Tecnam P2008 JC (SP-LLF, c/n 1144), LOT Flight Academy, taxiing before flying display during the Central Air Show of 100th Anniversary of the Polish Aeroclub, Rzeszów 2019.
History of this light, single-engine, two-seat and high-wing aircraft began in the first decade of the 21st century. When, in 2008, an Italian aerospace manufacturer Costruzioni Aeronautiche TECNAM S.r.l. has acquired the Spanish company Construcciones Aeronauticas de Galicia (CAG), the P2008 was the first aircraft being designed and produced by Tecnam after this merger. And, in addition, it was the first aircraft of that Italian manufacturer being made with use of carbon-fibre composites.
In its design and overall silhouette, the Tecnam P2008 resembles its direct predecessors – P92 and P2004 aircraft. Nevertheless, it represents a significantly modern concept of a light aeroplane, mainly due to materials used.
Although wings, horizontal stabiliser and elevator control surfaces of P2008 are made of metal, the fuselage and vertical stabiliser are made entirely of composites, mostly carbon-fibre. As a result, the aeroplane is notably lighter and has better aerodynamic characteristics than P92 and P2004. Thanks to that, P2008 can be adapted to three different class of aircraft – Light Sport Aircraft (LSA), ultralight (UL) and European Light Aircraft (ELA1).
Prototype of the Tecnam P2008 made its first flight on 30th September 2008. In April of the following year, the aeroplane had its official public premiere at international aviation trade fair Aero Friedrichshafen 2009. Shortly afterwards, in December of the same year, Tecnam already started to deliver its new aircraft to their first owners.
Although being initially intended for the American market, that new aeroplane has quickly gained world-wide interest and become one of the best-selling aircraft of Tecnam company. Nowadays, the P2008s are being used in many countries around the world – including Australia, Colombia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Poland, South Korea, Switzerland and the USA.
Since the launch of its serial production, the P2008 was manufactured in three main variants: the first and basic P2008 – being powered by a 100 hp Rotax 912ULS engine with two-blade propeller; a P2008 TC with a 115 hp turbocharged Rotax 914 engine and a three-blade propeller; and P2008 JC. The latter version is certified under EASA CS-VLA (European Aviation Safety Agency Certification Specification for Very Light Aircraft) rules and intended specifically for the European market.
This nicely designed light aircraft not only gained recognition from private users, but also proved to be useful for professional flight training purposes. Aeroplanes being operated by LOT Flight Academy – a modern flight training centre belonging to LOT Polish Airlines, being the largest and national airline in Poland – are one of such examples. Currently this moment LOT Flight Academy operates eight Tecnam P2008 JC and additionally two twin-engine P2006 T aeroplanes of the same Italian manufacturer.
And exactly two P2008 JC and one P2006 T aeroplanes belonging to the abovementioned training centre took part in the Central Air Show of 100th Anniversary of the Polish Aeroclub, that was organized on the last day of August 2019 in Rzeszów. At this event, the Tecnam aircraft participated in both static and dynamic display – performing a formation flight as a part of flying programme.