Just flew Dynaero MCR-01

A flying club friend (Samuli Pänttäjä) kindly offered a familiarization flight on his Dynaero MCR01. I flew with Pertti Husa (a flight instructor and friend).

The short story is that the plane is very interesting, it is very different from any other same category plane.

It is close to the maximum performance one can get out of Rotax 912 in tractor configuration without utilizing laminar flow over the fuselage (I don’t mean only speed, but overall performance) – the climb rate, takeoff distance, climb speed, minimum speed, stall behavior and cruise speed at low altitude (IAS) and landing distance. This plane really rocks, it surely blows average Cessna-pilot away. Despite of the low horse power in the engine, this is maybe even more high performance aircraft than turbo Cirrus SR22 is with over 300 hp. This plane has 100 hp Rotax 912 with MT propeller hydraulic constant speed propeller. With Rotax 914 this…

The takeoff is very similar than on Cirrus SR22. Everything happens maybe even faster than with the Cirrus. The plane accelerates like a rocket, is airborne almost at the same moment, time to switch flap ups, trim the plane, reduce power and propeller speed all come very quickly.

The economy cruise speed (manifold pressure at 26, rpm at 4600) settled to about 250 km/h (135 kts IAS). We didn’t try flying at altitude, I don’t yet know how much TAS the plane collects at high altitude. At low altitude the cruise speed is anyhow about the same as on Cirrus SR20 leaned to best power setting. It really moves compared to Cessnas etc.

It also became apparent that the plane would cruise, with little more power, a lot faster. With a little pitch down causes the IAS to go over 300 km/h and it happens effortlessly and quickly. Watch out when pitching down or you will go over the VNe very quickly!

The plane takes of and lands to a very short distance. The approach speed is very low. The double slotted flaps are very effective and the plane can be flown insanely slowly. We did one approach at 80 km/h. On the other hand, in take off, the after the plane gets airborne and out of ground effect, the speed very quickly rises to 170 km/h (91 kts). Very comparable to Cirrus SR20. The big difference to Cirrus is that, on Dynaero, the climb angle is steep. It is going up like an elevator. Takeoff from very short runway is possible and it finely clears the obstacle with ease.

Feelings on landing pattern are quite similar than on SR22, one has to act quickly and not fall behind the aircraft. Pitch down, even on landing pattern, easily makes to plane go 300 km/h. If you are trying to be behind a Cessna that flies the pattern about 130 km/h, you are going to take over it, and very fast.

The “secret” of the plane is:
– very low empty weight
– very low cross sectional area
– small wetted area
– low cooling drag
– double slotted flaps (high Clmax)
– relatively high wing loading

Everything in the plane is made out of carbon fiber. Even rudder pedals are carbon fiber.

It is beneficial to have as low as possible empty weight, high Clmax, high wing loading and as great as possible power to weight ratio. This plane has those in better balance than other types I have flown to the date.

Some pictures:

Video of landing to EFHF at Youtube:


    • dodlithr
    • January 4th, 2009

    Yes, so they say. There are some similar designs as MCR-01. I have somewhere plans for exactly similar plane made of glass fiber instead, that design originates in California, I think.

    • Karoliina Salminen
    • January 6th, 2009

    I am quite sceptical if a plane made of glass can be like the MCR. The MCR is very light weight, full carbon fiber plane. It has a very good airframe weight to gross weight ratio. There are number of similar planes made out of glass and about every one of them is heavier, less efficient and slower at the given horse power. There are not many planes out there which have 43 kts approach speed (around 32 kts stall speed) and can cruise as fast as 160 kts IAS and that also have only 100 hp Rotax as engine. Vmax probe is clearly more efficient than this, but it crashed.

    • Jerry
    • May 26th, 2009

    Hi, I have been flying an MCR for ten years and I am sure there is nothing to compare (except the MC100 designed by Michel Colomban on which the MCR01 is based). No other aircraft is as light, therefore for the same take off performance no other aircraft has such small wings and consequently such low drag. Nobody believes the performance until they experience it! For sure a glass plane will not have the performance.

