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VL3 with a turbine?

Paris/Essex, France, , United Kingdom

looks pretty cool…
Though I’d be more interested in the turbine on its own than the aircraft, would fit my steed very nicely

Dan
ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

Any performance data?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

https://www.aerobuzz.fr/aviation-generale/jmb-aviation-resolu-a-proposer-le-vl3-turbine-en-france/

The video discusses the pros and cons – 310kph at sea level 360kph at altitude – 30litres per hour – they are looking at perhaps an 80k premium over a rotax 915 –
I think this is a great product but they are maybe falling for the same marketing math that has hindered the adoption of the continental diesel by calculating in the costs savings from the cost of fuel and the TBO life being much longer than a rotax and including that in the price.
And with a revolutionary product as well !!! – you want to gain critical mass quickly – in this case I would offer the first 50 systems with perhaps a 25% premium over the rotax – and to maintain peace of mind if I were turbotech I would offer that the first 15 motors to hit 1500hrs get a free exchange – the engineering information to be gained would pay for itself.

It says that due to French ULM regulations, for F-regs the power will be limited to 109 HP. Would that correspond to the 310/360 kph figures or are those speed only attainable for the higher HP version, whatever the higher HP figure may be?

Yes, @aidanf123 I agree that they need to show more of a cost advantage vs the Rotax, at least initially. It’s a bit like electric cars. The instinctive reaction of many people is that they are so expensive and don’t even consider the substantial savings in fuel and maintenance, and therefore don’t get to see the picture that their life-cycle cost of an EV is often lower, more so with today’s fuel prices.

Also, I think that most aircraft buyers are cautious and will realize that they are guinea pigs in this case. This is not a proven engine and all kind of issues will likely come up. Not to mention the viability of the company itself. They have no real track record AFAICS, and what’s their financial backing? And is there a way out if this project goes sour? Will it be easy to just rip out the engine and put a Rotax in there?

Fuel consumption similar, that’s great. However, surely during the ground ops the turbine will sip quite a bit more

Much as I love new initiatives and hate the fact that new entrants almost always have an uphill battle, not sure if this something I’d put money in if asked to invest..

Last Edited by aart at 26 Apr 17:02
Private field, Mallorca, Spain

I’m not exactly sure if it is the very best idea I ever heard to combine the low weight and thus inertia of a microlight with the intrinsic lag when adding power of a turbine.

It’s almost made for stall/spin accidents in the pattern.

Germany

Where i’m more concerned is about a possible rating for using a turbine on a small plane. I don’t know if we have any previous plane like this one, but in EASA land, any turbine is more or less covered by a specific TR or CR (SET). Then this plane is not a SEP, not really a SET (too small?). it’s a LSA with a turbine, isn’t it?
Then 109hp with a turbine… :(

Last Edited by greg_mp at 27 Apr 07:18
LFMD, France

I’m not exactly sure if it is the very best idea I ever heard to combine the low weight and thus inertia of a microlight with the intrinsic lag when adding power of a turbine.

I fully agree but those who fly RG VL3 typically operate in long pavements with TDZ markings with well behaved airport & surface…the majority have never gone into mud between tall trees into 300m grass with 30kts winds, where one needs to be really worried with turbine modification?

Where i’m more concerned is about a possible rating for using a turbine on a small plane

I flew one glider with mounted mini turbo-fan, I don’t recall it required a formal difference training let alone rating on licence (it’s single seater anyway), the choice of propulsion seems identical to this “SET VL3”: to sell it you need it to make more noise than power & speed…

Last Edited by Ibra at 27 Apr 08:28
Paris/Essex, France, , United Kingdom

@Malibuflyer has a very good point here.

As an aside, the aerobatic and restoration company MSW Aviation is kinda located on my field, and the workshop nearby. The Votec 452T, a turbine derivative of the 322, first flew more than 10 years ago. Saw it a few times around the patch, and that was it. It has all but vanished, probably relegated in some obscure corner. Reportedly very challenging to land as the flight idle of the turbine made it very difficult to slow down… and not sure in flight beta is a good idea on finals

Dan
ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

I tend to state this is a beautiful example of misunderstood freedom … Is it really more than a technical proof of concept? Turbine means mandatory flying high for making sense and national registration is today aimed at flying low, so how does that fit?

Further on, turbine in an Ultralight sounds to me like confirmation of belief that allowing the uncertified world to grow like cancer was a big mistake. I tend to treat this as a marketing gadget to catch media coverage and the real thing will end in certified or in accident statistics …

Last Edited by MichaLSA at 27 Apr 07:49
Germany
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