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Tecnam P2008


Patrnflyr
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Just finished reading the article in Plane and Pilot on the new Tecnam P2008. When I first saw this plane, I fell in love with the lines/profile. They are calling it the "Mercedes of the sky". It looked kind of like a 2 place Cardinal to me. The more I read about it, the more I thought FD would be losing market share to it until I read this article. He said that everything on the plane was marvelous and couldn't stop raving about it. All except for one sentence. He mentioned about the 890lb total empty weight giving a fueled useful load of 256lbs!!! I couldn't believe it. The author mentioned something to the effect of, "they will need to address that", then nothing else bad said. How CAN they address that? I've found as planes get on the market, they are at their lightest and will bulk up from there much like humans (me included). This weight issue makes this plane a "no factor" in my opinion. My plane all bloated out with every option is 760lbs empty weight. That difference is my wife going along with me or not.

 

What do you guys think?

 

John

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Just finished reading the article in Plane and Pilot on the new Tecnam P2008. When I first saw this plane, I fell in love with the lines/profile. They are calling it the "Mercedes of the sky". It looked kind of like a 2 place Cardinal to me. The more I read about it, the more I thought FD would be losing market share to it until I read this article. He said that everything on the plane was marvelous and couldn't stop raving about it. All except for one sentence. He mentioned about the 890lb total empty weight giving a fueled useful load of 256lbs!!! I couldn't believe it. The author mentioned something to the effect of, "they will need to address that", then nothing else bad said. How CAN they address that? I've found as planes get on the market, they are at their lightest and will bulk up from there much like humans (me included). This weight issue makes this plane a "no factor" in my opinion. My plane all bloated out with every option is 760lbs empty weight. That difference is my wife going along with me or not.

 

 

 

What do you guys think?

 

John

 

 

 

I think you should leave your wife home.

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Per the Technam North America site the empty weight is 780#. Still kinda much but better than 890#!!

I'm reading right out of the magazine and it's listed in both the spec table and the text. The CubCrafters Carbon SS cub is the same way. However, the Cub, in a different model, is certified to fly at 2200 lbs using the exact same airframe and you have 180hp out on the nose.

 

Both in this plane and the SkyCatcher, you can carry your friend with you or more than an hour of gas, you make the choice! I think the 780# is way optimistic. That's a sales brochure so what do you expect? When the author said, "that will need addressing", I'd be worried

if I was their company CEO, but Tecnam has been hitting home runs for a long time now. I bet he's not worried at all.

 

I'm just a little disappointed as I thought there'd be another truly first class LSA out there on the market to drive competition. One other note, the plane STARTS at just below $170,000 and goes up. They didn't even mention the BRS parachute system it's lacking plus its additional weight/cost.

 

John

 

PS the weight WON'T be changed in my lifetime. There's an entire industry out there based on these standards, including Cessna with their Skycatcher. Do you think they'd want to see 15,000 150's dumped on the market all at once? I guarantee you they'll lobby against it themselves. There are forums all over the place

talking about getting rid of the medical for the recreational pilot license also. That would dump 30,000 172's and Warriors into the marketplace. Do you really think the LSA industry would sit back and watch that occur? (I'd sure love it though!!!) It's just wishful thinking/hoping...

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They (Cessna) may have lobbied for the 1500 lbs but as I understand it, the LSA was a joint effort by the FAA and the European agency EASA too. They settled on 600kg for the max weight. That 1320lbs didn't just come out of the blue. AND, the FAA didn't develop the LSA movement just out of their "niceness". They were wanting to rein in the "fat ultralights" who were unregulated at the time. As you can see by the latest headline, they're now going to start regulating the LSA manufacturing also. Once the bureaucracy starts, it's very difficult to slow it down. Maybe someone in the know can jump in here.

 

Cessna , of course, would have loved the 1500lbs even with the SkyCatcher so they didn't have to trim it down to bare minimums using the Lycoming engine. They HAD to use that engine since it's another subsidiary of their parent company, Textron.

 

I say it again, I'm just a little sad that the P2008 came in so heavy when Tecnam has had so many winners. It'd be nice to have a "Mercedes" in competition with our "BMW".

 

There are hundreds of threads all over the forums on the weight issue with the alphabet aviation associations themselves chiming in every so often. Every time a rumor is thrown in, the associations immediately jump in and say that it's not going to happen.

