AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 56

Options include a Woodcomp
propeller, TruTrak autopilots with
your choice of a variety of features, a
turbocharged or fuel-injected Rotax
engine, additional Garmin radios,
and a full instrument-flight-rules
avionics packages.
THE NEW SEATTLE

56 | AOPA PILOT January 2015

GRAND RAPIDS DISPLAYS
RECORD YOUR FLIGHT

Grand Rapids Technologies cockpit displays can take snapshots
of your screen or record a video.
In this capture, fuel is shown in
the upper left corner that says
"F-Total" and the numbers "15.4"
gallons. The fuel flow is the lower
round gauge on the left. Traffic shows up on the map (not
shown), the traffic inset, and also
on the synthetic vision display
seen here. It's hard to see, but
there is a small white diamond
just below the right horizon indicator representing actual traffic.
The diamond gets bigger as the
conflicting aircraft gets closer.
-AKM

22 feet,
10 inches

EMAIL alton.marsh@aopa.org

7 feet,
6 inches

30 feet, 10 inches

STEVE KARP

St. Louis is the new Seattle weatherwise, or so it seemed when AOPA
Senior Photographer Mike Fizer and I were
trying to get air-to-air photos of the Sirius.
Low clouds and a constant threat of rain
kept us guessing. It was just after takeoff
on the second try in three days that skies
cleared over the Mississippi River.
Getting into the Sirius is easier than
climbing into a Cessna 152 because the
clamshell door isn't in the way and rises
automatically to the bottom of the wing.
The seat isn't adjustable but the rudder
pedals are, using a knob with a humorous
depiction of bare feet. Triangular seat cushions are used to raise short individuals in
the seat; despite my six-foot frame, I used
the cushions after the first of three flights
because my coccyx demanded it.
It has a leather-wrapped control yoke
(standard) and nosewheel steering with toe
brakes plus a parking brake (also standard).
Overhead switches and a double-stemmed
single throttle contribute to multiengine
airliner fantasies if that is important to you.
Flaps can be moved to 15-degree (takeoff )
and 45-degree (landing) positions without having to watch a flap indicator during
deployment. Paper labels for switches are
stuck to the panel, one of the few inelegant
touches on the aircraft.
The center of the windscreen has two
circular cutouts with a rotating plastic disk,
also containing two holes. The disk can be
rotated with a pull lever to adjust air flow
into the cabin, along with two window
vents, to keep the cockpit cool in summer.
With the weight of Swanson and me but
no cargo, we still could carry 20 gallons of
fuel, enough for two hours and 20 minutes
at high-speed cruise plus an hour of reserve
fuel. Light aircraft require pilots to be light
on the controls, so only a small amount of

back pressure is needed at 45 knots
indicated airspeed to raise the nosewheel. While the best rate of climb
is 55 knots indicated airspeed, the
operating handbook suggests 75 to
insure good engine cooling.
Coming back to the airport,
the aircraft is slowed on final
approach to 55 knots indicated airspeed, which seems very slow after
cruising at 116 knots true airspeed.
Pulling the elevator trim control to full
nose-up position is barely noticed since the
control feel is very light and trim isn't really
needed. It is very helpful at cruise speeds. I
found the aircraft easy to land. With Light
Sport aircraft that lose momentum quickly
after a power reduction, I tend to keep a little power on through touchdown to avoid a
sudden increase in the sink rate.
In flight the Sirius is a stable and comfortable aircraft. Barges and cliffs along the
Mississippi River near St. Louis provided a
backdrop for the sunset photos you see on
these pages. Since I was in formation, visibility was key and I found it to be very good,
although the wing root blocked my view out
the upper corners of the front windscreen.
Noise levels were low although I didn't
remove my noise-cancelling headset to test
the natural cabin environment. Overall the
Sirius is a pleasure to fly.
You can get the Sirius on floats, too,
as soon as prototype testing is complete.
Landing on water should cool down this
red-hot star of the Light Sport world. AOPA



AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015

Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover1
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Contents
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 2
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 4
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AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - 112
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover3
AOPA Pilot Magazine - January 2015 - Cover4
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