Tuesday, August 6, 2013
The Big Picture
Fighter’s-eye view, born trainer and a sport-flying funship
Go Ahead: Get Pushy
Back to that distinguishing feature of the Sky Arrow: its pusher configuration. There's no whirring prop to look through, for one: Nothing interferes with that splendid view. The 100 hp Rotax 912 lives inside the super-clean engine cowling mounted as the top of the trailing edge.
Enough Top Gun daydreaming: Let 's do some air work. First and foremost, Sky Arrow handles beautifully. Its control feel is crisp, quick, responsive and light—not twitchy, but always fast, solid and suh-weet, thanks to the control tube linkage. Flick your wrist left or right, and you're rolling. I did some cranking and banking just for the fun of it.
A caveat for all skill levels: You do need to use rudder. This is no feet-on-floor spam can. If you're even slightly out of whack, the airplane lets you know with added wind noise. There's a touch—not a lot—of adverse yaw rolling into turns. You do want to lead with the inside foot, and you'll get that clear feedback when you don't. That's great for flight training and sharpening veteran skills alike.
Maybe it's the narrower fuselage compared to the side-by-side two-seaters I usually fly, but it seemed I could feel yaw more easily. I tend to have a heavy right foot (decades of gas pedal pushing?), and every time I heard that windier, "draggy" sound, I knew to lighten up on the pedals. Like the stick forces, the rudder pedals bring a quick and snappy response. I was overdoing it until I imagine I was petting a panther: gingerly, brother, gingerly.
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