Advanced Aviation Explorer

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Role Ultralight homebuilt aircraft
National origin United States
Manufacturer Advanced Aviation
First flight 1990s
Status In production (Toucan)
Unit cost
US$$15,995 (Base price, Toucan, 2011)
Developed from Maxair Drifter
Sport Flight Talon

The Advanced Aviation Explorer is a two-seat ultralight marketed in kit form, for amateur construction. It is a high-wing taildragger aircraft of pusher configuration with tandem seating.[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8]

Design and development[edit]

The aircraft is a development of the Talon XP which in turn traces its linage to the Maxair Drifter. The Explorer has been produced by a number of companies and under a variety of names.[1]

The main advance over the Drifter is the Explorer's use of main wing struts and jury struts in place of cable bracing. Like all aircraft in this family they feature excellent visibility, especially from the front seat when the optional fibreglass cockpit pod is removed. As a result the design is often employed as a camera platform. It can be flown on floats and has been used for banner towing.[1]

Construction is of bolted aluminium tube, with the flying surfaces covered in pre-sewn Dacron envelopes. The kit takes about 150–250 hours to assemble.[1][2]

The standard engine is the Rotax 582 of 64 hp (48 kW), with the four-stroke 80 hp (60 kW) Rotax 912 optional.[1]


Initial version, derived from the Talon XP, but with struts in place of the cable-braced wing. Produced by Advanced Aviation, no longer in production.[1]
Similar to the Explorer, but produced by Arnet Pereyra Inc, no longer in production. Also known as the Zephyr II, 40 reported flying in 1998/2001.[1][5][6][7][8]
New name for the aircraft when manufacturer Arnet Pereyra changed the company name to Aero Adventure Aviation, powered by a Rotax 582 of 64 hp (48 kW). In production, with 10 flying at the end of 2011.[1][2][3][4][9][10]
Aero Adventure Aviation produced version powered by the 80 hp (60 kW) Rotax 912, 1,250 lb (567 kg) gross weight, optimized for amphibious floats. Out of production, with 1 flying at the end of 2007.[1][2][3][4][9]

Specifications (Toucan)[edit]

Data from Cliche[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Length: 22 ft 6 in (6.86 m)
  • Wingspan: 29 ft 8 in (9.04 m)
  • Height: 7 ft 0 in (2.13 m)
  • Wing area: 156 sq ft (14.5 m2)
  • Empty weight: 480 lb (218 kg)
  • Gross weight: 1,050 lb (476 kg)
  • Fuel capacity: 12 US gallons (45 litres)


  • Maximum speed: 90 mph (145 km/h; 78 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 73 mph (63 kn; 117 km/h)
  • Stall speed: 33 mph (29 kn; 53 km/h)
  • Range: 200 mi (174 nmi; 322 km)
  • Service ceiling: 14,000 ft (4,267 m)
  • Rate of climb: 1,100 ft/min (5.6 m/s)

See also[edit]

Related development


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Cliche, Andre: Ultralight Aircraft Shopper's Guide 8th Edition, page B-109. Cybair Limited Publishing, 2001. ISBN 0-9680628-1-4
  2. ^ a b c d Downey, Julia: 2008 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 24, Number 12, December 2007, page 37. Primedia Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  3. ^ a b c Downey, Julia: 2005 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 21, Number 12, December 2004, page 42. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  4. ^ a b c Newby-Gonzalez, Tori: 2004 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 20, Number 12, December 2003, page 37. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  5. ^ a b Downey, Julia: 2002 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 18, Number 12, December 2001, page 21. Kitplanes Acquisition Company. ISSN 0891-1851
  6. ^ a b Downey, Julia: 2001 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 17, Number 12, December 2000, page 29. Kitplanes Acquisition Company. ISSN 0891-1851
  7. ^ a b Downey, Julia: 1999 Kit Aircraft Directory, Kitplanes, Volume 15, Number 12, December 1998, page 37. Primedia Publications. ISSN 0891-1851
  8. ^ a b Purdy, Don: AeroCrafter - Homebuilt Aircraft Sourcebook, page 117. BAI Communications. ISBN 0-9636409-4-1
  9. ^ a b Aero Adventure Aviation (n.d.). "Toucan". Retrieved 15 February 2011. 
  10. ^ Vandermeullen, Richard: 2011 Kit Aircraft Buyer's Guide, Kitplanes, Volume 28, Number 12, December 2011, page 37. Belvoir Publications. ISSN 0891-1851

External links[edit]