TYPE: Six-seat amphibian.
PROGRAMME: First design studies 1992; Mk 1 hull design, and first flight by one-fifth scale model, in 1993; Mk 2 hull configuration developed and trialled 1995; dynamically refined (and still current) one-fifth model first flown 1996; cockpit mockup completed 1997; initial funding by Royal Aeronautical Society Handley Page award. Revealed at Farnborough Air Show, September 1998, when development and planning continuing. Agreement in principle for Chichester-Miles Consultants Ltd to be the prototyping facility; funding for construction and testing of full-size prototype secured 1 September 2001. Prototype, manufactured by Warrior in association with Maine Composites Inc in USA and CMC Ltd in UK, began in December 2001 and was then expected to fly by end of 2003; however, by then postponed to fourth quarter 2004. Design changes have included new contours on rear fuselage and outer wings and deletion of wing bracing struts. Fuselage shipped to company's US facility in October 2003 for installation of systems and power plant Certification to JAR/FAR 23 anticipated 24 months after first flight. Production aircraft will be built in the UK and USA.
CUSTOMERS: Four or five orders reported by March 2002. Production target is 68 in first full year; 172 in second.
COSTS: Expected to be between US$525,000 and US$575,000 at 2002 prices and rates. Seat-mile cost estimated at 35 per cent less than comparable amphibians.
Following description applies to full-size aircraft:
DESIGN FEATURES: Concepts proven and refined using CATIA software. Objectives of design included low hydrodynamic drag and structural weight, use of composites materials, folding wing, comfortable operation in coastal wave conditions, competitive seat-mile costs and payload-range performance, safety, saline impermeability and access to all areas frequented by boats.
Slender boat hull without planing step improves rough-water ride and increases aerodynamic efficiency; parasol-mounted high-lift wing with centrally installed engine nacelle; stub-wing/sponsons with end-mounted floats; conventional tail surfaces. Main panels of wing fold back manually (optionally hydraulically) to within beamwidth of sponsons to permit docking in standard 12 m (40 ft) yacht berths.
FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Electrohydraulically actuated, slotted trailing-edge flaps.
STRUCTURE: Composites construction (carbon and glass fibres). Top surfaces of stub-wings laminated with energy absorbent tread; door sills reinforced with stainless steel.
LANDING GEAR: Flying-boat or amphibian. Electrohydraulically retractable tricycle type in amphibian, nosewheel retracting rearward, mainwheels outward into sponson tip-floats. Stern-mounted 7 kW (9 hp) water-jet for surface manoeuvring.
POWER PLANT: One 224 kW (300 hp) Textron Lycoming IO-540 or 261 kW (350 hp) TIO-540-J2B flat-six engine; three-blade, constant-speed, variable-pitch propeller. Further plans include PT6A-powered turboprop version. One fuel tank in each sponson.
ACCOMMODATION: Pilot and one passenger in cockpit; five passenger seats in flying-boat cabin, four in amphibian (forward-facing or club layout). Baggage compartment behind seats. Three doors on port side; two on starboard.
SYSTEMS: Electrically driven hydraulic actuation of wing folding (optional), landing gear and flaps. Electrical systems powered by 28 V DC alternator and 24 V lead-acid batteries. Air conditioning optional.
AVIONICS: Honeywell APEX 1000 standard; marine HF radio, two-axis autopilot and bow-mounted weather radar.