Choosing a first flexwing (on a budget)

Sun, May 21 2017 02:01pm CDT 1
Niels R.
Niels R.
5 Posts

Hi all,

I've just restarted my flexwing flying lessons after a 6 year break. I did manage to come close to going solo, but I had to give up due to family expansion. Now I've finally come to a point that I can free up time and money for flying again.

While completing the flying lessons, I'm already looking for an affordable flexwing to get hours under the belt as soon as I can go solo.

The owners of the airfield/club are Air Creation dealers and a Rotax Service Center. So I'll probably go for a AC flexwing as this makes scheduling maintenance very convenient. So, looking at the offerings online it's pretty clear I'll have to go the 2-stroke route and this narrows it down to a machine with a 503 or a 582 engine.

The machines I'm currently looking at are these:
* 1998 Air Création GTE 503 S with MILD wing - 100 hours since last engine revision - wing overhaul in 2012 (3.400 €)
* 2000 Air Création GTE 582 S (grey head) with MILD wing - TTSN 342 hours - wing overhaul in 2016 - comes with trailer and covers (6.400 €)

I don't have much more details of the history as I didn't visit either of them yet. I'll try to have a look at both of them in the coming weeks.

There is also a Clipper version with 582 (blue) head and XP 15 wing available at the club. Only 100 hours on it, but price is about 9.000 €. My initial budget was 5.000 €, but I can stretch it a bit. However, a 4.000 € stretch is a bit too much.

Other than the obvious increased power output I was wondering if there are other reasons to choose a 582 over a 503.

Also (to complicate the discussion), I'll have to figure out what the influence of wing types is on these machines. Both flexwing are equipped with a MILD 16 wing, but I see some with e.g. iXess or XP wings.

Cheers, Niels

Sun, May 21 2017 10:46pm CDT 2
Lucian Bartosik
Lucian Bartosik
66 Posts
Hello Niels,

The wing depends on your intended type of flying. All three wings are great and fun to fly and you should have no problem with any of them. However, if yu intend to do lots of longer cross-country flying then the faster wings will be the ones to choose. If you intend to stick close to home field and have fun in the air and maybe want to learn to fly in the thermals and have grat fun that way, then the Mild 16 is the one to choose.

I love flying that wing, it is forgiving, docile and very nice to learn to catch thermals in. Once you get some training in catching thermals and soaring with a group of birds like Turkey Vultures, for example, it will open a whole new world up there in the sky, for you and you will look forward to getting back up there with them every week. In the event of an engine failure the slightly slower flying Mild 16 is going to be your best bet, allowing you to get into a shorter spot that either of the faster wings would

Yes it's fun to go faster and get to places sooner than later but there is a lot to be said for just getting up in the air and enjoying a slower way of flying. If I were you I would go with the more affordable package and keep saving for another trike, if you decide you want one, or even another wing, in a few years. As for the 582 or 503, yes the extra power is nice but there is a great fuel burn with the 582. The old grey heads were good but there were more problems with them overheating, compared to the blue head 582. There is also more maintenance to consider plus more moving parts to think about that could fail with a 582. I've flown and taught for many years with a simple 503 and never regreted anything and they were extrememly reliable.

So again, it depends on what you want in a machine to decide on the 503 or 582. If you were going for a 582 I would choose a blue head over a grey head. I hope this has given you some help in deciding what to do, but again mine and others advice is just advice and based on how we fly and what we are looking for in an aircraft. In the end, you need to weigh up what you need and or want and make that choice for you and your type of flying.


Sun, May 21 2017 10:51pm CDT 3
Lucian Bartosik
Lucian Bartosik
66 Posts
Posted before I could add the letters and words that I wanted to correct. I'm looking at my fingers when I type rather than the words coming up and I forget to proof read before posting. Could not find anywhere to edite the original posting.

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