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Europa

Introduction

1. These notes are based on the Europa fitted with the Rotax 912 engine and having the standard mono wheel and tail wheel configuration. It is hoped the contents will be helpful to coaches as briefing material when carrying out conversion training to the Europa. They should be used in conjunction with the handling notes included in the kit manufacturer's Flight Manual. Candidates for Diploma Tutorials should be familiar with the aircraft handling described in the notes.

Unusual Features

2. The Europa has some unusual features. The aircraft sits on the ground at an angle of 8 degrees, and the side-by-side seating and high nose angle make the view ahead very restricted. Particular care is therefore needed to avoid obstacles while taxiing. The outriggers are also unusual. They stabilise the aircraft while taxiing, but some gentle rocking from side to side is inevitable and might seem a little strange at first. On the whole, however, the steerable tail wheel directly linked to the rudder makes taxiing straightforward and should present no difficulty to pilots familiar with tail draggers. It is notable that the wheel/flaps cannot be raised or lowered from the right seat with the seat harness tight, although some assistance can be given to the pilot in the left seat in raising the wheel/flaps.

Take Off

3. Taking off the Europa is different! Because the outriggers are behind the mono wheel, lateral level, and hence directional control, can only be maintained when the tail is raised if the airspeed is sufficient to make the ailerons work - gone is the lateral stability so comfortably provided by the two main wheels of most tail draggers which remain firmly on the ground during the take off run after the tail has been lifted.

- 1 -
The Europa has a powerful all moving tailplane and it is easily possible to lift the tail well before sufficient flying speed has been reached to provide enough lateral control to keep the wings level; indeed it is tempting to raise the tail early to improve the view over the nose, and also because getting the tail up early during the take off run is normal tail dragger technique. However, if the tail is raised too early, it is inevitable that lateral control, and hence directional control, will be lost. If this occurs abandon the take off by closing the throttle; placing the right hand on the wheel brake lever while gently bringing the stick back to the rear stop to put the tail wheel back on the ground for directional steering, and brake to a stop.

4. Pilots should sit as high as possible to give the best view over the nose. After line up on the runway pick a reference point to the left of the nose (it is difficult to see directly over the nose and to the right at this stage). Hold the stick on the rear stop and visually check that the ailerons are neutral. In a cross wind hold the stick into wind. Open the throttle smoothly, and for early take offs rather more slowly than normal. With the Rotax 912 engine be prepared to correct a swing to the left. At this stage tail wheel steering provides precise directional control for small rudder movements. At 35 - 40 knots move the stick forward to lift the tail and pick a reference point ahead to help keep straight. The aircraft will unstick very soon after, and often coincident with, the stick being moved forward. The speed range for raising the tail can be reduced by some 5 knots when taking off into wind as experience is gained. Prevent the nose from wandering at any stage of the take off by careful and prompt use of rudder. When the tail wheel comes off the ground directional control immediately becomes less precise and large rudder movements are necessary to maintain accurate direction. The 'gear change' in steering between tail wheel and rudder operating together, and rudder only, takes practice to master. Fly off at 50 knots. As the aircraft unsticks the nose tends to pitch up due to ground effect. Push forward smoothly on the stick to correct this pitch up and start the initial climb at 55 knots. The pitch up is more marked when doing a touch and go landing since the pitch trim will have been reset to around neutral for the approach.

Increase the IAS to 60 knots and at 100-200 ft start to raise the wheel/flaps - this should be done in stages to achieve maximum climb angle. When the wheel/flaps are retracted and locked up climb at 75 knots.

- 2 -
The Europa Flight Manual recommends a cross wind limit of 15 knots for take off. However, until considerable experience is gained 7 knots from the left and 10 knots from the right should be used as limits.

