So you want to learn about the Tecnam P2008? Fuggedaboutit. Okay, no more 80s mob movie references. For the younger crowd, a fugazi means a knockoff or a bad copy and for Fuggedaboutit watch Donnie Brasco, then thank me later.
The Tecnam P2008 is a product from the Italian aerospace company Costruzione Aeronautiche Tecnam produced for the US general aviation market. From a pilot’s perspective, it’s exciting to see other manufacturers producing high-quality aircraft which increases competition resulting in more innovation and choice for us, the consumers.
The P2008 is one such aircraft, it has received plenty of praise for its design, comfort, and performance and is known to be one of the premier LSAs on the market today.
Tecnam Takes Off
The Costruzioni Aeronautiche Tecnam is an aeronautical company founded in 1986 by brothers Professor Luigi Pascale and his brother, Giovanni Pascale.
The brothers were both accomplished engineers and had built their original aircraft under another company founded by Luigi, Partenavia Construzioni Aeronautiche. This company produced 17 variants of aircraft, most of which the brothers had a hand in.
After Partenavia, the brothers founded Tecnam intending to be a subcontractor for producing parts for manufacturers like Boeing. The brothers would soon want to build their aircraft once more, and in 1992, produced the Tecnam P92.
The Tecnam P2008 is a light-sport aircraft in a single-engine, high-wing, two-seater configuration. It’s the successor to the Tecnam P2004 and the P92. Tecnam aircraft are named based on the year it was designed, and the P2008 is no different. The aircraft was introduced to the masses in 2009, and deliveries began at the end of the year.
The P2008 follows the same design DNA as its predecessors, but appearances can be deceiving. The P2008 is the company’s first aircraft to be built mostly out of composite materials, namely carbon fiber. As an added benefit, the high structural integrity prevents the need for interior structures which increases the usable space in the cabin.
The body of the aircraft is very aerodynamic which allows the aircraft to fly at faster speeds and be more fuel efficient. The fuselage and tail fin are integrated and built out of carbon fiber, as are the wheel fairings and smaller trim.
The wings, tailplane, struts, and landing gear are all made from aluminum alloys. The NACA 63A wings are is mostly rectangular but they do taper in two areas. The first 10 percent of the leading-edge starts from the root and the last 40 percent of the trailing edge.
The design is very similar to the Cessna 172 Skyhawk. The wingtips are slightly curved upwards to prevent spanwise flow and reduce induced drag without adding actual winglets.
The P2008 sports outboard Frise ailerons to compensate for adverse yaw during banking turns and has slotted flaps on the inboard portion to re-energize the airflow and prevent stalling during the slow approaches. On the tail end, the P2008 is equipped with a stabilator with anti-balance servo tabs to alleviate excessive control pressures.
Tecnam has taken a page from Cirrus’ playbook and offers a ballistic parachute as an option. The 33 lbs (15 kg) add-on reduces the overall payload of the P2008. But it’s an option that a pilot would be glad to have should things go bad.
Either Lycoming or Continental powerplants power Rotax Power Most aircraft in the Tecnam P2008’s class, but like its predecessor, the P2008 is powered by a Rotax 912 ULS | S, horizontally-opposed, four-cylinder engine. The Rotax 912 ULS | S’s fuel is delivered via a dual carburetor system, and a spark is provided by a dual-electronic ignition system for redundancy.
The engine is marketed as having the best power-to-weight ratio in its class, and we’re inclined to agree. This small block engine with a displacement of just 82 in³ (1.352 L) produces 100 hp (73.5 kW) and 94 ft-lb (128 Nm) of torque at its maximum RPM of 5,800. More than enough for this small two-seater.
Piston engines in this class are often air-cooled with very few liquid-cooled to keep costs down. However, the Rotax 912 ULS | S gets the best of both worlds.
For the most part, the engine is air-cooled, but the cylinder heads are liquid-cooled, with a separate dry sump forced lubrication system that automatically adjusts the level using a value. This method allows this small engine to stay within its optimum operating range and produce power more efficiently as a result.
The Rotax 912 ULS | S is connected via a speed reduction gearbox with a torsional shock absorber and overload clutch, to a choice of two or three-blade propellers all of which are built from composite materials.
The two-blade propeller is manufactured by GT Tonini, and the two three-blade propellers are made by Sensenich. The design of the two three-blade props also allows the pitch to be adjusted on the ground.
