Aeroprakt 32 Vixxen

Customize Your Own Aircraft

A32 Garmin IFR Options

What is the difference between the A32 Vixxen and the A32 Vixxen with Garmin IFR? Many of the options for the IFR version are the same as the standard A32.  The ULS engine is not an option on the IFR model since the extra charging capacity of the iS engine is necessary to run the additional avionics and heated pitot tube. You’ll notice that many of the avionics options that are not applicable to the IFR version have been removed while other avionics options have been added. We do not currently offer the Dynon in the IFR version as it is important to keep the avionics all the same brand so that they integrate seamlessly.

Standard Features on all A32 Aircraft

Options are listed below in the order that they appear on the Excel price sheet.

Click on images to enlarge.

Controls

Center (straight) stick, Y stick or Yoke. The A32 is available in either center stick or yoke configuration. In the stick configuration you can choose between a straight stick, or a Y stick. Generally the Y stick is preferred for training operations, but some people find it more comfortable as well. The Y stick has brakes on both handles. When deciding between yoke or stick there are a few considerations to think about. One would be throttle placement. In the yoke model the throttle is in the center console. This is convenient and comfortable. The negative side of that would be if the airplane is used for flight training it can be more difficult to get to the throttle fast if a student has their hand on it. With the stick model there is an independent throttle on both sides extending out of the instrument panel. This throttle placement seems a little different at first, but once you get used to it, it is very natural and comfortable. Another consideration between stick and yoke would be brakes. The stick model has considerably more leverage on the brake lever and brakes more effectively with less pressure. With the yoke model the brake is integrated with the throttle and it takes considerable pressure to get effective braking. One other consideration I have found between the yoke and stick is that on a cross country flight where the autopilot is being utilized, it is pretty nice to not have a yoke in your lap. The extra space adds to the comfort when you want to eat a meal or if your passenger is working on an iPad or laptop. On the A32, the yoke and stick options are the same cost.

Wing Strut Fairings

This feature is standard on the A32. It not only cleans up the aerodynamics, but it improves the appearance as well.

Artex ELT

This feature is standard and is a requirement for USA aircraft. The Artex ELT is the new style 406 frequency ELT. It has a GPS location function and is registered to the aircraft and to the owner. It must be registered when you take possession of the aircraft and every two years after that. The battery has a 6-year replacement interval. The new ELT’s are so much better than the old ones. Not only is there someone actually monitoring them, but they report the tail number and location upon activation and continue to do so until the battery dies or it is deactivated. They are self-contained and can be removed from the aircraft and carried if you need to leave the scene; search and rescue would therefore be tracking you and not the wreckage.

Parking Brake

The parking brake is a standard safety feature. When starting the Rotax engine, if the throttle is not set to idle, it can easily rev up and want to lurch forward if the brake is not on creating a serious safety hazard.

Cabin Heat

Cabin heat is a standard feature.  Cabin heat on a Rotax is supplied by air coming through the radiator rather than the exhaust, eliminating and danger of CO.  The cabin heat on the A32 works amazingly well, and is one of the significant improvements of the A32 compared to the A22.

Autopilot Servo Mounting Tabs

Autopilot servo tabs are a standard feature and are required if using an autopilot.  Even if you do not install an autopilot it will make it much easier to retrofit later if desired.

Spare Switches & Fuses

As a standard feature, two spare switches and fuse slots are included, if space permits, for future upgrades.

Other Standard Features

Trim Tab, Engine Electric System Installation, Headliner, Custom Instrument Panel Layout, Cradles for Transportation, Single Color Painting

Paint

Paint

Aeroprakt can use nearly any RAL color. They are reluctant to shoot metallic colors due to material availability as well as the increased time it takes in the manufacturing process. It is possible to paint a two color scheme, however, the design is very limited. They will, for example, mask a line down the fuselage, or paint major sections such as wings or control surfaces a second color. Generally, the best option is to pick the base color you want, then add accent color with vinyl, or perhaps take it to a paint shop and have an accent color(s) painted on to it.

Engine

Engine

For the IFR model, the Rotax 912 iS is the only engine option.  The additional charging capacity of the iS engine is required to carry the additional load of the avionics and heated pitot tube.