Approach and Landing

5. The Europa is aerodynamically very clean - it's designed for cruising efficiency. Consequently, accurate control of approach speed can prove difficult, and it is easy to allow the speed to increase above the recommended 60 knots. However, it's important to maintain accurate speed control on the approach so that 55 knots is achieved just before the flare and round out as the runway reference point is approached. At this point close the throttle and carefully transfer the right hand to the wheel brake lever - this will prevent jogging open the throttle inadvertently as the right hand passes over and close to it on its way to the wheel brake lever after landing. Flare and round out with a continuous change of pitch attitude until the nose obscures the forward view. Hold off in this attitude with the wings level, straighten any drift with rudder, and touch down in the two point attitude with the rudder central. Keep the stick right back after a normal touch down. If the touch down is too fast the Europa will inevitably bounce. If a small bounce or balloon occurs hold the normal pitch attitude for landing and allow the aircraft to settle onto the runway. Settling may follow after a series of minor bounces with decreasing amplitude which feel untidy and uncomfortable but are quite safe. Keep tracking straight by using the rudder/tail wheel control carefully but frequently - work with the feet! At this stage tail wheel steering will predominate giving precise directional control. A pilot induced oscillation (PIO) in pitch can readily be induced if the powerful all-moving tailplane is used roughly. If a large balloon or bounce occurs open the throttle smoothly, lower the nose to the take off attitude, and go round again. The response of the Rotax 912 on throttle opening is excellent.

One final point - don't forget to select the wheel/flaps down, and engage the locking latch, when completing the pre-landing checks! A maximum of 10 knots cross wind from the left or right should be used for landing until experience is gained.

- 3 -
Handling in the Air

6. Once airborne with the wheel/flaps tucked away the Europa is a delight to fly with crisp and light controls throughout the speed range. As expected, with flaps down lateral stability is reduced a little and there is a slight tendency to Dutch roll, particularly in turbulent air. However, the flying qualities with flaps down are perfectly satisfactory. The take off and climb performance is not all that sparkling with the 80 hp Rotax engine and, as described above, take off and landing need considerable practice before consistent proficiency can be achieved.

Stalling

7. The Europa's stalling characteristics are described in the kit manufacturer's Flight Manual. Stalling speeds and behaviour in straight flight with wheel/flaps up and down vary considerably between individual aircraft, and depend to a significant extent on whether or not stall strips are fitted. However, adequate pre-stall buffet is evident, and recovery from the stall is straightforward and rapid using standard stall recovery procedure. The Europa can be held comfortably in the buffet when approaching the stall in turning flight with the wheel/flaps up or down.

Additional Take Off and Landing Hints

8. More detailed notes are attached as a separate paper on handling during take off and landing. These notes are based on experience gained while converting pilots to the Europa using both rough and undulating grass runways, and tarmac surfaces. They have been written to provide guidance for coaches in overcoming difficulties which may be experienced by conversion candidates.

EUROPA - ADDITIONAL HANDLING HINTS FOR TAKE OFF AND LANDING


Take Off

1. Quite severe bouncing in pitch can occur when taking off from undulating grass surfaces. This can be distracting until experience is gained, and can only be controlled to a limited extent. The recommended technique to cope with bouncing during take off is to use small fore and aft stick movements (having first moved the stick a few inches forward of the rear stop during the early stages of take off) to maintain, on average, the normal pitch attitude needed before the tail is raised, and to prevent extreme pitch excursions from developing. Considerable care is needed throughout the take off not to over control in pitch, or move the stick rapidly fore and aft and cause a pilot induced oscillation.

2. On raising the tail to the unstick attitude three pronounced aircraft responses can be expected:

a. Bouncing in pitch may continue, or be accentuated.

b. Accurate roll control may prove difficult.

c. Quite a lot of right rudder will be required to maintain directional control. Full right rudder may be needed to achieve balanced flight as the aircraft unsticks.

d. As unstick occurs the nose will pitch up and this must be resisted by a positive forward movement of the stick until a good view ahead is achieved.

3. To maintain accurate control during and immediately after take off it is essential to move the controls smoothly, and without over controlling, in order to achieve the correct pitch, roll, and yaw attitudes.

The correct attitudes should be fixed firmly in the visual memory, after careful observation during dual instruction, and the aircraft should then be flown to match them using the techniques described.


- 1 - Landing

4. When landing it is important to avoid a bounce caused by a significant rate of descent on touch down. This requires pitch control with a fine touch, and good visual judgement, to achieve the correct touch down attitude just above the ground in the hold off, and then to reduce the rate of descent to a minimum immediately before touch down.

