A trio of plane makers was seen pushing a trailer with an aeronautical looking object into the Paris Air Show last week. It turned out to be the Greenelis PXLD, a Green Flight Challenge flyer, and it looked a great deal like the offspring of the Dieselis and the Gazaille, two French light sport aircraft powered by converted Diesel automobile engines and designed by Paul Lucas.
Like its predecessors, it is made of wood and plywood, but in this case has a wing spar built of carbon fiber with “innovative geometry” and a wing covered with plywood. Greenelis’ fuselage has wooden formers and longerons, and like its forbearers, a plywood shell giving its aerodynamic form.
The 11 meter (35.2-foot) span, Two-place side by side craft is powered by an 800 cc Mercedes Smartcar turbocharged Diesel engine that produces 30 kilowatts, or 42 horsepower. A single retractable, center-line landing gear (with outriggers) helps give the 275-kilogram (605 pounds) empty-weight airplane a 220 kilometer per hour (136.4 mph) top speed and a 160 km/hr (99.2 mph) cruise. At that speed its petite engine sips a mere 1.8 liters per 100 kilometers (130.7 miles per gallon), or 261.4 passenger miles per gallon, well within one Green Flight Challenge criterion.
On static display for the week, showing off its F-WGFC registration, Greenelis shared the limelight with its larger and tinier green counterparts in exemplifying the quest for ultimate aeronautical efficiency.