The Ximango is the most modern and beautiful example of the class of two-place side-by-side powered gliders with front-mounted engines. Designed by the world-famous French motorglider expert, Rene Fournier, it has the lines and the aeronautical performance which allow it to excel among other European-designed machines. Refined and put into production for the world market by Grupo Aeromot of Brazil , the Ximango continues to improve and evolve as a design today.
With a best L/D ratio of approximately 33:1 and a minimum sink rate of 179 fpm, (both newly-improved) the Ximango is the highest performance design of all production motorgliders in its class. Its retractable gear, its 57.3-foot super-smooth laminar-flow wing, its efficient cowl design and its full-feathering propeller all contribute to this achievement.
Just as importantly, the Ximango is a very capable thermalling aircraft with its harmonized aileron and rudder controls and its honest flight characteristics at near-stall speeds. Thermalling in a Ximango will surprise even seasoned glider pilots! No top rudder needed, no “anti-bank aileron needed, just sit there at 45 - 60 degrees of bank and fly! These characteristics are improved even more with new-design ailerons and the addition of gap seals and turbulators, which the new aileron design permits.
The Ximango is also an extremely capable cross-country soaring machine with the ability to soar fast and flat between thermals and in wave lift. Highly experienced sailplane pilots, such as Derek Piggott and Tom Knauff have been generous in their praise of the Ximango when flown as a sailplane.
In powered flight, the Ximango is a fast, quiet and comfortable platform for long cross-countries or a quick, highly-coordinated machine for sport flying, especially with the new ailerons.
The Ximango family of motorgliders uses three versions of the reliable and efficient liquid-cooled four-stroke Rotax powerplant. These engines are a delight to operate and fly. Cockpit noise level and vibration are extremely low. Cruise speeds of up to 140 knots (at altitude) can be selected by the pilot and the 24-gal. fuel supply provides a range of 4 - 500 nm at high-speed cruise and over 7 hours duration at lower cruise speeds.
From a pilot's standpoint, the performance and refinement of the new Ximango models are evident in every phase of flight. The side-by-side cockpit provides the pilots with a well-engineered layout which has unsurpassed visibility. The instrument panel is able to accommodate a large number of alternate configurations of instruments and avionics for powered flight and soaring.
The position and construction of the seating are optimized for comfort on long-duration flights. The flight controls, stick and rudder, spoiler handle and throttle, are a delight to both experienced pilots and novices. The aircraft may be flown from either seat, as the pilot chooses. Stick control forces are moderate and pilots report unanimously that the controls are well harmonized in both soaring and powered phases of flight.
On the ground, the Ximango is also in a class by itself because of the unique Fournier trademark, wings which can be easily and quickly folded at mid-span by the pilot alone. And, after folding, the aircraft is easily taxied like a “normal” light aircraft. Fournier's wing-hinge design has been proven over many years of experience by his previous motorglider creations and has reached a new level of refinement in the Ximango. With the wings folded, a total wingspan of 33.3 feet permits the pilot to taxi the aircraft easily in tight situations on the ramp. And, most importantly, hangar space required for the aircraft shrinks to that of a conventional small airplane. Because the folding procedure is easy and quick, the aircaft can be taken out or returned to the hangar by a single person.
With its wide gear-stance (nine feet) and steerable tailwheel, the Ximango is highly stable and easy to control during takeoff and landing. Powerful Schempp-Hirth spoilers provide extremely precise control in the pattern for both powered or unpowered landings. Raising or lowering the mechanically retractable gear requires only a low-effort push or pull on the cockpit lever. Excellent over-the-nose visibility from the cockpit eliminates the need for S-turns during taxiing. Glider pilots and power pilots alike find the transition checkout to be a straightforward and rewarding experience.
The Ximango is truly a world-design aircraft, using the best components and materials from around the globe. The airframe is an all-composite structure constructed from high-quality Ciba-Geigy resins and fibers. Its carbon-fiber spar caps are of high-quality Japanese materials. The modern and efficient powerplants are from Austria , the propellers are from Germany , the optically perfect canopy is from Switzerland , and brakes, tires, instruments and other key components are from the USA .
The integration of the entire aircraft, the fabricated parts, and its fit and finish are all the product of the Grupo Aeromot organization. Grupo Aeromot has many decades of aeronautical experience as one of Brazil 's finest aeronautical manufacturing companies. Grupo Aeromot produces a wide range of military and commercial aviation products which are in use worldwide. The overall level of quality and refinement of the Ximango convincingly demonstrates Aeromot's strong aeronautical engineering and manufacturing capabilities.
Certified under the stringent European JAR-22 Standards for Airworthiness, the Ximango is an extremely robust aircraft. Its FAA Certificate of Airworthiness is in the Utility Category, meaning that the allowable stress levels met during certification are higher than for Normal Category aircraft. Allowable g's, for example, are plus 5.3 and minus 2.65.
The reliability of the powerplants is extremely high. The Ximango’s are equipped with Certified versions of the liquid-cooled four-stroke Rotax 912, 912S and 914, which have numerous additional quality controls beyond the already-robust non-certified versions The cost of operating the Ximango is very low when compared with normal aircraft. Fuel consumption is 3.5 to 5.0 gph under powered flight and, of course, zero when soaring. Other consumables, including oil, are negligible in cost per hour. Because of its simplicity and design, periodic inspections are very low-effort. The all-composite airframe is extremely low-maintenance. Tires, brake parts, batteries and other normal replacement items are US-made for the most part and are all easily available in the world market. The all-mechanical retractable gear is very simple to inspect and maintain. The engine and propeller are both long-life items with readily-available overhaul facilities worldwide.
All in all, the Ximango Touring gliders are capable, beautiful and a tremendous value. Derek Piggott perhaps put it best in his evaluation: “Top marks to Renee Fournier and the Brazilian team for producing such a lovely little motorglider.”
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