By Marino Boric, EAA European Correspondent
Magnaghi Aeronautica S.p.A., the Italian aerospace group manufacturing the Sky Arrow aircraft series, is introducing a significantly updated Sky Arrow light-sport aircraft (LSA) this week. The new version differs in several visible and invisible details from the previous model shown at Sun 'n Fun in Lakeland, Florida, earlier this year.
Enhancements include new extended wing tanks, modified stabilizer aerodynamics, and a new, streamlined leaf-spring landing gear. Other updated components, such as Beringer wheels and brakes, guarantee better ground handling. A 10-inch Dynon SkyView system and a completely redesigned instrument panel are part of the cockpit updates to the Sky Arrow.
The first new Sky Arrow LSA flew into AirVenture from Atlanta and features navy blue fuselage stripes and registration numbers, as well as a stylish matte blue/gray interior. The traditional "Italian red" accent colors will still be available on request.
Magnaghi Group of southern Italy six months ago announced its acquisition of Sky Arrow-related assets, including all existing products and certifications.
The Sky Arrow is an all-composite, high-wing, tandem-seat LSA powered by a Rotax 912S engine in the pusher configuration. It was first introduced in 1993 by Meteor S.p.A., also of Italy. Sky Arrow underwent bankruptcy in 2008 and was resurrected just months ago, with help from the Italian company Magnaghi Aeronautica.
The Sky Arrow was created as a low-cost, high-visibility aerial work platform designed and used for airborne patrol, law enforcement, environmental research, and electronic newsgathering missions. The Sky Arrow can perform most rotary-wing tasks at a fraction of the cost, according to a company spokesman. Several hundred Sky Arrows are currently operated worldwide as LSA and FAR Part 23 aircraft.
Magnaghi Aeronautica also introduced a Sky Arrow designed as an aerial work platform-observation, news, and law enforcement (AWP-ONE). The Sky Arrow AWP-ONE is available in four payload configurations, with different sensors allowing terrain mapping, environmental research, and early wildfire detection. The Sky Arrow AWP-ONE on display at the company's AirVenture display features a Goodrich sensor system based on a TASE 300 gyro-stabilized camera, allowing video recording of activities on the ground.
COO Giorgio Iannotti remarked several months ago, "Magnaghi Group believes in this product and is strongly willing to relaunch the Sky Arrow series." Iannotti also confirmed that a UAV version of the Sky Arrow is on the way. Further, the new owner will restart all activities related to the F-300 project, a high-performance, low-wing, four-place, composite airplane designed by the recently deceased Italian design legend Stelio Frati.
Magnaghi Aeronautica is one of Italy's leading manufacturers of aerospace equipment and components. To learn more, stop by the company's display in the LSA Mall or visit www.SkyArrow.it or www.MagnaghiAeronautica.it.