The Rotax iS offers several amazing advantages. The most talked about is the fuel savings. Rotax claims a 30% increase in fuel economy, and real world experience in the Aeroprakt confirms that.  Another advantage to the iS is extra charging capacity. The iS has nearly double charging capacity of the ULS. This provides the extra charging capacity necessary for the additional load of the heated pitot tube and avionics of the IFR system.

One question that is often posed about the iS engine is the reliability of the electronics. The Rotax iS system is completely redundant. There are two completely independent “lanes.” Each lane has a completely independent fuel and ignition system. Every sensor, fuel pump, fuel injector, computer, charging system, voltage regulator, ignition coil, etc. is redundant. If anything in one lane fails, it continues to run on the other lane. Once started, the iS does not use battery power, rather it runs directly from it’s internal charging system. If one charging system fails, it will run on the other charging system. If both charging systems fail, it can run on battery power with the flip of a switch. The iS is a very well designed and proven system. The iS engine requires far less scheduled maintenance, reducing maintenance cost and downtime.

Radiator Cooling Shield

The radiator cooling shield is a lightweight aluminum shroud that partially covers the radiator and also blocks the most of the air to the oil cooler.  The amount of air going through the radiator can be adjusted on the ground by loosening two bolts and sliding the outer panel.  It can be removed completely with two screws.  If you fly in colder climates, this option will decrease warm up time, keep operating temps up for the health of the engine and greatly improve cabin heat.  In the summer it can easily be removed.

Propellers

Props

There are three propeller options available for the A32.

The Kiev propeller is the lowest cost and performs well overall.  The Kiev has the lowest service life of all of the props with blade replacement being necessary at 6 years.  When considering the overall cost of operation over the life of the aircraft, the Kiev will be the most expensive.

The E-Props propeller has a very narrow blade and you might wonder if it could actually grab enough air, but it performs exceptionally well. While you do give up a bit of static thrust with the E-Props, once you’re rolling down the runway you can feel it really start to grab.  The difference in takeoff roll is not noticeable and the climb is improved with the E-Props.  The advantage of the E-Props is more noticeable in cruise flight with at least a 5 MPH gain in speed compared to the Kiev.  Another significant advantage to the E-Props is the balance and extremely smooth and quiet operation.  It is quieter both in the cockpit and from the ground compared to the Kiev and the DUC.  One other significant advantage of the E-Props is the weight savings.  The E-Props complete with spinner and mounting bolts is less than 6 lbs.!  The Kiev prop is about 12 lbs.  Not only does this reduce the empty weight of the aircraft and increase useful load, but less rotating mass reduces the load and wear on the engine and gearbox.  E-Props has the best TBO at 4,000 hours and unlimited calendar time.  At TBO the E-Prop simply requires an inspection by the manufacturer and can be put back in service.  It can be run indefinitely with 4,000 hour inspections.  E-Props now has props in service with an excess of 30,000 hours of operation!  

The DUC Swirl 3 propeller is now a factory option on the A32.  The performance of the DUC prop is very close to the E-Props.  The wider blade of the DUC seems to give a slight advantage on take-off, but it’s not significant. The climb and cruise performance of the DUC and Eprop are nearly identical.  Many people like the appearance of the DUC prop better.  It can be supplied with a bare carbon fiber spinner, or it can be painted to match.  The decals on the blades can be ordered in several different colors, be sure to specify the color you want when ordering.   There are two disadvantages to the DUC prop.  One is weight.  The DUC weighs in at 13 lbs. with spinner, spacer and bolts.  The second is cost.  The DUC is significantly more expensive than the E-Props.  The TBO on the DUC is 2,000 hours or 5 years, but if it passes inspection it may continue to be used.  Inspection is done by the the distributor in the USA and is quick and inexpensive.  The service life of the DUC is indefinite if inspections are completed.

Fuel Tanks

Fuel Tanks

You will need to select between 24 and 30 gallon total capacity fuel tanks. Nearly everyone opts for the 30 gallon tanks. There is no weight penalty. The 30 gallon tanks do have a bubble look to them where the 24 gallon tanks fit in the contour of the wing. Realistically, 24 gallons will probably give you longer range than you can sit in the seat.   Having extra fuel capacity on a long flight certainly increases safety.  It can also be a real convenience if you land for a fuel stop and are unable to get fuel for some reason.  Considering that unleaded fuel is preferred in the Rotax engine, and unleaded fuel stations are few and far between, the extra fuel capacity can help you avoid using leaded fuel.  Unless you prefer the look of the 24 gallon, there is no disadvantage to the 30 gallon tanks..

