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Starflight Tristar / SC-1000 / AC-2000


The aircraft was designed before the US FAR 103 Ultralight Vehicles rules were brought into effect, but all models comply with them anyway, including the category's maximum empty weight of 254 lb (115 kg). The Tristar, for instance, has a standard empty weight of 220 lb (100 kg). The line of aircraft all feature a cable-braced high-wing, a single-seat, open cockpit, tricycle landing gear and a single engine in pusher configuration.

The aircraft is made from bolted-together aluminium tubing, with the flying surfaces covered in Dacron sailcloth. Its 33 ft (10.1 m) span wing is cable-braced from a single element kingpost. The landing gear features a steerable nose wheel with a bicycle-style rim brake. The powerplant is mounted underneath the wing and drives a pusher propeller.

Single-seat single-engined high-wing mono-plane with conventional three-axis control (two-axis optional). Wing has unswept leading and trailing edges, and constant chord; cruci-form tail. Pitch control by elevator on tail; yaw control by fully flying rudder; roll control by spoilerons; control inputs through stick for pitch/roll and pedals for yaw. Wing braced from above by kingpost and cables, from below by cables; wing profile; 30% double-surface. Undercarriage has three wheels in tricycle formation; with tailskid; glass-fibre suspension on main wheels. Push-right go--right nosewheel steering connected to yaw control. No brakes. Aluminium-tube framework, without pod. Engine mounted below wing driving pusher propeller.

The Tristar also put in its appearance in 1982 but it is not just a three-axis version of the Starfire with spoiler-ons and elevators added to the rudder of the earlier model. The framework of the Tristar is considerably changed from that of the Starfire and the manufacturer has obviously made an important design effort, not being purely content to develop a three-axis machine directly from a hybrid. The wing characteris-tics, for example, have been considerably altered by double surfacing the first third of the chord. In fact, the Tristar does not have to be bought in three-axis form as the manufac-turer offers a two-axis version as a no-cost option.

The Tristar model took 25 hours to build from the factory-supplied assembly kit. Sold as a kit requiring 25 h for completion at a price of $4750 in 1983, the Tristar in standard form uses a Cuyuna 430R 30hp engine, in which form we detail it below. However, for $100 less it can befitted with the Cuyuna 215R 20hp unit. Other options include storage covers and wheel fairings ($150).

Model designed in 1980, with a conventional three-axis aerodynamic control system, using a side stick and spoilers for roll control. Revised fuselage for new control system. The standard engine supplied was the 30 hp (22 kW) Cuyuna 430R.

Improved model

Improved model introduced in 1984.

Engine: Cuyuna 430R, 30 hp (22 kW) at 5500 rpm
Propeller diameter and pitch 52 x 27 inch, 1.32 x 0.69 m
Belt reduction, ratio 2.0/1
Power per unit area 0.18 hp/sq.ft, 2.0hp/sq.m
Fuel capacity 2.5 US gal, 2.1 Imp gal, 9.5 litre main tank; 2.5 US gal, 2.1 Imp gal, 9.5 litre res (opt)
Length overall 15.0ft, 4.57m
Height overall 9.0 ft, 2.74 m
Wing span 33.0 ft, 10.05 m
Constant chord 5.0ft, 1.52m
Dihedral 5 deg
Sweepback 0 deg
Total wing area 165 sq.ft, 15.3 sq.m
Wing aspect ratio 6.6/1
Nosewheel diameter overall 16 inch, 41 cm
Main wheels diameter overall 16 inch, 41 cm
Empty weight 220 lb, 100kg
Max take-off weight 470 lb, 213kg
Payload 250 lb, 113kg
Max wing loading 2.85 lb/sq.ft, 13.9 kg/sq.m
Max power loading 15.7 lb/hp, 7.1kg/hp
Load factors; +5.0, -3.0 ultimate
Max level speed 55mph, 88kph, 48 kt
Never exceed speed 55mph, 88 kph
Max cruising speed 38 mph, 61 kph, 33 kt
Economic cruising speed 35mph, 56kph
Stalling speed 21 mph, 34 kph, 18 kt
Max climb rate at sea level 750 ft/min, 3.8 m/s
Min sink rate 350ft/min, 1.8m/s
Best glide ratio with power off 7/1
Take-off distance 75 ft, 23 m (on gravel)
Landing distance 100ft, 30m (on gravel)
Service ceiling 10,000ft, 3050m
Range at average cruising speed 60 mile, 97 km
Crew: one



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