Tecnam has put a lot of thought and effort into designing the P2008 and it’s very apparent when you make your way into the cockpit. A prime example is the door hinge which has a retaining mechanism that prevents them from swinging open in high winds.
When you peek into the cockpit, you are greeted with leather seats and high-quality trim. The comfortable seats articulate forward and backward and can accommodate most people, however, if you have a larger-than-average build, there might not be enough space.
The aircraft is controlled via a stick, which has a raked design to prevent it from interfering with movement in the cockpit. The position also allows the pilot to use their legs as an armrest reducing pilot fatigue. The cabin design is very reminiscent of a well-built small sedan, thanks to its cabin vents and uncluttered layout.
Tecnam P2008 Specifications
|Length||22.7 ft (6.93 m)|
|Width||3.9 ft (1.20 m)|
|Tail Height||8.1 ft (2.46 m)|
|Wing Span||29.5 ft (9.00 m)|
|Wing Area||12.16 m² (130.9 ft² )|
|Wing Aspect Ratio||6.7|
|Chord Length||4.5 ft (1.37 m)|
|Propeller Ground Clearance||12.2 +/- 1.6 in (310 +/- 40 mm)|
|Minimum Ground Steering Radius||18.0 ft (5.50 m)|
|Wheel Track||5.9 ft (1.8 m)|
|Wheel Base||6.4 ft (1.94 m)|
|Baggage Volume||8 ft³ (225 l)|
|Maximum Takeoff Weight||1,320 lbs (600 kg)|
|Maximum Landing Weight||1,320 lbs (600 kg)|
|Basic Empty Weight||855 lb (388 kg)|
|Maximum Payload||540 lbs (245 kg)|
|Baggage Allowance||44 lbs (20 kg)|
|Maximum Power||100 hp (73.5 kW) @ 5,800 RPM|
|Maximum Continous Power||92.5 hp (69.0 kW) @5,500 RPM|
|Maximum Torque||94 ft-lb (128 Nm)|
|Engine Displacement||82 in³ (1.352 L)|
|Power Loading||13.5 lb/hp (6.1 kg/hp)|
|Fuel Burn||4.5 gph (17 Lph)|
|Total Fuel Capacity||27.5 us gal (104 L)|
|Service Ceiling||14,000 ft (4267 m)|
|Takeoff Run||600 ft (183 m)|
|Takeoff Distance||1190 ft (363 m)|
|Rate of Climb||800 ft/min (4.06 m/sec)|
|Landing Run||568 ft (173 m)|
|Landing Distance||1253 ft (382 m)|
|Maximum Cruise Speed||128 kts (237 kmph)|
|Wing Loading||12 lb/ft² (59 kg/m²)|
|Power Loading||13.5 lb/hp (6.1 kg/hp)|
|Oil Capacity||3.2 qt (3 L) Max – 2.1 qt (2 L) Min|
|Maximum Range @ 55 % Power||620 nm (1,148 km)|
|Engine||Rotax GmBH 912 ULS|
|Fuel Type||AVGAS 100LL / MOGAS|
|Propeller One||GT Tonini GT-2/173/VRR- FW101 Two Blade Fixed Pitch|
|Propeller Two||Sensenich 2A0R5R70EN Two Blade Ground Adjustable Pitch|
|Propeller Three||Sensenich 3B0R5R68C Three Blade Ground Adjustable Pitch|
|Type||Garmin GX3 Touch Suite|
|Size Screen||10.6 Inch|
Tecnam P2008 Performance and Handling
The Tecnam P2008 fuselage is made entirely out of carbon fiber, and the control surfaces are made from aluminum alloys. This combination makes the P2008 light, and rigid resulting in an airplane that responds like it’s an extension of yourself. Carbon fiber also dampens engine noise much more than conventional materials, which is a bonus.
Power and mixture are controlled via a single lever, the engine management system does the rest. You can reach maximum power by passing an indent, but a warning light will pop up if you exceed five minutes. Turns on the ground are accomplished using a castering nose wheel operated by the rudders.
Most LSAs have controls that are too light, which can lead to most pilots overcorrecting. Like its predecessors before it, the P2008 controls forces are dialed in just right to prevent things from getting too squirrely.
Both secondary flight controls, the flaps, and the trim tab are both operated electrically. The flaps on the P2008 have three settings: zero, takeoff at 15 degrees, and landing at 40 degrees.
Tecnam P2008 Maintenance Schedule
The P2008 is an LSA and as such, has to abide by the same maintenance standards as its heavier counterparts. The two main inspections that have to be completed are the annual inspection every 12 calendar months and the 100-hour inspection.
