Flight Notes— how to fly the Extra 300S
If airplanes were horses, the Extra 300S would be a champion thoroughbred. It is, in fact, designed to be a champion in Unlimited class aerobatic competitions. The 300S combines light weight, a 300-horsepower engine, and exquisite control harmony in an aircraft that has won several World Aerobatic Championships.
A derivative of the two-place model 300, the wing of the single-place 300S was lowered eight inches to provide better ground visibility and improve the general appearance of the aircraft. After this anxiously awaited model was introduced in March 1992, three of the four existing production aircraft were flown in the World Championship that July.
The Extra 300S has an incredible roll-rate: 400 degrees per second. Just as impressive is how precisely maneuvers can be executed in the hands of an expert pilot like Patty Wagstaff. Attend one of her airshows, and you'll see a 300S carve paths through the sky like it's on a rail. Most aircraft require the pilot to drive downhill a bit to gather enough inertia for a loop. With the Extra 300S, just pull the stick back in level flight at high cruise power, and it leaps through the vertical, headed for the opposite horizon. This airplane is at home in a roll, loop, tail slide, hammerhead, Cuban Eight, or any other extreme attitude you want to put it into.
A hint of the control sensitivity of the 300S comes with the first movement of the stick. There is no slack or resistance in the control circuit. When you move the controls, the airplane follows instantly. Long ailerons provide the aerial equivalent of power-assisted rack-and-pinion steering, and fingertip control is all that's needed. Even at steep bank angles, the controls are surprisingly light. Electrically adjustable rudder pedals customize the plane's fit to any pilot, and the bubble canopy provides a roomy, panoramic view of the world whether right-side up or upside down.
As with many taildragger aircraft, visibility over the nose of the 300S is not terrific when on the ground. The standard technique while taxiing is to perform S-turns to see where you're going. When you apply the power for the takeoff run, the tail comes up quickly, followed by the rest of the plane shortly thereafter.
Most 300Ss are purchased by pilots who just want a fast, sporty plane that they can turn upside down on occasion. The rest go to buyers who employ them in competition or for entertaining the crowds at airshows. Whatever motivates them to buy it, owners of the Extra 300S love this high-spirited and well-mannered stallion for its legendary performance.
|Maximum Speed||200 knots 230 mph||370 km per hour|
|Cruise Speed||178 knots 205 mph||330 km per hour|
|Engine||Textron Lycoming AEIO-540 L1B5 300 horsepower|
|Propeller||Three-bladed constant speed|
|Maximum Range||415 nm 478 miles||769 km|
|Service Ceiling||16,000 feet||4,877 meters|
|Fuel Capacity||42.3 U.S. gallons||160 liters|
|Empty Weight||1,470 pounds||667.8 kilograms|
|Maximum Gross Weight||2,095 pounds||950 kilograms|
|Length||23.36 feet||7.12 meters|
|Wingspan||26.25 feet||8 meters|
|Height||8.6 feet||2.62 meters|
|FAA Certified Load Factor||+/- 10 G|
|Useful Load||625 pounds||283.5 kilograms|