July 25, 2015 - If the light twin on display at Vulcanair/American Aviation here at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh (Booth 445-458) evokes a sense of déjà vu, you’re not alone. “Eighty percent of the people coming in say, ‘The airplane looks familiar,’” said Francisco Diaz, the company’s marketing manager. And when Diaz mentions the name Partenavia, “it clicks right away.”
Almost 20 years after buying the Partenavia’s type certificate out of bankruptcy, Vulcanair is making its Oshkosh debut with the goal of “changing the light twin market,” Diaz said. “The big surprise [to booth visitors] is the price. It’s the only six-seater priced under a million dollars.”The retractable, executive-configured P68Vr on display lists for about 8,000, and the fixed-gear variant starts at 9,000. Moreover, this is not your father’s version of the Italian-designed and-manufactured aircraft. Vulcanair has added a pilot’s door, a redesigned and more stylish nose, and a Garmin G950 avionics suite to the P68 series; the retract version is itself also new.
Meanwhile, the performance that helped the Partenavia gain attention is still impressive today: The two 200-hp IO-360 Lycomings and the fat wing together produce a 1,500-pound useful load and a 160-knot cruise speed (retract) on 19 gallons per hour, combined with takeoff and landing rolls of about 800 and 700 feet, respectively.
So where has the Vulcanair been all these years?
“We have been focusing on developing the European market,” Diaz said.
“Now we’re focusing on developing the American market. Our goal in the American market is to bring the general aviation light twin back to reality.”
Meanwhile, Vulcanair is preparing to introduce an 11-seat turboprop twin, the A-Viator, to the U.S. market this fall, with a single-engine, the Vulcanair V1.0 to follow.
Expect to see Vulcanair here at Oshkosh for years to come.