Making The Echo Super Even "Super-er"
Italy's Tecnam was among the first manufacturers to take
advantage of the light sport aircraft rules in the United States,
offering a mix of high-and-low-wing aircraft to meet the needs of
practically every pilot interested in LSA -- the P92 Echo Super,
P2002 Sierra and P2004 Bravo.
You might call the new P92 Eaglet a second-generation evolution
of Tecnam's initial offerings in the US. Sharing the same platform
as the Echo Super, the Eaglet offers a number of advancements
specifically designed to increase the plane's appeal to both novice
pilots, and experienced fliers.
The most noticeable difference is seen on the outside, as the
twin rear quarter windows on the Echo Super are replaced on the
Eaglet with a large, single pane. The change increases the
already-impressive visibility on the Echo Super, and compliments
the truly expansive windscreen that wraps into the newly-tapered
wing structure -- offering a much clearer side view than before.
The rear cabin window is also notably larger.
It's when you step into the Eaglet, however, that the changes
become more substantive. Dual bubbled-out doors sport larger side
glass, and concave interior trim panels increase cabin width to a
true 46 inches.
The pilot and co-pilot also face a new, modular-design IP, that
offers room for either a classic six-pack of round gauges, or a
single EFIS. Radio, transponder, and available GPS are housed in a
center-stack, with engine instruments (or a second glass screen)
and circuit breakers to the right. Anyone with time in a legacy GA
plane should feel right at home inside an Eaglet; that may not have
been said of Tecnam's earlier offerings, which revealed their
European microlight roots most in their less-conventional panel
In a move likely to attract equal amounts of cheers and jeers,
the Eaglet also sports toe-brakes, rather than the
center-handbrakes on Tecnam's other offerings. Lynne Birmingham --
who along with her husband, Mike, are the US distributors for the
Tecnam line -- counts herself among those who prefer handbrakes,
though she concedes a majority of American buyers prefer toe
New, in-flight adjustable seats improve cabin comfort, as do
door-mounted fresh-air vents. Sturdy steel-spring main-gear and a
trailing-link nosewheel should easily handle the occasional
harder landing. Several of these features, new and old, are shared
with the Echo Super... though the Eaglet's larger-span ailerons,
which improve roll authority, are unique to the model.
Tecnam hopes a mix of student pilots, flight training
operations, and higher-time pilots are attracted to the Eaglet's
improvements, as well as its ramp presence... which brings to mind
a 4/5-scale Cessna 172. Speaking of the Skyhawk, Birmingham notes
performance numbers for the Eaglet compare favorably to a 172R...
offering roughly the same cruising speed, while burning half the
The P92 Eaglet sports a base price of $114,900 to start, with
options adding to that total.