The Rotax 912 ULS on the P2008, Roxtax 912 S2 on the P2008 JC, as well as the Rotax 914 on the P2008 TC all have a time before overhaul of 2,000 hours.
Tecnam P2008 Price
The Tecnam P2008 is a light-sport aircraft but is designed and marketed as a luxury product. Because of this Tecnam has priced the P2008 at the upper end of the range for LSAs, and customers don’t seem because sales are quite good, especially in Europe.
The P2008 is available in four standard trims. The first level is the base pack with no frills and the bare minimum flight instruments which include the compass, airspeed indicator, altimeter, vertical speed indicator, and sideslip indicator.
For engine monitoring, this model has a Dynon D10 that can offer a range of instruments. Tecnam charges customers $200,000 for this setup.
The second trim is called the Six Pack, and as the name suggests, completes the standard gauges with an attitude indicator, heading indicator, turn and bank indicator, and trim and flap indicator. This trim also replaces the Dynon D10 for conventional analog gauges and makes the interior look like a normal aircraft. Tecnam sells this model for $230,000.
The third level is referred to as the Glass Tourer and is the first trim to have an EFIS. Customers can expect to part with $260,000 for this model. Finally, the top-of-the-range Garmin-equipped option is sold for $280,000.
Tecnam P2008 Modifications and Upgrades
The Tecnam P2008 isn’t all that customizable, which should be expected at this price point. But there are options that customers can choose from specifically avionics and safety equipment.
Avionics upgrades are available in three tiers. The first is the standard six-pack equipped with a Garmin SL40 communication module, a GTX327 transponder, and an Aera560 GPS unit. The Glass Tourer replaces the analog six-pack with an Advanced Flight System AD 3500 EFIS.
The top-tier package is the one that most customers opt for, replacing the above system with a Garmin G3X system equipped with 10.6-inch touchscreens, an engine monitor, and a GMC 305 autopilot. The layout is uncluttered and ergonomic and reduces the pilot’s workload greatly.
As previously mentioned, the P2008 can be equipped with a ballistic parachute that can be pulled when all other options have been exhausted. It’s not necessary, but it would be helpful in a pinch. This option costs $6,500 with installation included.
Inside the aircraft, customers get a choice of three different seats. The standard seat has no headrest, to get it the customer will have to opt for the deluxe seat, which has a fixed headrest. Both the standard and deluxe seats are made of imitation leather. Real leather is only available with the premium option, which is more or less a bucket seat.
Tecnam offers customers two engine upgrade options. The first option costs $12,700 and replaces the dual carburated Rotax ULS|S engine with a fuel-injected Rotax 912 iS. This engine features a redundant ignition system and is equipped with an economy mode to further save fuel.
The second engine upgrade swaps the basic engine for a Rotax 914 Turbocharged engine. This engine has automatic waste gate control and is coupled with a composite three-blade Sensenich ground adjustable propeller. This engine upgrade adds $24,900 to the sticker price of the aircraft.
Tecnam P2008 Resale Value
Tecnam P2008 isn’t the most popular aircraft, especially in the United States. Parts aren’t abundantly available and mechanics around the country aren’t too familiar with the model. Light sport aircraft also make up a small portion of the general aviation market. Due to all these conditions, these aircraft don’t hold their value all that well.
Tecnam P2008 Operating Costs
The Tecnam P2008 isn’t a large plane and is quite economical for the level of performance it provides. In general, LSAs are cheap to maintain and the P2008 is no different it’s Tecnam’s most cost-effective model.
Fixed costs are independent of the operation of the aircraft, and will remain the same regardless of how many hours the aircraft is flown.
Aircraft can be parked in either a hangar or on the ramp. Parking the aircraft on the ramp makes it prone to damage from the elements, and potential accidents from wayward airport vehicles and other aircraft. Parking an aircraft in a hangar will keep it safe and increase resale value, and preserve your paint job and rubber trim from excessive wear.
However extra safety and protection come at a price and depending on the location, it can be steep. The price of a hangar depends on either the weight or area, sometimes both. A standard square hangar for a P2008 can cost between $300 and $600 a month.
Most of the time, you can share hangar space with other aircraft owners, for a small aircraft like the P2008 the price can be as low as $100 a month to $500 on the high end. At larger airports where space is a premium can cost more than $1000 a month.
Insurance is one of the largest fixed costs that an aircraft owner has to deal with annually. Two types of coverage can be included in an insurance policy: liability coverage and hull coverage.
