ARV Super2

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Super2
Arv super2 g-bpmx at kemble arp.jpg
Role Light Aircraft
National origin Great Britain
Manufacturer ARV
First flight 11 March 1985
Status Production discontinued
Number built about 35
ARV prototype
ARV with MidWest AE110, Ecoprop & Trelleborg tyres
ARV with Rotax 912 & tundra tyres
ARV with Jabiru 2200

The ARV Super2 is a British two-seat, strut-braced, shoulder wing, tricycle landing gear light aircraft, that was designed by Bruce Giddings.[1] It was intended to be both a cost-effective trainer[2] and an affordable aircraft attractive to private owners.[3] Later called the "Opus", it gained US Federal Aviation Administration Light-sport aircraft approval in February 2008.[4][5]

An 1994 review described the ARV Super2 favourably as an aircraft with excellent visibility that is both responsive and pleasant to fly.[6]

Around 35[7] aircraft were produced in the 1980s before the Isle of Wight-based company went into liquidation.[8] Subsequently there have been a number of attempts to restart production, mostly unsuccessful. In November 2013, Opus Aircraft announced that the assets had been auctioned off successfully, adding: "We hope to see our plans continued and to see the all-aluminum plane flying by 2015".[9][10]

Design and development[edit]

After breaking the world land speed record in 1983, the UK entrepreneur Richard Noble, spotted a gap in the market for a low-cost light two-seat trainer, after expensive product-liability lawsuits in the United States had temporarily driven the major American general aviation manufacturers to abandon production of such aircraft. Noble set up a factory at Sandown on the Isle of Wight to build the aircraft, named the ARV Super2, the first prototype flying on 11 March 1985.[11] The factory used some novel manufacturing techniques, including British ALCAN's "Supral"[12] (a superplastic aluminium alloy), adhesives (to reduce rivet count and save weight), and a bespoke new British engine, the Hewland AE75. These innovations gave the ARV an empty weight 40% lower than the Cessna 152,[13] making the Super2 cheap to buy and economical to operate. The manufacturer claimed it would reduce pilot training costs by 25%[2]

The ARV Super2 is a side-by-side configuration two-seater with a shoulder wing for good visibility.[12] The wing is swept forward 5° to maintain correct center of gravity balance.[12] The wing area is a small 92 sq ft (8.5 m2), giving a wing loading of 11.9 lb/ft² (58.1 kg/m²).[12] The ARV is constructed mainly of aluminium alloy, but with fibreglass wingtips, cowlings and canopy frame.[2][14] The cockpit is a stiff monocoque of "Supral" alloy for lightness and improved crash protection. Aft of the cockpit bulkhead, the ARV is conventionally built, with frames, longerons and stressed skin. Skin sections are both glued and riveted. The aircraft has twin control sticks, and all controls are pushrod, except the rudder, which is cable-linked. Both flaps and trim are mechanically operated. The rudder pedals control a steerable nosewheel, but the hand-operated disc brakes are not differential and do not contribute to steering.[12]

The AE75 engine, a 49 kg (108 lb)[14]75 hp (56 kW)[2] inverted three-cylinder water-cooled two-stroke unit with dual ignition and a 2.7:1 reduction gearbox,[15] was specially developed for the ARV by Hewland from their existing two-cylinder microlight engine. The The AE75 engine has a TBO of only 800 hours, and, in the absence of continuing factory support, many ARVs have had their AE75s replaced with engines such as the Rotax 912,[16] the Rotax 914,[17][18] or the Jabiru 2200.[19] Three ARVs were fitted ab initio with the fuel-injected MidWest twin-rotor wankel engine.[20][21][22][23]

The Super2 gained airworthiness certification in July 1986,[11] and entered full production. In November 1985, Noble had reached an agreement to supply ARV parts to Canada's Instar Aviation, where the aircraft would be assembled for the North American market. Transport Canada had agreed to certify the aircraft based on it "meeting UK criteria", but in the end these Canadian production plans came to nothing.[24] Originally, ARVs were available either as kit-built aircraft (subject to PFA Permit), or factory built (and subject to the CAA Certificate of Airworthiness). In the spring of 1990 Aviation Scotland Limited was to restart production and in 1993 that company was to set up another facility in Sweden to build ARVs.[25] In the late 1990s the aircraft was sold in kit form in the USA as the Highlander by Highlander Aircraft Corporation of Golden Valley, Minnesota.[25]