Landing Gear

Wheels

There are three options for tires: 15-6×6, 6×6, and 8×6. A 15-6×6 wheel is the standard wheel and works well on good sod or pavement. This is the only size that will fit in wheel pants.  The standard 6×6 is taller than the 15-6×6 and is an excellent option for flight training, rough sod and mild off airport operations.  The standard 6×6 Airtrac tire is also considerably less expensive to replace than the 15-6×6.  The third option is an 8×6 Carlisle Turf Glide. They are inexpensive and work well, although they are not a real precise tire and require balancing.  If you would like a larger tire, there are wider 8×6 tires in the aviation market, but they get pretty expensive and are also fairly heavy. When selecting the tire size, keep in mind that the nose fork and strut are matched to the tire size. Changing the nose wheel to a different size would require changing the fork and strut as well.

Wheel Pants

Also referred to as wheel spats, wheel pants add a very classy look. They also keep the airframe cleaner and reduce drag. The effect on speed is about 3-5 mph at best. While not a drastic increase, every little bit helps!

Mud Guards

Mud guards are designed to protect the airframe from debris and mud kicked up by the tires. While they don’t stop 100% of it, they do greatly help. They are very light weight and have no affect on drag. If you are not running wheel pants, mud guards are recommended.   The mud guards are matched to the tire size, so if you change the tire size you will need to change the mud guards as well.

Titan Skis

Snow skis are available from the factory.  If this option is selected, they will come rigged to the airplane and can easily be switched back to wheels.

Cabin

Photo Windows

These slider windows allow for unobstructed photography and are very nice for that purpose. However, it should be noted that they are a bit drafty in cold weather and they leak water when flying in rain. They also obstruct the view somewhat when they are closed compared to a door without them. If you live in a very hot climate, they can be used for ventilation as well.  Alternatively, you can add additional turn vents on each side to increase air flow.  Photo windows can be installed on one side or both.

Standard Luggage Fabric Cover

This is the zipper cover that covers the lower baggage compartment. Most people get this option. It allows you to pile baggage in the lower compartment and keep it looking neat and tidy. You can set small things on top to keep them in easy reach while in flight. This cover is not a necessity, and you can remove it if you decide you would rather not have it.

Cabin Cover for Storage

If you plan to have the airplane outside very much, this is very nice to protect the windshield and interior from sun and debris. It folds up into a tight little bag and goes with the airplane easily.

Defroster Fans

This option should always be selected. They are very inexpensive and add very little weight. They pull heat up from below and blow on the inside of the windshield to help keep it from fogging or melt frost. Another advantage is that they help circulate heat in the winter and enhance comfort.

Stick Control Lock

Definitely get this option if you have stick controls. If you ever tie down your airplane outside, or even park to refuel or eat in windy conditions, the wind can quickly damage the airframe if the controls are not locked. If you are opting for a yoke control system, it will have a lock pin already and this option will not be relevant.

Lights

Landing Light in Cowling (LED)

A cowling landing light is recommended for visibility even during the day.  If flying at night, it’s nice to be able to turn off the wing landing lights and just use the cowl light while taxiing for the benefit of other pilots.

Wing Landing Lights (LED)

Wing landing lights can be installed in one wing or both.  If two are installed it is also an option to include the wigwag circuit (listed below) that will alternate one side then the other about every second. This greatly improves your visibility to other traffic.  When flying  in a busy airport environment, this will be a huge asset. When the wing lights are on solid and the cowl landing light is one, it lights up really well at night with objects on the ground becoming visible at about 200′ AGL.

WIG-WAG Landing Light Circuit

(See “Wing Landing Lights” above.) This option adds a switch and controller that when activated will make the wing landing lights flash in an alternating pattern to improve visibility to other traffic. It also uses half the electrical power as having them on solid. (Having all the landing lights on solid at low rpm will cause a discharge with the ULS engine.)

Wingtip Nav/Strobe Lights (LED)

These lights satisfy the requirements for night flight and are required to fly past sunset, into civil twilight. They greatly increase your visibility to other traffic, even in daylight. These lights are actually made by Aeroprakt, and replacements are stocked in the USA.

