VANTAGENS OPERACIONAIS | PATURI NA MÍDIA

THE PATURE SOLUTION

This little side-by-side amphibian is called Paturi in Brazil and Seastar in Canada. The design began as a single-place ultralight amphibian called Hydroplum that is powered by a 40-hp Hirth engine.

Roots
Hydroplum first flew in 1983. The airplane was designed and built by Claude Tisserand of Corisca, and he went on to design a more advanced side-by-side two-seater with a 65-hp Rotax 532. This was designated Hydroplum II. It made is initial flight in November 1986.
Tisserand sold plants for both airplanes, but Societe Morbinannaise d'Aero Navigation (SMAN) acquired the rights to the airplane and produced kits for the two-seater, renaming it Le Petrel. Ohio-based Seabird Aviation next obtained North American rights for manufacturer and sale of kits. Andre de Reynier, president of Edra Helicentro at Ipeúna, Brazil, did the same in 1989 for South America and then produced more than 10 units.

Serious Setback
In the interim, Seabird ran into a snag with its prototype, serial No. 14, built in the French factory.
According to Reynier, Seabird's Petrel had been siting in the water all night, secured by a line around its tailboom, and water had seeped into its hull through the landing gear area. It sank up to is engine, and the following morning, it was pulled our of the water by a tractor tugging on the securing line. That move may have caused undetected damage to the boom, which failed during flight; the airplane crashed, killing the two aboard.

Moving Forward
Reynier acquired all rights to the Petrel from SMAN, now defunct, more than three years ago, and the new company has produced more than 135 kits of the modified Paturi version. Seventy of them were factory-built fly always. Edra amphibians have gone to customers throughout Brazil and other South American countries and also in Norway, South Africa and Hawaii. All are said to have been accident-free.
Current production is five kits and one fly-away per month. The Paturi is kitted to U.S. Experimental amateur-built rules and is quite different from the original Petrel.
Reynier has owned and flown numerous airplanes and helicopters. He operates Brazil's largest helicopter training school with five Schweizer/Hughes helicopters. Since 1989, more than 1000 pilots have graduated from the helicopter training. Two hundred people are employed in the Paturi facility.
When Reynier acquired the Paturi program, his 25-years-old son Rodrigo and some of Rodrigo's engineering school classmates looked at ways of improving the design.

Changes
All of this resulted in the following modifications: The original shorter-span lower wing was increased to upper-wing span, and all four wingtips were squared.
The upper wing leading edge was made rigid, upper-wing ailerons were slotted, and hinge points changed for smoother operation. The lower wing received a carbon spar, and fiberglass replaced the plywood originally employed. Tip floats on the lower wing were moved inboard 6.5 inches and attached to the spar. The hull width was also increased by 8 inches to provide more flotation to accommodate larger people and heavier engines.
The fuselage was lengthened 1 foot for more legroom and to improve c. g. as fuel was moved from behind the seats to the wing leading edge. There is also an optional 20-gallon tank for the lower wing, which doubles the fuel capacity.
Customers also have a choice of tank material. Some South Americans auto gas has 25% alcohol, which necessitates use of a polyurethane tank, and should avgas be the choice, a fiberglass tank must be employed. All are retrofittable.
Edra built three prototypes. No. 1 employed Petrel wings on the new fuselage; No. 2 had a Subaru engine; and No.3 our subject - which is also the company demonstrator - is production configured and flying with a 100-hp Rotax 912S. "I believe the 912S is the best engine for the airplane," Reynier says.

