• Review: Lionheart Creations - Avelina Elektra

    Unique Features
    Avelina Elektra by Lionheart Creations Solar Array Avelina Elektra by Lionheart Creations Belly-Landing Skid Avelina Elektra by Lionheart Creations APU Fan & Exhaust

    Solar Panels: The product description promises "Deployable wing adhered solar arrays for the Solar-Hybrid version," and the product manual mentions an "optional solar array panels on wings." These solar panels are "deployed" through the Settings page of the kiosk and the Energy Management button on the Flight Management menu. As seen in my screen shot, they occupy most of the upper wing surfaces. Their intent appears to be for recharging the batteries while the aircraft is at rest: "Park it in the sun," the manual says, "and the next day, it is charged and ready to go again" (Page 84). But it also says "solar arrays, if equipped, will always be charging the system when there is light" (Page 66). The manual is not clear on the amount of time a full solar recharge requires, and I did not fly the aircraft long enough to drain the batteries and need a recharge, but recharging probably happens instantly in the simulator.

    Recharger: An APU driven by biofuels, jet fuel, or wind turbine recharges the batteries "a percentage" every 15 minutes for added flight time on long journeys, according to the manual. This APU is activated with a push button on the center console. The small turbine deploys from below the tail to provide free power to the recharger; it is engaged with a different button on the pilot's console. The manual is not clear about the exact percentage of automatic in-flight recharging. It says full recharging takes 2 hours. I did not fly the aircraft long enough to drain the batteries or require recharging, but I suspect that recharging probably occurs instantly in the simulator. Nor did I see a way to add jet fuel or biofuel for this engine. The APU's rear-mounted exhaust duct enables "low sound management," the manual says, presumably because it's at the tail where nobody can hear it. The manual says on Page 4 that this generator is "optionally run" and "nearly never needed."

    Windows: "Alumino-silica flexible super lightweight non-scratch glass" enables "extreme sound cancellation" according to the product description. I couldn't find anything explaining how this material alone cancels sound, but the aircraft's aerodynamics and electric motors surely contribute to its quietness.

    Landing Skid: The Elektra has a "belly mounted metal landing skid for emergency belly landings" that "endures the skid damage if a belly landing must be done when total landing gear failure occurs" according to the product description and manual. Indeed, this skid is visible underneath the aircraft between the landing-gear holds. I did not test its effectiveness.

    Climate Control: The air-conditioning system draws outside air through two intercoolers that descend from the underside of the wings when the air conditioner is turned on and retract when it is turned off. Their drag causes a slight airspeed deceleration: "When you turn on the AC system, you may notice a small drop in airspeed," the manual says, "because two intercooler scoops are deployed under each wing." Those small scoops are clearly visible in my screen shots.

    Automations: The onboard computer includes several automated safety features, all of which worked as promised:

    • Auto gear deploy automatically when the aircraft descends under 200 feet "in case the pilot forgets," according to the product description and manual, and they raise when airspeed exceeds 150 knots. This works as described, and it's a good idea, but the gear deployed automatically after all my induced stalls, which is not desirable.
    • Windows auto-raise when airspeed rises above 120 knots.
    • An auxiliary emergency gauge pod deploys when 100-percent power failure occurs. These are the customary backup flight gauges (altimeter, airspeed, horizon), and "deploy" means they rise from the top center of the cockpit dashboard. They can also be deployed at the pilot's discretion by pushing a button on the dashboard.
    Unique Features
    Avelina Elektra by Lionheart Creations 6-Blade Propeller Avelina Elektra by Lionheart Creations Nose Wheel Fairing Avelina Elektra by Lionheart Creations Drop-down Intercoolers

    The aircraft also features systems and devices that are found on real-world aircraft either exactly or similarly:

    • "Whisper" prop with carbon-fiber construction is a six-bladed fan with very little mass that is built to be quiet, like its processor from the DeHavilland 'Whisper Jet' series. Indeed, there is barely any prop noise. Lionheart does not explain why six blades are necessary or beneficial. They presumably enable more thrust from a low-power engine, and their light weight allows for the additional blades.
    • The nose gear has an "aero foil fairing cover and rock guard shield." My screen shot shows a front guard and a separate fairing that covers the top half of the nose wheel.
    • Argon landing lights and LED taxi and navigation lights.

    1 Comment
    1. Crazyclown's Avatar
      Crazyclown -
      Avilinia Elektra You Tube Video :
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