Some would say that the Midwest was made for seaplane flying. Anyone who has landed on water can attest that the water experience adds another dimension to the fun of flying. While most seaplanes are high-wing aircraft that have been fitted with floats, some seaplanes are purpose designed to be operated on water, with their fuselage designed to take on the role of a watercraft when landing on, operating on, or taking off from water. The “Super Petrel LS” is just such a bird. With unique and beautiful lines, this amphibious biplane is about as much fun to look at, as it is to fly.
The Super Petrel’s biplane design affords it incredible lift and stability, while the high-aspect ratio wings and narrow wing chord provide for an unusually low-drag biplane configuration. With less than 400 ft. takeoff distances from either land or water, a useful load of nearly 550 lbs, a cruise speed of over 100 kts, and a stall speed of less than 35 kts without flaps, the Super Petrel LS boasts the highest performance in its class.
Adding to its simplicity, this bird doesn’t have, nor does it need, either flaps or water rudders. Flying from either land or water is simply a matter of stick, throttle, rudders and making sure the landing gear is in the right position for either a land or water landing. Its robust retractable tricycle landing gear also makes for forgiving landings on land and adds a margin of safety if the gear were accidentally left in the down position for a water landing.
On the water it is less susceptible to the effects of the wind than its float-fitted friends, and is highly maneuverable. Step taxiing is more like flying a Jet Ski, than driving a motorboat. The landing gear can be extended in the water to allow taxiing up and down a beach or ramp.
The cabin is a comfortable 46 inches wide and boasts a very full, all-glass panel, including dual Dynon EFIS displays and a Garmin 795. Standard avionics also include a 2020 compliant ADS-B in and out transponder, dual axis autopilot, electric trim, audio and visual gear position indicators, and an Angle of Attack (AOA) indicator. Those of us in the upper Midwest also appreciate the CO-safe cabin heater.
The Super Petrel LS is fairly new to the U.S. market, having just received FAA Special Light Sport Aircraft (S-LSA) certification in early 2014. However, this French designed, Brazilian-built water bird has been around for over 20 years, with over 350 flying in other countries around the world. During that period the design was tweaked and tuned into what we have today, which is a high performing, very docile, very forgiving, and very easy-to-fly LSA. Today, the Super Petrel LS is assembled in the United States in new facilities located in Ormond Beach, Florida.
For additional information, contact John Melchert at Omnav Aviation in Eden Prairie, Minn. at 612-567-4981, or email email@example.com. Omnav Aviation is the sales representative for the Super Petrel LS in the Midwest.