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Sat, Apr 13, 2024

Classic Aero-TV: The Life Aquilae

From 2023 (YouTube Version): An Eagle by Any Other Name

Originally developed as the Yuma by Alisport, an Italian aircraft manufacturer based in the Northern Italian city of Cremella, the Aquilae (ACK-will-lay) is a kit-built, STOL-capable, Light Sport Aircraft (LSA) distributed in the U.S. by Kent, Illinois-based North American Eagle. Aquilae is the Latin term for Eagle.

As implied by its eligibility for certification as an LSA, the Aquilae’s maximum gross weight is 1,320-pounds. The aircraft is powered by a one-hundred-horsepower normally-aspirated, carbureted, four-cylinder, four-stroke, liquid-and-air-cooled, Rotax 912 ULS engine.

Built entirely with 2024-T3 Alclad aluminum fitted over a 4130 steel tube welded frame, the Aquilae can be had with either a conventional (tail-dragger) or tricycle undercarriage. In addition to being eminently conducive to easy storage the Aquilae’s unique, folding main-wing is fitted with electric flaps and houses a pair of 9.25-gallon fuel-tanks to which the aircraft’s advertised range of between 434 and 508-nautical-miles is ascribed, in part.

All told, the Aquilae’s fuselage measures 22-feet along its longitudinal axis and, at its widest datum, measures 48-inches across. Subject fuselage is topped with a folding—as mentioned—wing spanning 32.5-feet and stressed to a maximum loading of +4/-2G. The aircraft stands 7.67-feet tall and tips the scales at an empty weight of 731-pounds.

By way of performance, the Aquilae manages a Vne of 108-knots and a Vso stall-speed of 27-knots. Climb-rate varies with loading and spans one-thousand to 1,500-feet-per-minute.

An aluminum-float-equipped iteration of the Aquilae is under development—an iteration North American Eagle vice-president of sales Mark Mellicker posits may be available in an amphibious variant. Time, as ever, will tell.

The Aquilae kit conforms with the FAA’s 51-percent amateur build rule. Estimated kit completion time is a brisk three-hundred-hours. Currently, customer deliveries of the first Aquilae kits are slated for summer 2024.

In summer 2023, the Aquilae kit commanded a price of $34,950. Fully kitted-out with engine, avionics, interior, and paint, the buyers may expect airworthy Aquilae specimens to set them back $70,000—more or less.

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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