5. At touch down the stick should be on the rear stop. However, in this situation, the tailplane remains a powerful control still capable of pitching the nose up or down. The tailplane can therefore be used to prevent the nose from getting too high after a bounce or balloon, and this should be done by moving the stick gently and smoothly forward (only small movements should be used) to regain the normal landing attitude. The stick should then be moved right back. If the nose is higher than in the normal touch down attitude following a modest bounce or balloon, the aircraft will touch down tail first. A tail first touch down can induce a nose down pitch onto the mono wheel which in turn can induce a bounce, and a PIO can be started if the stick is handled roughly and out of phase with aircraft pitching movements. As always near the ground, the stick must be used smoothly, cautiously, and at the right rate. Generally only small movements should be made which are just sufficient to return the aircraft to the correct touch down attitude following a deviation. Using this technique will result in a well controlled landing, and will prevent a PIO in pitch from developing.

In the event of a large bounce or balloon open the throttle fully, lower the nose to the take off attitude and go round again. This is a simple and straightforward procedure assisted considerably by the rapid response of the Rotax 912.

6. The crab technique should always be used for cross wind landings.

7. It does not seem practicable to make a 'wheeler' landing; consequently the two point technique should always be used.


- 2 -

8. During all take off and landing stages the aim must be to return the aircraft to the correct attitude after small deviations occur, and before these deviations get so far away from the norm that large and rapid control movements become necessary to make corrections. This is more difficult to achieve during take off than on landing.

Pilot's Arm Inertia Effect

9. Bouncing when taking off or landing on rough ground can induce inadvertent movement of the stick, and hence unwanted aircraft responses in pitch and roll, through the inertia of the pilot's arm, if the stick is held too loosely and the forearm is free to move. The pilot's arm controlling stick movement should therefore rest on his thigh to minimise the possibility of unwanted inertia inputs being generated. The stick should be gripped firmly but lightly.

The Outriggers

10. The outriggers help considerably on take off and landing by limiting bank excursions to sensible angles, and they also minimise the possibility of a wing tip touching the ground. However, on hard runways they make a rasping sound when in contact with the surface and initially this may prove distracting. When an outrigger touches the ground during take off or landing a slight yaw in the direction of the touch is inevitable but should not be significant and can easily be corrected.

The CAFE Foundation evaluates the monowheel Europa
Subjective Evaluation By Otis Holt

An especially thorough evaluation of the Europa was made possible by owner/builder Kim Proutís generous, open-ended loan of his aircraft, N111EU. Our flight testing occurred during about 25 hours of flight time including the cross-country travel ferrying Europa N111EU to and from its home base in Pomona, California, to Santa Rosa.

N111EU was built with care and a desire to keep it straight and reasonably lightweight. A walk-around reveals pleasing proportions generally enhanced by the paint scheme Kim devised. N111EU is fitted with a prototype Whirlwind constant-speed propeller, which performed well in CAFE Foundationís evaluations.

The Design
The Europaís small size, distinctive profile, and monowheel landing gear cause many to describe it as "cute," but the temptation to dismiss the Europa as a mere toy should be resisted. It has numerous features and innovations based upon solid design reasoning.


The 8-inch console separating the Europa occupants creates a secure "bucket seat" arrangement in the 43-inch wide cockpit. Conveniently located on the centre console are the throttle, finger-actuated brakes, gear levers, controls for the propeller, parking brake, and choke. 

The Europa benefits from the low intersection drag of a mid-wing configuration. The engine compartment overlaps the occupant footwells, placing the engine as far aft as possible to control the centre of gravity and minimize wetted area. A tapering wing and an all-moving horizontal stabilizer also help reduce wetted area and drag. At 13.5 psf (pounds per square foot), the wing loading is relatively high for this class of aircraft, contributing to an impressive top speed and to a good ride in turbulence. Another well-thought-out feature is the effective displaced-hinge flap thatís mechanically deployed by the same lever that extends the undercarriage.

The Europaís large single main wheel retracts about halfway into the fuselage. Stiff nylon outriggers with small wheels are located near the outboard ends of the flaps and rotate to a horizontal position when the flaps are retracted. The outriggers are sized to hold the wings nearly level when taxiing. Cables from the rudder pedals are linked directly to a beefy tailwheel, providing positive steering on the ground. The rudder is actuated by a rod linking it to the tailwheel assembly.

To accommodate the removable wings, the Europa carries its fuel in a crush-resistant polypropylene tank just aft of the main spar. While Iíve never liked the idea of fuel in the cabin, this solution makes sense when you consider that the aft of spar location is probably the region least likely to receive damage during an accident. One nonstandard feature of N111EU was the static port location inside the aft fuselage, rather than on the fuselage surface. The airspeed calibration table, below, may imply that this location is less than ideal.

