A Fun - to - Fly Airplane for Any Pilot, Which Just Might Jump - Start The Flight - Training Insustry
With two hours of fuel remaining in the 22-gallon tank, my first inclination was to simply turn around and blow another hour or so in the pattern perfecting my landings with this perky little airplane. The Remos, along with my instructor, demo pilot Patrick Holland-Moritz, were both willing, but Pase walk sits about 45 miles south of the Baltic Sea, and the rules for VFR at night differ considerably from those in the United States. Night flying in Germany is only possible from certain airports, and Pasewalk, a small flying club field with a single 3,000-foot runway, isn’t one of them. Here pilots must possess a night approval on their pilot certificate and file a flight plan to be legal. I was merely a guest of the folks at the Remos factory, so a full stop was the best option, even if it wasn’t the most satisfying.
Holland-Moritz and I managed another hour and a half of fun flying with the GXiS, the company’s new fuel-injected special light-sport airplane (SLSA), the next morning and afternoon with the mercury hovering around freezing. Just these few flights were enough to make me want to take a GXiS back to the States; the airplane is that much fun to fly. The time I spent with the Remos crew and their new airplane made me realize that flying just for fun is highly underrated on our side of the Atlantic.
These days, we Americans have come to think of general aviation airplanes mostly as business tools. But if you’ve ever found yourself sitting in the backyard watching airplanes pass by overhead, remembering when you learned to fly and realizing you’ve forgotten long ago exactly what drew you to aviation, an airplane like the Remos might just be for you.
The GXiS is perfect for people who don’t need to carry three or four passengers 500 miles or more for business. This is an airplane for pilots happy to cruise along at 100 knots a few thousand feet above the ground, burning just 5 gallons of gas an hour in the process. When did you last fly low and slow in an airplane with the doors off and wave to people on the ground as they looked up? You could do that with the Remos. How good are your accuracy landings these days when you never practice them any longer? Couldn’t your cross-country skills use a little work heading out to that little restaurant 80 miles down the road, the one you used to frequent when you first earned your pilot certificate? Or maybe you want to learn to fly and have been frustrated by looking at the bevy of old airplanes at the local flight school. If any of these notions ring a bell, stay tuned for a little adventure.
Don’t feel bad if the Remos name doesn’t quickly conjure a picture of the company’s products in your mind. That lack of recognition was partially what led to an earlier, short insolvency for the company. But a re-energized and refinanced Remos is planning a big push in the next few years to acquaint, or reacquaint, pilots with the airplanes and its own brand of sophisticated German engineering.
To get your head around the size of the GXiS, you might compare it with a Cessna 150, even though the Cessna is a 50-year-old design. The Remos GXiS’ wingspan and fuselage are each about 3 feet shorter, while the vertical stabilizer is about a foot shorter than the Cessna’s. The SLSA Remos created is made from lightweight composite and tips the scales at 1,320 pounds, while the all-aluminum Cessna weighs nearly 300 pounds more. Each aircraft is powered by a 100 hp engine, but the Remos uses a fuel injected, 2,000-hour TBO liquid-cooled Rotax 912S Sport. The Cessna uses a two-blade metal propeller to the Remos’ three-blade, 11-pound composite prop. Each airplane holds about 22 to 24 gallons of fuel, but the Remos stores its fuel in a single fuselage tank.
I expected the smaller Remos to be much less comfortable than the 150 that I’ve spent many hours flying from the right seat as an instructor. But it surprised me with unexpected comfort, possibly because the small control stick that replaces the clumsy dual control wheels of most aircraft protrudes up from the floor between the pilot’s thighs, opening up extra cockpit real estate. The Remos’ bright, well-equipped cockpit makes it engaging from the first flight.
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