Today’s entry is from guest blogger Alyssa J. Miller, an instrument-rated private pilot currently working on the commercial rating. Alyssa is an editor for AOPA’s electronic publications.–Jill Tallman
Any aircraft with a max gross weight of 1,320 pounds and a 100-horsepower engine is going to jump off the ground, but the handling characteristics of and sight picture from the Remos make you feel almost as if you are levitating on takeoff.
Imagine riding upward on a Ferris wheel (sans the carnival music) or lifting off in a helicopter. Now, combine the two for a sense of takeoff in a Remos.
I recently had the opportunity to fly AOPA’s 2010 Sweepstakes Fun to Fly Remos with AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Alton Marsh and go through a standard checkout—takeoff, slow flight, stalls, steep turns, no-flap landing, and full-flap landing.
The aircraft’s smaller cowling and large windows in the door provide excellent forward and downward visibility, allowing the pilot to see much more runway on takeoff than in a Cessna 172. And with a rotation speed of just 30 to 40 mph (yes, mph, not knots) and a climb rate of 1,000 fpm, it seems as if it’s just floating off the ground.
Slow flight, stalls, and steep turns are seemingly effortless in the aircraft—you really don’t need to use trim at all (this from a weakling who uses trim a lot). The Remos is much more sensitive to control inputs than a Cessna 172, requiring a light grip on the control stick and small, gentle inputs.
The Remos is equipped with 40 degrees of flaps, so its final approach path is steep with full flaps. It’s not much different than the approach angle for a Cessna 170 or 172 with 40 degrees of flaps, but, again, the smaller cowling lets you see a lot more ground than you would in a larger aircraft.
Touchdown. Well, it’s not like the conclusion of a Ferris wheel ride or landing in a helicopter. It’s smoother. The aircraft is light, and it wants to fly, so touchdown is very graceful—even when you bounce. The wind, although blowing straight down the runway, had started to pick up by the end of my flight. On the last landing, I bounced a little. But, it felt as if I had touched down just enough for the wheels to kiss the runway, then briefly lift off again before returning to the ground. An onlooker later told me that the bounce looked very benign (I wasn’t too pleased with the landing). I’ve had my share of bounced landings in plenty of aircraft, and none of them felt as smooth as this one. So, in this case, I’d chalk the gracefulness up to the airplane, not the pilot.
After logging 1.4 hours in the aircraft, I must say that I agree wholeheartedly with AOPA Pilot Associate Editor Jill Tallman, this year’s sweepstakes manager—this Remos certainly lives up to its “Fun to Fly” theme.