I even had that occur last year when Roger talked about Edsel Ford's slip about the Rec pilot/driver's license certify. It just isn't going to happen for a long time. IMO, I think that if they would do that, the GA sector would have its HUGE stimulus that

all the alphabet aviation associations have been wishing for. I'd be flying a new 172 within a month...

 

This is one of the MAIN reasons why I love the CT compared to all the other LSA's. They pay strict attention to the weight and because of this, we have a true 120kt airplane that is lighter than most LSA's out there.

 

Maybe Roger can jump in here,

 

John

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the FAA didn't develop the LSA movement just out of their "niceness".

 

I'm shocked! I thought it was only a rumor that their motto was "we're not happy until you're not happy". :lol:

 

Unfortunately there will be more truth to that motto before the FAA is through with LSA. We can only hope that the industry will be able to rein in those in the industry that are still smarting over the fact that LSA got this far.

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I am the CEO of Tecnam North America and was reading with interest the various comments on this site. I would like to apologize for the confusion surrounding the weight that appeared in the Plane and Pilot article on the P2008. The corrected article (there were a few other errrors) appears on the Plane and Pilot web site. As one of the posters indicated the empty weight is, in fact, 780lbs. Understandably, people do get very excited about weight, useful load and other performance numbers but I would like to give you some insight into the thinking and process behind the empty weight number, which is higher than the other Tecnam aircraft that qualify as LSA's.

 

Aircraft mannufacturers are always looking to find the perfect compromise between size, weight, performance, comfort, safety, price etc. In other words trying to achieve the impossible! Tecnam designed the P2008 to be a fully certified aircraft under the CS/VLA regulations in Europe and in other parts of the world with a much higher gross weight limit than is allowed under the LSA regulations (about 200lbs more). They also wanted it to be much larger than the previous Tecnam models to accommodate more equipment and fill the luxury niche sought by many pilots who are trading down from heavier metal. As a result the whole structure is built to support higher loads than are allowed for LSA's so is by necessity a little heavier than it would be if 1,320lbs was the only goal. The aircraft includes as standard a large number of items that are optional on the other models and has a finish level that befits its role as the luxury offering in the market. Tecnam could have chosen to offer a basic P2008 with no carpets, no center console, less comfortable seats, no toe brakes, no wheel pants, composite landing gear etc so as to advertize a lower base price and a lower standard empty weight. They, and we, did not feel that this was a good direction to go in as Tecnam already has a full range of models to meet pretty much every price and performance level starting at $109,900 (Echo Classic, fully equipped for day VFR GPS Navigation and 700lbs empty weight), through to the P2008 starting, fully equipped, at about $155,000.

 

The P2008 is not designed to be the model that will meet everybody's needs but to fill a niche for the discerning buyer who wants his or her plane to be as close to the comfort they have been used to in their previous flying life and are willing to recognize, as with what they currently fly, that sometimes weight and balance requirements will need to be factored in. Aviation is full of such compromises with the latest version of the King Air C90 having a useful load of under 500lbs with full fuel and full equipment....

 

The whole LSA movement is the shot in the arm that aviation needed even if it does involve some degree of frustration when expectations do not meet reality. The "cheap" LSA does exist but is not the norm and that certainly has disappointed many people. We are working hard on ways of bringing access to LSA's to a wider variety of people using the fact that even if the acquisition costs are higher than most people can afford the operating costs are a fraction of what those people are used to. LSA's will become the standard trainers of the future and help reverse the very long established decline in pilot numbers.

 

Tecnam is the largest manufacturer of Light Sport type aircraft in the world with the widest product range but we recognize that we are in a competitive market with some very respected companies so the public does have a substantial choice of price levels and models to choose from and that is how it should be.

 

Some posters have expressed concern about the increasing likelihood of some tightening of the regulations and increased oversight. The oversight is really about ensuring that the existing standards are being respected and that the quality control systems to ensure consistency of product are in place and working. Industry is being consulted on the direction being taken by the FAA and I believe that the result will deal with the FAA concerns without turning the process into a FAR23 "lookalike", which is to be avoided at all costs.

 

Critical debate is good!

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Thanks Phil for a great answer and I'm very happy about the empty weight being 780lbs which is very close to the CTLS. To me, these are the only 2 planes in the LSA category that fit into the "nothing held back, all options" category. As you've said, competition is good and everyone can benefit. It's too bad the magazine made an error like that, both in the text and the technical table. I hope you're able to get that correction out to the public.

