http://www.superpetrelusa.com - Brian Boucher's first Super Petrel LS in the USA is licensed Experimental but has since been accepted by FAA as a Special LSA.
Super Petrel LS is a design said to be in its fifth generation. Indeed, I know of the model for more than 20 years. When I first discovered the seaplane, it was represented by a Canadian outfit. However, in 1997 aeronautical engineer and pilot Rodrigo Scoda founded Edra Aeronáutica, the present manufacturer based in Ipeúna, Brazil in the state of São Paulo where the company operates its own airfield (SDED). Super Petrel particularly distinguishes itself by its biplane design.
Two sets of wings generate additional lift yet do so with relatively short span. Another advantage is the sponson on each side can be secured to the wing structure without long support tubes as you see on other seaplanes. A downside is that Super Petrel's lower wing prevents docking. You'll either have to beach the aircraft or use a ramp — easy enough in many situations — or tie it to a water buoy and use a boat or get wet.
Petrel offers a wide cabin like many Light-Sport Aircraft, 45 inches to be specific. Certainly it was roomy for two average-sized fellows like Brian and myself. The seats were exceptionally comfortable, with the seat cushion extending to your knees in a graceful curve that is very supportive. Only the seat back moves, through three positions that you set before entering.
Brian's present Super Petrel has a mostly analog panel using a removable Garmin Aera for GPS and other digital functions. However, new models coming in will use Dynon's SkyView and can be configured in various ways. Although the model can handle 55 pounds of luggage, space to stow such gear is limited; fortunately, sport seaplanes are rarely used for long cross country flights where you need extra luggage.
Super Petrel LS's interior is roomy (45 inches wide) with comfortable seats. The center lever is the landing gear and Super Petrel has a warning system to prevent mishaps.
Let's cover some basic specifications: Span is just under 29 feet; wing area is 161 square feet; wing loading is 8.2 pounds per square feet; empty weight is 775 pounds, according to the factory, though this depends on what equipment the owner installs; gross weight is not 1,430 pounds as you might expect but 1,320 pounds; useful load is 545 pounds; Fuel capacity is 25 gallons; so, payload with full fuel is 395 pounds; cockpit width is 45 inches; water takeoff run is less than 400 feet, according to published specs; wheel takeoff on hard surface is 260 feet; cruise is about 90 knots; never exceed speed is 114 knots; stall is 35 knots; maximum endurance is five hours.
Petrel uses the Rotax 912 or 914 but Brian is excited about the potential of the new 912 iS Sport with its higher torque and power output. "That's a great combination for seaplanes," he added. Finally, price: Brian's business, Florida Light Sport Aviation, plans to sell Super Petrels for around $135,000, a figure that is competitive with most land LSA and significantly better priced than most seaplanes or floatplanes. Order time and support from Brazil is reasonable and Brian makes a great connection to Americans and Canadians. I thoroughly enjoyed flying Super Petrel LS and you might, too.
http://www.sportaviationmagazine.com -- Super Petrel LS - Dan Johnson gives us a quick look at the Super Petrel LS, light sport aircraft from Edra Aeronautica.
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