Integral aerobatic aircraft makes first flight


French startup Aura Aero has successfully conducted the maiden flight of its Integral R aerobatic aircraft and started its flight test campaign.

The Integral  R is a twin-seater aerobatic aircraft with tailwheel landing gear. Powered by a Lycoming AEIO-390 engine, it can reach a cruise speed of 335 km/h, features more than 1,300 km range and can carry  payloads up to 330kg.

According to Aura Aero, the Integral’s cockpit is the largest in its category. The company is also developing the Integral S, a version of the aircraft with a tricycle landing gear.

This flight test campaign is expected to last several months and will lead to EASA CS23 certification of the Integral. Series production is currently under preparation at two French sites and the final assembly line will be located in the south-west of France.

The aircraft performed its maiden technical flight on June 22 from Toulouse-Francazal airport. A public first flight was conducted on July 1.

The aircraft, registered F-WJMK flew for one hour during which test pilots Eric Delesalle and Hervé Poulin explored the aircraft’s flight envelope. Delesalle said, “The flight commands prove to be remarkably balanced and the efforts are consistent, in both axes. Handling is excellent and this aircraft should satisfy the requirements of experienced aerobatic pilots.”

The aircraft was accompanied by a chase plane for the observation of the various manoeuvres, while its progress was monitored by engineers on the ground  via a direct telemetry link.

Jérémy Caussade, president and co-founder of Aura Aero said “This first flight marks the concrete start of the Integral adventure and we are very thrilled and proud to see our project finally and actually take to the air.

“We are addressing a constantly evolving market, with new needs requiring aircraft that can satisfy these new missions, and this is what we wish to offer with the Integral family of aircraft. Our first orders confirm that this aircraft has its place on the twin-seater market today.».

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Ben has worked as a journalist and editor, covering technology, engineering and industry for the last 20 years. Initially writing about subjects from nuclear submarines to autonomous cars to future design and manufacturing technologies, he was editor of a leading UK-based engineering magazine before becoming editor of Aerospace Testing in 2017.

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