Another Savannah flies
Anzac Weekend saw the test flight at Rangiora of ICP Savannah ZK-MYN. The kit was started in October last year and, despite the usual interruptions of work, Christmas and other events, came together at a steady rate.
Philip Seale and Hayden Bell set out to build a good example of a Savannah S, using the basic kit supplied and adding minor improvements gained from both Hayden’s experience from building his own Savannah on Norfolk Island and also Philip’s extensive aviation experience, plus an eye for detail. They say they have achieved all they set out to do.
When we think STOL we think of slower functional aircraft. ICP took the previous Savannah models and continued the evolution with the S, stretching it, rounding the aft fuselage, making the cockpit more comfortable and adding vortex generators and flaperons to make the Savannah S a capable STOL aircraft but without having to give away a decent cruise speed. The end result is a comfortable, safe and fun aeroplane.
ICP was established in 1980 as an Italian company specialising in the production of electric cables for the automotive industry. In 1988 it began importing microlights and the following year started the design and autonomous production of ultralight aircraft in aluminium alloy. At the end of 1990s the company took another step with the introduction of CNC processes and is able to achieve a high quality of kit, using high quality materials. With lightening holes in multiple parts the construction remains lightweight.
The cabin is designed for space plus a panoramic view with roof and doors transparent, and the adjustable rudder pedals allow for different sized pilots. Allowing more room is the use of a central Y yoke, available to both seats. The tricycle undercarriage gives good visibility on the ground and toe brakes aid steering.
After standard run-up checks and with 15deg of flap set the acceleration from the Rotax 912 engine is brisk. Weight starts coming off the nosewheel and at 35kt indicated you are flying. Climbout is hands-off, as is the cruise, and the speed increases to 95kt.
Into the stalls, with 15deg of flap it indicates 20kt and at full flap the ASI drops back to zero, in both cases very stable and with nil height loss, and all control is very positive.
The Savannah S is stable in all flight characteristics and offers a good level of spaciousness, while another good feature is the more streamlined nose with the spinner integrating into the sleeker lines of this model.
- Report and photography by Evan Belworthy.
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