TYPE: Four-seat kitbuilt.
PROGRAMME: Designed by Wheeler Technology Inc as high-speed cross-country kitplane. Three prototypes built from kits of premoulded parts; first flight 28 July 1987. First, larger, production line Express demonstrator made first flight May 1990, powered by Teledyne Continental engine. Delivered kits incomplete at time of Wheeler bankruptcy; deficiencies made good by EDI. Complete kits, available from Express, incorporate some modifications which can also be retrofitted to existing aircraft.
CURRENT VERSIONS: Express FT: Original version. Unusual seating arrangement of one forward- and one aft-facing seat in rear, behind two side-by-side front seats with dual controls. Has 157 kW (210 hp) Teledyne Continental IO-360-ES1.
Express CT: Replaced FT.
Express 2000: Originally introduced as S-90 in 1992; became 2000 during 1999; four seats; higher-powered version. First aircraft completed at factory by November 2000, using builder-assist programme.
Express S300RG (formerly 2000RG): Available from late 2001; new wing with additional area provided by rearward extended trailing-edge (23 cm; 9 in at root, 2.5 cm; 1 in at tip); retractable landing gear. Planned increase in VNE to 290 kt (537 km/h; 333 mph) IAS; cruising speed to 265 kt (143 km/h; 305 mph).
Express 2000RGT: Turbine-powered version, first flown (N512EA) 17 January 2003. Redesigned aerofoil increases speed. Construction as 2000. Prototype lost in accident 27 July 2003; two more were under construction at this time.
Loadmaster 3200: Six seats; 194 kW (260 hp) engine; optional ventral pannier; no longer available.
CUSTOMERS: Over 300 kits of all versions sold, of which around 60 had been completed nad a further 80 under construction by April 2003. Quoted build time 1,600 hours, reducing to 400 hours with builder-assist programme.
COSTS: 2000 Airframe kit US$48,900; S300RG US$78,800; 2000RGT US$67,500 excluding engine, propeller, upholstery, paint and instruments (2004).
DESIGN FEATURES: Conforms to FAR Pt 23. Streamlined low-wing monoplane; tapered wing with downturned tips; sweptback fin and tailplane. Optional Precise Flight Schempp-Hirth-type spoilers in upper wing surface, electrically actuated.
Wing section NASA NFL-1 0215-F (laminar flow); dihedral 5°.
FLYING CONTROLS: Conventional and manual. Horn-balanced rudder and elevators; flight-adjustable tabs in port elevator, rudder (2000 only) port aileron. Plain flaps. Retractable spoilers in wing upper surface.
STRUCTURE: Constructed of composites sandwich material, comprising polyurethane foam core, glass fibre, unidirectional glass fibre tape and vinylester resin. CT and FT have cruciform tail; 2000 has larger, conventional tail unit.
LANDING GEAR: Non-retractable tricycle standard; speed fairings. Mainwheels 15x6.00-6. Differential Cleveland brakes; castoring nosewheel. Retractable gear 2000RG available from late 2001; mainwheels retract inboard, nosewheel rearward; hydraulic actuation, with electric alternative; 2000RGT has similar.
POWER PLANT: CT: One 186 kW (250 hp) Textron Lycoming IO-540-C4B5 recommended.
2000: 224 kW (300 hp) Textron Lycoming IO-540-C4K1G5, or 231 kW (310 hp) Teledyne Continental IO-550-N1B both driving Hartzell three-blade constant-speed propeller.
S300RG: One 261 kW (350 hp) Teledyne Continental TSIO-550-E, giving cruise speed of 225 kt (417 km/h; 259 mph).
2000RGT: One 410 kW (550 shp) Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6-20 driving a three-blade Hartzell propeller.
Fuel capacity of CT is 310 litres (82.0 US gallons; 68.3 Imp gallons); that of S300RG, 2000 and 2000RGT is 341 litres (140 US gallons; 74.9 Imp gallons). Oil capacity 6.62 litres (1.75 US gallons; 1.46 Imp gallons).
ACCOMMODATION: Four forward-facing seats. Two additional seats in enlarged versions. Upward-hinged door each side; baggage door on port side.
AVIONICS: To customer's specifications: 2000RGT prototype had Chelton EFIS, UPS suite and S-Tec 55X autopilot.