If you're looking for a rugged aircraft that's easy to handle at low level, has amazing short field performance, yet is capable of cruising at 90+ knots, while (legally) carrying a good load - you've come to the right place!
But first, here are some basic reasons to have a long hard look at a Kelpie:
So what? Simply – control and safety. Getting off and back on to the ground quickly, at a slow speed, means less wear & tear on the landing gear, and less potential damage to the propeller from stones and gravel. And less inertia to bring to a halt if the unthinkable happens on take-off or landing! The Kelpie propeller is a size bigger than standard, so take-off and climb are even more amazing
Stalling is a non-event, even without flap. There is no tendency at all to drop a wing and you can side-slip safely with or without flap. At slow speeds, the controls are light and effective - at higher speeds they firm-up and make cruising a more relaxed affair than in some sensitive ‘performance’ related aircraft.
It’s probably the biggest, airiest cabin in its class. This means that whether you’re learning, or flying with a friend, you’re not jammed shoulder to shoulder, the controls are easier to use, and room to move makes for greater safety all round. The Kelpie also has a large metal luggage bin behind the seats placarded at 30 kgs (up 10 kgs on the standard A22LS Foxbat) - easily accessed through an external side door, or from the cabin.
The doors are glazed to the floor, the windscreen is massive. If you’re stock spotting or mustering, you can see straight down without banking. You can see everything on the ground for miles around. The seats are positioned correctly, so tall people do not get a sore neck having to duck down to see under the wing in flight and yet can easily see over the nose. Finally, you can fly with one or both doors removed.
So? In two words, safety & durability.
Safety: an all-metal airframe has good impact characteristics. Metal will bend and absob forces before breaking, helping to protect occupants in the event of an accident. In comparison, composites and wood do not absorb impacts well, usually fragmenting suddenly without bending.
Durability: correctly proofed, metal structures are durable and resistant to the external environment. Unlike composite or wooden aircraft, metal is not susceptible to structural changes caused by UV radiation, high temperatures/humidity and other weather effects. For example, composites can become significantly weakened if the surface temperature rises above 40 degrees - very easily done in even mild sunlight on an outback summer day.
Fed up of contorting yourself to get over the control sticks? Or jamming your legs to get under the control yokes? Forget it in a Kelpie. The centre stick makes entry and exit as simple as getting into & out of bed! Even the optional control yokes are set high so you can just slide in under them.