Liability coverage pays out to third parties when bodily injury or property damage is inflicted as a result of the aircraft’s operation. This form of coverage is required by law, meaning an aircraft without liability insurance at the minimum is not airworthy in the eyes of the FAA.
Hull coverage is optional, and pays out to the owner of the aircraft is damaged or totaled. The amount an owner receives if the aircraft is totaled depends on how much the insurance company valued the aircraft.
The premiums for aircraft insurance also depend on if the pilot is experienced or not. In most cases, insurance companies refer to those holding a private pilot’s license with an instrument rating and 750 hours total time and 50 hours on type as experienced pilots, and pilots with lower hours or no instrument rating as less than experienced pilots.
Premiums for less than experienced pilots can be up to two times as much as the premium for experienced pilots.
In general, liability coverage for an aircraft like the P2008 average around $1,000,000 per occurrence, with the total amount per passenger limited to around $250,000. Hull coverage on average covers 80 percent of the value of the aircraft.
For policyholders with only liability coverage, the premium for an experienced pilot can cost around $1,020 for only liability coverage or $3,400 including hull coverage. While less than experienced pilots can expect to pay $1,530 for only liability coverage and $5,100 for the whole package.
The number quoted above are just rough estimates. To get an accurate quote contact a reputable insurance dealer.
Fixed Maintenance Costs
There is one main fixed maintenance cost for a smaller aircraft like the Tecnam P2008: the annual inspection. This inspection has to be completed every 12 calendar months, regardless of if a 100-hour inspection has been done recently because an annual inspection can supersede a 100-hour, but the opposite isn’t true.
An annual inspection is more thorough than a 100-hour inspection, therefore it’s more expensive and takes longer to complete.
Miscellaneous Fixed Costs
These are costs that can’t be categorized into any of the other recurring fixed costs or are unexpected. Miscellaneous fixed costs could be things like software updates for avionics systems.
Variable costs are directly correlated to the number of hours flown, as a result, variable costs are also known as hourly costs. The four main variable costs are fuel, engine overhauls, and landing and navigation fees.
For estimation purposes, we will assume that the aircraft flies 400 hours per year.
Maintenance cost is the second largest cost of owning an aircraft. Maintenance is mostly a variable cost because the more the aircraft is used the more components experience wear and tear.
To keep the aircraft operating safely and keep it compliant with regulations, it has to meet all the airworthiness service bulletins, advisory circulars, and inspections, with any safety-sensitive equipment being operative with no exceptions.
The main variable maintenance cost for a P2008 is the 100-hour inspection. According to Tecnam forums, the standard 100-hour inspection will cost around $1,500. Since we estimate that the aircraft flies 400 hours a year, the total cost is $6,000.
However, the 100-hour inspection is not a regulatory requirement for aircraft that are used privately. Therefore most owners choose to forgo this inspection, but it could be performing one could be the difference between finding a serious problem on the ground versus in the air, the latter being undesirable.
If the aircraft is being used for any sort of commercial flying, a 100-hour inspection has to be performed, with no exceptions. According to Tecnam forums, a rough estimate for an annual inspection is $2,000 at the low end plus any parts for repairs.
The most expensive and recurring variable maintenance cost is an engine overhaul. An overhaul involves completely tearing down an engine and replacing any parts that show wear or replacing the engine with a new one or a refurbished one.
For the Rotax 912, a brand-new replacement will cost roughly $20,000. But most customers opt for overhauled engines, which can range between $14,000 to $17,000.
The engines can be had for cheaper if you’re trading in your current engine, but only the block is worth any money, and depending on the condition of it, it could be worth anywhere from $4,000 to nothing.
Landing and Fees
Unless an aircraft is exclusively flying in class G airspace and landing at unofficial airstrips, it’ll incur landing and navigation fees. These fees depend on the location of the airport and congestion level, but for an LSA like the P2008, they are minimal.
However, these fees add up and need to be kept track of. For LAX one of the nation’s busiest airports, the landing fees for a P2008 are $25 which is the minimum amount as the aircraft doesn’t weigh above 1,000 lbs (454.45 kg). Other less congested airports will be cheaper to land at.
The single largest cost associated with the operation of an aircraft is fuel. In general, LSAs are very economical in comparison to their heavier counterparts, which is something that the P2008 enjoys.
