THE CERTIFIED SEAWIND FLIES
After what seemed to be endless instrumentation installation,engine tests, brake tests and taxi tests, we installed the spin chute and were ready for the final ground test.The following release was sent to the pilot magazine community:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Seawind, Inc. announced that it has reached a significant milestone and has rolled out its revolutionary new Seawind 300C amphibian for certification flight testing. Flight testing has begun at the company’s production facility in St. Jean, Quebec, Canada. The company expects certification to be completed this fall.
Initial VFR testing of land and water operations, which includes flutter and spin testing, will comprise about 75 percent of the total test requirements. This testing will provide performance specifications for the aircraft, including rate of climb, speeds, take off and landing distances, etc. IFR and 3-axis autopilot testing, along with Full Authority Digital Engine Control (FADEC), will constitute the remaining 25 percent. Concurrent certification with Transport Canada and FAA is expected to take about six months.
With the first conforming test article 001 in flight testing, assembly has begun on article 002, and parts manufacturing is underway for 003. “As soon as the second prototype is finished, we expect to have completed the flutter and spin regime,” said Seawind’s President Richard Silva. “At that point we will be confident that no significant changes will be required, and we can safely ramp up production.” The Seawind 300C is manufactured exclusively by Advanced Aero Corp. in Canada. The company has deposits from 80 customers for these unique flying boats.
The project is more than a year behind schedule, mainly due to securing adequate funding to complete the certification. Silva says, “We’ve been behind schedule, but not as much as other manufacturers. It’s our goal to provide the best seaplane in the world, and we won’t settle for less, even if it takes us longer.” While costs of producing the Seawind 300C have risen, the company has managed costs well and better than most to bring the aircraft to production with only a minimal increase in price. A price increase for the VFR Seawind 300C to $324,900 was announced last month. The main cause of the increase, beyond the company’s control, was the drop in value of the US dollar against the Canadian dollar.
This striking amphibian is making a big splash with recreational and business pilots alike.
The Seawind 300C will comfortably seat four adults or two adults and three children. A full slate of options, including a glass cockpit, inboard/outboard motor, and interior enhancements, is available.
For additional information about the Seawind 300C, contact the company at 610-384-7000 or visit www.seawind.net. The evolution of an intelligent design continues.
The flight test article has a very extensive data collection system. A moveable computer console has been installed in the co-pilot seat position. The right seat is way aft for the flight analyst.
The ground testing seemed endless.The large wire harness connects dozens of sensors and position indicators from the articulating boom computer system into the large aft luggage area.It then travels up to the vertical tail and is connected to dozens of engine sensors.Thousands of bits of information are recorded every minute.
A few days later the following release was sent to our order holders:
I am very pleased to report to you some long awaited progress. On Tuesday, August 29, we performed a high-speed taxi test and deployed the spin chute that has been outfitted on the aircraft. It deployed very smoothly with all forces and reactions being very nominal as hoped.
Equally important, the ejection of the chute once deployed with the intended purpose of regaining control of flight, was smooth and uneventful.
After numerous engine tests, brake tests, ground steering tests, and full power run-ups, the Seawind was released and signed off for flight.
Finally, the Seawind 300C certified version taxied out past the concept Seawind for its first flight.
On August 31, equipped with the spin chute and almost 150 lbs. of instrumentation and sensors, the certified version of the Seawind took flight at Saint-Jean Airport. Although it lasted less than an hour, the first flight was very successful.
The nose wheel lifted easily. The Seawind lifted off in a near level attitude because of the spin chute boom.
The lift off and touch down had to be at a near level attitude because of the spin chute attachment frame, which extends almost five feet beyond the stern of the fuselage. The Seawind will be flying for the next few weeks to expand the basic flight envelope. It then will be taken to the flight test team’s home base to complete the flight testing program. The weather in Canada is not ideal for flight testing.
We regret that it has taken so long to reach this milestone, and we really appreciate your patience and commitment to our program. We can now redirect our efforts to assembling the second test aircraft and organizing production.
In summary, the following initial results are: The elevator authority was more than adequate to lift the nose wheel despite the higher horsepower of the 310 HP Continental engine and moving aft of the trailing link landing gear pivot point. The test pilot was also impressed with the rudder authority and the ability to steer while taxiing without using the brakes or nose wheel steering actuator. The data system is quite extensive and it showed that the engine cooling baffling was passing cooling air and the chaffing needed to be fitted tighter.
WHAT ELSE IS NEW?
SEAWIND IS ON THE MOVE
Seawind, Inc. has long planned to move to a location at Chester County Airport, 30 nm west of Philadelphia. We have delayed the construction of our main U.S. Sales and Service facility until certification is complete and production is underway. We have decided to rent some office and hangar space in the interim. The current plan is to relocate before the end of the year and be set at the new location on or about January 1. Our new phone number, 610-384-7000, is already in service and can be used even before we move. We will continue to use our current address until we are in the new location and will post our new address at that time in order to avoid having to travel 19 miles for mail pickup. All of the new information will be posted on our web site.
Our temporary offices are on the ground floor of Hangar 5B.
