New Aerial SUV Carries A Load In Style
by ANN Correspondent Scott Wagner
If you're in the market for a four-seat heavy lifter, there's a
new workhorse at the feeding trough. The Expedition was on display
at AOPA Expo 2007, held last weekend in Hartford, CT.
The Expedition is based on the Bush Hawk, under production by
Found Aircraft Canada, Inc. since 2000 as a tailwheel equipped
bushplane. As ANN reported, Found
recently launched a new division, Expedition Aircraft, to produce
and market the new rendition.
The new model incorporates a number of design improvements --
including more power, extended wingtips, vortex generators, and a
wider cabin. Also new is the buyers' choice of gear configurations.
The E350 is a nose dragger, and the E350XC is equipped with the
little wheel in the back. Both are rugged, but the XC model is
better-suited for true backcountry operations.
The Expedition, which made its US debut at AirVenture a few
months ago, is positioned somewhere around the Cessna 182 and 206.
However, it offers a higher cruise speed and payload than either.
With a 52" cabin width for the front and back seats, the interior
is positively cavernous. The aircraft is actually capable of
carrying three passengers in the back seat, although they would
have to be relativity narrow.
The legroom available is probably the best of any light single.
With the rear seat removed, enough gear to supply a small village
could be piled inside, including a 55 gallon drum. Cargo anchor
points can be found throughout the cabin to assist in tying down
the load. Big forward swinging doors allow for easy loading and
unloading of the backseat/cargo area. Large windows provide
excellent visibility, with no wing strut in the way due to the
cantilever wing. The Expedition is factory ready for float
Power for the Expedition comes from a 315hp Lycoming IO-580
swinging an 82-inch, three-bladed Hartzell constant speed prop.
Load the Expedition up to its full gross weight of 3,800 pounds,
and this mule can still get in and out of some pretty tight spots.
Even with full fuel, available payload is still over 900
pounds. With a ground roll of 725 feet, you'll need 1215'
total to clear the 50' trees at the end of the strip.
Climbout at sea level is 1250 feet per minute. Granted, you
won't find many bushplanes lurking around the ocean; you'll be more
likely to find them moose hunting in the mountains. With 100
gallons of fuel aboard, endurance is about five and a half hours at
75% power. Cruise at the aforementioned setting clocks in at 160
knots, allowing a crew of hearty outdoorsmen the ability to get
nearly 900 miles into the woods before topping of the tanks. Stall
at gross is 51 knots, requiring 1394 feet to clear the same 50
trees, and roll out distance of 610 feet.
Currently, the company has about two dozen orders on the books,
and expects to gain FAA and Canadian certification in the second
quarter of 2008. Deliveries will begin shortly thereafter, with
about 30 per year rolling off the line and into the air. The
company currently has two US dealers, with one in South Africa and
another in Australia. Current asking price is $459,000, with a