By Nadav Eiron, ANN Correspondent
A new high performance airplane from Europe made its first US
appearance this year at AirVenture: The Evektor Cobra. The Cobra is
a 4-5 seater, but unlike most recent designs in this category here
in the US, it is all metal, and has a retractable gear.
Evektor is planning to offer two models of the Cobra: The entry
level VUT100-120i will be powered by a 200HP Lycoming IO-360A1B6
and its big brother, the VUT100-131i Super Cobra will be powered by
a 315HP version of the new, yet to be certified, Lycoming IO-580.
Both engines will turn three bladed, composite, constant speed MT
propellers and will carry 90 gallons of fuel, giving the -120i
version a 1080nm VFR range and the -131i version a 1000nm
The Cobra is to be certified with a Sagem glass cockpit, S-Tec
55X autopilot, and single or dual Garmin 430 GPS/NAV/COMMs. The
Cobra's cabin is particularly roomy (51.5 inches wide). It has
gull-wing doors for the front occupants, plus a third door on the
left hand side for the rear bench seats. Similar to the Socata
Trinidad, the rear seat is wide enough to accommodate three people
(at least theoretically).
Initial performance specs for the airplanes call for a rate of
climb of 1000 ft/min at sea level for both models. Obviously, this
is only possible because the maximum takeoff weights are also
different: The -120i's MTOW is 2930 lbs., whereas the more powerful
-131i has a MTOW of 3200 lbs. Empty weight is also higher for the
-131i, so the difference in useful load is not as great: 1105 lbs.
vs. 1260 lbs. Maximum cruise speed is given as 155 knots for the
-120i and 175 knots for the -131i.
European certification of the 200HP model is expected in
December 2006, with FAA certification and certification for the
315HP by June 2007. Having learned the lesson from the efforts of
other European GA manufacturers, Evektor is actively looking for US
distributors and plans on supporting North American customers
through a wholly-owned subsidiary based in Canada.
One particular feature that may catch your eye with this plane
is the sticker price: The 200HP model lists for $260,000 and the
315HP model for $320,000 in May 2005 dollars. Evektor also claims
to have places an emphasis on low operating and maintenance costs,
with simple, easy to access systems. So, if you're in the market
for a new metal retract with a glass cockpit, there's now one more
airplane that's at least worth a serious look.