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Tecnam looks to grow share of piston market with luxury P2010 Gran Lusso

What makes high performance even better? Great luxury. The Gran Lusso, as Tecnam names its new P2010 variant, started its American tour last week at EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, showcasing a hand-stitched leather interior even more opulent than the prototype that first appeared in April at Aero Friedrichshafen. That aircraft is now flying over Europe, one of three sold to customers with high expectations. This version of the Italian manufacturer's four-seat, high-wing P2010 offers elegance and innovation in a sleek, powerful package says U.S. Sales Director Dave Copeland. "Lamborghini, Ferrari, those are code words for us, what people expect from the most luxurious sportscars. They're famous for clean, sleek innovation." Every touch surface is leather. "We've doubled the carpet in this aircraft. It's a wool and silk blend," Copeland said. Suede on the ceiling, extra storage compartments, a third door, new entry steps and standard metal paint — all those amenities add 39 pounds of weight over the previous P2010 certified last year. "We're on a weight loss program," Copeland adds. Swapping steel for aluminum and carbon fiber, plus a new battery will drop 15 pounds. The useful load is 805 lbs. Endurance is up to 13 hours with a 1,000 nm range and fuel capacity of 63 gallons. A typical flight at 140 knots burns 8 gallons per hour. At 120 knots it's six gallons per hour in Continental's jet/diesel-powered 170 HP engine. It's turbocharged, the newest and most powerful engine of the CD-100 family. FADEC manages the fuel under redundant safety features and constant power up to 10,000 feet. In the back, a storage compartment can only be unlocked from the inside. "It's more secure and it just makes more sense," Copeland said. Seats rated to absorb 26Gs were tweaked for extra room. At 6 feet tall, Copeland fits easily in the back and has room to stretch up front with a fancy armrest at each side. Redesigning the center console leaves room for phones to charge up just behind the new trim control and parking brake, which formerly sprouted from the floor. Francesco Sferra, sales and business development manager at Tecnam, explained how the control panel has improved. "We redesigned it from the glare shield down," he said. Standard FMS accompanies the Garmin NXI touch screen avionics suite. Its AFCS Control Unit GMC 707 autopilot with ESP has ample safety features. "If you get disoriented you just hit the button and level out," Sferra explains. No leading edge and no cuffs distract from clean aerodynamics. "It's a very smooth aircraft because of its single frame composite fuselage," Sferra said, though the wing is aluminum in case it gets dinged. "We decided not to go full composite because any problems you may have, a metal wing is much easier to fix."RELATED STORIES:Hybrid-electric Tecnam P2010 completes successful first flightTecnam expands presence in the United States Tecnam P2010 single engine aircraft achieves FAA certificationSferra says Cirrus and Cessna customers are switching over, seeing value worth $626,750 per aircraft. Between 60 and 80 models of P2010s are produced annually.Of the four varieties, he projects up to 30% will be Gran Lussos, up from an initial company estimate of 10%. With fewer suppliers than its competitors, Tecnam manufactures as much as 80% of each aircraft, starting with raw materials. Since the P2010's first flight in 2012, Sferra says Tecnam's manufacturing capacity has tripled. Growth north of Naples continues. "We already bought the land and work is underway to double this," he said.
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