Thu, Jul 26, 2012
Satisfy Your Need For Speed With A Personal Rocket
By Tom Woodward
Have you ever ridden in a Ferrari? How about a Lamborghini? Me neither. I’m not that well connected to ever have owned one or even have friends that do, but I have ridden in a Falco. A Falco is a homebuilt designed by the iconic Italian aircraft designer Stelio Frati, also the designer of the Siai Marchetti SF-260, a two place rocket ship favored by many of the “Walter Mitty” Fighter Schools used to satisfy the Chuck Yeager hidden deep within. The Falco is mostly constructed of wood and lots and lots of labor. Building times are upwards in the 5000 hour range. The funny thing is, that no matter how long it takes to build, it never goes out of style due to its Italian genes.
Along comes Jim Sampson, CEO and manager of Scion Aviation in Ft. Collins, CO. Sampson is very busy building carbon composite parts for other companies including the military. He’s too busy to spend 5000 hours building an airplane and so instead of working harder he worked smarter. Out of his autoclaves came the Furio Falcomposite. This race car will scoot you along at 160 to 170 knots, depending on engine installation and is designed to work wonderfully with the Lycoming’s XP-360.
Two years ago I flew to Oshkosh in a Falco and found the interior dimensions too small for my comfort. Sampson showed up back then with bits and peaces of the Furio but not until this year did he bring a flying airplane. After sitting in the cockpit I found the 43.5” shoulder width to be more suitable to my personal dimensions. I also don’t have the same issues with hitting my head on a lowered canopy and now have plenty of room for even a bulky headset. The performance now is even more spectacular. You can expect a useful load of 1430 pounds (varies with engine/propeller choice) and depending on your fuel configuration which can be set up three ways. You can opt for just the header and rear fuselage tank for a total of 63 gallons, or the wing tanks for 43 gallons or all four tanks for a piddle-pack busting 106 gallons yielding a 2200 mile range! Considering the XP-360 uses about 10 gallon per hour that a lot of time in the air. The Furio is stressed to +6/-4 g’s so get your
CEO Sampson said that there are fewer than 30 structural parts and they were still able to get the FAA’s blessing on the 51% rule, coming in at 38% factory parts. So far 12 kits have been delivered and 4 are flying. Show special here at Oshkosh is $99,500 and they have kits in stock. That’s not really a lot of money to satisfy your Mitty mood.
(Artist's conception image provided by Falco)
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