Monday 09 December 2013 09:56 UTC
This forum is for anything to do with light aviation
Following the sad demise of the Europa, we are looking to replace with either a Sportcruiser or a TL Sting. Does anyone have thoughts either way on the pro's and cons of each aircraft?
They both tick the right boxes regarding engine type, permit, VP prop but the Sting appears to be a higher spec on general, however the baggage capacity does seem very low...
I love my Little White Plane!
Looked at the SportStar and Breezer - the other two low wing LSAs? VP Prop available for both ISTR.
I'd also wonder if the recent revamp of the Slingsby wouldn't meet your needs.
Out of interest, why not another Europa?
Fade away, and aviate...
I bought a Sportcruiser at the end of 2011 (factory built with glass cockpit, BRS, autopilot), and very pleased with it.
I spent a long time looking at a range of options including Remos and Evecktor Sportstar before deciding on the Sportcruiser.
Happy to answer any questions.
Back when I seriously looked at buying, the Sting came out tops.
I could go into the many details, but when I sat in one at a show it just felt *right*. The panel still seemed a bit amateur, but I couldn't raise the stakes to a Diamond...
If its a club buy, have a vote?
In the end I had kids + bought a house, so time + disposable income evaporated.
Back in the late 2000's (about 2008 I guess) we shortlisted the SportCruiser and Sting as our two choices.
We went with the Sportcruiser because at the time it was ahead in the certification battle and was significantly less money (as a kit). In common with some other aeroplanes (like the Evektor range for instance), I find the canopy lines a bit 'strange to the eye' on the Sting - almost as if the cockpit has been grafted on from a slightly larger airframe. The Sportcruiser does not suffer this effect (this is subjective I know), whilst still having a roomy cockpit and giant canopy.
We now have 450 hours on the Sportcruiser, and apart from having to slow down in rough air (for comfort), we have no regrets whatsoever over our choice. There were some later modifications to increase control harmony (some might say our aeroplane is 'over-elevatored'), but it's no problem. During a brief fling with Piper, some mods were done to improve its toughness - one notable improvement was a stronger nose gear leg. After another pilot bent our nose gear (twice) we upgraded to the Piper version and have not had a problem since.
Exhaust cracking has been a bit of an issue, there is an upgraded unit available which we have which is better.
Its payload (120l tank volume, 20Kg per side wing lockers) make it an ideal Euro-tourer, and our SC has been to most countries in Europe, as well as operating from 300m grass strips locally if we fancy it.
One thing worth checking (because I don't know) is how many Stings are on the UK register compared to SportCruisers (and compared to Europas come to that!)
I was looking for a kit to build around 2008 to escape from the tyranny of C of A and Part-M. In the end I bought a Sportcruiser kit in early 2009. Being of all-metal construction the kit was easy to build and should be easy to work on in the event of damage. I also wanted something that could be safe in IMC, notwithstanding that at present it is not legal in permit aircraft.
G-JONL has been flying now for almost 2.5 years and has absolutely met all of my hopes and expectations. I've done around 200 hours in her and find that she handles well in all conditions, even quite severe turbulence. I've done a fair amount of touring, especially around Scotland, as well as local flights and I find that she is comfortable even after three or four hours of flying. I particularly like the 20kg luggage lockers in the wings. I had special bags made up to fit these wing lockers and use them all the time, partly because it keeps the weight on the C of G but also because it noticeably improves roll stability in turbulence.
The Sportcruiser is not an especially fast ship, at least not with the standard ground adjustable fixed pitch prop. I'm planning to fit a CS prop, perhaps this winter, if I can get the LAA to progress my Mod request. A composite aircraft would have given me a faster cruise but I decided that as I fly entirely for fun, speed is less important to me than comfort and load carrying capacity. I tend to cruise at around 95 knots, burning 16 litres per hour. With the 116 litre fuel capacity that gives me nearly seven hours flying, which is enough to take me from Carlisle to Compton Abbas and back again.
I specified a high level of instrumentation, with ILS/VOR, 1x Nav and 2x Com, GPS and Mode-S transponder. The aircraft is more than capable of IMC flight but of course cannot be legally flown beyond day VFR. It is, however, reassuring to know that if I was up there wishing I was down here then the combination of very strong, all-metal construction and good instrumentation would see me through.
In short, I am very happy with my Sportcruiser, as it fits my needs well. On the other hand, if cruise speed is your thing then there are better options out there.
G-JONL - Sportcruiser
Diary of a Sportcruiser kit aircraft builder and flyer
If you want to land at Nayland, get a Sportcruiser, otherwise get a Sting...
One of my Thursday group is the chap who's got the Sting certified in the UK under the LAA, so he knows a little bit about them. He says (in his opinion) they're a superior aeroplane to the Sportcruiser. I don't doubt this is true, but it's also rather more expensive than a Sportcruiser by quite some way as I understand it. I think there may be only one fully built Sting up for sale at the moment and he wants quite a lot of money for it. As has been mentioned, the kit is expensive in the first place.
Speaking of nose legs, the nose leg was one of several things my friend had to redesign to get the Sting certified in the UK. The handling also had to be modified in various ways. Thus a UK Sting will be better than one from other countries, though my friend's mods have been made available worldwide as options as I understand it.
I can't get in a Sting. When I sit in it and try to close the canopy, it stays open by about 3-4 inches at the back when it's resting on my head...and that's without a headset on. I also can't get in a Breezer without tilting my body so my head's in the centre of the canopy. Not the most comfortable way to fly. Not sure, but I think I can actually fit in a Sportcruiser. I couldn't fit in a Europa by the way. Thus I think the Sportcruiser has a more roomy cockpit, but you pay for that in speed. Also I believe the Sportcruiser can get in and out of some rather short strips quite comfortably...hence my first not all together tongue in cheek comment.
I like the Sportcruiser. It's relatively cheap (as I understand it) and relatively comfortable, and looks nice, as long as you don't need or want the extra speed.
I have flown the French Stings which are classed as ULM's and found them to be a nice handling aircraft. I know the LAA have insisted on several mods for the UK version but the French somehow oblivious to these perceived shortcomings still continue to operate them quite happily and there are around 250 flying in France. a second hand one about six years old can be purchased for around £30/35K.
Personally I have never liked the Sportcruiser very much, it is the flimsiness of the canopy fittings that puts me off. They have also attracted quite a bit of hype over their performance. Only time will tell but for me they seem to under deliver.
Why are you limiting yourself to just these two aircraft though? There are a number of other choices. How have you arrived at just these?
Composed mostly of water and ginger biscuits.
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