|Aquila from Germany is debuting two versions of its A 211 in the U.S. market and has selected Southeast Aero as the first U.S. dealer. (photo by Marino Boric)
By Marino Boric, EAA European Correspondent
July 30, 2013 - Aquila, a well-known and long-established German certified aircraft manufacturer, premiered the A211 model at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2013, available in the U.S. first through importer Southeast Aero.
Aquila, Italian for "hawk," selected Southeast Aero after seeing its work with another German company, Extra Aircraft. Southeast started selling Walter Extra's creations 10 years ago and through this affiliation developed an appreciation for German engineering and manufacturing. A year ago Gerd Muhlbauer of MT Propeller told the two companies, "You guys need to work together." In turn, Southeast Aero executives visited Aquila's factory and found a focused, committed team building quality aircraft.
Southeast Aero believes the Aquila will find its place in America as a dual-purpose aircraft: an excellent primary trainer on the one hand and a very user-friendly and economical personal aircraft on the other.
Aquila is located near Berlin, specializing in lightweight fiber composite construction.
Aquila was established in 1995 near Berlin in Germany. The company has produced more than 160 aircraft flying mainly in Western Europe, expanding recently into Eastern Europe and Australia.
Aquila sales have been spread equally between schools, clubs, and individuals.
The aircraft is German/EASA Part 21.17 certified, which differs considerably from LSA rules by requiring stronger structure and higher gross weights, and requiring a pilot medical.
The new models being shown at EAA AirVenture are the modernized versions of proven Aquila A210 aircraft that were introduced to the market at AERO 2013. Aquila showcased the A211, basically an A210 with a revised cowling, a redesigned and bigger spinner, and a new canopy. The A211 and a newly shaped hood give the VLA low-wing composite construction a new - distinctive - look.
Together with new wheel fairings the A211 features new wheels and brakes manufactured by Beringer in France. Cockpit revisions include a centrally positioned trim indicator, optional electronic engine monitoring, and improved ventilation.
Proof in performance
Aquilla also improved flight performance, shortening the takeoff distance over a 50-foot obstacle by almost 360 feet.
Aquila's display at EAA Oshkosh includes both the A 211 - the basic analog avionics trainer aircraft - and the more luxurious A211GX with a Garmin glass cockpit. These models are certified in Europe and are awaiting FAA validation for day and night VFR, expected as soon as October.
The maiden U.S. ferry flight from St. Augustine, Florida, to Oshkosh a few days ago left the pilots with these impressions: First, they were impressed that they could load up the aircraft with fuel, two healthy guys, and a fair load of baggage and stay within weight limits. They also reported their delight at seeing 115-knot true airspeed flying at 4,500 to 6,500 feet MSL; performance remained comfortable at 7,500 feet over the Smoky Mountains.
They were "amazed" at being able to fly legs exceeding four hours on 24 gallons of fuel-and with comfortable reserves.