Italian aircraft manufacturer Vulcanair (Booth 6112) brought its twin-piston-engine P68R to the LABACE static display to highlight the company’s broad product line. The Vulcanair fleet now ranges from the V1.0 single-engine piston trainer to a full line of piston-powered twins and the latest model, the turboprop A-Viator, designed to fill the needs of efficient small commuter airlines.
The P68R can seat up to six occupants and its retractable landing gear helps deliver better speed and range performance. All-aluminum construction is a Vulcanair characteristic and helps make the company's aircraft rugged and reliable as well as easy to maintain and with low operating costs. Not only are Vulcanair's airplanes reasonably priced, but they also fill a niche that isn't being addressed by other manufacturers, many of which have abandoned the light twin-engine marketplace. This situation has made it difficult for training providers to find a source of new twin-engine airplanes.
The P68R is powered by two 180-hp Lycoming fuel-injected piston engines. Maximum takeoff weight is 2,063 kg (4,548 pounds) and useful load is 613 kg (1,351 lb) at a typical empty weight of 1,450 kg (3,197 lb).
With 670 liters (177 gallons) of fuel on board (including auxiliary tanks), the P68R can fly 890 nm (1,648 km) while carrying four people at 55 percent power at 10,000 feet with a 30-minute reserve. High-speed cruise is 168 knots (311 km/hour) true airspeed. Takeoff distance to 50 feet at maximum weight and ISA conditions is 431 meters (1,414 feet), and landing over a 50-foot obstacle at maximum landing weight is 475 meters (1,558 ft).
The P68R has three doors, one on the right for the pilots, one on the center left side of the fuselage for rear passengers and a door for the 3.198-cubic-meter (113 cu ft) baggage compartment.
Avionics are a modern Garmin G950 flight deck with a 10-inch primary flight display as well as a 10-inch multifunction display. a Mid-Continent MD-302 Standby Attitude Module provides backup instrumentation. The autopilot is a two-axis S-Tec System 55X.
Although not certified in Brazil, the four-seat piston-powered single-engine V1.0 offers a low-cost opportunity for training providers. The V1.0 is EASA approved and is scheduled to receive FAA certification by the end of the year.
The V1.0 retails for $259,000, about $100,000 less than competing four-seat training airplanes, and is fitted with glass cockpit avionics, ADS-B OUT/IN, constant-speed propeller and three doors.
With a maximum takeoff weight of 1,155 kg (2,546 lb) and useful load of 400 kg (882 lb), the V1.0 can cruise at 130 knots at 75 percent power and it has a service ceiling of 14,700 feet. The V1.0 does offer some small performance improvements over competitors’ airplanes, but Vulcanair is focusing on the price difference to attract interest from training academies and universities.
Power is provided by a fuel-injected, 180-hp Lycoming IO-360 driving a Hartzell constant-speed propeller. The airframe is conventional, with a welded-steel-tube main cabin and aluminum wing, tailcone and empennage. Each pilot has a door, and there is a door for passengers to enter the rear seats. The airplane also has a baggage compartment with its own door. The baggage compartment can hold 40 kg (88 lb).
For the price, the V1.0 has a modern cockpit, although its competitors—primarily the Cessna 172S and Piper Archer—are equipped with integrated Garmin G1000 suites. The V1.0 will not come with an autopilot, but Vulcanair is evaluating an autopilot option, according to CEO Remo De Feo.
V1.0 avionics include a Garmin G500 primary/multifunction display, GTN 650 GPS/com touchscreen navigator, GTX 33 Mode S transponder, GNC 225 navcom, GDU 620 AHRS, Jeppesen NavData, JPI engine-monitoring system and Mid-Continent SAM standby instrument.
“It’s extremely stable,” De Feo said. “It’s a classic design, and we wanted to offer something that is easy to fly. It’s fantastic for schools and college programs. They can save $2 million on a 20-aircraft purchase.”