The Rotax 912UL installed in N111EU performed flawlessly throughout our flight tests and seemed well matched to the aircraft. Our only criticism of the installation relates to the lack of aircraft-standard fittings in the fuel system. The carburettors, fuel pump, and other fuel system components were, instead, fitted with hose nipples designed for use with slip-on hoses and clamps. These fittings leaked when the auxiliary pump was activated. The standard stainless hose clamps were unable to compress the braided hose adequately to make a reliable seal, and we noticed a poor fit between some of the lines and nipples. Also, we observed a minor degradation of the hose material from exposure to auto fuel. Cafť recommends the installation of aircraft-grade lines and fittings throughout the fuel system as well as a gascolator or quick-drain for the removal of contaminants.

Ergonomics and Comfort
The cabin is fairly spacious, measuring 43 inches at its widest point, and the footwells are similar in width to those of a Cessna 150, though at first the footwells and shoulder space seemed snug. Ultimately, I came to appreciate the secure, "bucket seat" quality of the arrangement. Pilots larger than 5 feet 10 inches and 190 pounds, however, would find the thigh and lumbar support of the Europa Classic uncomfortable and would do well to try the Europa XS instead. A console about 8 inches wide at the pilotís knee separates the occupants and provides the well into which the main wheel retracts.

For an unobstructed view over the cowl when taxiing and for takeoffs and landings, itís important that the top of the pilotís head be about one inch below the canopy. As there is no provision for adjustment of the seat or rudder pedals, this is accomplished through removable cushions.

Dimensions limiting pilot size include the immutable 44 inches separating the rudder pedals from the wing spar, and the 39-inch seat pan-to-canopy height. Both of these measurements are exclusive of seat cushions. Also, the occupantís legs are constrained to the 17.5-inch space separating the cabinís outboard sidewall from the console, so the thighs of larger occupants can limit the control stickís lateral travel. This is a significant issue as full deflection of the ailerons is occasionally required during takeoffs, as Iíll describe below. For this reason, Iíd recommend that builders provide for easy removal of the passenger-side control stick.

The console does serve as a comfortable armrest and provides a home for the throttle, finger-actuated brakes, and gear levers. Also mounted on the console are controls for the propeller, parking brake, and choke. All of these are arranged very conveniently for the pilot, and their operation quickly becomes second nature. A door at the rear of the console provides access to the fuel selector, which has Off, On, and Reserve positions. A portion of the main tank, isolated by a saddle shape through which the elevator and rudder controls operate, provides the 2.5-gallon reserve.

NACA inlets provide cabin ventilation through eyeball valves that are located on each side of the cabin. The vents generally performed quite well, but the smell of exhaust was occasionally noted during extended periods of slow flight tests. The cabin heat outlet had no provision for canopy defogging; an important feature that would be easy to add.

As with most light aircraft available today, neither seat was equipped with a crush zone or any special provision for energy absorption during a crash landing, except for the protection which the seat cushions and landing gear would provide. The shoulder harness attach point was located behind the seat about 10 inches below shoulder height. I was concerned that this would contribute to spinal compression during a crash landing. The cabin ceiling aft of the door would make a better attach point.

Ingress and egress was moderately easy. After stepping onto the wing-walk provided, you place one foot on the seat while ducking below the gull-wing door, sit on the seat back, and then lower into position. Some upper body strength is helpful, but most reasonably healthy adults should be able to get in and out without great effort.

Ground Operations
Taxiing the Europa is easy, thanks to positive tailwheel steering and side-to-side stability provided by the outriggers. The pilotís field of view on the ground is generally good, except that the view over the nose requires a little neck craning. When taxiing, some thought must be given to the vulnerability of the flaps, which are always deployed when on the ground, and to keeping the outriggers clear of obstacles and deep ruts alongside the taxiway.

The brake on the single main wheel is quite effective and easy to use. Pulling a lever alongside the throttle lever activates it, so both tasks go to the pilotís right hand. I was especially pleased with the operation of the parking brake, a simple one-way valve that traps hydraulic pressure when engaged.

Particular care must be taken to ensure that both the front and rear bullet pins securing each gull-wing door are engaged prior to departure. Minor flexing of the door panel was required to line up the rear pin with its receptacle before it could be engaged.

