Sometimes, less is more. A little airplane design from Europe is impressing the aviation world: The SD-1 Minisport is the product of 7 years of design in the Czech Republic. The airframe uses simple, time-tested design principles that maximize strength while minimizing weight. The primary materials used in the construction of the airframe are wood and carbon fiber. Together, these create an efficient, lightweight aircraft capable of 60 mpg at an impressive cruise speed of 120 mph.
"With the design and materials imported from the Czech Republic, these airplanes are then factory-built to ASTM standards on location in Orem, UT. Each plane then undergoes rigorous flight testing beyond what is required by the FAA and ASTM until the plane is ensured to be 100% safe for many years of flight", Skycraft Airplanes states.
The SD-1 Minisport planes are powered by the German-engineered Hirth F-23 Engine. This power plant offers 50 horsepower along with dual ignition and fuel injection for added reliability and performance. Fuel injection has been shown to drastically reduce the possibility of engine icing, which is the leading cause of engine failure in General Aviation. It is designed to handle high elevation and extreme temperatures.
"The Hirth F-23 has a 1,000 TBO, making its operational engine overhaul costs just $4 an hour. This, combined with the 1.8 gph fuel burn of the engine, makes the airplane’s total hourly operational cost just $12 an hour. The tri-blade propeller is built by the Czech company Sandera. It is composed of carbon fiber with a ground-adjustable variable pitch", the company point out.
Also, the safety features on the SD-1 make it a reasonable choice for pilots of all experience levels. The dihedral wings provide positive stability control, making for a forgiving flight experience suitable for beginner pilots. The Dynon system is backed up with a two hour power supply, ensuring the availability of instruments in the event of an electrical failure. A Personal Locator Beacon is included with the aircraft, allowing the pilot to quickly notify Search and Rescue of your location to within 100 meters in the case of an emergency. The optional ballistic parachute can be pulled anywhere above an altitude of 500 feet, and will safely carry the entire airplane to the ground at a level attitude.