After hinting at the release of a new LSA design named Astore a few weeks ago, Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam officially unveiled its most recent offering this week at the Aero Friedrichshafen show in Germany. And, as promised, the new design has a low wing.
The only commonalities between the Astore and Tecnam’s other low-wing LSA — the P2002 Sierra — are the base price, which is $134,900, and the wing, said Phil Solomon, CEO of Tecnam North America. The fuselage of the Astore is longer and wider and provides more headroom, and while the LSA is primarily constructed of metal, the top section of the Astore’s fuselage is made of composite materials to provide a more aerodynamic shape, said Solomon. The new LSA also has a steerable nosewheel and a flush mounted canopy that slides and pulls down to improve the seal. The empennage has a stabilizer/elevator combination as opposed to the Sierra’s stabilator.
The interior has also been completely redesigned, and it includes two USB ports and arm rests. An iPad mini is included in the purchase price of the Astore. The iPad is set up with a primary flight display, navigation capabilities, checklists, weight and balance data and a full pilot operating handbook.
Solomon claims the seats move far enough aft to leave room to step on the floor to enter and exit the airplane rather than having to step on the seats. The baggage area can be accessed from inside the cabin and through an exterior baggage door. Solomon describes the baggage area as “huge” and the carrying capacity has been increased to 88 pounds, doubling the baggage area limit of the Sierra.
Three engines will be offered for Astore customers, Rotax’s 912 ULS, iS and 914 turbo. The “superlative performance” Tecnam promised includes a cruise speed of 120 knots at 75 percent power, the maximum allowed in the LSA category, a takeoff distance of 344 feet, a stall speed of 35 knots and a climb rate of 1,200 fpm.