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Flying Legend Tucano
Flying Legend, an Italian company, has developed an all-metal Tucano replica that is 70% actual size and looks almost identical to the original.
The Tucano replica uses traditional metal construction techniques. Pre-punched parts are fastened together by the builder using pulled rivets, while most of the structural parts are assembled at the factory with solid rivets.
The kit is divided into several sub-kits: empennage, wings, fuselage, flight controls, landing gear, fuel system, resins (cowling, wingtips, fairings, etc.), canopy, and engine mount. The kits can be ordered together or individually.
Tucano replica quickbuild kit
All hardware is AN/MS and measurements are in inches. All the aluminum parts are treated with Alodine at the factory. The fuel tanks hold 13 U.S. gallons in each wing, and are made by M.E.RIN, an Italian company that specializes in anti-explosion bladder fuel cells. The electro-hydraulic retractable landing gear was designed to look as close as possible to the original. The mainwheels are 6 inches in diameter with a differential brake system, and the nosewheel is 4 inches in diameter.
The Tucano replica front cowl has two faux turbine exhausts to look like the aircraft is powered by the Embraer EMB 312 Tucano’s turboprop engine.
Like all of the steel components, the engine mount is powder coated. The engine cowling, spinner, wingtips, and other fiberglass components are made with vinyl ester resin. Flying Legend worked extremely hard to make the replica cowling look as close to the original Embraer front section as possible. Besides the faux exhaust stacks, the shape of the front intake scoop really does make the replica look like it’s powered by a turboprop engine.
The canopy is ready to be riveted or glued to the frame. Like the original Tucano, the rear seat is raised to provide better forward visibility for the guy or gal in back. The rear seat also has stick, rudder, and throttle controls. You won’t find ejection seats, but a ballistic parachute is available as an option. The ailerons and elevator are connected to pushrods, and the rudder is controlled with cables.
It can be built with fixed or retractable landing gear.
With fixed gear and a 100-horsepower Rotax 912 ULS, the Tucano meets LSA requirements, provided that gross weight is limited to 1320 pounds. When licensed as Experimental/Amateur-Built, gross weight can be increased to 1433 pounds with aerobatic load limits of +6/-3 G at this weight.
Performance is significantly enhanced with retractable gear and more power. The “official” engine choice for the E/A-B version is a turbocharged 115-hp Rotax 914 UL. But there’s also the option of a Rotax 912 ULS fitted with Flygas Engineering’s supercharger kit which boosts power to 130-140 horsepower.
Quickbuild Tucano kits are built on jigs at the factory
The Tucano airframe kit is best described as a quick-build, since much of the work has been completed at the factory. The kit was being evaluated by the FAA and is expected to be fully compliant with the “51% rule.”
Crating a kit. Notice the framework securing the wings and horizontal stabilizer in the crate.
Included in the price of $67,900 USD (€60,430, depending on the exchange rate) in 2016 is the complete airframe, including two M.E.RIN anti-explosion bladder fuel cells. An optional safety kit with a Galaxy GRS ballistic parachute and double activation bars is available for $7,600. Engine, propeller, electrical system, instruments, avionics, and paint are not included and are up to the builder.
Pods under each wing serve as interesting baggage compartments. They’re great for touring, but not for speed. Each pod holds up to 27 pounds.
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