Light on Vertical

A light on the vertical is not required for night flight. The wing tip lights provide all the legal requirements for night flight. However, some people prefer to add this option for extra visibility. This light has a slow red flashing light on the front and a solid white position light on the rear.

Backlit Panel for Night Flying

This option is for light bezels on any steam gauges you are having installed. If your instruments are all digital, this would not apply. For simplicity, the price covers all the instruments regardless of how many instruments are lighted.

Red Overhead Instrument Panel Light

This light is installed in the ceiling of the cabin to shine on the panel. While generally the glass panel and instruments are lit, this is very nice to be able to see the switches and cockpit area in general. If you do not fly at night at all, you may not have a use for it, but if you do plan to fly at night, it’s well worth it.

Electrical

Dual USB Charge Port

These charge ports can be installed to provide power to phones, iPads and other devices. The current production aircraft now use a port that has one USB-A and one USB-C port in each unit. The total charge capacity is 65 watt, so it will charge a large iPad, even while using the device. You can select as many of these as you would like on the price sheet, simply use a number in the column rather than an X. Popular locations are in the instrument panel, on the side of the panel, or under the seat facing forward. Under the seat facing forward works well for an iPad on your lap.

12V Power Outlet

This is a port that we used to call a cigarette lighter.  These are not used very often anymore.  Now that we have both USB-A and USB-C in the normal charge ports, most people find little use for these.  Even if a new style charge port comes along someday, the USB ports are inexpensive and very easy to replace so they could be upgraded easily.

Battery Main Switch

This is a switch located under the pilot seat that disconnects the battery from the system completely. This is very useful for long term storage as well as for maintenance. It can also be a safety feature if there was ever an electrical short in flight. It is highly recommended.

EarthX ETX900 Battery Upgrade

EarthX manufactures lightweight lithium iron phosphate (LiFe) batteries for the aviation industry. Although lithium batteries had a reputation early on as a fire hazard, a lot of that was a result of a misunderstanding of the different lithium chemistries. Lithium polymer is the more volatile chemistry, but EarthX uses Lithium Iron Phosphate chemistry. EarthX has developed a circuitry that will protect the battery from over charging and overloading making a thermal runaway nearly impossible. EarthX has been approved in many certified aircraft. The advantages of the EarthX battery are better cranking power, longer life and especially weight savings. We offer the ETX900 battery which is significantly more powerful than the minimum recommended size, yet it saves 9 lbs. compared to the lead acid standard battery.

EarthX ETX1600 Battery Upgrade

In addition to the EarthX ETX900 battery, we also offer the EarthX ETX1600 battery which provides 32 AMP hour, double the capacity of the ETX900.  Upgrading to the ETX1600 only adds 3 lbs over the ETX900.   If you intend to fly in IMC, the extra reserve capacity increases safety.  If you are only flying in VMC, this option may not be worth the expense.

Standard IFR Package

Garmin IFR Package

Garmin G3X Panel

The Garmin G3X panel is the main hub of this system. It handles all of the flight data, engine monitoring and display of information from the related components. It is a standalone system and capable of VFR navigation. The G3X has it’s own navigation database, displays all of the airport information, ADSB weather and traffic, approach plates, VFR and IFR charts, and much more. It has Bluetooth connectivity and will send and receive flight plans from an iPad or phone using ForeFlight or Garmin Pilot. The G3X has the capability to display satellite weather if equipped with an XM receiver. The Garmin suite is a very powerful and capable system.

Garmin GTN650Xi IFR Navigator

The GTN650Xi is the latest IFR navigator from Garmin. It is the smaller version of the GTN750Xi. The GTN650Xi is capable of nearly all of the functions of the GTN750Xi but with a smaller screen. The GTN750Xi does have the ability to display plates, but since the G3X can do that, there is little advantage to the GTN750Xi in this application. The GTN650Xi has a touch screen that is very user friendly and it integrates seamlessly with the G3X. The GTN650Xi serves as the primary com radio. It also has a nav radio that allows it to fly VOR and ILS approaches as well as a WAAS GPS that allows it to fly RNAV approaches to LPV minimums. The GPS also serves as a DME for approaches requiring that.

GTR 20 Remote Com Radio

The GTR 20 is a remote com radio that serves as Com 2 in the system. It is controlled through the G3X display.

