in General Aviation / Features

Aussie firm with a foxy new trainer

Posted 8 February 2017 · Add Comment

A new breed of aircraft could be the ideal trainer for the Gulf's growing carriers. Liz Moscrop reports

Foxcon Aviation, a producer of light sport aircraft (LSA), has had a brush with success in Australia and is now expanding its paw print to the MENA region.
The Australian firm has appointed Algeria-based Yahia Almouboudi as its exclusive agent in the region.
He explained: “We are searching for partners and investors in the region as we are looking to build a facility in Libya or Algeria, or possibly Qatar or the United Arab Emirates.”
The reasoning is clear. LSA products are economical and ideal for flight-training applications. And, as Almouboudi pointed out, flight-training is a growth area in the region.
He explained: “When you look at the expansion of the likes of Emirates and Qatar, you can see there is a real need for cost-effective, yet robust trainers.”
Foxcon’s range of aircraft is the result of global national airworthiness authorities (NAAs) adopting similar rules to address advances in sport and recreational aviation technology.
LSA rulings aim to allow for the manufacture of safe and economical light sport aircraft. In June 2008, Foxcon used the guidelines to create its Terrier 200 type.
The company says that the key to the aircraft’s success is its lightness. Its maximum take-off weight of just 600kg comes from a construction that comprises a perforated foam-like board placed between the two layers of fibreglass, which loses its resin during the vacuum-moulding process as it is sucked through the board’s perforations, bonding the two layers and providing very high-strength skin. This is particularly valuable when constructing the fuselage and aerofoils.
Its propeller is made of carbon composite, rather than wood, which can be subject to fatigue and distortion when entering rain during flight.
Its numbers also stack up favourably when compared to heavier types, such as Cessna’s ill-fated, yet practical, Skycatcher. The Terrier200 is priced at $59,600 (according to the company’s website) rather than the $95,500 for the Skycatcher.
It also offers a 600nm range, lands in 100 metres and cruises at 110kts. It is not particularly thirsty either, with a fuel burn of 13 litres per hour, as opposed to the Skycatcher’s 22 litres. It can also come with a glass cockpit, depending on customer specifications.
As a private pilot who has been involved in aviation for several years, Almouboudi said he could see the potential across the region as commercial carriers expand their routes and the requirement for pilots grows.
Indeed, should Foxcon succeed in its ambitions it will join Italy’s Tecnam, which has already had some success in the Gulf, with an installed fleet of at least 11 of its 14 different types. Distributor Aviation Home is one of the largest distributors in the Middle East region (GCC countries) and is Tecnam’s sole distributor in Qatar.
Aviation Home also offers shipping, customs clearance, registration, assembly, training and maintenance, and has aircraft flying with both private owners and flight-training schools in Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
Although Cessna only sold 195 Skycatchers, there are around 50 companies still producing LSAs, which are ideal for flight-training applications, as they are both robust and economical. “I believe this product could succeed in the Middle East first,” said Almouboudi, “and then expand into northern Africa.”
 

* required field

Post a comment

Other Stories
Advertisement
Latest News

Emirates service to Tunis becomes daily

Emirates has reaffirmed its commitment to Tunis by increasing the frequency of flights between Dubai and Tunis from six to seven a week starting 30th October 2017.

TIACA expands global reach with new board member from Africa

A new board member, representing the ground handling and cargo carrier sectors of Africa has been appointed to the TIACA Board of Directors.

Global Aviation to lease an A300 freighter

Libya's Global Aviation will shortly wet-lease an A300C4 freighter from Moldova's Air Stork , reports ch-aviation.

New CEO of SAA to start role in November

South African Airways (SAA) has announced the start date of its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at the airline's headquarters, Airways Park, Johannesburg, as November 1, 2017.

Construction at terminal 3 at Accra-Kotoka International effects certain operators

With construction work on Accra-Kotoka Internationals new Terminal 3 flagship project moving into top gear some operators at the airport have had to change location to facilitate the development.

Sanjeev Gadhia elected to TIACA board

Africa has its first representative on the board of TIACA (The International Air Cargo Association, USA) which is the largest air-cargo association in the world.

Honeywell ADSBSK0109300917
See us at
Global Aerospace BT28218ACI Africa BT77181017AfBAC Expo BT2017Aviation Africa BT18418GroundHandling BT0303280917AIMA Africa 2017