The aircraft is lighter than other competitors thanks to its composite build, and its small block Rotax 912 ULS |S burns only 4.5 gph (17 lph). The national average for Mogas is currently $5.54 a gallon, which brings the hourly total to $24.93 and the yearly total to $9,972.
Miscellaneous Variable Costs
Costs that are affected by aircraft usage but don’t fit into any other categories or are unforeseen are included in this category.
Tecnam P2008 Variants
Including the based version of the P2008, Tecnam has produced three variants.
Tecnam P2008 TC
The P2008 TC is the turbocharged version of the P2008. The Rotax 914 engine is equipped with a ground-boosted turbocharger which allows it to produce a maximum of 115 hp (85.8 kW). A side-effect of turbocharging the aircraft is the ability to fly at higher altitudes more efficiently.
Climb performance is also greatly improved, increasing from 800 ft/min to 1,300 ft/min. The Rotax 914 engine is often chosen for its ability to perform well in hot and high situations, and the turbocharger elevates its performance.
Fuel burn at lower altitudes is increased compared to the naturally aspirated model, but it can be quickly remedied by finding a high enough altitude.
Tecnam P2008 JC
The P2008 JC is a variant that has been certified under the very light aircraft category. The specifications are slightly different, with the P2008 JC outperforming the base version in certain areas, like range and climb performance.
Tecnam P2008 Competing Aircraft
Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse
The Diamond DA20-C1 Eclipse is a two-seater, single-engine, t-tail light sport aircraft built by Diamond Aircraft, an Austrian company. The DA20 was released in 1994 and is still in production today. During its impressive 18-year production run, Diamond has manufactured over 1000 units of this aircraft.
Like the P2008 the DA20 was designed for the American market and has proved to be a success. The DA20’s combination of glider-like handling, low operating costs, and advanced avionics allowed it to carve a niche market for itself.
The DA20 doesn’t perform as well as the P2008. It has a maximum range of 525 nm (973 km) and higher fuel consumption of 5.3 gph (20 lph). The DA20 is faster, heavier, and can carry a higher payload, but this is because of its more powerful Continental IO-240-B engine that produces 125 hp (93 kW).
The Sling Two is a two-seat, low-wing, light-sport aircraft that is manufactured by Sling Aircraft, a South African company. It has been in production since 2009 and as of 2019 has sold over 310 units. This aircraft’s claim to fame is that it’s the first LSA to fly around the world in 40 days.
This aircraft is sold both as a kit and as a completed unit. The only thing this aircraft has in common with the P2008 is the use of the Rotax 912 engine. Other than that, they are different in performance, comfort, and overall refinement.
Another two-seater, single-engine, low-wing design, Van’s RV-12 is a kit aircraft that has been in production since 2008. Initially, only kits were sold, however, in 2012 the company start selling ready-to-fly units.
In terms of performance, this aircraft is very similar to the rest on the list. However, since it’s a kit aircraft, it can’t measure up to the P2008.
The Virus can be viewed as a Frankenstein mash-up of the front of the P2008 and the back of the DA20. This two-seater, single-engine, high-wing LSA has been in production since 1999 by Pipistrel.
Powered by a Rotax 912, the Virus has an MTOW of 1,323 lbs (600 kg) the same as the P2008. It’s one of the few aircraft on the list that outperforms the P2008, flying faster, further, and higher more efficiently. It also rivals the P2008 in terms of avionics technology and safety options.
Frequently Asked Questions – Tecna P2008
Question: What is a Light-Sport Aircraft?
Answer: The Light-Sport category is extremely hard to define and the line between General Aviation and LSAs is blurry. However, the FAA states that an LSA cannot have an MTOW greater than 1,323 lbs (600 kg), more than two seats, a max stall speed of 45 kts (83 kmph), and more than one engine.
Question: Is the P2008 Successful?
Answer: The P2008 has carved out a piece of the LSA pie for itself and is considered to be successful, even though sales numbers aren’t as high as some other LSAs. This is mostly attributed to other LSAs having kits for homebuilders.
Question: How Serviceable is the P2008?
Answer: Since the P2008 is an Italian aircraft and few in number, it’s not as serviceable as some of the more popular models. Parts also need to be ordered directly from the company as there are almost no aftermarket vendors for the aircraft. However, the aircraft is gaining in popularity in certain areas which will improve serviceability.
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- Tecnam P2008 specifications, cabin dimensions, performance. (n.d.). GlobalAir.Com. Retrieved October 29, 2022, from https://www.globalair.com/aircraft-for-sale/specifications?specid=1216
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