As we move closer to production of the Vickers Wave, our concepts are becoming reality. In this update we are sharing how some of our innovations add function and safety to the aircraft.
The Wave has a fixed landing gear system, named Cross-Over™. This landing gear system reduces the risk of accidents when landing on land with gear up, and landing on water with gear down. Gear down water landings have been responsible for many accidents and deaths over the years. With the Wave’s landing gear and suspension system design, the gear stays fixed for both types of landings. The pilot does not have to remember to change gear position depending on landing surface-this substantially increases safety as there is no pilot interaction required, so it can’t be done improperly.
The Wave’s sliding side doors provide an extra measure of ability to egress in inverted situations (land or water), or can also be pushed out for emergency egress. Additionally, an integrated roll cage provides further protection to the occupants.
Seaplanes are unable to fully stop on water while under engine power; they are constantly in motion. The Wave has a retractable electric bow thruster for greatly improved water maneuvering, without requiring the engine/propeller to be running. Maneuverability is greatly improved with this design, as it has 360° of operation range. Safety is enhanced by better maneuverability during launch, recovery, beaching, docking, mooring, and slow speed maneuvering.
Seaplanes also tend to draw spectators during operations at marinas or beaches. The bow thruster allows the pilot to safety maneuver the aircraft away from bystanders before engine start, protecting the general public who might not be familiar with the dangers of spinning propellers, or propeller blast.
Launch & Recovery Lifting Point Provisions
The Wave has incorporated a launch and recovery lifting point integral to the aircraft. These systems are commonly called a lift point or davit. An integrated lift point enhances the ease and safety of launch and recovery options both on the shore, and by larger marine vessels.
Higher Performance Powerplant
The Wave uses the "Continental Titan", a higher horsepower engine than typical LSAs. While the final details of the induction system are being developed, we anticipate 180+ hp. A higher horsepower engine for a seaplane provides important benefits including:
- Less time to become airborne. Staying on the water for shorter duration reduces hazards with other watercraft that may be operating in the area.
- Better climb rates to deal with terrain near water. Many lakes and reservoirs have rising terrain along the shoreline. The Wave’s engine provides a superior climb rate to help overcome controlled flight into terrain.
- Additionally, more power provides increased ability to recover from a high sink rate or wind shear.
In addition to these new technologies, the Wave has also integrated commonly used safety enhancements such as:
- BRS - Airframe Emergency Parachute - peace of mind
- Angle of Attack System - increased stall awareness and loss of control prevention
- Inflatable Airbag Restraints – additional occupant protection
We have recently completed the build of our thermal forming press for foam core. Cores are used in composite to increase the stiffness of structures. This heated press allows us to form the core properly to take the shape of the part being made, without cutting or stressing the core.
Bonding fixtures are currently being designed to facilitate aircraft bonding and assembly. These fixtures properly locate individual parts in relationship to each other, or other mating features on the aircraft. Proper fixture design reduces errors - you can’t put a part in the wrong place; and consistency - each part is exactly the shape it is designed to be.
Every decision we make at Vickers Aircraft, from company organization to detailed aircraft design, supports our key objectives of quality and safety. A healthy and motivated team, a reliable supply chain, an efficient design and rigid testing standards all lead to an exceptional aircraft. Vickers’ customers will enjoy enhanced safety and functionality. Our approach has never been conventional. We are not followers. We are innovators and leaders setting new standards for our category.
“I want to build an aircraft I would love to fly, and plan to fly with my family by my side, so every decision I make is with them in mind.” Paul Vickers – CEO
Vickers Aircraft will continue to provide updates as we quickly move closer to first flight, certification, and deliveries. We will continue forward with our low key approach - more doing and less talking.
About Vickers Aircraft Company LTD.
Driven by an unwavering desire to build the sexiest, safest, and most cost-effective amphibious light sport aircraft in the world, I have spent many years, countless hours, and considerable amounts of money turning that desire into a reality.
I wanted to build a plane that I would love to fly.
There were those who said we could never do it, not in the timeframe and with the weights we set out to achieve. But we pushed ahead, and although we’re still a few months away from feeling the wind beneath our wings, I am proud to say that we’re well on track.
Thanks to the dedication of all my colleagues that have had a hand in making this dream happen, today I can see the bright future that lies ahead for the Wave.
The LSA sector is in a very exciting stage at the moment and it is my hope that the Wave will provide yet another choice for discerning airplane buyers.
We will continue to keep you informed as we move closer and closer to certification.
CEO - Vickers Aircraft Company