GMA245 Audio Panel

The GMA245 audio panel allows for the dual coms to work seamlessly together so you can easily switch which radio you are monitoring, or both, and which you are transmitting on. It also allows you to listen to music over Bluetooth and make phone calls on your headset. Another important feature is the ability to control the intercom mute and music mute for com. Another very popular feature is the last radio transmission playback button. That can be a life saver in a busy ATC environment. Communication is critical in the IFR world, and the GMA245 is priceless.

GT45R Transponder

Also behind the scenes is the GT45R transponder with ADSB in/out. This transponder is remote and is controlled through the G3X. It provides not only the transponder but also provides ADSB traffic and weather data which can also be supplied to your iPad over the Bluetooth link to the G3X.

AP507 Autopilot System

The AP507 autopilot system is a state-of-the-art autopilot that does everything you could expect of an autopilot, and it is easy to use. It will fly a heading, the nav course or a full approach to minimums. This autopilot system can capture a glideslope or glidepath and will fly the missed approach when commanded. It will climb or descend at a set vertical speed to a preset altitude and level off. It is essential to the single pilot IFR environment.

GAP26 Pitot Tube

The GAP26 heated AOA pitot tube is included in this system. This is a regulated pitot tube so it will automatically control its temperature and only draw what power it needs to stay at the correct temperature. It provides angle of attack data that is displayed on the G3X.

Avionics Options

Garmin G3X Dual 7” Displays Upgrade

It is an option to replace (upgrade) the 10” G3X with dual 7” screens if you would like. These displays can be  installed in the portrait or landscape orientation. Some people like this dual display option as it provides a backup in case the panel fails. For IFR, this is an excellent option. Dual screens with the backup ADAHRS sensor would provide the same redundancy as the large screen combined with the G5 but with less panel space. Also, a G5 can provide backup ADAHRS data if installed.

Garmin G5 Flight Display

The G5 is an option that is highly recommended. Having one G5 will provide a backup should the G3X become inoperative. Also, the G5 has it’s own ADHARS sensing system, and if the main ADHARS fails, the G5 will supply that data to the G3X. It is possible to add a backup ADHARS sensor, but it is nearly half the cost of a G5 and would not provide a redundant display. A second G5 can also be installed and serve as an HSI. However, the data that the HSI provides is already presented in the G3X and also in the G5 EFIS mode. There is little benefit to a second G5.

Garmin Backup ADAHRS Package

If you do not select a G5, you will need the Garmin Backup for the ADHARS. This is the sensor that supplies all of the attitude and flight data to the G3X. For IFR flight, it is critical to have a redundant ADAHRS source.

Garmin GHA 15 Radar Altimeter

The GHA 15 radar altimeter offers above-ground-level (AGL) altitude reference at a cost-effective price. It brings radar-based accuracy, aural callouts and visual height indication to pilots of aircraft equipped with the G3X Touch displays.

GDL 52 Satellite Receiver

The GDL 52 is a Sirius XM satellite receiver that provides weather data to the G3X via a wired connection as well as to mobile devices over Bluetooth. As a side benefit, it provides an additional source of GPS position and attitude data to mobile devices. The benefit to satellite weather is a much greater resolution in radar images, faster refresh rate and the ability to pull up METAR data from distant airports. With satellite data in the lower 48, there are essentially no dead spots in reception area which is a concern with ADSB data. (XM coverage in Alaska is limited) Satellite weather can be a real asset in the IFR environment. The GDL 52 also provides Sirius XM radio in flight for music and entertainment. This unit does require a Sirius XM subscription to function.

ASI UMA

Steam gauge airspeed. This instrument is made by UMA in the USA. It has both MPH and Knots scales on it. It can be lighted. My preference is to have this as a back-up instrument.

ASI BK-3A

This traditional airspeed reads in Knots only

MGL ASI-5 Airspeed

This digital airspeed works well and is very light weight. For the price, they are a very good value.  They have a very bright display are are very easy to read in bright sunlight, however even dimmed all the way down they are not suitable for night flight.

MGL ALT-6 Altimeter & Vertical Speed Indicator

This digital altimeter and vertical speed combination works well and is very light weight. For the price, they are a very good value.  They have a very bright display are are very easy to read in bright sunlight, however even dimmed all the way down they are not suitable for night flight.

