|2004 AMD Alarus CH2000
N269AM (sn 20-1036)
Photo taken July 2007 @ Aurora State Airport, OR - USA (UAO / KUAO)
|Photo © Marcel Siegenthaler
The AMD Alarus CH2000 is a two-seat, fixed tricycle gear general aviation airplane, used primarily for flight training. It is manufactured by Aircraft Manufacturing and Design Co. in Eastman, Georgia. It is a low-wing aircraft, with one door located above each wing, respectively. It can be considered a competitor to similar aircraft used for flight training, such as the Diamond DA20.
The Alarus features Garmin avionics and a 46-inch-wide (1,200 mm) cabin.
The Alarus is FAA type certified Utility/Normal and IFR. This is NOT a Light Sport Aircraft (LSA). It looks similar to any other classic low wing aircraft. What makes it unique is that you can buy one new today with all the latest high-tech components! Designed for today's pilot with a large comfortable cabin area, excellent avionics, and inexpensive operation (5.5 gallons per hour) the Alarus is a solid investment.
The Alarus is undoubtedly the toughest simplest metal light aircraft in production. The all metal, semi-monocoque stressed skin construction with internal ribs, longerons, and bulkheads distribute the loads. It is simple, tough and easy to inspect and repair, a huge benefit for flying schools.
With the landing gear system containing a 65 lbs. piece of metal extending from one wheel to the other a lot of energy is absorbed on hard landings minimizing bouncing and ultimately making for smoother landings. (Spring steel tubing is used on most aircraft. On hard landings, the aircraft bounces back into the air.) New type wheel axels are used, similar to other certified aircraft making the CH2000 maintenance friendly for Mechanics.
The nose gear system is not attached to the engine mount or directly to the firewall. No olio type system, no oil seals. Instead a simple self-centering super tough bungee system is used. Direct nose wheel steering makes it easy to taxi the aircraft without using the brakes. At the rear of the fuselage, a massive aluminum tailskid is attached. The tailskid has mount on rubber dampeners for hard landings.
Two different sizes of rudder are available for the 2000, the larger rudder, (used on the "spin certified option") and a smaller standard sized rudder that gives a classic effect when side slipping the aircraft and applying full and immediate rudder,. Large and responsive flight surface controls make landing even in cross winds of up to 25 knots possible.
The Lycoming 0235-N2C powerplant engine is mounted on a super beefy engine mount (painted yellow). Other than a smaller light weight starter, everything firewall forward is classic. This includes the Sensenich propeller, carburetor air intake filter, muffler system etc. The powerplant area is very similar to the old Cessna 152 installation, using similar parts, a big plus for flying schools who do not have to retrain their mechanics.
The cockpit area is manufactured out of Carbon Fiber with moulded windshield and side windows (making in flight visibility outstanding). It fits perfectly on the metal airframe (fuselage + wings). The butterfly (gull) doors open on a generous cabin of about 46 inches wide. Seats are extremely comfortable using the NASA type Tetra foam, designed for 26g load absorption, and covered with an elegant micro porous grey leather-like fabric. The latest safety belts are also easy to buckle: the lower-side belt having been extended. The centre section of the seat belts are fastened to the main wing spar and the roll-over-protection tube between the seats. The AmSafe airbag seat belt system is now available (optional equipment).
The controls feel great comparable to driving a new car versus an old one, without slack and are not sloppy. There is positive feedback so that you feel the aircraft. The rate of climb is quite amazing for a small 116 HP engine. At a gross weight of 1,692 lbs., the indicated rate of climb at 63 Knots is +800 foot per minute. Cruise is slow between 95 and 100 Knots superb for student pilots.
A surprising feature of the Alarus is the positive controllability of the tail and ailerons at the stall. The Flight Manual recommends 60 Knot speed on final. Flaring the aircraft under the stall speed is simple, especially when trimming the stabilator by using the new manual trim wheel. It is exceptionally effective and requires little effort to adjust yoke forces. Like most low wing aircraft, the Alarus "sticks" to the ground when landing and does not "float" down the runway.
Currently the Alarus is offered in two variants: the AMD Alarus CH2000 general aviation aircraft and the SAMA CH2000 Military Tactical Surveillance Aircraft (MTSA).
The SAMA CH2000 is a military surveillance variant of the Alarus. It is equipped with forward looking infrared – a multi sensor imager offering high performance, precision and high level imaging.
The aircraft is also equipped with state-of-the-art communications systems for secure air-to-air and air-to-ground communications and is equipped for day and night missions. The aircraft is manufactured in Amman, Jordan and Baghdad, Iraq.
The first SAMA CH2000s were delivered to the Iraqi Air Force 70th Squadron, based in in Basrah on 29 October 2004. The Iraqi Air Force acquired between 8 and 16 aircraft at a cost of USD$5.8M with deliveries completed by the end of March 2005.
The Alarus can currently be found operating at some flight schools in the USA. Operating costs are generally low, and the aircraft is easy to maintain, allowing flight schools to keep costs low for students.
In February 2008 there were 113 CH2000 Alarus registered in the USA and four in Canada.
The only confirmed military user of the CH2000 is the Iraqi Air Force, currently operating 16 aircraft. Aircraft are operated by the Iraqi 70th Reconnaissance squadron.
Royal Jordanian Air Force
Iraqi Air Force - 70th Squadron
Capacity: one passenger
Length: 23 ft 0 in (7.01 m)
Wingspan: 28 ft 10 in (8.79 m)
Height: 6 ft 10 in (2.08 m)
Wing area: 137 sq ft (12.7 m2)
Empty weight: 1,085 lb (492 kg) basic VFR-equipped
Max takeoff weight: 1,692 lb (767 kg)
Fuel capacity: 28 US Gallons (106 litres)
Powerplant: 1 × Lycoming O-235-N2C four cylinder, horizontally opposed, four stroke aircraft engine, 116 hp (87 kW)
Propellers: 2-bladed Sensenich fixed pitch, 6 ft 0 in (1.83 m) diameter
Cruise speed: 99 kn (114 mph; 183 km/h)
Stall speed: 48 kn (55 mph; 89 km/h)
Never exceed speed: 143 kn (165 mph; 265 km/h)
Range: 486 nmi (559 mi; 900 km)
G limits: +4.4/-2.2 (utility category 1,606 lbs) +3.8/-1.9 (normal category 1,692 lbs)
Rate of climb: 750 ft/min (3.8 m/s)
Wing loading: 12.3 lb/ft² (60.29 kg/m²)
Power/mass: 14.6 lb/hp (0.11 kW/kg)
Garmin GNS 430 (COM, GPS, VOR, GS)
Garmin GI-106A VOR with GS slope
Garmin 340 audio panel
Garmin GTX 327 transponder/encoder
Bendix/king KX 155 NAV COM
Bendix/king KI 209 VOR with GS