• Why a Canard/Velocity? RSS Feed

    by Published on 07/19/2012 08:47 PM

    I'll admit up front that a big part of the reason is they're beautiful, I'd be lying if I said otherwise, and all of the good flying qualities in the world don't carry you through 5 or 10 years of building. You have to love the airplane.

    That aside, when I did my homework, I came to not only love the Velocity, but respect it's capabilities. The design is stall resistant, which (or at least was) the most common fatal aircraft accident type, the stall/spin on approach to landing. In any canard pusher, the canard is set a few (about 3) degrees higher angle of attack than the main wing. Thus, when you pull back too much, and the airspeed bleeds off, the front wing (or canard) stalls first. Since this wing carries about 20% of the weight, the nose drops, speed builds, and the canard starts flying again.

    Since the main wing and rudders are not stalled while this is happening, you have complete directional control of the airplane. One of the cool things they show you in the demonstration flight is a fully stalled canard at the minimum airspeed, throttle closed. The canard stalls at about 65-70 kias, and you descend at something like 500 fpm. They then ask you to keep the stick full aft while adding throttle. As the power comes in, the sink rate slows, goes neutral, and then starts to build a mild climb, all while the canard is fully stalled. Pretty impressive.

    All of that, and it still has a pointy nose like a jet. No prop whirling around messing up the view, no heat and vibration from the engine 6" ahead of your feet. Just a big, roomy, quite cabin. The other performance parameters were great too, 1,000 lbs useful load and 1,100 nm range. I can now fly to see my brother in Houston on one tank of gas. Very nice.

    And the factory is great to work with. They've been in busy for a very long time, and know who to weather up and down markets. They answer the phone, and answer your questions. They have parts available at a reasonable price, and are good to work with. When you break something, they're extremely helpful in getting back in the air quickly. They're good friends and good business people. And the community of builders is pretty cool too. When you buy a kit, it's kind of like marriage, so you better like the people. Luckily, I do.

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