We want to be in full operation by the spring. It will be more convenient for our customers to have a demonstration flight in the certified Seawind at our new airport location. Our permanent sales and service facility will be under construction next spring with completion by the end of the year on a sixacre site just a few hundred feet from the interim office. It will save a lot of travel time checking on the progress of the construction.
The site of our future sales and service center just across the road from our interim office. It will be behind the trees.
WELCOME DAVE ARNOLD We’ve begun expanding our sales and marketing efforts with an eye to the future demonstration flights. Dave is a very accomplished pilot with ratings up to ATP. He is an FAA certified A&P with an IA rating as well. So in addition to his flying skills, he brings a great deal of technical knowledge and expertise. Dave joined the company at a fortuitous time, as he came on board just prior to Bill Poirier’s return to Massachusetts where his family had remained. We wish Bill good luck in his new endeavors.
AVIONICS It is no secret that we have been agonizing over the selection of a glass cockpit. Some time ago, we released information that Garmin would not consider a TSO for the G1000 in the Seawind unless we ordered 50 systems per year. That information was wrong. Garmin will consider the Seawind when our production level is 50 aircraft per year, not 50 G1000 per year. We are scheduled to reach that level in two years.
Garmin is not geared to provide a 3-axis autopilot and we also prefer to continue with the S-Tec autopilot system. We have decided to proceed with the Garmin line, which is the leader in the industry and which enjoys the best reputation. The original Apollo line, which I have in the concept Seawind, has been bought out by Garmin. This equipment has worked flawlessly in my aircraft for seven years.
LIGHTNING PROTECTION I would like to clear up any misunderstanding about lightning protection. Lightning protection is required for all Part 23 aircraft that are equipped for instrument flight rules (IFR). If you want to start with your Seawind equipped for visual flight rules (VFR) and later upgrade to IFR, then you must have lightning protection. It cannot be added later because it is integral in the manufacturing process. It consists of aluminum mesh imbedded between fiberglass layers during the infusion of the aircraft skin. If you never plan to fly IFR, then there is no need to have lightning protection. It is your choice.
VFR AVIONICS This selection has remained constant and is standard for the Seawind and included in the base price. The stack includes the following Garmin equipment:
GMA 340 Audio Panel with intercom for up to six seats and marker beacon
GNC 250XL GPS/COM receiver
GTX 327 Transponder 64
VFR OPTION Garmin GPS MAP 496 panel mount This can be used for satellite weather with the XM weather with the addition of a receiver.
IFR AVIONICS ESSENTIAL BUS – All approved IFR systems must, at a minimum, have an essential bus which, in the event of an alternator failure, enables all essential avionics to be connected to the battery. The battery must have the capacity to provide power for at least 30 minutes of operation. This applies to systems that have redundant sources for the primary instruments, such as both vacuum and electric gyros.
BASIC IFR This is an entry level IFR system with the minimum equipment. It is simply an upgrade of VFR (above) with the addition of a Garmin SL30 NAV/COM with glide slope. For glide slope, a course deviation indicator (CDI) is required. A GI-106A is furnished. In summary, basic IFR consists of:
GMA 340 audio panel with intercom and marker beacon
GNC 250 XL GPS COM
SL30 NAV/COM w/ glide slope
GTX 327 Transponder
GI 106A CDI
DELUXE IFR This is a very sophisticated system with great graphics and endless capabilities. It consists of the following Garmin equipment:
GMA 340 audio panel with intercom and marker beacon
MX20 Moving Map – This unit is soon to be upgraded to a
GMX 200 with even better graphics.
GNS 340 – GPS/Com
SL30 – NAV/COM with glide slope
GI-106A – Course deviation indicator
GTX 327 – Transponder
DELUXE IFR OPTIONS There are a number of options available for the Deluxe system, as follows:
MX 20-I0 – displays traffic with the addition of GTX 330 transponder.
GNS 430W GPS/Com WAAS is available.
GTX 330 – Mode S Transponder.
For weather display on the MX 20, a black box is required.
Add GDL 69 data link for XM weather, which requires a subscription.
Add GDL 69A for XM weather plus music.
Add a GDL 90 for the ADS-B weather from the FAA system. No subscription is required but currently coverage is limited.
GLASS COCKPIT The glass cockpit is a different system in the respect that it utilizes an Attitude and Heading Reference System (AHRS) instead of vacuum or electric gyros. Because of the criticality of the primary function display (PFD), we recommend two power supplies consisting of two alternators and a second backup battery. (It need not be a full size battery capable of starting the engine.) In addition, a redundant gyro horizon, altimeter and airspeed indicator must be provided. The electric GH is three times more expensive than a vacuum GH. The Seawind S-Tec autopilot is driven by an electric turn and bank gyro. We will be offering vacuum for redundancy for the backup gyros.
Until we are eligible for the Garmin 1000, we have decided to offer the Garmin 600, which is described by Garmin as follows:
This system combines a primary flight display (PFD) and multifunction display (MFD) in one 10-inch wide bezel, dramatically simplifying the cockpit. Critical flight data is displayed on two high-resolution 6.5-inch diagonal flat-panel LCDs. They feature brilliant color and advanced backlighting, so you can view images in sharper detail, even in direct sunlight. On the left side, the PFD integrates all your situational information regarding your aircraft’s position, speed, attitude, vertical rate, altitude, steering and flight progress. On the right side, the MFD provides detailed moving map graphics of your aircraft’s current position in relation to ground features, chart data, navaids and more. The MFD depends on a GPS Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) to display its functions.
