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Sat, Dec 02, 2023

Classic Aero-TV: Of the Aeropup and its Pedigree

From 2023 (YouTube Version): Barking up the Right Tree

Australian-born, the Aeropup is a remarkably robust, fully-customizable, go-anywhere, two-seat, STOL/LSA aircraft. The machine’s rugged, CNC-precision-manufactured chromium-alloy tubular-steel frame surrounds the occupant compartment, protecting those within after the fashion of a high-performance road-vehicle’s roll-cage.

The Aeropup’s rugged airframe may be paired with either a conventional (tailwheel) or tricycle (nosewheel) undercarriage, and is borne aloft by an innovative and efficient wing comprising three spars—the principal of which features a lattice-structure at once stronger and lighter than conventional hollow spars. What’s more, to facilitate ease of transport and storage, the Aeropup’s wings are user-foldable.

To the subject of thrust, the Aeropup airframe accommodates a number of contemporary engine makes and models in the 65 to 130-horsepower range—the most popular of which are UL Power’s UL350, Rotax’s 582 and 912 mills, Jabiru’s 2200, Volkswagen’s 2276, D-Motor’s (LF-26), and Aeromomentum’s AM13.

By virtue of its sheer toughness, favorable power-to-weight ratio, and the agile and precise control afforded by its large wing and empennage control-surfaces, the Aeropup makes for splendid backcountry flying. Those seeking to make for the world’s truly remote regions may provision their Aeropups with an optional float package.

The Aeropup’s 1,300-pound (LSA) and 1,650-pound (non-LSA) maximum gross weights include the aircraft’s 540-pound empty weight and 24-gallon (145-pound) fuel capacity. Payload for the two iterations is a simple matter of rudimentary mathematics.

Operators may reasonably expect their Aeropups to manage a 130-knot Vne, a cruise speed of one-hundred-knots, and a wonderfully-docile, 36-know Vso stall-speed. Though range and endurance vary with engine installation, Aeropup’s literature claims five-to-eight hours and 570-statute-miles respectively.

True to its designers’ claims of ruggedness, the Aeropup is rated to G-loads of plus-four and negative-three.

By kit aircraft standards, the Aeropup is a relatively easy airplane to build, with start-to-finish construction times averaging five-hundred man-hours. Furthermore, Aeropup kits are currently available for the remarkable introductory price of only $18,000. Total build costs range from $50,000 to $55,000. Once complete, the Aeropup’s estimated hourly operating-cost is a miserly $25.

In an age of $430,000 Cessna 172s and $250,000 home-built LSA aircraft, the notion of an $18,000 kit and a completed and flyable $55,000 airplane is contemporaneously refreshing and necessary. Flying has never been an inexpensive undertaking, but it ought not be the sole province of the wealthy. By designing and bringing to market an aircraft within the monetary and temporal purviews of the more modestly-monied, the Aeropup’s makers ensure the dream of flight remans attainable to humankind’s working contingent, and help keep patent an important conduit to tomorrow’s airliner flight-decks.

Aero-TV is a production of the Internationally syndicated Aero-News Network. Seen worldwide by hundreds of thousands of aviators and aviation adherents, ANN's Aero-TV has produced over 5000 aviation and feature programs, including nearly 2000 episodes of our daily aviation news program, AIRBORNE UNLIMITED, currently hosted by Holland Lee. Now in its third decade of operation, parent company Aero-News Network, has the most aggressive and intensive editorial profile of any aviation news organization and has published nearly a half-million news and feature stories since its inception -- having pioneered the online 24/7 aviation new-media model that so many have emulated.

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