Itís easy for one person to push the 800-pound Europa forward or backward on the ground manually using the vertical fin as a grip while steering with the rudder.

Takeoff and Climb-out
During the takeoff roll, aggressive directional control is essential. Although the forces acting upon the aircraft are the same as for other taildraggers during this phase of flight, its response to them is not. As the tailwheel is lifted off the ground, the outriggers, being located well aft of the main wheel, also rise. The aircraft subsequently tends to pivot about the single main wheelís contact patch in both the vertical (yaw) and longitudinal (runway) axis. As the outriggers leave the ground, the pilot must be prepared to use significant aileron inputs to counter a rolling tendency caused by the combination of engine torque, an adverse rolling moment induced by rudder inputs, and the side force of any crosswind component acting upon the entire aircraft. In aircraft with dual mains, these rolling forces are absorbed by the main gear and generally go unnoticed by the pilot.

The recommended technique is to keep the tailwheel planted a bit longer than oneís intuition might suggest to assure adequate aileron authority. Steady crosswinds from the right actually make the takeoff easier, whereas those from the left require extra care. My only aborted takeoff occurred during my first encounter with a gust from the left just after having lifted the tailwheel. As I got to know the Europa better, takeoffs became quite enjoyable, and I experienced little difficulty holding to the centreline.

The constant-speed prop installed on N111EU permits the engine to develop maximum rated power at 5800 engine rpm during the takeoff roll, so acceleration is quite brisk for just 80 horsepower. The tailwheel is lifted at about 35 to 40 KIAS (knots indicated airspeed), after which the Europa accelerates rapidly to a rotation speed of 45 to 50 KIAS. After a slight pause to accelerate in ground effect, the initial climb should be stabilized at about 65 to 70 KIAS before raising the undercarriage (and flaps) to ensure being above the clean-configuration stall speed. My general impression is that the gross weight limit of 1,300 pounds was appropriate and should not be exceeded.

The main wheel is fitted with a bungee assist, which pre-loads the gear downward such that in flight the gear seeks a neutral position about midway through its range of travel. As a result, the forces required for extension and retraction are fairly symmetrical. After pivoting a small mechanical lock with one finger, a firm sidewise pull on the gear/flap extension lever frees it from the down-position detent. An opposing (pull) force is required initially as the lever seeks the neutral point, after which a pushing force growing to about 25 pounds is needed by the time the lever reaches a detent at its forward limit. Gear extension is essentially the reverse process. Though a bit awkward at first, both are easily accommodated with a little practice.

Freed from the very substantial drag imposed by the gear and flaps, the Europa accelerates smartly into the climb. After resetting the propeller to bring the Rotax below the 5500 rpm limit for continuous operation, the aircraft is trimmed to 90 to 100 KIAS for sustained climbs, which gives a good balance between forward visibility and rate of climb. The best sustained rate of climb we measured at gross weight (density altitude of 1,000 feet) was 1,297 fpm at 99 mph (CAS, or calibrated airspeed). This equates to an indicated airspeed of 90 KIAS, a good deal faster than the 75 KIAS published as the Vy by the manufacturer. The oil temperature displayed a tendency to increase slowly during sustained climbs in spite of fairly low outside temperatures and would probably impose a limit on the duration of full-power climbs in warmer weather. When stabilized in cruise all engine temperatures were well behaved. Manoeuvring stability graph, and Static longitudinal stability graph

Stability and Control
The control system is smooth and well harmonized with no detectable slop or play. Direct aerodynamic loading of the control surfaces provides all pilot feedback through the control system, contributing to an excellent sense of "linkage" with the aircraft. Light breakout forces, minimal adverse yaw, and the Europaís quick, fluid response to control inputs make manoeuvring the aircraft easy. This combination of qualities should make the Europa a good platform for Sportsman-level aerobatics.

We flew N111EU to evaluate stability and control with the load ballasted to 15 percent of range aft of the forward limit and again at 85 percent aft of the forward limit. Takeoff weight at the most forward CG (centre of gravity) was about 1,150 pounds, and about 1,175 pounds at the most aft. Differences in handling qualities observed between the two loadings were minor, suggesting that the designerís selection of the centre of gravity limits is fairly conservative.

