Polaris FIB

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AM-FIB
Polaris Flying Inflatable Boat 01.jpg
Polaris FIB hull and motor on display at Sun 'n Fun 2004
Role Ultralight trike
National origin Italy
Manufacturer Polaris Motor
Introduction mid-1980s
Status In production (2013)
Variants Polaris AM-FIB

The Polaris FIB ("Flying Inflatable Boat") is an Italian flying boat ultralight trike, designed and produced by Polaris Motor of Gubbio. The aircraft was introduced in the mid-1980s and remains in production. It is supplied as a complete ready-to-fly-aircraft.[1][2]

Design and development[edit]

The FIB complies with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale microlight category, including the category's maximum gross weight of 450 kg (992 lb). The FIB has a maximum gross weight of 406 kg (895 lb).[1][2]

The aircraft features a cable-braced hang glider-style high-wing, weight-shift controls, a two-seats-in-tandem open cockpit, an inflatable boat hull and a single engine in pusher configuration. The FIB has no wheeled landing gear, but as a result of customer demand it was later developed into the amphibious Polaris AM-FIB.[1]

The FIB's single surface wing is made from bolted-together aluminum tubing and covered in Dacron sailcloth. The 11.15 m (36.6 ft) span wing is supported by a single tube-type kingpost and uses an "A" frame weight-shift control bar. The powerplant is a twin cylinder, liquid-cooled, two-stroke, dual-ignition 64 hp (48 kW) Rotax 582 engine.[1]

The aircraft has an empty weight of 216 kg (476 lb) and a gross weight of 406 kg (895 lb), giving a useful load of 190 kg (419 lb). With full fuel of 40 litres (8.8 imp gal; 11 US gal) the payload is 161 kg (355 lb).[1][2]

The company continues to develop the design and in 2010 introduced a new hull shape to increase performance in the water and in the air.[1]

Dimitri Delemarie, writing in The World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011-12, said of the design, "It will never win any speed records, but if there were an award for fun, it would be right up there at the top."[1]

Operational history[edit]

The FIB is used by a number of government operators, including police and coastguards.[2]

Variants[edit]

In the early 2000s the company offered a version with the same wing, but without a boat hull, using a conventional minimalist trike frame mounted on wheeled landing gear or optionally skis. Even though it did not have a boat hull it was still marketed under the FIB name.[2]

Specifications (FIB)[edit]

Data from Bayerl[1]

General characteristics

  • Crew: one
  • Capacity: one passenger
  • Wingspan: 11.15 m (36 ft 7 in)
  • Wing area: 19.6 m2 (211 sq ft)
  • Empty weight: 216 kg (476 lb)
  • Gross weight: 406 kg (895 lb)
  • Fuel capacity: 40 litres (8.8 imp gal; 11 US gal)
  • Powerplant: 1 × Rotax 582 twin cylinder, liquid-cooled, two stroke aircraft engine, 48 kW (64 hp)
  • Propellers: 3-bladed composite

Performance

  • Maximum speed: 80 km/h (50 mph; 43 kn)
  • Cruise speed: 70 km/h (43 mph; 38 kn)
  • Stall speed: 48 km/h (30 mph; 26 kn)
  • Rate of climb: 4.5 m/s (890 ft/min)
  • Wing loading: 20.7 kg/m2 (4.2 lb/sq ft)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Bayerl, Robby; Martin Berkemeier; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2011-12, page 218. WDLA UK, Lancaster UK, 2011. ISSN 1368-485X
  2. ^ a b c d e Bertrand, Noel; Rene Coulon; et al: World Directory of Leisure Aviation 2003-04, page 107. Pagefast Ltd, Lancaster UK, 2003. ISSN 1368-485X

External links[edit]