How it's Built
The kitted fuselage was originally molded in three pieces - two sides and the bottom - but that was changed to two sections, with the sides already epoxied together, plus the bottom. Now the fuselage is delivered as a one-piece section. "We have

developed a special epoxy, " Reynier notes. "We have added cotton fiber to the epoxy, which results in a much stronger bond."
The fuselage is made with a foam core: Swiss Irex or the slightly heavier Coremat. Three fuselage bulkheads are epoxied in place. The tailboom is carbon fiber and tapered, measuring 7 inches forward and 4.5 inches at the aft end. It is also strengthened with three foam bulkheads and longerons.
The wings employ 3 3/16 - inch diameter carbon fiber tubular spars placed 10 inches from the leading edge, and the rear spars at the trailing edge are U-shaped. A fiberglass leading edge extends back to the forward spar.
Ribs, 12 per panel, are sandwiched PVC foam/unidirectional fiberglass. The wing is entirely covered with 1.8-ounce Dracon. Ailerons have a leading-edge carbon tubular spar but not ribs, and the skins are a foam/fiberglass sandwich. Each aileron spans 7 feet 9.5 inches and has a 11.5-inch chord.

More Design Features
Wings are braced by aluminum struts. All of the hinges and similar hardware are stainless steel. The molded fiberglass underwing floats are 47 inches long. Leading-edge tubular carbon spars of 1 5/8-inch diameter are used in all of the tail feathers. All surfaces are fabric covered but contain internal fiberglass strengtheners. Push-pull tubes are used on all control surfaces on the rudder. Control surfaces are also all lead-weight balanced.
The cockpit is 45 inches wide, and its recessed seat arrangement accommodates 6 foot 6 inch passengers with headroom to spare. Seat backs are also adjustable, and there is a 66-pound-capacity baggage compartment behind the seats on the c.g. To permit the Paturi be flown with or without its enclosures, the windshield and door frames are made of carbon fiber.
The main landing gear has fiberglass legs but employs double-action nitrogen/oil shock absorbers. Wheels and brakes are by Matco, and tires are 11x4 Cheng Shin. The nosegear uses a stainless steel strut with a 2.80/2.50 McCreary tire on a Matco wheel.
Gear retraction is mechanical with pneumatic boost, like that on the Mooney. Gear has a tread of 5 feet 10 inches, and wheelbase is 6 feet 11 inches. The airplane's empty weight is 704 pounds, and gross weight is 1300 pounds.

Flying Details
The takeoff run is just under 400 feet on land and 512 feet on water with a liftoff speed of 50 mph followed by a 70-mph climb of 750 fpm.
Paturi's never-exceed speed is 115 mph, and cruise is 95 mph on 75% power with a claimed fuel consumption near 2 gph. The service ceiling is 9000 feet. For landing, downwind approach is made at 75-80 mph, dropping to 75 mph on base, then 65-70 mph on final. Touchdown is near 45 mph followed by a rollout of 265 feet.

Buying One
In Brazil, the fly-away Paturi sells for U.S.$43.000, which includes a 100-hp Rotax 912S and a ground-adjustable Arplast propeller. Edra is producing the carbon fiber/foam core French-designed Arplast unit under license. A variable pitch version is an option at $5000.

Reynier has also established a North American organization - Amphibian Airplanes of Canada Ltd. (AAC) in British Columbia - with a view to marketing kits of the Paturi in Canada, the United States and other countries the follow the FAA's criteria for homebuilts and ultralights. Canada has just changed its homebuilding regulations to a 44/56% requirement, but AAC is working toward the less stringent 49/51% kit for south of the Canadian border.
Presently, Brazilian-built kits are being sent to Canada for assembly, but there is a planned step-by-step move for the Canadian branch to fabricate kits in house. A U.S. customer will pay $26.000 for a basic kit, less engine, prop and instruments, but it is a quick-build 500-hour kit. The Paturi/Seastar is also quick-trailerable.

Two people can disassemble the airplane for trailering in 20 minutes. Each of the four wing panels attach to the fuselage by three simple locking pins; the upper wing panels have an extra one for the aileron rods. Release of two pins in the horizontal tail surfaces allows them to fold upward against the verticals.
The Paturi assembly hangar also currently houses two Seawind 3000s that are being put together. "We purchased two kits, one for a former Petrel customer, and the other for myself," Reynier explained. You can be sure that the finished articles will be top grade, like all of Edra's projects. One of his Petrels now has 1500 trouble-free flight hours.

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