The Seawind Glass Cockpit Configuration consists of:
G600 as described
GNS 430 WAAS
GMA 340 audio with intercom and marker beacon
SL 30 Nav/Com w/ Glide Slope
GTX 330 Mode S Transponder
Glass Cockpit Options consist of:
GDL 69 data link for XM weather, or
GDL 69A for XM weather and music, or
GDL 96 for ADS-B weather
The G600 will be available in spring 2007. As time goes on, we are sure that there will be many other devices available, and we will try to keep up with these developments. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to call.
DUAL ELECTRICAL SYSTEM For the glass cockpit G600 or the future G1000, we recommend a dual electrical system as previously noted. It consists of the standard 70-amp 24-volt alternator and a second 60-amp 24-volt alternator. Either one is capable of powering the entire electrical system even though it is necessary to power only the essential avionics. A 24-volt concorde battery starts the engine and provides a third redundancy to feed the essential bus for 30 minutes, but not the entire system. A second small battery is connected to the 60-amp redundant system. It need not be capable of starting the engine nor providing a 30-minute backup.
PRICING We will be pricing the IFR and glass cockpit options in the next two months.
SEAWIND BUYER’S GUIDE There was a time when there was virtually nothing new happening in aviation. Happily for the pilot/owner, those days are gone. As an aircraft manufacturer, we have to work harder to keep up with new developments. We also have to do a better job in providing our customers with clear and concise information with which to make a judgment. 66 We are putting together an Options and Accessories Buyer’s Guide for our order holders to provide you with the information you need to make your final selections. For those of you who are getting ready to order a Seawind and would like a copy, please give us a call. We will be glad to send you one. It will be available in November.
SEAWIND GIFT ITEMS The gift items web page has been neglected. We are working on a new web page, which will display all of the gift items that we have for sale. It will include the following Seawind gifts: Shirts, hats, and jackets Coffee mugs, pins, key floats, video tapes, and DVDs Poster-size photos Desk model with personalized N number and paint scheme Remote Control flying model Prices will be listed and an easy method for ordering will be available. The desk models are custom finished and delivery is at least 90 days after receipt of order. We suggest you order soon to be sure of delivery before the holidays. Dick Silva
EXCITING TIME TO JOIN SEAWIND Starting my employment with Seawind toward the end of August turned out to be a very exciting time. Being a part of the team when the first production aircraft received its flight permit and then made a successful first flight was a thrill. There have been many years of hard and dedicated work to make the first flight a reality. My position as Sales Director and future demonstration pilot is starting with a major accomplishment having been achieved for a successful future for Seawind. Dave Arnold
COCKPIT WEATHER REPORTING Pilots now have access to constantly updated, real time weather information in the cockpit. In the past, these services have been unavailable or too expensive for widespread use in general aviation.
There are a couple of different weather reporting systems that are becoming more popular in today’s general aviation airplanes. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has committed to a nationwide weather and traffic broadcast service for pilots. The system is called ADS-B, which is an acronym for Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast. ADS-B is now available along the eastern seaboard from New Jersey to Florida and in portions of Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and Arizona. It will probably be a couple of years before there is nationwide coverage. The ADS-B-equipped aircraft will receive free weather and traffic information. Pilots will be able to see on a multi-function screen up-to-the-minute weather graphics including radar, weather reports and forecasts, and relative position of nearby aircraft.
ADS-B relies on the satellite-based Global Positioning System (GPS) and Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) to determine an aircraft’s precise position. WAAS is a system of satellites and ground stations that provide GPS signal corrections for better position accuracy.
To have ADS-B capabilities in your Seawind 300C, you will need the Garmin MX20 multi-function display and a GDL90 Universal Access Transceiver. The GDL90 transceiver will add approximately $8,000 to your IFR-equipped airplane.
The other way to bring weather reporting capabilities into your cockpit is through a satellite-based broadcasting business. There are two major competitors in the space-based broadcast business. They are XM satellite weather and WSI, who uses Sirius Satellite Radio as its satellite provider. These satellite weather services operate in the S-band frequency to provide continuous uplink capabilities at any altitude throughout North America. As with the ADS-B system, your aircraft will need to be equipped with the Garmin MX20 multi-function display and a GDL69 receiver for satellite weather reporting. The GDL69 receiver will add approximately $5000 to your IFR Seawind 300C. Another option for about $5800 is to add a GDL69A, which will give you weather reporting and 150 plus channels of music, sports, news, and talk radio.
Both XM and WSI offer subscription packages. There are different levels of service packages to choose from depending on the weather reporting you require. For WSI, the price ranges from about $500 to $800 annually and XM ranges from about $360 to $720 per year.
When the time comes to make a decision for your cockpit weather requirements, it would be wise to invest some time to research all the different companies and products that are currently available.