• Review: Lionheart Creations - Avelina Elektra

    Avelina Elektra

    Publisher: Lionheart Creations

    Review Author:
    Bill Stack

    Suggested Price:

    Buy Here
    Avelina Elektra by Lionheart Creations

    Image From Lionheart Creations

    Lionheart Creations' Avelina Elektra is a concept aircraft employing several future innovations envisioned for 2019: A cockpit that resembles an automobile, an electric engine, wing-mounted solar panels, and a hybrid battery recharger.

    The developer describes this aircraft as "an imaginary journey into the future of general aviation and electric propulsion technology." It lists almost 40 features for its "plane of tomorrow."

    Putting aside the Avelina Elektra's unique features for fair comparison, it basically resembles the Mooney Bravo in FSX: single engine, low wing, retractable gear, seating for four, and similar weight. Yet the two aircraft differ substantially in such performance measures as cruising speed, range, and ceiling. The following table shows the Avelina Elektra in relation the Mooney Bravo, which is familiar to home flight simmers.

    Avelina Elektra Versus Mooney Bravo
    Specification Elektra Bravo
    Occupants 4 4
    Empty Weight 2,200 LB
    998 KG
    2,189 LB
    993 KG
    Max Gross Weight 3,400 LB
    1,542 KG
    3,368 LB
    1,528 KG
    Useful Load 1,200 LB
    544 KG
    1,179 LB
    535 KG
    Fuel Capacity 80 USG1
    303 L
    89 USG
    337 L
    Cruising Speed 175 KTS
    324 KPH
    195 KTS
    361 KPH
    Maximum Speed 220 KTS
    408 KPH
    220 KTS
    408 KPH
    Ceiling 30,000 FT
    9,150 M
    25,000 FT
    7,625 M
    Range 500 NM
    926 KM
    1,050 NM
    1,945 KM
    Length 29 FT
    9 M
    27 FT
    8 M
    Wing Span 39 FT
    12 M
    36 FT
    11 M
    Power 200 HP
    149 KW
    270 HP
    201 KW
    Sources: Lionheart & FSX
    1. Holds no fuel

    Lionheart's product description says its Avelina Elektra is "packed solid with tons of gadgets and gizmos, things you never thought would be in a plane." Most of its almost 40 listed features regard the physical structure and configuration. Some regard the instruments and controls. Others regard sounds and animations.

    This aircraft is for Microsoft Flight Simulator X® and Lockheed Martin's Prepar3D®. I reviewed the FSX version. All screen shots are by me unless otherwise attributed.

    Physical Structure and Configuration

    As a concept aircraft for simulation, Lionheart's Avelina Elektra has many physical features not found on real-world aircraft. Most of these features are the invention and design of this aircraft's developers, particularly Lionheart's founder, Bill Ortis. The three most obviously unusual aspects are its electrical propulsion system, its car-like cabin, and its unique instrument panel.

    The developer's documents are not clear about how many models are included and exactly what is hybrid about them, however.

    The product description and manual mention two versions: "a solar hybrid version" and "the standard hybrid version with a biofuel powered jet APU recharger." The documents repeatedly imply that there are two aircraft models: "the solar cell arrays like some models have" (Manual Page 63) and "If you have an Avelina equipped with the solar arrays on the wings" (Manual page 64), and so forth. But the Aircraft Selection menu doesn't distinguish one aircraft from another except for 15 color schemes. I see only one model in 15 colors with optional features that can be activated and deactivated.

    Moreover, the descriptions are not clear as to what comprises these hybrids. A hybrid as defined by Dictionary.Com is "something having two kinds of components that produce the same or similar results, such as a vehicle powered by both an electric motor and an internal combustion engine as sources of power for the drive train." But this aircraft does not have two propulsion systems. Page 77 of the manual says there are two electric motors for the propeller: "One is used full time, one is used only when more then 50 percent power is required." Page 84 says: "an electric propulsion system with a secondary hybrid powerplant for recharging the batteries." These descriptions do not qualify as hybrid per the quoted definition.

    Two systems qualify as hybrid: 1) the APU that runs on jet fuel or biofuel, and 2) the battery recharger that relies on the APU, or wing-mounted solar panels, or a wind turbine. The aircraft itself does not qualify as hybrid because it is powered by two electric motors.

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