Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Searey LSX: SkyBoat Extraordinaire
Wings, webbed feet and wheels add up to the ultimate hybrid bird
"Okay, how about an accelerated stall?" Richter asks, and before I can answer, and showing no inclination to finesse the poor widdle airplane, he racks it into a good 60-degree bank, again hauling the stick all the way back. I'm grinning even as I warily watch the lake just 300 feet below. I'm contemplating a stall, involuntary wingover and rapid descent toward watery doom. But again, the stall never comes. The SeaRey hangs on, grittily demonstrating its solid aerodynamic chops without so much as a stall burble or a foot of lost altitude.
Richter laughs and rolls the airplane out. "That's all it does. We could sit here all day and never stall it. This is a very strong, stable airplane." Amen, brother. His cavalier airmanship tells me my host is either (1) a Top Gun wannabe bored stiff with the air show meet/greet routine, or (2) a guy who really knows this airplane inside and out.
The 44-inch-wide interior on the SeaRey features center control sticks, side-by-side fabric seats and Garmin avionics.
But wait: There's more. When the SeaRey stalls, he kicks the big rudder hard right, and we're pointing straight down...well, 70 degrees down, which feels like the same thing. Fifty feet above the water, he rounds out and slides us onto the near-glass, late-day, sun-kissed water. And that's all in just the first 10 minutes.
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