Plane & Pilot
Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Sirius TL-3000: High society—In blue jeans

Elegant, sexy, high-performing...and oh so friendly

Performance is right up there with top LSA performers: 116-knot cruise, 120 max level and 34 gallons of wing tank storage plus the 100 hp Rotax 912 ULS (with oversized radiator and oil cooler—a Rotax 914 at 115 hp is optional). Worry-free ranges in excess of 800 miles should be attainable.

Vx (best angle) and Vy (best rate) climb speeds are listed at 55 knots and 65 knots respectively. I saw 900 fpm at 55 knots at over 3,000 feet: The book figure of 1100 fpm at Vy seems right on. Typical cruise climb is 75 knots.

Safety First
Bill Canino and company have always lived and breathed safety. “We’ve never offered a plane without a parachute.” Sirius follows suit with a GRS Galaxy system as standard equipment. The four-point harness also will come with an optional Amsafe airbag system. The airbag system is designed to keep an occupant’s arms inside; Amsafe is currently finalizing the installation, which it custom-designs for both GA and LSA models.

Stalls straight ahead and in turns are difficult to even pull off and a snap to recover from with a touch of power. Landings are equally friendly. Bill talked me through the first landing I experienced in the airplane, and it was a breeze: in with half flaps at 75 knots, power to idle, drop to approach flaps at 65, pitch for 60. Sirius has an excellent glide.

Across the threshold and, “Don’t dive for the runway,” cautions Bill, then round out at 55, touch of rudder, hold it, hold it...a little thermal pop, a quick counterroll with the yoke, and there’s that wonderfully quick low-speed aileron response again, and we settle on, almost like I knew what I was doing....but it always helps to have a jet jockey in the right seat.

The fiberglass gear is solid and just springy enough for a secure feel in ground handling. Toe brakes and the castering nosewheel work just fine.

What else? Easy ingress/egress with the top-hinged door (which can lock up in flight); nice appointments, including high-quality carpeting on doors, kick panels, floor, glare shield, baggage area (very large and holds 100 pounds); and attractive woven fabric seats. I guess
I had the rudder pedals too close, which bent my legs too much and made my tailbone sore. Next time, I’ll have to readjust the pedals—or add a little seat padding.

For water puppies: Sirius can be rated as an LSA seaplane with add-on floats and an expanded MTOW of 1,430 pounds.

The instrument panel of my demo had a Garmin G3X EFIS display. Sirius comes standard with TruTrak EFIS with EMS, Garmin 696, Garmin SL40, Garmin GTX 327 and Zaon PCAS. Dynon SkyView or Garmin G3X are options, or SportairUSA will customize to suit.

If your dance card has room for a gorgeous, friendly, all-around solid airplane, pencil in the TL-3000 Sirius.

Labels: LSAs


Add Comment