At first blush, you'd think that planes and bicycles don't have all that much in common. Then again, it took a pair of Ohio bicycle mechanics by the name of Wright to introduce powered heavier-than-air flight in 1903, so the connection's a lot firmer than it might at first seem.
And it turns out that the connection doesn't stop there. Just ask Randy Schlitter, whose company started out building sail trikes, land yachts and bicycles before he turned his attention to light and ultralight aircraft. From a single plane -- the RANS S-4 Coyote, introduced in 1982 -- the company would eventually have more than a dozen kit and factory-fabricated planes on offer. RANS planes are used as trainers and racers, in addition to aerobatic use.
The RANS S-6 Coyote II followed the company's first planes, the S-4 and S-5 Coyotes. It would probably seem familiar to the Wright Brothers, what with its skeletal aluminum-and-fabric construction. However, the Wright Brothers couldn't have dreamed of a plane this forgiving and easy to fly. They're popular as trainers, and a RANS S-6 has also made two transatlantic flights (something the Wright Flyer never quite managed).
This 1998 RANS S-6ES is a two seater with a 20' length and 34'6" wingspan. It has 670 hours on both the engine and airframe, and had its last annual inspection in December, 2012. It weighs in at a mere 440 pounds empty, and has a 930 pound gross weight. Its three-blade prop is powered by an engine innovative enough for the plane it's pushing, a 100hp Rotax 912ULS engine that provides a cruising speed of 90 miles per hour (78 knots), with a top speed of 120 miles per hour (104 knots). Rate of climb is a respectable 1,000 feet per minute, and range is 220 miles, thanks to an 18-gallon fuel tank.
This particular model, built by Robert Givens, includes snow skids in addition to a traditional tricycle landing gear and pontoons, making it even more versatile. This RANS combines all the best of classical and ultramodern airplane design in a package -- and a price -- that can't be beaten. Contact us today to see it for yourself, or to arrange a test flight.
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