 

Could you address, from a manufacturer's standpoint, the possibility of having the LSA weight increased up to the level of the European standards? Just that 200lbs would make a HUGE difference in the capabilities of our planes. Is there anything we could do to make this happen or is it just beating a dead horse?

 

Thanks for jumping into the new forum. Not many times when a CEO gives us his insights.

 

John

 

PS LOVE the plane!!!

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I went back to the website and read the article and yes, the weight is now corrected. However, how many of you that read an article in a magazine actually go back and proofread the same article on its web page? It's a shame and I hope they print a correction in the magazine next month.

I saw this on another LSA which will remain anonymous but has five letters in its name. They had useful load errors that err'd on the positive side for the plane. Of course, there was no retraction for it... (You guys may remember that when I brought it up on another forum a few months back.)

 

Now, I can't wait to get a look at one of these out on the tarmac!!!

 

John

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I was able to see and sit in a P2008 at the EAA Fly-In in Arlington.

 

First off: it looks gorgeous! The pictures don't lie.

 

Second: fit and finish were first rate. It seemed a little more 'plush' than the CTLS that was sitting one booth over.

 

The CTLS seemed to have more cabin room and better visibility. The CTLS also seemed a little more 'slippery' due to the more aggresive shape and the lack of support struts for the wings.

 

It's a great looking airplane and having a larger number of excellent models to choose from will be good for all.

 

PS: I was also hugely impressed with the Jabiru airplanes - not as fancy, but serviable and very nice. The J230/250 must be the Chevy Suburban of LSA!

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Mark,

 

We have LSA today because there were those in the agency that agreed to it, maybe even wanted it. But, in any large govermental organization there are various "camps". I'm talking about the career bureacrats, not necessarily the appointees. Due to their "upbringing" in the agency, they have differing beliefs and goals from one camp to another. (Just look at the different experiencies you can have working with different FSDO's) There are times when career bureaucrats have to "hunker down" and go with the flow even if they don't like it. They know they can outwait and outlast the appointees or others in power. Eventually their turn will come.

 

So, what I am saying is that there is most likely a "camp" that does not like what they perceive as a free for all within the LSA world. If they had their way they would "fix" that with more oversight, more regulations, maybe even doing away with some of it. You can bet, for example, that there are those in the FAA that are fit to be tied over people flying without a medical. Given a chance, they would try to change that. Some of these people get off on flexing their muscle to make sure you know who is in charge.

 

I know how it works, to a point, since I was a career bureaucrat at the state level. Alaska DOT/PF. With our 280+ airports we had extensive dealings with the FAA. Like most bureaucrats, the vast majorfity of them are good people trying to do a good job. Unfortunately, as in any similar organization, there is a small percentage who will, if left unchecked, make life a living hell. Sometimes it feels like a large percentage but it's not.

 

So, we need to police ourselves to make sure we don't give them any valid reason to tighten the screws. These recent audits are damaging and have provided the FAA with reasons to attempt new regulations. We can never assume that our LSA situation will just continue on and maybe even get better.

 

My two cents for what it's worth.

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John and Mark,

 

Enjoyed your expert rendition of 'appointees and careerist'. Too bad neither exude the characteristics of 'Professional Callings'...Yup, they're just Job Categories/entitlements and nothing more, any of them.

 

Opinion: The industry policing itself is at best a slowing action.

 

Any idea what the current figures are for Worldwide sales? Which continent/economy is holding the industry up and enabling such lofty prices for these very little VFR birds?

 

Other than Cessna 150 prices going up, would SLSA sales be hit hard if 1500 gross was the new limit? Maybe Cessna is banking on that with the thin useful load of the Skycatcher?

 

Bugbuster

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Just looked on the flight design website. CTLS lists empty weight of 770. Not much different than the P2008 at 780.

 

to be fair wouldn't you have to give the ls 30-40lbs for the brs and a bit more for the panel? 780 is the standard (steam gauge) version or the tecnam.

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My actual plane "loaded out" with all available options except Tundra gear is 770.2lbs including the chute like Ed says. The P2008 at 780lbs is the standard version. Some glass avionics weigh less that steam,

but I'm sure if you were able to compare exact equal options like BRS, glass, leathers, etc (apples to apples), the P2008 would weigh considerably more. I still think it'll be an awesome plane!!!

 

John

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