Saturday, 30 January 2010

Airborne at last (5)

I spent a very pleasant Saturday with Maule recently. They're amongst the nicest people you could hope to find in General Aviation and their Moultrie Georgia factory has a very family feel about it.

I took the oportunity to fly their soon-to-be-certificated M9 - basically an M7 with an increased MAUW and a 230hp Jet A burning SMA engine up front. As you would expect, the aeroplane retains Maule's STOL qualities and combines it with a decent 130kt cruise (it also retains Maule's handling, which doesn't quite lead the industry). At this speed you'll be burning about 8.5usg/hr. With UK avgas prices starting to hit and exceed £2 per litre, and with 100LL becoming extremely hard to find in some parts of the world, this ($275,000) aircraft looks like being a well-deserved winner for Maule.

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