Longitudinal Stability
Dynamic longitudinal stability was explored by inducing elevator doublets and was found to be deadbeat at all speeds tested, both stick-fixed and stick-free. This contributes solid feel during manoeuvres and in cruising flight, surprising for so small an aircraft.

Static longitudinal stability showed healthy stick force gradients in all configurations tested. This means the Europa provides the pilot with ample feedback in the form of increasing stick pressure as airspeed deviates more and more from the trim speed, making both unintentional speed gain and unintentional stalls far less likely to occur.

Europa
N111EU

Panel
IAS,
kts

Panel
IAS,
mph

Cabin
Baro,
mph

CAS,
mph
wing

Config.

Airspeed

39

44.9

47.4

40.8

dirty stall

Calbration

45

51.8

52.8

51.7

dirty

CAFE Barographs

50

57.6

61.5

57.4

 

Baro #3 
on wing

55

63.4

65.4

64.6

 

Baro #1
in cabin

60

69.1

71.5

69.6

 

 

65

74.9

76.0

73.7

 

 

70

80.6

81.2

78.1

 

 

75

86.4

86.7

82.2

 

 

80

92.2

92.5

88.3

 

 

85

97.9

98.8

93.0

 

 

90

103.7

104.3

99.2

 

 

100

115.2

116.5

109.8

 

 

110

126.7

128.8

121.1

 

 

120

138.2

141.4

130.1

 

 

130

149.8

153.5

140.4

 

 

140

161.3

164.5

153.3

 

 

150

172.8

178.7

165.1

 

 

160

184.3

189.7

174.0

 

Directional Stability
The Europa responded to rudder doublets with about four overshoots before damping rudder-free and with about three overshoots with the rudder fixed at VA in the clean configuration-well within the acceptable range. Artificially induced Dutch rolls at VA damped completely within two cycles. There was no detectable dead-band or undue breakout force observed when actuating the rudder, which has ample control authority to do its job during all phases of flight.

Roll Due to Yaw
Roll due to yaw was examined and showed adequate dihedral effect. Either wing could be raised easily by the application of rudder alone. Positive force gradients were observed throughout the rudderís range of travel at all speeds and configurations tested.

Manoeuvring Stability
Manoeuvring forces required are reasonably light, with no undue effort required to obtain the desired result when manoeuvring at loads below three Gs. The substantial force per G-load gradients ensure that the pilot receives ample feedback from the aircraft when structural loads are imposed, making unintentional overstressing of the airframe less likely. 

ROLL RATE, deg./second, include input time

Airspeeds are panel IAS

Va

1.3 Vso

Europa N111EU

81 Rt./71 Lt.

62 Rt./ 53 Lt.**

Europa N111EU

 

50 Rt./ 40 Lt.***

RV-8A N58VA

109 Rt./102 Lt.

78 Rt./80 Lt.

Cessna 152 N65398

47

34

GlaStar N824G

52 Rt./50 Lt.

47 Rt./43 Lt.

**clean @ 70 Kts. IAS

 

 

***dirty @ 62 Kts. IAS

 

 

Adverse Yaw
Fairly abrupt aileron inputs without the use of rudder resulted in no more than a slight hesitation before the nose followed into a well-coordinated turn. Little or no rudder is needed to coordinate most turns, and this contributes to the ease of manoeuvring the aircraft. Cruise data, mph chart

Roll Rates
The low inertia of the lightweight, tapered wing contributes to the respectable roll rates we measured for the Europa, which can be found in the table, left. Roll damping was quite good in both configurations, with the roll stopping immediately and the stick tending back to the neutral position when pressure is released.

Spiral stability was neutral. This implies that the Europa will not tend to quickly drop off into a spiral if the pilotís attention is diverted momentarily. 

Trim Authority
The aircraft is equipped with electric trim for both pitch and roll, activated by four buttons atop the pilotís control column. It was often difficult to perceive the effect of aileron trim, and I didnít really feel it was necessary in this aircraft.

By contrast, elevator trim authority is excellent on N111EU, which is equipped with a panel-mounted position indicator and uses a Mac-servo motor to reposition a servo tab on the all-flying tail.

Stalls
Stalls of 1 G and mild acceleration were found to be benign in all configurations and loadings tested. No stall-warning device or angle-of-attack indicator was installed on the aircraft, but stall onset was indicated by substantial airframe buffeting and stick-shake, which preceded the stall by about two knots clean and a bit less when "dirty" even though no leading-edge stall strips were installed on N111EU.

