SAI G97 SPOTTER

TYPE: Multisensor surveillance lightplane; side-by-side ultralight kitbuilt.

PROGRAMME: Design began June 1997; construction of prototype G97 ultralight started November 1997; first flight June 1998, powered by 47.8 kW (64.1 hp) Rotax 582; first G97V lightplane (I-OPIS) had public debut at Aero '01, Friedrichshafen, in April 2001 and first flew 15 May 2001. Construction of first production G97 began September 2000; initial flight March 2001. Certification of G97V was due late 2001.

CURRENT VERSIONS: G97V Spotter: Certified light aircraft to Italian ENAC V.EL (elementary aircraft) standard. Differs from G97 prototype in having stretched forward fuselage.
G97 Spotter: As G97V, but in Ultralight category; assembled from kit.

CUSTOMERS: Six aircraft of all versions (including prototypes) flying by September 2001. Total 30 delivered to Italy, South America, South Africa, Spain and USA by mid-2003.

COSTS: G97 €46,000; G97V €60,000 (2001).

DESIGN FEATURES: Advanced ultralight able to transition to certified aircraft category; intended for police/civil protection agency use, with helicopter-like view for crew assured by pusher propeller, side-by-side seating and absence of wing external bracing. Also suitable for private flying, training and light transport. Prime design objectives included sacrifice of speed to ensure utility; configuration overcomes related problems of ground cooling for engine, aerodynamic balance with large CG range, comfort in turbulent air and cabin noise. Computer modelling used in design, particularly with pod/boom interface and aerofoil tested in Department of Aircraft Design, Naples University.
Pod-and-boom fuselage; cantilever, constant chord wings, detachable for storage. Sweptback fin; tailplane below propeller slipstream.
Purpose-designed Giordano VGI-13H high-lift aerofoil; no sweep; no twist; thickness-chord ratio 13.1 per cent; dihedral 1o; incidence 2o 30'.

FLYING CONTROLS: Manual. Frise differential ailerons, rudder and all-moving tailplane with anti-balance tab and electrically actuated trim. Electrically actuated slotted flaps on 71 per cent of wing trailing-edge.

STRUCTURE: Mostly aluminium alloy structure and skin, except rudder and part of tailplane Dacron covered; wing/fuselage fairing, wingtips and tailcone of glass fibre.

LANDING GEAR: Tricycle type; fixed. Cantilever-sprung mainwheel legs of single carbon fibre/glass fibre piece, attached to fuselage by four bolts. Nosewheel with rubber shock-absorber. Hydraulic disc brakes on mainwheels operated by lever in cockpit. Steerable nosewheel. Main tyres size 6.00-5; nose 11x4.00-5.

POWER PLANT: One 59.6 kW (79.9 hp) Rotax 912 UL flat-four driving a Tonini two-blade, wooden propeller of 1.44 m (4 ft 8½ in) pitch. Two wing leading-edge fuel tanks in early aircraft, combined capacity 70 litres (18.5 US gallons; 15.4 Imp gallons), of which 66 litres (17.4 US gallons; 14.5 Imp gallons) are usable. By 2003, fuel capacity increased to 90 litres (23.8 US gallons; 19.8 Imp gallons). Option of 73.5 kW (98.6) Rotax 912S or 74.0 kW (99 hp) Hirth 3701ES, and three-blade Helix propeller in later versions.

ACCOMMODATION: Two persons, side by side, with four-point harnesses. Upward-opening door each side. Dual controls, including central throttle; ventilation. Baggage compartment behind seats.

SYSTEMS: Electrical system has 12 V battery and 100 W alternator.

AVIONICS: To customer's requirements.

 

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