    PS – Nice report Karoliina.

    • hogey
    • June 3rd, 2009

    Hi there,
    Thanks for the story. I love this little aircraft but I think it is too expensive! I am in Australia and nearby in New Zealand a small company is building a full carbon fibre "furio" and it will cost about the same as a cessna 172 when completed – too much for a kit I think. No doubt about the benefits of carbon fibre – just a bit too expensive for a kit aircraft I believe. I would be interested to see what a glass version would weigh – maybe the performance loss would be counter balanced by the reduction in cost? Jabiru kits over here can be bought for $50 K including motor and are similar in size but are more of a cessna-replacement, utility design (100kts, high wing etc). They also have simple flaps. I reckon a glass version of this kit should cost little more than the jabiru but lose no more than 10 knots or so running with the 912 Rotax. Alternatively, I reckon a slightly larger, 600kg glass version with the same double slotted flaps and a Jabiru 120hp motor would be a good compromise – maybe $ 80 K (Aus $), room for extra luggage or fuel and similar, superb performance to the MCR-01. I reckon that is realistic and would be a hot seller. An MCR-01 for the masses! cheers John in Brisbane

  1. >You can build for price, or performance. Both do not come in the same package. Jabiru has only one impressive feature – price. Costs more for the oats before the horse eats them than after.

  2. >Bryn, I think that's true but I also think there could be a market for something like this with most of the performance but made out of a cheaper material. The Jabiru is not only impressive for price, it is also impressive for value – you get a surprisingly capable (but not sporty) aircraft for the money. While the MCR is superior, I think it is less value for money. Cheers John

  3. We just bought a Dynaero MCR01 and now it is standing in the hanger as both of the local instructors are too scared to give us our conversion! They have heard of the fatal crash of a S4 with four people killed in 2008 in South Africa due to the aircraft going into a sudden spin. Apparently the Dynaero is a very dangerous plane to stall, tends to drop a wing and does not recover out of a spin. The S4 is said to be an advanced airplane (I have 200 hours on a Beechcraft sierra) and too difficult and fast for pilots like me and my hubby who fly for the joy of it. Does anybody know if the MCR01 is also as dangerous and difficult as the S4? We enjoyed our first hours in the little plane and found it easy to handle, but now I am also worried!

  4. I have stalled Dynaero MCR01 and it is not at all bad compared to some other microlight/ultralight manufacturers. You shall not spin any of these because they may not recover from spin, but the wing dropping tendency on MCR01 is not that bad than on some other planes in the category (such as WT9 Dynamic). THe stall of MCR is certainly sharper than that of Diamond DA20 or DA40 of course, since it is not made to meet the CS-23 standards, but it is not bad by definition. Based on my personal experience on flying the MCR01 about 1-2 hours, I would say that your fears are largely unfounded. It is not a bad aircraft to fly, there are much trickier ones on the same category. MCR is very fast, but the thing is, that it can be also very slow on approach which is incredible. If your local instructors are too scared to give types for the MCR, then you should consider switching to instructor who is up to the task. Of course, you have to fly a fast plane like MCR more accurately than you may have used to with a slow plane, but I think it is great waste of gasoline to fly inefficient plane for pretending that it would be somehow safer because it has more aerodynamic drag, which it isn't. By learning to fly accurately, you will be safer pilot by definition and less likely to hurt yourself with any plane.

  5. The MCR-01 was available with 3 different wings:VLA (Sportster) span 6.63m area 5.2m2 flaperons,CLUB span 6.72m area 6.45m2.ULC span 8.64m area 8.13m2.You haven't been flying the VLA as can be seen on the second picture. The VLA is the one with the demanding stall behavior. This can be improved by adding stall strips see: http://mcr01passion.forumperso.com/t558-stall-strip

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