In 2008 we understood that a huge area of the light aviation market has yet to be explored. We understood this most clearly by listening to our own needs and requirements as private pilots. The aircraft we fly are not good enough, they are not satisfying our need to be mobile and free, to use the aircraft more often, travel more places, visit more friends, and bring more stuff... This was something we needed to improve.
We dreamt of a plane, that was also a boat, that could take us away from the one thing constantly making us choose the car instead of our planes. The airport. Sure there are some flying boats and “amphibs” available, but we wanted a more practical, efficient, smooth and exciting vehicle.
The compromize entails a complicated mix of traits, thus can not be found in todays market. What we were looking for in our “Dream Machine”, was narrowed down to this:
AUTOMATION. An aircraft that utilized information technology platforms and computers to create simplified user interaction, making it supremely easy to learn to manouver the craft on water and in the air.
EFFICIENCY. A sea capable aircraft that had a capable cruising speed, a solid range, a low stall speed and was efficient enough to lower costs related to use, say electric propulsion or a low consume of cheaper type fuels.
USABILITY. An aircraft with a simple and intuitive cockpit system, capable of operating good in water and do practical tasks, such as carrying special types of cargo, like assembled bicycles, fishing gear, kayaks or skiis, and be flexible in their interior set ups for sleeping inside the cabin or hauling special gear for expeditions.
SUSTAINABILITY. An aircraft that use sustainable propulsion systems for the future, such as electric motors , batteries and bio-diesel to streamline the design options and reduce costs, at the same time having no impact on the environment in a bad way.
We dreamt of something that was the ultimate compromize and a potential “game-changer”.
The P2 Xcursion aircraft is the first aircraft design made by the cooperative EAN (Equator Aircraft Norway SA).
So what makes this concept unique? here are some pointers:
The P2 Xcursion is a true high performance hybrid amphibian aircraft, with sleek laminar flow aerodynamics. This is emphasized firstly through the shape of the fuselage, which is one continuous "droplet" shape, to allow the air to flow as smooth as possible past the aircraft, without getting upset turbulence and extra drag. Secondly the "float wing" system which removes the need for bulky sponsons and other supporting geometries, and thirdly through the very small electric engine on the tail. Added to the mix is a retractable gear system of course to ensure the best characteristics possible on land and water. With these aerodynamic properties the aircraft may perform like any other land based aircraft. As such the compromise is reduced compared to other amphibious aircraft, that typically get worse properties due to their water capability.
The wing uses a NACA laminar flow profile, with a 1.4 deg blended twist. The span is about 10m dependant on the type of winglets chosen, they are modular and can be exchanged simply.
With the flaps extended the aircraft should reach a stall speed of 45KT, and on cruise you should be able to fly comfortably at 130KT.
The T-Tail horizontal stabilizer is large (3.8m) on the prototype to be able to adjust it down in size during testing. The size is critical to be able to counter the pitch down moment produced by the engine placement.
The aircraft is a pure composite design, metals and other corrosive materials have been left out where possible. Carbon Fiber reinforced epoxy is used extensively, with kevlar / carbon hybrid textiles used around the cabin area.
The P2 was designed from the ground up to be a highly practical aircraft. It is made for 2 people initially (with a future option for 4 seats) with focus on comfort Therefore the cabin is much larger than what is common in light aviation sporting a 1.50m wide cockpit.
Much of the research done initially was focused on the situation when the aircraft is a boat with wings. How to get in and out practically, and how to manouvre the vehicle simply. The result is an open cabin with waterproof surfaces. The pilot can exit and enter the plane over the nose, and over the railings. This flexibility is unique, and coupled with simple and reduced avionics, we end up with an open cockpit solution that will give pilots a new flying experience.
The baggage / Cargo area is huge as the whole aircraft can be used, you´ll be able to store bulky luggage such as bikes, skis etc.
The P2 has no rudder pedals. Jaw control is done through twisting the stick around the vertical axes, and is being developed as a FBW (Fly by Wire) feature on the plane.
The aircraft being developed is a proof-of-concept vehicle, to prove that all the new systems being integrated work and can be put into production. The prototype is being built in a low cost manner, without expensive molds (moldless). The work started in 2009, and the prototype should be completed within Q2 2016.
TYPE: EQUATOR P2 XCURSION
VERSION: P.O.C PROTOTYPE SERIAL NR. MK001 - EXPERIMENTAL
SEATS: 2 (+2 Small seats)
MTOW: 750kg /1653lb
USEFUL LOAD: 240kg / 529lb
MAX CRUISE: 130KTS / 240km/h / 150m/h
ECONOMIC CRUISE: 118 KTS
STALL: 48KTS / 52KTS w/o FLAPS
RANGE: 845NM / 1565km
This page will be updated with the properties as the aircraft closes on completion and test flights are started. We wish to tell you that the numbers mentioned here are estimates only and will be revised as we go along.