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Speed Propels Porto Aviation to Records and Sales

In the last couple years a rivalry erupted among companies in Europe aiming to be the fastest LSA-type aircraft.

Flying across his former country and the large Bodensee Lake to Friedrichshafen, about 200 miles, took Porto just over one hour in this machine. By car this would take over four hours.

Setting aside the politics of FAI-recognized record flights, no question remains that designer Alberto Porto is determined to create a very fast-flying aircraft.

Gear up with an adjustable prop and flown at common cruise altitudes, it’s clear that Superveloce lives up to its name. Just a quick note that while Superveloce is LSA-like, with features such as retractable gear and higher cruise speeds, this aircraft does not qualify as a present-day LSA.

What could the typical pilot expect while flying Superveloce? Porto Aviation lists the cruise speed at 75 percent power from Rotax’s 915iS at 200 knots true airspeed at 9,000 feet. Compared to other LSA I have examined, this tops the list (although some other fast designs aren’t too far behind).

Porto Aviation, previously quartered in Switzerland, is now a bit further south in Italy. Flying across his former country and the large Bodensee lake to Friedrichshafen, about 200 miles, took Porto just over one hour. By car, this would take over four hours. For a large country like the U.S., Superveloce can get you around fast. It also has an impressive range. No wonder Yankees are buyers.

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How Fast Is Superveloce?

OK, it’s fast, but…

Isn’t this well beyond LSA speeds? Yes, it is. Superveloce must be sold in the USA as a kit-built or it might be imported (in limited numbers) as Experimental Exhibition or some other experimental category. However, when Mosaic is released, based on what we expect at this time, Superveloce could qualify. We do expect retractable gear, in-flight adjustable props, higher stall, and faster speeds, although we do not yet know if Sport Pilots will be allowed to operate this aircraft with that certificate.

Engines such as Rotax’s 915iS can bring the 9,000-foot cruise true airspeed close to 200 knots burning just under 7 gallons per hour and able to range more than 800 nautical miles. No wonder Superveloce gets a pilot’s heart pumping strongly.

Risen Spec Sheet. Note the right column portrays Risen 915iS SV—with “SV” designating Superveloce. Even with the less costly and more fuel efficient 912iS, Risen can still hit 162 knots at 9,000 feet.

With its smaller “speed wing,” can Superveloce stay within LSA regs?

You might rightfully wonder about that but although stall rose six knots from the earlier Risen model, it still claims a best-flaps stall at 43 knots indicated, which is within current LSA parameters and safely below the 50-knot stall speed expected under Mosaic regulations, though we have not yet seen FAA’s Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM) to verify this number. A key reason Superveloce can achieve this sane stall speed from a speed wing is the brilliant execution of Fowler flaps.

A key reason Superveloce can achieve this 43-knot stall speed from a speed wing is the brilliant execution of Fowler flaps. [Dan Johnson]

Looking Back; Looking Forward

At the beginning of 2010 Alberto Porto and his partners started construction of the first Risen prototype. Two years later on a sunny Swiss morning in March 2012, the Risen aircraft made its maiden flight.

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After work to refine the model and to prepare for production the first aircraft ready for customers was unveiled on April 15th, 2015 at AERO. My video below was recorded at this debut.

Eight years later, this project is mature with 25 flying, 10 of which are in the United States and interest is steadily growing.

Alberto Porto (L) and his partner, Danilo Parlatano were all smiles at AERO 2023. Alberto flew this aircraft from Italy to Friedrichshafen in just over one hour. [Dan Johnson]
Now that his airplane-building company has satisfied more than two dozen customers, Alberto is planning ahead. He is actively supporting American builders — by in-person visits on some occasions.

As Mosaic arrives and he can meet relevant ASTM standards, Alberto wants to establish a U.S. operation, possibly doing final assembly or more as the market develops.

 

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