Friday 24 September 2021

Tecnam P 2002 Sierras of New Zealand (1) - 2003 Sierras

Following on from the low wing P 96 Golf, the all metal Tecnam P 2002 Sierra was designed by Tecnam in 2002 and was introduced at Aero Friedrichshafen 2003.  It was designed to comply with the European microlight regulations as well as the American Light Sport Aircraft regulations.  It proved to be very successful and by 2005 it made up 70% of the output from Tecnam.

The P 2002 Sierra was a development of the P 96 Golf but it had a new tapered laminar flow wing which produced a slightly improved cruise speed with the same 100 HP Rotax engine.  It was heavier than the Golf  but it has the same 544 Kg MAUW as a Class 2 microlight in New Zealand (and it can be registered as a LSA with a 600 Kg MAUW).  The Sierra also became available with retractable undercarriage and is still produced as the updated Sierra Mk II with a new canopy and as the P 2002 JF with the old style canopy which is a certificated version (and which has been purchased by the Argentinian and Greek Air Forces).

The specifications for the original model Sierra were:  length 6.6 metres (21 feet 7 inches). wingspan 9 metres (29 feet 6 inches) and the wing area was 124 square feet.  The empty weight is quoted as around 330 Kg (730 pounds) and the MAUW for a Class 2 microlight in New Zealand is 544 Kg (1,200 pounds).  With a 100 HP Rotax the cruise speed is around 120 knots, and the stall with full flaps is quoted at 41 knots.  From the specs I have seen the Mk II Sierra is heavier than the original model at 380 Kg but it can be operated at  a MAUW of 620 Kg in some overseas countries.

We have had  twenty nine P 2002 Sierras of various models registered in New Zealand to date.  The first couple are detailed below in the order of their dates of registration:

Our first P 2002 Sierra, ZK-TST (c/n 008) was obviously a very early model from the Tecnam factory.  It was registered to Ardmore Aviation Services on 28/11/03.  On 23/12/07 it was sold to N C Cleine of Westport and then on 15/12/14 it went back up North to T S Hunt of Kaitaia.  One year later, on 23/12/15 ownership transferred to Dreamcraft Aviation Ltd of Whanagarei and then on 4/11/18 to the interestingly named Hamingja Enda Fylgjur Ltd of Auckland.  It is photo'd above at Whangarei on 26/11/17.

And our second P 2002 Sierra was ZK-TBK (c/n 009) which was registered to the Dee Family Trust of Ohope on 22/12/03.  I guess these first two Sierras came in the same container.  The above photo was taken at Pauanui on 5/1/19.

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