Super2s have very limited luggage space, with just a small locker behind the headrests, that is inaccessible during flight, plus a pair of elasticated map pockets in the cockpit sides. The second prototype, G-STWO, has an extra luggage locker in the starboard fuselage, just behind the fuel tank,[26] but to date no other ARVs have this feature. The LAA have approved a modification for a removable auxiliary fuel tank (AFT), which adds a further 13 litres (2.9 imp gal; 3.4 US gal) capacity to the main tank's 50 litres (11 imp gal; 13 US gal). Like the main fuel tank, the AFT is sited close to the centre of gravity, so weight-and-balance is barely affected; but a disadvantage is that the AFT occupies the bulk of the space of the locker behind the headrests.[27][28]

In 2004, the CAA reclassified all ARVs as PFA (now LAA) Permit aircraft. The ARV Super2 was originally intended to be aerobatic, but the Isle of Wight factory closed before CAA clearance was obtained, so aerobatics remain prohibited. Also, the factory had planned to develop a four-seater version, wing-tip tanks and floats.[29]

Opus Aircraft upgraded some specifications for the aircraft, increasing the Vne to 134 kn (248 km/h) and increasing the gross weight to 1,168 lb (530 kg). The company intended to equip the aircraft with the Rotax 912UL or 912A of 80 hp (60 kW).[30]

Production history[edit]

The ARV Super2 has had an unfortunate production history. Shortly after aircraft deliveries began, there were a number of forced landings due to gearbox failures induced by propeller vibration; and in November 1987 the CAA grounded the aircraft.[31] Although these problems were quickly resolved, the damage was done.[32] Buyers and investors lost confidence, and this led to the closure of the Isle of Wight factory. The company was forced into administration, but it seemed to be rescued after a management buyout, and being renamed Island Aircraft.[33] Between 30 and 35 aircraft were completed by ARV and Island aircraft at Sandown, with production first being transferred to Scotland and then to Sweden, where it was renamed the "Opus 280",[34][35] before the Swedish producers themselves went bankrupt in 1995.[36] After yet another unsuccessful attempt to restart production in Ohio, a new consortium, Opus Aircraft,[37] acquired the rights, establishing a factory in North Carolina, although production was never started.[38] In February 2008, the "Opus Super 2" was granted FAA Light Sport Aircraft approval.[8]

Opus Aircraft of Rockingham, near Stoneville, North Carolina, United States[39] acquired manufacturing rights, plus a selection of aircraft parts. The factory produced an "Opus Super 2" prototype, but their proposed resumption of production never occurred. The company, valued at US$8M, was offered for sale for US$2.9M in 2013, but there were no bidders. In October 2013 the company was being offered at auction with a reserve bid of US$199,000.[8][38][40][41]

Operational history[edit]

In the early days, at least two flying schools adopted the ARV, but today most Super2s in the UK are in private hands.[42][43][44]

The ARV Super2 has received favourable reviews which describe it as an aircraft with excellent visibility that is pleasant to fly.[45] The small wing area and the fairly high wing loading, coupled with pushrod-operated flying controls, creates an aircraft that is very responsive without being "twitchy".[6]

This 30-year-old design's cabin is rather snug for modern pilots, who may be bulkier than in the 1980s.[46] The Hewland engines are required to be overhauled at 800 hours and replacement engines have all been heavier than the 49 kg (108 lb) original, needing a lead counterweight in the tail to maintain balance. The empenage is short-coupled and its area is a little marginal for the landing flare, so flaring with a stopped engine might prove difficult.[47]

Any modification proposals have needed to be submitted by ARV owners to the Light Aircraft Association for approval. Such modifications include fuel-injection systems, ground-adjustable propellers, and vortex generators.[48]

Specifications (ARV Super 2)[edit]

Data from Jane's All the World's Aircraft 1988-89 [11]

General characteristics

Performance

See also[edit]