VSI BC-2A

A traditional vertical speed indicator, this can be installed as primary in a steam gauge panel, or back up for a glass panel system.

Altimeter

This is a traditional altimeter, two pointer sensitive, 20,000 reading pressure in inches.  The price seems extreme because this is a TSO, made in the USA instrument.  The manufacturer we used previously a much lower price point has discontinued their model.  There is no other inexpensive sensitive altimeter on the market to date.

Compass Options

Be sure to select a compass as you will need it for IFR. Two options on the IFR model are the Airpath wet compass or the Precision vertical card. The Airpath is a quality compass and a very good value.  The Precision vertical card compass tends to be  easier-to-read and less effected by compass errors. This unit is TSO’d, excellent quality, well stabilized and accurate.

Slip Indicator

This comes in two versions: a 2 1/4” round or a rectangle. Keep in mind that the G3X and G5 both have slip indication, so it is redundant to select one of these.

Cables & Bracket for Radio Installation

This is required on the IFR model.

Antennas

This is also required on the IFR model.

Lightspeed Zulu 3 Headset

The Zulu 3 is an excellent ANR (active noise reduction) headset. LightSpeed is arguably the best ANR headset brand on the market. The Zulu 3 is the more economical headset from LightSpeed. It is very quiet, comfortable and lightweight. It offers Bluetooth connectivity to connect to your phone or iPad and provides audio alerts from EFBs such as ForeFlight or Garmin Pilot as well as music. With the Bluetooth connection to your phone, you can also make calls through the headset. This is very convenient when contacting ATC for IFR clearance for example. The Zulu 3 is powered by two AA batteries and will last many hours between battery changes.

Lightspeed Delta Zulu Headset

 The Delta Zulu offers several valuable additions over the Zulu 3.  With safety being a high priority, LightSpeed has added a CO sensor that monitors the level of CO and produces an audible alert when it reaches a dangerous level.  A mobile app has also been created to sync with the Delta Zulu that will display the CO level.  Another very useful feature of the app is a hearing test that uses the headset to test the hearing in each ear, then programs the headset sound equalization to tune specifically for your hearing.  This greatly improves the clarity of communication as well as music through the headset.  The ANR (active noise reduction) feature has also been improved for an even quieter experience.  Yet another new feature is a removable, rechargeable lithium battery and optional desktop charger.  It also includes a AA battery pack for backup.  Overall, the Delta Zulu is a significant step forward in headset technology.

Safety

Magnum Parachute System

This is a ballistic parachute that is deployed instantly by a rocket propulsion system. It can work at altitudes as low as 100’. A parachute system is intended for use in the event of a major structural failure or control system failure where the airplane is no longer controllable. Another use might be in a spatial disorientation situation where the aircraft is out of control and cannot be recovered. It is not intended for use in an engine failure. In that event, you simply become a glider pilot and find a place to land. The argument in favor of a parachute obviously is safety and peace of mind, sometimes more for loved ones of the pilot who do not understand aviation and are fearful of it. The drawbacks of the parachute are expense, added maintenance, added weight, and loss of baggage space.  While rare, there are situations where a parachute is likely to be the only scenario to survive a failure.  Choosing a parachute is a personal decision that each buyer must decide.  Each person has a unique level of risk tolerance.

Parachute Cables & Bracket Pre-Rigged

If you think you might ever want to install a parachute system, or if you think you may sell the airplane at some point, it is a very good idea to select this option. If you have this, the brackets, cables and tethers are all installed in the airframe for the ballistic parachute. A parachute could be installed very easily in a matter of a few hours. Without this option, it would be very labor intensive to install and probably cost prohibitive.

Price Sheet

This Excel price sheet is designed to easily determine a the cost of an A32 with Garmin IRF aircraft with the desired options. Simply put an X in the center column of the options you want, and remove the X from the column of the options you do not want. There are a few options, USB ports for example, that require a number since you may select more than one. Once you have the options you want selected, you will see a total in Euros at the bottom. Enter the current exchange rate in the field for that and it will calculate the total in US Dollars including shipping. The exchange rate is locked in when the deposit is received and will not change regardless of the what the market does after that.

Sales Contract

This is an example of the sales contract that we use. It will be filled in with the specific buyer and aircraft information and signed when an aircraft is ordered.