In the landing configuration, the aircraft displayed a tendency to fall off gently to the right at the stall. Recovery in all cases occurred almost instantly upon release of back pressure on the stick, and it resulted in the loss of no more than 100 feet of altitude when positive recovery techniques were used. CAFE calibrated stall speeds, compensated for instrument and position error, can be found in the measured performance section.

Cross-Country Flight
I had several opportunities to fly N111EU cross-country and was quite impressed by the experience. The wings are fairly flexible for so short a span, and this coupled with the relatively high wing loading gave a good ride in turbulence. The pitch attitude in cruise is fairly nose-down, yielding an excellent field of view even over the nose. The Whirlwind propeller locks onto the set rpm, and the Rotax 912 sung along smoothly at 5300 rpm. The ANR headsets Kim provided further reduced an already low cabin noise level. The Temperfoam seat cushions Kim installed in the aircraft were a bit heavy at 18.25 pounds total, but they do provide comfort through the three- to four-hour legs the aircraft is capable of. 

Europa N111EU, Sample c.g.

 

Weight, lb

Arm

Moment

Main gear, empty

723.5

45.562*

32964

Nosewheel, empty

83.4

175.625

14647

Pilot front seat

150.0

54.56*

8184

Passenager, front seat

168.1

54.56*

9172

Fuel, fuselage tank

120.0

75.4*

9048

Oil, included

0.0

 

0

Baggage, aft limit 80 lb.

50.0

88.00

4400

Baggage, aux. box 15 lb lim.

0.0

97.00

0

TOTALS

1300.0

 

78415

Datum = fwd face of cow!

 

 

 

c.g., inches

60.30

 

 

c.g., % aft of fwd limit

52%

 

 

c.g. in %MAC

21.6

 

 

Gross weight, lb

1300.0

 

 

Empty weight, lb

801.65*

 

 

Useful load, lb

498.4

 

 

Payload, lb, fuel

374.4

 

 

Fuel capacity, gallons*

20.66

 

 

Empty weight c.g., inches

58.98

 

 

c.g. range, inches

58-62.5

 

 

c.g. range, % MAC

17%-26%

 

 

*as determined by CAFE

 

 

 

Cross-country performance and economy is quite impressive. A comfortable cruise can be sustained at about 5200 engine rpm while burning 4.2 gph indicating about 125 knots (135 mph CAS). Unfortunately, the Rotax is not equipped with mixture control, and the carburettors do not fully compensate for altitude, so itís difficult to take advantage of winds aloft and the TAS advantage of high-altitude flight. Nonetheless, we measured a range of 823 miles at 2.5 gph at 107.4 mph TAS (43 mpg). Fuel consumption was as low as 2.1 gph in level flight, and we saw a climb rate of 373 fpm even at 10,000 feet DA (density altitude). 

Stallspeeds-
Europa 
N111 Eu

Flight/Date/Clock

Mode

MP/ Prop
Rpm

Weight, lb

CAS, kt/mph

mid c.g. at various

#2--12/12/99/1:14:17

clean

18.1/1796

1300.4

53.0/61.1

M.P. and RPM's

#2--12/12/99/11:15:37

dirty

22.4/2022

1300.0

43.2/49.8

Approach and Landing
The Europaís excellent field of view in flight and its relative simplicity make for safe, easy descents and entry into the landing pattern. Once established on downwind, the first objective is to gradually re-trim the aircraft to about 75 to 80 KIAS prior to extending the gear/flaps just before turning base. Very little re-trimming is required after extending the gear because the Europa magically reassumes the same trim speed. Because the undercarriage and flaps operate together, the likelihood of an unintended gear-up landing is reduced.

Successful landings require that pitch attitude at the moment of touchdown be controlled within a fairly narrow range. The outriggers make it advisable to touch down in a wing-level attitude. Approaches to crosswind landings are made at a crab angle to the runway, and the pilot must use rudder to kick the aircraft into runway alignment just prior to touchdown. All of this requires a degree of precision considerably higher than for the typical trainer. Several aborted landings provided my own transition to the Europa with a few humbling moments. When landings are aborted, application of full power has you back in the air almost instantly for a second attempt at landing.

