with even more leg room. Factor in the comfortable, beautifully made leather upholstery (with good lumbar support, a feature lacking in some LSA), and you end up with elegance, form and function in the catbird seat.

The four-point safety belts prevent “submarining,” or sliding forward under the belts in a sudden deceleration. Also new are dark-tinted visors and air vents in the upper-left and -right corners of the cabin.

The Complete Package
There are many excellent LSA on the market. Remos aims to carve out a place in the top tier, and it deserves to be there. The German company has endured some management changes during the economic meltdown and feels like a leaner, meaner company now, with less of a big-splash marketing presence.

As of now, more than 120 Remos models are flying in the United States, with even more overseas. And its worldwide network of dealers, Service Centers and Pilot Centers is steadily growing.

Labels: LSAs

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