|The Italian-made Nando Groppo Trial aircraft with STOL capabilities is debuting in the U.S. at AirVenture Oshkosh (photo by Marino Boric)
By Marino Boric, European Correspondent
August 1, 2013 - The Trial, a two-seat, fixed-wing LSA, made in Italy by Nando Groppo s.r.l., debuted this week at EAA Oshkosh 2013. Trial is a STOL aircraft featuring a cruise speed of 110 mph and has been specifically designed to operate from unprepared runways.
The small but well-respected Italian manufacturer, named for its engineer founder, is already well-known in Italy and Europe. In Italy, Germany, and Great Britain, the Trial is certified as UL; it just obtained LSA certification in the U.S.
The Trial features two seats in tandem configuration; the basic aircraft structure (fuselage and wings) is chromoly welded steel covered in 2024 T3 aluminum. Trial is available in either the conventional taildragger configuration or with a nose gear.
One of its most unusual features is the quick wing fold system, which is exceptionally fast and easy, requires no tools, and can be performed by a single person in five minutes.
On display at AirVenture 2013 is a ready-to-fly version equipped with a 100-hp Rotax 912 engine, AvMap 5 instrumentation, fixed-pitch wooden propeller, and 40-gallon fuel tank. Forty gallons allows more than six hours' flying time and range of about 600 nautical miles. So far, 92 Trials have been manufactured and delivered. Besides European certifications the manufacturer is working on the LSA certification that is expected by the end of September.
Trial can be powered with Rotax 912S, Sauer 2400, or Jabiru 2200 engines.
At the recent AERO show in Germany the company showed a bush version equipped with 26-inch bush tires and a belly pod; those options are included in a U.S. price list. As a ready-to-fly aircraft, Trial sells for $85,000 or for $25,000 as a kit.
Kits are delivered with the wing spars already riveted and steel parts welded and powder coated. All aluminum skins are supplied CNC pre-drilled. Thanks to these features, kit assembly requires an average of about 600 building hours, according to the company.
The aircraft displayed at Oshkosh is being offered for sale at a promotional price of $79,900. For more information visit Nando Groppo in the North Aircraft Display, Booth 614, or go to www.Groppo.it or www.Fly-BuyLSA.com.