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Astra International Astra

astra international astra

Single-seat single-engined high-wing monoplane with conventional three-axis control. Wing has unswept leading and trailing edges, and constant chord; cruciform tail. Pitch control by elevator on tail; yaw control by fully flying rudder; roll control by 3 spoilers for each wing; control inputs through stick for pitch/roll and pedals for yaw. Wing braced from above by kingpost and cables, from below by cables; wing profile; single surface. Undercarriage has three wheels in tricycle formation with additional tailskid; steel-spring suspension on main wheels. No ground steer-ing (nosewheel steering optional). No brakes. Aluminium-tube framework, without pod. Engine mounted at wing height driving tractor propeller.

Despite its participation in Sun 'n' Fun in March 1983 and a brief presentation in the May edition of Glider Rider, this interesting single-seater was only just going on sale in 1982.

The Astra seats its pilot much higher compared with other tube-and-Dacron single-seaters and, according to John Todhunter, the accent has been put on passive safety, with the design of the framework intended to protect the pilot in the case of a crash or too-rapid stop. Moreover the Astra has proved itself without doubt to be one of the easiest and fastest ultralights to rig or derig: 17 and 12 min respectively by two people without excessive haste.

The final point of note is that each wing carries three small spoilers side by side rather than a single one of equivalent width.

Engine: Rotax 377, 36 hp at 6000 rpm.
Propeller diameter and pitch 52 x 34 inch, 1.32 x 0.86 m.
Hall planetary reduction, ratio 2.0/1.
Max static thrust 230 lb, 104 kg.
Power per unit area 0.22 hp/sq.ft, 2.3 hp/sq.m.
Fuel capacity 4.4 US gal, 3.7 Imp gal, 16.7 litre.
Length overall 13.4 ft, 4.08 m.
Height overall 9.4ft, 2.87m.
Wing span 33.0ft, 10.05m.
Constant chord 5.0 ft, 1.52 m.
Sweepback 0 degs.
Total wing area 165 sq.ft, 15.3sq.m.
Wing aspect ratio 6.6/1.
Empty weight 248 lb, 112kg.
Max take-off weight 550 lb, 249kg.
Payload 302 lb, 137kg.
Max wing loading 3.33 lb/sq.ft, 16.23kg/sq.m.
Max power loading 15.3 lb/hp, 6.9kg/hp.
Load factors +6.0. -4.0 ultimate.
Max level speed 55 mph, 88 kph.
Never exceed speed 55 mph, 88 kph.
Cruising speed 45 mph, 72 kph.
Stall-ing speed 22 mph, 35 kph.
Max climb rate at sea level 800 ft/min, 4.1 m/s.


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