The factory discourages wheel landings for several reasons. One is minimal prop clearance (a mere 3.75 inches in the level attitude on N111EU); so prop strikes could result from a botched wheel landing. Also, the Europa sits on the ground at a shallow angle of only about 8 degrees from the horizontal-far less than the stall angle of attack. With the main wheel well forward of the CG, a main-wheel-first landing invariably results in an abrupt relaunch at a nose-high pitch as the tailís downward momentum forces the wing into a higher angle of attack. Conversely, if the tail touches down too far ahead of the main wheel, the bounce off the main wheel can have a similar result if speed is much above stall.

My best landings were achieved by arresting the flare at a slightly tail-low pitch attitude about 1 to 2 feet off the ground, letting the Europa decelerate and settle on its own, cutting power after touchdown and holding the stick back during the roll-out. I found little difficulty with basic directional control after touchdown provided that the stick was held in the full-aft position and positive control is maintained all the way to a full stop. The forward location of the main wheel allows aggressive use of the very effective main-wheel brake without fear of nosing over.

Itís a good idea to offset to the right slightly on final approach so that the runway centreline remains in view as a directional reference throughout the landing and roll-out. I also found it helpful to set the final approach speed to about 60 KIAS and carry sufficient power to produce a sink rate of about 300 fpm over the fence, leaving the power in through the flare to touchdown. This puts the approach slightly onto the back side of the power curve, so that the wing is ready to stop flying when power is eased out following touchdown.

Regardless of the type of aircraft you are flying prior to the Europa, first flights should be thought of as transition training rather than a simple checkout, and they should include the qualified assistance of someone comfortable in the aircraftís right seat. Developing the stick and rudder skills required in the monowheel Europa will serve to improve any pilotís flying, but a tri-gear version of the kit is available for those who would prefer a less challenging alternative.

Conclusions
Our favourable first impressions of the Europa were generally confirmed by a growing appreciation of the design as we studied its capabilities in greater depth. Itís economical to own and operate and derives unusually high performance and utility from a small powerplant. This should earn it a growing worldwide popularity.

CAFE MEASURED PERFORMANCE, N111EU
Propeller max. static rpm 2462 rpm
Vmax, TAS, 1117í dens.alt., 1270 lb, 29", 2548 rpm, 6.1 gph 149.2/171.9 kt/mph
Stall speed, 1300 lb, 22.4" M.P., 2022 rpm,
dirty, CAS 43.2 kt/49.8 mph
T.O. distance., 5 mph headwind, 52įF, 125 ft MSL, 1315 lb 650 ft
Liftoff speed, by Barograph, 1319 lb, CAS 53.3/61.4 kt/mph
Touchdown speed, Barograph, 1279 lb, CAS 49.9/57.5 kt/mph
Minimum sink rate, 1287 lb, 71 mph CAS, 78 mph TAS 591 fpm
Glide ratio, idle, 88 mph CAS, 92 mph TAS 10.4
Noise levels, ambient/idle/full power climb/75% cruise 55/74/95/92 dB
Peak oil temp. in climb, 93 mph CAS, full power 250į F
Cowl exit air temp, 93 mph CAS, 56įF OAT 152į F

Europa History
The Europa is a kit aircraft manufactured in England since January 1990. It underwent flight testing in line with JAR-VLA requirements in 1993 and was introduced in the United States in 1995. That summer, the Europaís designer, Ivan Shaw, was awarded the prestigious August Raspet Memorial Award for the Advancement of Light Aircraft Design. Don Dykins designed the Europaís wing. Don, as former chief aerodynamicist at British Aerospace, had directed the development of the advanced technology wing of the Airbus.

Initially, Europas were built with wet lay-up composite construction; the kit now uses prepreg, vacuum-bagged composite mouldings with a smooth gel-coat finish.

The newer version, the Europa XS, incorporates the following changes: an 18-inch longer wingspan with more wash-out; 9-inch longer ailerons on each side; more propeller ground clearance; more baggage space; a 2-inch deeper footwell for the pilot; a ceramic firewall; an optional 12-gallon auxiliary fuel tank; a 70-pound increase in gross weight; and a longer wheelbase. The cabin modifications in the XS have been made to accommodate larger passengers and to improve comfort.

A motorglider wings set is interchangeable on the Europa, and a tri-gear version is now available. It can be converted to trailer-sized mode in just minutes.

A variety of engines can be used in this aircraft; the four-stroke, 80-hp Rotax 912UL engine being the standard.