AERO: Elixir prototype set for mid-year first flight

French start-up manufacturer Elixir Aircraft displayed at the show the fully conforming prototype of its Elixir light-sport aircraft (LSA), which is scheduled to make its first flight in mid-2017.

Elixir – based in La Rochelle, southwest France – also opened the orderbook for the two-seat all-carbonfibre aircraft, for which it plans to secure European certification late in the fourth quarter.

Company co-founder and chief operations officer Cyril Champenois says only one aircraft will be involved in the fight-test campaign, but the Elixir’s major composite parts, including the wing, aileron, flaps and horizontal tail, will undergo ground testing concurrently.

“We have opened the orderbook, and for €2,500 [$2,670] customers are able to pre-order and book a delivery slot,” Champenois says. Deliveries are set to begin by mid-2018 and Elixir plans to hand over 12 aircraft in the first year of production and more than 20 in the second.

Construction of the Elixir has been simplified by reducing the number of structural components to just eight large pieces, including what Champenois calls a “one-shot wing” – a single 8.3m (27.2ft) structure which eliminates the need for “bonding, riveting or screwing”.

Powered by a Rotax 912iS engine, the €150,000 Elixir is projected to have a cruise speed of 140-170kt (260-315km/h) depending on altitude, a range of 1,000nm (1,850km), fuel burn of 14 litres/h, an empty weight of 265kg (580lb) and a payload of 280kg. The aircraft also features an emergency parachute system manufactured by BRS, a bespoke Garmin G3X cockpit, and a fuel tank inerting system.