Aircraft of comparable role, configuration and era

Bölkow Junior

Saab Safari

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Pilot" magazine, June 1985 page 6
  2. ^ a b c d Green 1987, pp 26-27
  3. ^ Flight International 6 April 1985, pp. 13–14.
  4. ^ Johnson, Dan (2102), Opus Aircraft LLC, retrieved 17 March 2012
  5. ^ Bayerl, Robby; Martin Berkemeier; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011-12, page 67. WDLA UK, Lancaster UK, 2011. ISSN 1368-485X
  6. ^ a b "Pilot" magazine April 1994 page 26
  7. ^ Moss, Roger (January 2010), ARV2, retrieved 17 March 2012
  8. ^ a b c OPUS ARV Super 2 (United States), Aircraft - Fixed-wing - Civil. Jane's.com. Jane's Information Group. 19 February 2010. Retrieved 9 September 2010.
  9. ^ "Assets of Opus Aircraft LLC". Iron Horse Auction. Retrieved 2013-10-18. 
  10. ^ "Opus Aircraft". Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  11. ^ a b c Taylor 1988, p.279.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Pilot" magazine February 1986 pages 32-33
  13. ^ Blech 1986, p.47.
  14. ^ a b "Pilot" magazine, June 1985 pages 5-6
  15. ^ "Air Pictorial" magazine April 1986
  16. ^ Civil Aviation Authority (United Kingdom) (August 2011). "GINFO Search Results G-XARV". Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  17. ^ Civil Aviation Authority (United Kingdom) (August 2011). "GINFO Search Results G-ZARV". Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  18. ^ Civil Aviation Authority (United Kingdom) (August 2011). "GINFO Search Results G-OTAL". Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  19. ^ Civil Aviation Authority (United Kingdom), GINFO Search Results, retrieved 15 December 14
  20. ^ Civil Aviation Authority (United Kingdom) (August 2011). "GINFO Search Results G-ORIX". Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  21. ^ Civil Aviation Authority (United Kingdom) (August 2011). "GINFO Search Results G-BWBZ". Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  22. ^ Civil Aviation Authority (United Kingdom) (August 2011). "GINFO Search Results G-BMWJ". Retrieved 7 August 2011. 
  23. ^ "Pilot" magazine April 1994 page 22
  24. ^ "Canadian Aviation" magazine December 1986
  25. ^ a b Purdy, Don: AeroCrafter - Homebuilt Aircraft Sourcebook, Fifth Edition, page 174. BAI Communications, 15 July 1998. ISBN 0-9636409-4-1
  26. ^ "Flyer" magazine March 1991
  27. ^ Light Aircraft Association (4 December 2011), LAA/MOD 3 MODIFICATION APPLICATION retrieved 6 October 2012
  28. ^ Reference: ARV/2011/AFT/TR/05 (LAA mod # 13212)
  29. ^ "Pilot" magazine February 1996 page 34
  30. ^ Opus Aircraft (n.d.). "Aircraft Specifications". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  31. ^ Flight International, 14 November 1987, p.16
  32. ^ "Flyer" magazine february 1994 page 13
  33. ^ Belch 1989, pp. 92-94.
  34. ^ Flight International 11–17 August 1993, p.24.
  35. ^ Daly 1994, p.30.
  36. ^ Flight International. 27 September - 3 October 1995. p.6.
  37. ^ Opus Aircraft (n.d.). "Welcome to Opus Aircradft, LLC. Manufacturers of the OPUS Super2 Sport Aircraft". Retrieved 19 August 2011. 
  38. ^ a b Grady, Mary (16 October 2013). "LSA Manufacturer To Be Sold At Auction". AVweb. Retrieved 17 October 2013. 
  39. ^ "LSA Videos". ByDanJohnson.com. Retrieved 2012-10-27. 
  40. ^ Opus Aircraft (February 2008). "Opus Aircraft home". Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  41. ^ Opus Aircraft (n.d.). "Opus Aircraft Opportunities". Archived from the original on 15 July 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  42. ^ "Flyer" magazine March 1991 page 12
  43. ^ "Pilot" magazine April 2003 page 66
  44. ^ Civil Aviation Authority (United Kingdom) (August 2011). "GINFO Search Results Summary". Retrieved 16 August 2011. 
  45. ^ "A little sweetheart" in "Flyer" magazine February 1994 page 13
  46. ^ "Flyer" magazine February 1994 page 14
  47. ^ "Pilot" magazine April 2003 page 65
  48. ^ LAA mod nos:10360, 10906, & 12250

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]